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NASA Space Science

Hundreds of Black Holes Found 208

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the no-not-the-view-studio-audience dept.
eldavojohn writes "Hundreds of black holes that were thought to exist at the beginning of the universe have been found by NASA's Spitzer and Chandra space telescopes. From the article, 'The findings are also the first direct evidence that most, if not all, massive galaxies in the distant universe spent their youths building monstrous black holes at their cores. For decades, a large population of active black holes has been considered missing. These highly energetic structures belong to a class of black holes called quasars. A quasar consists of a doughnut-shaped cloud of gas and dust that surrounds and feeds a budding supermassive black hole. As the gas and dust are devoured by the black hole, they heat up and shoot out X-rays. Those X-rays can be detected as a general glow in space, but often the quasars themselves can't be seen directly because dust and gas blocks them from our view.' This is pretty big, as it's empirical evidence proving the existence of objects that theoretically had to exist but could not be detected previously."
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Hundreds of Black Holes Found

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  • Had to exist? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Misanthrope (49269) on Thursday October 25, 2007 @10:36PM (#21124001)
    Not to be pedantic, but couldn't there be another source for the x-rays? What would've happened if this was someones pet theory?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by alexborges (313924)
      Im not gonna mod you. Could not find a +/- 1 "claims to be pedantic"
      • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        Ah. The good ol' Schrödinvote.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Well yes. But it'd have to be a source that generated fantastically intense beams of x-rays, and which had masses of hundreds of millions to billions of times the mass of a star in a fantastically small volume to keep stars in galactic cores moving at ludicrious speed. High density + invisible is something of a puzzle in astronomy.
    • Re: Had to exist? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Black Parrot (19622)

      Not to be pedantic, but couldn't there be another source for the x-rays? What would've happened if this was someones pet theory?
      If there were competing theories that predicted the same thing, the race would be on to see whether there was something else they made different predictions about, and to see which could stand up to the additional scrutiny.
      • Re: Had to exist? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by pedestrian crossing (802349) on Friday October 26, 2007 @01:33AM (#21125267) Homepage Journal

        Not to be pedantic, but couldn't there be another source for the x-rays? What would've happened if this was someones pet theory?
        If there were competing theories that predicted the same thing, the race would be on to see whether there was something else they made different predictions about, and to see which could stand up to the additional scrutiny.

        Like these [wikipedia.org]?

        No one has ever "seen" a black hole, they are seeing effects that can be explained by black hole theory. A subtle but perhaps important difference.

        IANAAP, but on the surface of it, ECOs are interesting because they do not involve a singularity.

        • Re: Had to exist? (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Steeltoe (98226) on Friday October 26, 2007 @08:15AM (#21127525) Homepage
          Noone has ever "seen" an atom either, or a bunch of molecules.

          What did you think you were seeing but incoming photons triggering electrical pulses to your brain?

          Makes you think how little we do "see"..
          • Um, you're going a little too metaphysical here.

            Using telescopes, we "see" stars and galaxies. Using x-ray telescopes, we "see" areas that are bright in x-rays and deduce that they are caused by matter falling into very massive objects.

            Almost Everyone just accepts that these massive objects are "black holes" because it is a popular theory. Take the article for instance, it says we are "seeing" black holes.

            But we're not, we're "seeing" very massive objects, and from what we can see they could be modeled

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by khallow (566160)
          As I see it, the only difference between a black hole and an ECO is whether you are in it or not. The point is black holes look like ECOs from the outside, up to emitted radiation and a magnetic field.
  • Huh? (Score:3, Funny)

    by conner_bw (120497) on Thursday October 25, 2007 @10:37PM (#21124019) Homepage Journal
    empirical evidence proving the existence of objects that theoretically had to exist

    Is this like theoretical evidence proving the existence of object that empirically had to exist?
    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Funny)

      by smitty_one_each (243267) * on Thursday October 25, 2007 @10:53PM (#21124149) Homepage Journal
      No, this just proves that, for certain empirical cases, the difference between theory and practice is smaller in practice than certain other theoretically challenged cases: in other words, this one is rather similar, while still remaining slightly different.
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by conner_bw (120497)
        it's late, so i'm still not getting it.

        * Empirical evidence proves the existence of objects that theoretically had to exist
        * An object theoretically had to exist,
        * Therefore, this object may or may not have existed.
        * This evidence proves an object may or may not have existed.
        * The evidence proves nothings?
        * Confirmation bias [wikipedia.org]?

        I'm thinking "proves" was the wrong word to use here.
      • by rts008 (812749)
        Obligatory Cheech and Chong: Up in Smoke paraphrase (regarding the proposed new band uniforms)

        "So, it's DIFFERENT, but the SAME?!?!?" That's cool!
  • Despite sharing gas clouds and the emission of toxic energy, quasars are found in space while red holes are found near Taco Bells.
    • by Hao Wu (652581)

      As the gas and dust are devoured by the black hole, they heat up and shoot out X-rays.
      These sound like giant holes to devour.

      I can't wait to see hi-resolution images of these massive "gassholes" in action.

      • by rts008 (812749)
        "I can't wait to see hi-resolution images of these massive "gassholes" in action."

        If you have your own telescope and camera setup, just check out Uranus after a day of bad burritos and beer....or was that bad beer and burritos?...or was that bad burritos and bad beer?....I'm sooo confused now!
  • by User 956 (568564) on Thursday October 25, 2007 @10:40PM (#21124045) Homepage
    'The findings are also the first direct evidence that most, if not all, massive galaxies in the distant universe spent their youths building monstrous black holes at their cores.

    That's funny, because I've heard the same thing about Dick Cheney.
    • Uh.... (Score:3, Funny)

      No, you are referring to brown holes. They are not the same things.
    • 'The findings are also the first direct evidence that most, if not all, massive galaxies in the distant universe spent their youths building monstrous black holes at their cores.
      That's funny, because I've heard the same thing about Dick Cheney.
      So if Dick Cheney is a doughnut-shaped cloud of gas and dust of with a black hole at his center does that mean that George Bush is the black nothingness Cheney exists in?
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Torvaun (1040898)
        Close, but Bush's black nothingness is currently being contained by his skull.
  • *phew* (Score:5, Interesting)

    by AlphaDrake (1104357) on Thursday October 25, 2007 @10:40PM (#21124047) Homepage
    I was scared I might have run into one in a dark alley one night, thank goodness they have been found. On a more serious note, the article mentions that "the galaxies are 9-11 billion years old, and that they *did* exist when the universe was in it's adolescence." Does this mean they are no longer there? And if not, what would have become of the black holes?
    • by Xzzy (111297)
      what would have become of the black holes?

      They got plastic surgery, built a playground ranch in California, and became white.
    • The point is that we know where they are now: at the centre of every Galaxy. We believe this based, among other things, on studies of the orbits of stars near the centres of galaxies - if you know the orbit, you can calculate the mass that is being orbited. Our galaxy has a compact object (ie, a Black Hole) about 100,000 times the mass of the sun in its centre.

      The question was: when did they form?

      If a Black Hole is in a region with lots of material...it grows. Here's (roughly) how: most of material w

    • Does circling the drain mean anything? Oh wait, that is us. No, they are expected to evaporate eons eons eons into the future.
  • by weirdcrashingnoises (1151951) on Thursday October 25, 2007 @10:43PM (#21124073) Journal
    "Those X-rays can be detected as a general glow in space, but often the quasars themselves can't be seen directly because dust and gas blocks them from our view."

    pfft yea sure, i'll believe it's a black hole when i see it.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    RIMMER: My answer: In answering the question, "What does the red spectrum tell us about quasars?" there are various words that need to be defined. What is a spectrum, what is a red one, why is it red, and why is it so frequently linked with quasars?

    He pauses and looks puzzled.

    RIMMER: What the hell is a quasar? Just put a neat cross through it and we'll do the next one, OK?
  • Suddenly... (Score:2, Funny)

    by KillzoneNET (958068)
    Suddenly black holes, lots of them!
  • Question (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thatskinnyguy (1129515) on Thursday October 25, 2007 @10:53PM (#21124151)
    I may be totally inept at this whole astronomy thing, but I am curious. If all or most galaxies have black holes at the center, where does the debris and dust and all the other stuff that makes a galaxy work come from? Obviously the black hole is pulling stuff toward it, but where does that stuff come from? And how did it get there?
    • Re:Question (Score:5, Informative)

      by CodeBuster (516420) on Thursday October 25, 2007 @11:45PM (#21124573)
      but where does that stuff come from? And how did it get there?

      IANAA (I am not an astrophysicist) but I seem to remember, from the astronomy course which I took for fun in college, that stars formed out of hydrogen present after the big bang (the hydrogen formed soon after everything cooled down enough to allow protons and electrons to bind together again) which formed stars due to minute temperature variations throughout the universe (apparently if the temperature were entirely uniform then nothing interesting, including ultimately Humans, would ever have formed out of the large soup of hydrogen that was left over).

      Now, depending upon the initial mass of a star and its final disposition (white dwarf, brown dwarf, neutron star, supernova, black hole) which depends upon that mass, the star creates ever heavier elements as the fusion of hydrogen into helium progresses into the fusion of Helium into Lithium and Lithium into Boron and so on all the way up to Iron (which is the heaviest element that can be produced by fusion). The elements that are heavier than Iron are produced in the massive pressure and forces generated by novas and super novas. Obviously this process has happened over and over again as matter and stars coalesced by gravitational attraction into the galaxies that we see today (lots of handwaving here, again IANAA).

      Now, to answer your question, since dust is probably mostly carbon type stuff and compounds (which form pretty often in giant red stars) then over time as stars form and explode and form and explode and form and turn into black holes there will ultimately be some black holes surrounded by stray gases and dust from its own nova or surrounding novas or nearby stars over large periods of time. Lots of handwaving here, but does this answer your question?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by suv4x4 (956391)
        IANAA (I am not an astrophysicist)

        Don't you think people the utility of abbreviations is kinda lost when you have to put the full thing in parens immediately following?
    • Re:Question (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NeoSkink (737843) on Thursday October 25, 2007 @11:57PM (#21124687)
      Just because it's a black hole, doesn't mean it has to suck everything around it in. Stuff that's close enough, sure, but you can still get a stable orbit around a black hole, just like you can around any other collection of mass.
    • The reasoning goes like this.
      1) The universe cools down and a vast amount of protons and electrons are generated.
      2) These combine to form hydrogen.
      3) The universe is still very small but expanding very rapidly.
      4) The uncertainty principle makes sure that there are some pockets with very high density (comparatively speaking).
      5) Some high density regions develop enough gravity to pull in lots of other hydrogen.
      6) Everything does not fall straight it goes in circles like planets don't fall directly towards the
    • by Moraelin (679338) on Friday October 26, 2007 @07:33AM (#21127173) Journal
      Well, the Earth is pulling the moon towards it too, and yet we still have a moon after all these billions of years. The Sun is pulling the Earth towards it, but, funnily enough, after all these billions of years we're not quite there yet.

      In a sense, the Hitchhiker's guide got that right: ""There is an art to flying, or rather a knack. It knack lies in learning to throw yourself at the ground and miss. Clearly, it is this second part, the missing, that provides the difficulties."" We keep falling in an almost circular orbit around the Sun and ending up (almost) where we started.

      What I'm trying to say is that those super-massive black holes obviously do suck everything towards them. But the rest of the galaxy sees it as centripetal force and rotates around them.

      The problems with a black holes are at closer ranges.

      For a start, if you do get closer to it than its event horizon, then you're properly fucked. There is no way to get out of there, not even theoretically. Not even light can get out of there. Hence, the name black hole.

      However, I'll return to the analogy with the solar system. With the Sun's massive gravity well, it's damn near impossible to hit it, even if you wanted to. If you dropped a big rock right at it, even the slighest deviation or initial speed sideways (like would happen if you dropped it from Earth), would cause a clean miss and you'd just get that rock in some kind of orbit around it. The only way to actually hit the sun would be if that orbit was flattened enough that it passes through the sun.

      And the same problem applies to black holes too. Remember that it's a more massive gravity well _and_ the "bullseye" is much smaller, at least in relation to the gravity well. As you fall even a little off the centre, your speed would increase enough so at one point the centrifugal force (yes, I know it doesn't even exist, but it makes the explanation easier) just flings you clean around it.

      There's even at least one theory that nothing ever finishes falling into a black star. Although there is energy loss due to that X-ray emission and all, basically matter just spirals closer and closer to the event horizon without ever reaching it. Think an asymptotic decay. It gets closer and closer and closer over time, but never quite reaches it.

      The second problem is, well, tides. If you get close enough to the centre of a gravity well, say, looking at the centre, then your front is pulled towards it much stronger than your back is.

      This is actually true for any gravity well, and, again, you can see it in action in the solar system too. That's why the moon is tidal-locked with the Earth and you always see the same face of it.

      But for a massive enough gravity well, the force difference gets larger and can rip a star or a planet apart. That's how stars and black holes end up occasionally peeling another star apart, pretty much syphoning its outer layers.

      So basically you could be past the event horizon and still be properly fucked, in slightly different way.

      But even that only extends so far. IIRC there are stars orbitting the centre of a galaxy with a period measured in hours. Admittedly, that's not as close as it might suggest, again because of the massive gravity. Even with that angular speed, you still need a heck of a radius to stay in orbit there. But, still, if those survive just fine, then you can probably see how the rest of the galaxy is safe.
    • by RedBear (207369)

      I may be totally inept at this whole astronomy thing, but I am curious. If all or most galaxies have black holes at the center, where does the debris and dust and all the other stuff that makes a galaxy work come from? Obviously the black hole is pulling stuff toward it, but where does that stuff come from? And how did it get there?

      The thing to remember is that, somewhat counter-intuitively, gravity is actually the weakest of the four known forces that hold the cosmos together. The other three forces are el

    • by eh2o (471262)
      If our sun were instantly transformed into a black hole of equal mass, all other things being equal, the earth would continue to orbit as normal. Contrary to ones initial intuition a black hole does not instantly pull everything towards it.
  • IANAP however it sounds as if this could have some affect on the Dark Matter/Energy theories. Since Dark Matter/Energy I believe was invented to balance out seemingly correct equations on a cosmic scale? Perhaps this accounts for the extra gravity holding a system together?

    Can any physicists elaborate on this for us.

    Thanks.
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by chris411 (610359)
      IANAP either, but it hardly takes one to quickly check the article. "The massive, growing black holes, discovered by NASA's Spitzer and Chandra space telescopes, represent a large fraction of a long-sought missing population." They key points here are 'long-sought' and 'missing population.' They knew there were more black holes out there than they had detected up until now. That suggests to me they took this into account as far as the dark matter theory goes.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by hde226868 (906048)
      I am an astrophysicist, so let me try and explain in a little bit more detail why this result is so interesting.
      First of all: No, the discovery of these black holes has nothing to do with questions concerning the dark energy or missing mass. Note that one has to distinguish between dark energy or missing mass. What is meant by missing mass is the fact that in order to explain the rotation of many galaxies we need to invoke about 10 times more mass than what is found from observing the galaxies. What we do
  • by pln2bz (449850) *
    Halton Arp discovered that quasars are in fact observed to be connected to or being ejected from spiral galaxies. Even though the mainstream theories badly need these objects to exist at the edge of space due to their high redshifts, more recent statistics demonstrate that Arp is probably right, and that redshift is not strictly an indication of distance.

    But the fact that there is any debate at all on it is rather silly. People can observe the images that Arp discusses and decide for themselves whether or
    • Halton Arp discovered that quasars are in fact observed to be connected to or being ejected from spiral galaxies. Even though the mainstream theories badly need these objects to exist at the edge of space due to their high redshifts, more recent statistics demonstrate that Arp is probably right, and that redshift is not strictly an indication of distance.
      Cite?

      FWIW, Wikipedia says it's Arp that's working with the 40 year old data.

      • by pln2bz (449850) *
        I hope you are joking. Wikipedia is hardly an authoritative resource for controversial subjects. You need to get into the habit of making a distinction. If there is a heated debate about something, you will only get the mainstream view of it from wiki. Hopefully, there is no debate about this ...

        Wikipedia used to cite a paper that attempted to disprove Arp's observation of quantized inherent redshift. The thing is, the authors were not even aware that Arp's quantized redshifts were components of the to
        • I hope you are joking. Wikipedia is hardly an authoritative resource for controversial subjects. You need to get into the habit of making a distinction. If there is a heated debate about something, you will only get the mainstream view of it from wiki. Hopefully, there is no debate about this ...

          Wikipedia used to cite a paper that attempted to disprove Arp's observation of quantized inherent redshift. The thing is, the authors were not even aware that Arp's quantized redshifts were components of the total redshift. The authors disproved that the *raw* values were quantized. Apparently, so long as it is popular and disproves a heretic, accuracy is not all that important on wiki.

          As for the citation, it will not matter one bit. People will believe what they *want* to believe, and people *want* to believe that the statistics are flawed.

          And we should believe you instead of Wikipedia because...?

          • by pln2bz (449850) *
            The real question is whether or not you and others would believe *any* study that demonstrates that objects can have inherent redshift. The typical argument that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof is being misinterpreted to mean that no single piece of evidence can overturn the entire body of mathematical conjecture and observational interpretations associated with the popular theories. What people fail to realize is that there are indeed alternative cosmologies that can facilitate observati
            • Looking through some of your other comments, you really like playing the crusader of poor oppressed heretical theories, don't you? But that's not the important part.

              The _real_ mark of the crackpot is believing such bullshit as that there's some high priests with some immutable dogma, quashing poor heretic visionaries like Mr Arp.

              The truth is that nothing is that stationary or frozen in conjecture. Especially not in astrophysics. The domain has evolved a _lot_ in the last, say, half a century, and stuff that
              • by pln2bz (449850) *
                The consensuses you speak of -- dark matter, dark energy, the Hubble Constant, the expansion of the universe -- are no more physical than laboratory experimentation, the fossil record or eyewitness accounts. And yet, you appear to be unaware that all three contradict these consensuses. Like others, you err when you lower your standard to what is most popular and commonly taught in school, and then you fill the void you created for yourself by limiting your own reading materials with the idea that that it
    • Your eyes and brain did not evolve to observe cosmic phenomena.
      • by pln2bz (449850) *

        Your eyes and brain did not evolve to observe cosmic phenomena.

        No, they evolved to feed us and multiply -- which by your own reasoning might suggest that you and I should not even be interacting on this forum right now. Arguments that minimize the adaptability of the human brain are antithetical to common sense.

        The truth is that your brain is searching for reasons to convince itself of the position that it has already decided to take: that the mainstream theories are correct. What would be more convincing

        • IANAAP, my point was just that anyone who has experienced vertigo or seen an optical illusion will know that you can't trust your brain to interpret visual data pertaining to things very large or small, very distant, or in some other way outside the range of experiences we encountered while evolving. I'm not saying our visual interpretation of such things is necessarily wrong, just that we shouldn't have a lot of confidence in it.

          In principle, I love challenges to fundamental scientific theories--if they fa
          • by pln2bz (449850) *

            IANAAP, my point was just that anyone who has experienced vertigo or seen an optical illusion will know that you can't trust your brain to interpret visual data pertaining to things very large or small, very distant, or in some other way outside the range of experiences we encountered while evolving. I'm not saying our visual interpretation of such things is necessarily wrong, just that we shouldn't have a lot of confidence in it.

            The problem occurs when tricks of the eye become a necessary theoretical mecha

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      There are so many things wrong with this post it is hard to know where to start... 1.) Quasars are found in both spiral and ellipical galaxies, so not all of them are "connected to or being ejected from spiral galaxies." 2.) The mainstream theories that you put down so quickly have been built upon research that took place in the 40 or so years since Arp made his claims. Since then astronomers have found (among other things) that the redshifts of the quasar host galaxies are completely consistant with the
      • by pln2bz (449850) *
        I'm unfortunately unable to find the paper. It's out there. I've written about it before in one of my prior Slashdot interactions.

        In the past four decades observations have provided overwhelming evidence that the redshifts of quasars are cosmological, not due to any type of velocity redshift due to ejection from a galaxy. Unfortunately, armchair astronomers continue to spread long discredited theories as the truth.

        It would probably be proper to place a bold asterisk next to "discredited". There remain st

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday October 25, 2007 @11:00PM (#21124207)
    "The goatse guy could not be reached for comment."
  • Now I'd like to have them back, now, please.

  • by Artega VH (739847) on Thursday October 25, 2007 @11:25PM (#21124403) Journal
    As covered by Red Dwarf...
    "Well, the thing about a Black Hole, its main distinguishing feature, is it's black! And the thing about space, the colour of space, yer basic space colour, is its Black! So how are you supposed to see them. ... We've been in space for three million years and there hasn't been one! Then, all of a sudden five of them turn up at once!"

    And the cause of all these black holes?
    "Five specs of grit on the scanner scope....the thing is about Grit... is it's black.."
  • Well, half a black hole.
  • by DavidD_CA (750156) on Thursday October 25, 2007 @11:46PM (#21124587) Homepage
    Oh good! I was worried I'd never see them again. The cleaning lady left my garage door open and they sneaked out.

    My quazars will be so happy to have them back home.
  • ...they're honeypots powerful enough to bog down the Storm botnet!
  • argh! (Score:5, Informative)

    by sentientbrendan (316150) on Friday October 26, 2007 @12:10AM (#21124779)
    "This is pretty big, as it's empirical evidence proving the existence of objects that theoretically had to exist but could not be detected previously."

    look closely

    "empirical evidence proving"

    should never occur in any sentence ever. By definition empirical evidence cannot prove anything. Empirical evidence lends support to inductive arguments, which don't concern themselves with proof. Only analytic statements may be proven.

    Please, for the love of god remember, there are two forms of logic, inductive which has arguments from experience (physics), and deductive which has arguments from pure reason (mathematics). Only deductive arguments can be proven because you can always argue with the strength of the evidence in inductive claims. It is a fact (supported by inductive evidence and deductive proofs) that inductive claims may be false no matter how strong the evidence for them is. Thus they can never be proven, but you can say "there are strong practical reasons to believe."

    People getting basic logic wrong has led to a lot of poor decisions in our society lately, so please do not contribute to the problem by adding to confusion over terms.
    • Please, for the love of god remember, there are two forms of logic, inductive which has arguments from experience (physics), and deductive which has arguments from pure reason (mathematics). Only deductive arguments can be proven because you can always argue with the strength of the evidence in inductive claims. It is a fact (supported by inductive evidence and deductive proofs) that inductive claims may be false no matter how strong the evidence for them is. Thus they can never be proven, but you can say

      • >The error you make is in assuming that article summaries on Slashdot should be read as if
        >they were scientific papers.

        This is rudimentary logic we're talking about, not some high level jargon. If you can't make your sentences logically coherent, then you have no business saying anything ever. Saying something nonsensical is not contributing to a discussion.

        Also, there's a difference between someone having a different definition of the word prove in a given context, and someone simply not knowing what
  • by flyingfsck (986395) on Friday October 26, 2007 @12:43AM (#21125037)
    The universe is now proven to be holier than thou.
  • I am sure some people will think I am nitpicking, but I am not. I just like to see a bit of precision about the topic of discussion.

    Quote: "This is pretty big, as it's empirical evidence proving the existence of objects..."

    It is nothing of the sort. It is empirical evidence OF the existence of certain objects. It proves absolutely nothing.
  • Finding Black Holes is an intense job, it's not hard to get Sucked in, and there are always new Events on the Horizon. // Sucky job but somebody's got to do it?? /// Having seen "Event Horizon" I don't think I'd really want to go looking for black holes....ugh.
  • Great Cosmic Industrialist: "You can have any coloured hole you like, as long as it's black."

    God: "Oh. Allright."

  • FTA: "...most, if not all, massive galaxies in the distant universe spent their youths building monstrous black holes at their cores."

    That's exactly the problem with galaxies these days. They sit around all day, killing their brain cells on violent video games, unhealthy food, and astronomical porn (and listen, Vega doesn't look as good in a bikini as she used to). And what happens? Black holes at their cores. Big frickin' black holes at their cores. No morals, no ethics, not a clue about how to be ni

  • "Hundreds of black holes that were thought to exist at the beginning of the universe..."


    How can there be a 'beginning of the universe?' That would also imply that there is/was an end and what would there be after the end or between the end of the last universe and the beginning of ours?
    • by mshurpik (198339)
      How would you feel if aluminum really did burn more easily than wood?

      I think you are facing that crisis right now.
  • Until one gobbled up my vacuum cleaner into microscopic invisibilty last week. Glad I let go quickly.

For every bloke who makes his mark, there's half a dozen waiting to rub it out. -- Andy Capp

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