The Voyager probes travel too slowly for my liking…

When talking about astronomical distances, the most appropriate unit is the “light-year” (distance travelled by light in a vacuum in one year).


While reading an article about the Voyager spacecraft (launched 1977, 36 years ago) I found out one of them is “0.002 light years” away from Earth. I don’t know about you but that doesn’t mean much to me, so I plugged it into Wolfram Alpha, which is the best thing since sliced bread.


Conversion to “light-days” (non-standard) allows me to appreciate the distances a little better. For reference, the distance to the nearest star to our own (Sol).





In the US, if your heart stops during heart attack, your chances approach zero

I was reading an article where doctor Sam Parnia expresses hope that clinically dead patients might some day be resuscitated several hours (or more) after their technical “death”, one day. In our various scientific fields there is always fervor and boundless optimism, on a specific topic, from a few people which draws derision from the rest of the community; I’m sure this guy’s views aren’t popular. Who knows how right he is; I’m not medically trained.


At some point he talks about survival rates for cardiac arrest patients where their hearts have actually stopped. My significant other is a vet and she’s pointed out to me during tv shows that the defibrillator paddles are effectively useless once your heart is stopped (they’re used improperly on tv), and I think she guessed that the survival rate was something like 2%. I don’t know why I find this passage so shocking because I’ve been warned! The facts are still seriously disapponting:


Link to original article:




Pic taken from same article (link).

Here’s Sam Parnia’s wikipedia: (link)



Survival rates for out-of-hospital cardiac arrests continue to be poor and have barely improved from what they were 25 years ago.

Parnia: Sadly, that’s correct. There is no generally enforced standard of care. In some communities in the United States, survival rates after resuscitation are as low as close to 0 percent. In general, we are better at rescuing people who suffer cardiac arrest in hospitals. But even in this group the average now in the US is 18 percent. The United Kingdom has 16 percent and I assume German hospitals have a similar rate.

SPIEGEL: That’s shockingly bad.

Parnia: Here in Stony Brook we had a 21 percent survival rate when I first arrived. Now, two years later, we are at 33 percent. In the first quarter of this year, our latest available data shows that we reached 38 percent, which likely puts us among the top hospitals in the US. Most, but not all of our patients, get discharged with no neurological damage whatsoever.