Sausages, Rubber Plants & the Big Bang
By Peter Bennett
March 16, 2003
A couple of months back, Wendy and I watched a program on TV about the London sausage wars. During this fascinating expose of the dark underworld of sausage manufacture and marketing, two rival sausage manufacturers made claims, counter claims and allegations over which of them were the originators of a whole variety of sausage recipes we'd never heard of. We watched spellbound as the proprietors of the two "sausageries" argued over who first introduced the wild boar and rosemary, the beef, mango and oregano and, the crem de la crem of the sausage world, the venison, lavender and pineapple.
We found the whole thing rather amusing but it left a certain taste in our mouths - for sausages. We rued the fact that where we live we couldn't buy anything remotely similar to these flaccid gourmet delights available to those who inhabited the bangers and mash capital of all Christendom. The sausages at our local supermarket have so much fat in them that no cooking oil is required to fry them and the taste is just plain boring.
"You'd think someone here would be able to open a gourmet sausage shop," I said to Wendy. "Where would he get his recipes though?" she replied. I could see by the expression on her face that she immediately wished she hadn't said it. She knew exactly what my reply would be. "On the Net," I said.
Wendy is something of an internet widow in that I just love surfing the Net and once I sit down to look for something it's ten to one that it'll be ten to one before I'll eventually crawl into bed. I sat down and flicked the switch. "I'm going around to Junie's place for a while then," said Wendy.
In no time I was up to my ears in sausage recipes, about 1400 web sites worth of them. I looked at about a dozen but they were all those continental hard sausages like Polish sausage or Hungarian salami. The sausages we'd seen on the TV program were those limp, English style sausages which become hard when you fry them. Then I thought of the word "bangers". I asked the search engine to locate search strings like bangers, bangers & mash, gourmet bangers, big bangers and so forth. And then a remarkable thing happened - after 45 minutes I'd found out how the universe works. My Big Bangers search brought forth a web site by a retired engineer who's written a couple of books about why the Big Bangers (those who believe in the Big Bang theory of creation) are all wrong. Now, I must confess that I' ve never been too interested in whether or not the big bang actually happened because, to be quite frank, whenever I've heard anybody talking about the Big Bang the conversation was quite unintelligible.
There were however, a couple of things I've always thought were a bit silly about the whole idea. As I understood the Big Bang it was something about the Mother of all explosions having taken place and everything in the universe having been travelling outward away from the site of the explosion ever since. Well, that's always sounded highly suspect to me because if there was nothing there to begin with, what was this Mother of all explosions going to explode into? See, it's already too much for ordinary humans to understand isn't it? And anyway, where was all the fuel to fuel the explosion supposed to come from if there was nothing there?
This huge explosion must have needed fuel of some sort being shoved into it at a rate of knots to carry on exploding. To me it's simple. It's like my annual bonfire which will only continue to burn as long as I keep throwing branches on it. The way I looked at the Big Bang was that if this tiny piece of matter exploded into a hole (which couldn't have existed because all the ingredients of the universe were supposed to be inside this bit of matter and not outside it) and was to carry on exploding/burning, then where was all the fuel going to come from - who was going to keep throwing the branches on?
What I could never fathom was how could this Big Bang come from nothing? I mean, nothing comes from nothing does it? Does it? But there are lots of things I can't work out. I don't know why lemmings don't buy life insurance and I've often wondered if Mormons all have the same pressure in their bicycle tires.
Something else I could never fathom and I'd never considered to be related to the mysteries of the universe, was the rubber plant at our corner store. On the way to the office every Monday through Friday for about 15 years I called into the same corner store to get my daily newspaper and, when I used to smoke, a packet of cigarettes. One day I noticed that Con, the proprietor, had bought a rubber plant in a pot and placed it in the window. Over the years this plant became so intrusive that it wound itself all around the shop almost twice and covered the spot on the wall where the cigarettes were kept. I discussed it with Con one day and he told me that the plant must just have enjoyed the microclimate and convivial atmosphere in the shop adding that he'd tried to prune it once but that it wept a sticky sap which was all but impossible to get off the floor.
One Monday I fronted up for my morning paper and the rubber plant had gone. The shop was so much bigger and brighter. Con told me that he and his wife had chopped the plant (now a tree) up and taken it to the tip and that they' d had to make two trips because of the sheer bulk of the plant. This got me thinking about where all this vegetation came from and when I got to the office I posed the question to my colleagues. If the rubber plant was so big that it wound all around Con's shop two times over, then where did it all come from given the pot was still full of soil?
We never did work it out. One school of thought was that some of it came from nutrients in the artificial fertilizer that Con probably lavished upon it and the rest of the bulk came from the water he gave it. But that couldn' t be the case because if you dried the plant until there was zero moisture in it a sizeable herd of elephants could never have trampled it all down to a size where you could fit it back into the pot. And, anyway, the pot was still full of soil and roots.
Con's rubber plant went to meet its maker something like ten years and I haven't thought about it since. Not until, that is, I found the Origin and Dynamics of the Universe website at www.universesciencebooks.com and learnt all about how the universe really works.
It was so simple, you just burn the rubber plant and it changes state into a cloud of smoke and a handful of ashes. What happens then? Well, it still exists but in another state and it gets recycled. Trees - who are well known carbon junkies - breathe in burnt rubber plant smoke, along with just about any old smoke they can get their grasping little leaves on, and make wood from it. They even get time to breathe out oxygen while they're doing it! Some other bits of Con's rubber plant will probably come back in the newspapers Con sells; other bits as venison, lavender and pineapple sausages. How Buddhist is that?
After reading a couple of pages of the web site I'm now firmly convinced that the Big Bang is a complete load of twaddle and that it's all a bit of a scientific con perpetuated by scientists who just won't let go of an unworkable theory. Instead, they keep inventing new hypotheses to fit the story in order to keep it going. Nothing does come from nothing as the Big Bang theorists advocate. It all comes from the same celestial compost heap and gets reused over and over.
Emil Cseko whose web site has made me a dinner party expert on the subject of life, the universe and everything, has formulated four physical laws which, when you read them, easily explain why the Big Bang didn't happen and what did happen instead. In much abbreviated form, and as far as I am able to understand them, they are:
- Growth: That everything begins with a nucleus and grows outwards like Con' s rubber plant. This holds true for the whole universe.
- Limits of growth: Everything has a limit of growth already programmed into it. This means that Con's rubber plant wouldn't have gone on increasing in size forever. I mean, whoever saw a rubber plant as big as the Empire State building? This holds true for the universe too - it has an in-built limit, it won't go on expanding forever.
- Cycles: That everything is cyclical, what goes around comes around again in one form or another. Day follows night over & over again, satellites cycle around planets. Rubber plants grow from seeds (or do they send up suckers?) grow until the limit, die and their offspring do the same again. As with Con's rubber plant, so too with the universe. It goes through cycles giving birth to new galaxies, growing them to the limit of growth and then recycling them to create new forms.
- Recycling: This law is interesting. It says that the whole kit and caboodle, everything you can imagine and everything you can't, gets recycled. The part that grabbed my attention was the bit about what happens when our universe (which is accelerating) reaches the speed of light. At this point - according to Mr. Wilson (my old science teacher) who got it from Einstein - time slows down & stops. According to the web site this is when it all gets really exciting because that's when we reach the physical growth limit. Put very briefly what happens is that beyond it, lies the world of timelessness, of eternal permanence and this is where everything comes from and goes back to before coming around again. Physical matter is subject to change just as has now happened to Con's rubber plant rotting away quietly underground at the tip. The same pattern holds true for the physical Universe - galaxies and other forms of matter that have completed their cycles enter a process of recycling.
I can understand this approach because I've seen the process of recycling going on all my life. Somebody somewhere grew the corn, which made the bread for my kid's school sandwiches. Somebody else made the cheese, which went in them. Somebody else (me) made compost out of them when the kids brought them home again uneaten. The compost then went to grow something they would eat like peaches. In fact my old cycle was probably recycled. It was made of metal and when Dad backed over it, it was deemed unserviceable and he took it to the wrecker's yard where it's probably been recycled into two unicycles or a gaggle of toenail scissors or perhaps 500 of those spiky things for getting stones out of horses hooves.
Wendy and I sat down to our first homemade sausages a couple of weeks back. She got the recipe from a book of sausage recipes at the newsagent's. They were pork, apple and apricot with a "hint" of basil. The taste was great but the consistency a bit sticky and they left the frying pan kind of sticky too. I didn't mention it to Wendy but I'm convinced that some of the sap from Con's rubber plant ended up in the sausage skins through a short in the recycling process. I dread to think where the constituents of Con's rubber plant, via the newspapers and sausages, could end up next.