Roy Blount Jr.
Just by thinking on such a grand scale, humanity not only enlarges its universe but expands and ennobles itself. Perhaps the ideal metaphor is not Piglet's Heffalump but Browning's famous declamation: "Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp, / Or what's a heaven for;" To the growing fraternity of black-hole theorists, that cosmic vision is the ultimate. lodestar.
-- "Those Baffling Black Holes," Time.
"You can call them Great Big Old Nothings all you want," says Mrs. Vem Wike of Baruma, Michigan, "but when that thing came along and seized me up by the clavicles and turned me into a grain of dust five or six times and set me down fourteen miles from my home, it did me a world of good. I feel like a new old lady."
"Idea I got, it was trying to tell me something, trying to, you know, to communicate," says Roster Toombs of Fillings, Maryland, who maintains that a black hole reached him in his garage apartment, transferred him to at least two other universes and left him with "kind of more perspective on life than I can use."
Ex-President Jimmy Carter is interested in black holes.
Sings Benno Zane 11 in his black hole-inspired pop hit "So-uh Dark":
You-uh so profound,
Grand Canyon like a levee.
Billion tons-uh like a pound,
You-uh so heavy.
Yeah so-uh dark in there
You got Noah's ark in there?
But the hole is greater than some of its poets. From Slippery Key, Florida, to Bosco, Washington, from England's Cambridge University to cooperative observatories on mainland China, mankind is going further than it ever imagined possible with thoughts of black holes, those mysterious antiwombs of collapsed stars in which time and space are so