If you have similar concerns, fear not for they are completely unfounded.
The latest discovery I have made is that many or even most societies, libraries and museums hold regular evening lectures that are either free to attend or attract a nominal fee. The range of subjects covered is endless but my own main interest is science.
This week my wife and I went to the Royal Astronomical Society evening lecture at their headquarters in Piccadilly, London. The lecture only lasted an hour but it was so fascinating I am still assimilating what I learnt, but for me two things stood out.
Firstly, the professor giving the lecture discussed the fact that one of the highly sensitive spacecraft he is involved with was recently hit by an object. He explained that the force of the impact was the equivalent of being hit with a rugby ball thrown by a top rugby player – that would hurt. Luckily the craft survived the impact but he then explained that the mass or the object was no more than a human eyelash! It just shows how dangerous it is in space where everything is moving so incredibly fast.
Secondly, he showed a recently produced star map which in a time lapse sequence showed the movement of stars against the background sky, only one of the stars didn’t appear to move. He then explained that this particular star is hurtling directly towards us faster than a bullet, hence it doesn’t appear to wobble like other stars in the sky. He also mentioned the rather starling news that in 1.3 million years that star will impact our solar system which could well mean game over for mankind. Now I know that is a very long time off, but it does make you think about the vulnerability of our species, and how important it is that such a fantastically clever and advanced species such as ours manages to survive. After all, we have only been around for a few million years and only a few thousand years with any degree of civilisation. What a shame to waste any of that time getting sloshed, achieving nothing, and learning nothing as a consequence.
There is so much to learn, so much to do, and it is so utterly fantastic to be sober enough to make the most of every moment. Get out and find what is on near you. Who knows what might spark a whole new interest for you.