Black and White - Holes of a Different Color

This week, my column is going to be diving into stuff I really don’t know much about. I’m not feeling too inferior though. No one knows much about this topic, even people who are deemed experts are really just scratching the surface. So, you can roll your eyes and shake your head at some of the things I’m going to say, but it won’t rattle me in the slightest – and not just because I can’t see you on the other side of your computer or phone screen.

On Wednesday, April 10, 2019, scientists working at the Event Horizon Telescope released the first-ever photographic evidence of the previously only theorized deep space object known as a black hole. A black hole is the remains of a collapsed star. Its mass and associated gravitational pull are so immense that nothing, not even light, can escape. It’s hard to imagine. It boggles the mind. It’s so difficult to grasp that scientists around the world argued about the possibility that such a thing could even exist – until that day in April.

So where is this big honking telescope, you ask? The answer is that it’s all over the place. The Event Horizon Telescope (EHT) is actually a network of radio telescopes placed in strategic locations all over the world. They work together, collecting data from places so far away that the images they gather started their journey to us millions of years ago.

The black hole photograph assembled by the data from the EHT depicts an object fifty-five million light years distant. That’s right - fifty-five million light years. The light in the picture you see at the top of this article started out fifty-five million years ago. The object itself is at the center of a neighboring galaxy called M37 and has a mass over six and a half billion times that of the star we call the Sun, yet the object itself takes up practically no space. What becomes visible is the area called the event horizon, the point of no return for anything unlucky enough to venture close to a black hole.

When you think about all of this, it’s easy to see why the plausibility of something like a black hole has been the subject of debate for so long. Now that we have a picture, it’s kind of hard to deny that black holes are indeed real. We’ve been able to detect the effects of black holes for years, but without direct evidence, there was always some doubt. One photograph, which took two years to process from data gathered by a telescope the size of a planet, removes that doubt.

So, what’s next?

Switch the gears of your brain for a moment and think about the absolute opposite of a black hole. Theoretically, such an object might exist in the form of a white hole. While nothing can escape a black hole’s event horizon, nothing can enter the event horizon of a white hole. The white hole has mass and gravitational force, but nothing gets in.

To be clear, the dominant opinion among scientists today is that white holes cannot and do not exist. The concept is purely theoretical – but that’s what we used to say about black holes. Emerging thought in the field of quantum physics is starting to challenge disbelief in white holes. They may indeed exist. If they do, what the heck are they?

Some scientists think they may be the “other end”, so to speak, of black holes. All of that matter pouring into a black hole has to go somewhere, right? The black hole is already collapsed down into the absolute smallest size it can possibly be. There’s no more room for new stuff. Maybe it’s pouring out of the other end of a wormhole defined by a black hole/white hole pair. Maybe the other end of this tunnel is at a different place in time and space. Maybe something truly strange happens at the singular point in space that defines the center of a black hole. Maybe there’s a kind of “bounce” that reflects all of the incoming matter doomed by the grip of the black hole into another direction – or even another point in time. We don’t know. We have no rules to apply to be sure. We have no pictures, yet.

This article was written by Tilmer Wright, Jr. Tilmer is an IT professional with over thirty years of experience wrestling with technology and a proud member of the Authors Guild of Tennessee. In his spare time, he writes books. His second novel, The Bit Dance is a cautionary tale about what can happen when technology runs away from its creators. You can find links to Tilmer’s books at the following location.

https://www.amazon.com/Tilmer-Wright/e/B00DVKGG4K%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_sc...

His author information web site is here: http://www.tilmerwrightjr.com/

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Ghostly Hikes at Big Ridge

Fall leaves at Big Ridge State Park

As the spooky October season sneaks around the corner, Big Ridge State Park has some ghostly adventures planned for the community and visitors. As you may know, there are some mysterious stories from past generations that spook the park this time of year. These stories are shared amongst hikers at the Annual Ghost House Hikes which have been happening for more than a decade.

Poultry Auction Success for 4-Hers

Grand and Reserve Grand Champion winners for the 2019 Union County 4-H Chick Chain Show and Sale, left to right; Travyn Farmer, Dakota Smith, Chloe Lloyd, Mia Effler

The Annual 4-H Chick Chain Show and Sale was held Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at Darrell’s Auction & Livestock.

Shut the Door

Brooke Cox

I really felt bad for my mother. Even at my very young age, I could tell she was struggling more than I was.

You see, I was afraid to pull my own lose baby teeth. Many of my friends did it, but I couldn’t stand the thought. Some even worked to get their teeth lose so they could lay them under their pillows and get money from the tooth fairy. In those days, that was usually a quarter or two. Though there were a couple of kids in my class who received a whole dollar. At this time, you could buy a candy bar for fifty cents and lollipop for a quarter.

Gentle chiropractic procedures for the sacroiliac joint

Some patients with low back or buttock pain resulting from sacroiliac joint dysfunction may favor a more gentle chiropractic treatment over the traditional spinal manipulation techniques. Less forceful spinal manipulation involves slower (low-velocity) techniques that allow the joint to remain within its passive range of motion. Gentle chiropractic techniques include:

Quarantined

During the Great Depression, I remember growing up with the horrors of being quarantined. It seemed kids only caught the measles, whooping cough, mumps and such during the school year. Maybe the problem was the close contact we all had during the school day. If you or someone in your home had an infectious disease, the sign went on the door. There were no vaccines.

Jelly Roll

Have you ever made a jelly roll? I have made a few. My first one was for the fair in my home county. I was trying for the Homemaker Award that year in the early '60s. The person who won the most ribbons in the Food and Needlework categories would get the prize. I entered everything I could think of, including a jelly roll. It was my first one. I won the Homemaker Award as well as the silver tray for Best Cake. Guess what? My jelly roll beat out those fancy frosted cakes. Wedding cakes were in a different category.

House Dust

Those trying in vain to keep a house clean detest house dust. It floats in sunbeams and accumulates on furniture. Most assume the dust comes from outside, and about 60% of it does in the form of dirt or pollen, but much of it is generated inside the home. If you look at floater house dust under a microscope, it appears to be small flat plates, usually six sided and slightly wrinkled on the surface. It’s is mostly skin cells from us or from pets. We shed them constantly in fantastic amounts, and it’s the body’s way of keeping itself clean and free from invading pathogens.

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It's About Time

There is nothing more certain than the inexorable march of time, each second dutifully ticking ahead at fixed, predictable increments. It’s the one certainty in a world of uncertainties, right? How many times have our movie heroes “synchronized their watches” in order to meet at a precisely coordinated time in order to save the world from some nefarious villain or another? How many New Year’s Eve parties have culminated with delirious attendees screaming the countdown to midnight in a gleeful chorus, watching the final seconds of the dying year slipping away?

A Makeover for Janet's Hair Salon

Janet Holloway, owner and operator of Janet's Hair Salon in Maynardville, TN, relaxing in the new spa chair

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Events

Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

Thursday, September 26, 2019 - 07:30
Area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders

"We invite all area Worship Leaders, Pastors, and Faith community leaders to come together on the last Thursday of each month at Hardee's at 7:30 am. This is to be a time of fellowship, prayer, and discussion about how we as a community of Faith can work together to have a positive impact on our county. All are welcome!" For more information please contact Kathy Chesney at 865-566-3289.

Hogskin Festival

Saturday, September 28, 2019 - 11:00
Spinning wheel

Hogskin History Day Saturday, September 28 11:00 am - 5:00 pm
The 20th annual Hogskin History Day will be held Saturday, September 28 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at Narrow Ridge Earth Literacy Center, 1936 Liberty Hill Rd, Washburn.

Hogskin History Day is a celebration of the history, music, and culture of the Hogskin Valley and surrounding Appalachian communities. The day promises to be both full of fun and interesting information.

Obituary

Carolyn Marcum

Carolyn Marcum, passed away peacefully at home on Tuesday, September 17, 2019 surrounded by loved ones. Preceded in death by Daddy Rev. Leon Dawson, Momma Mabel Dawson, brother Doyle, and husband Dalvis Marcum. Survived by sons Tony (Brenda), Robbie (Christy), daughter Tammy, 9 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren, sister Loretta Foster. Family will receive friends 6:00-8:00pm Friday, September 20, 2019, at Redemption Harvest Church with service to follow, Rev. Jody Darden and Rev. Randy Carver officiating.

Hampton McMahan

Hampton McMahan, age 94 of Maynardville, TN, went to be with the Lord on Tuesday, September 17, 2019. He was a WWII Army Veteran and received a Purple Heart for his outstanding service to his country. Preceded in death by wife Laura McMahan; parents Reverend Harvey and Easter McMahan; brothers Pete Hayes and Hubert McMahan; sister Meryl Ward.

John Franklin Chesher

John Franklin Chesher, age 77, passed away September 16, 2019. He was a veteran of the Vietnam War serving in the US Army. He was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. John enjoyed fishing, always had a good humor about him, was tough as nails and had a huge heart. He loved his “Pete” with all his heart.

John is preceded in death by his mother Mattie Ethel Chesher; three brothers; and mother-in-law Iona Webb.

Rev. Ruben and Belinda Wilson

Rev. Ruben Wilson-age 76 and Belinda Wilson-age 58 of Blaine passed away suddenly Tuesday morning, September 10, 2019 as the result of an automobile accident.

The families would like to express their love and gratitude for the outpouring of love and support shown to our families.

Upon the request of Rev. Ruben and Belinda, there will be no services. Arrangements by Cooke-Campbell Mortuary, Maynardville.

Sara Elizabeth Dixon Kitts

Sara Elizabeth Dixon Kitts – 37 of Maynardville, born April 28, 1982 passed away Wednesday, September 11, 2019. She was a member of Alder Springs Missionary Baptist Church.

She is preceded in death by sister, Nancy Lynne Dixon; grandparents, William “Bud” Jones and Charles and Opal Dixon. Sara is survived by son, Carson Kitts; parents, James “Len” and Ann Dixon; sister, Jamie Dixon Delph; brothers, Andy (Sherri) Dixon and Scott Dixon; grandmother, Georgia Jones; special niece and nephews, Abygale Dixon, Hunter and Eli Delph; and several uncles, aunts and cousins.

Dana Lynn Bryson

Dana Lynn Bryson – November 7, 1957 – September 11, 2019 of Knoxville, departed Wednesday morning, losing her battle with cancer. During her time with us she lived, worked and played in Knoxville, Kansas City, Cleveland, Ohio, Washington D C and Atlanta. She graduated from Shawnee Mission High School in Kansas and Georgia State University. Her varied interest included dance, theatre, debate, politics, genealogy, knitting and film history.

Dustin "Cotton" Earl Bates

Dustin “Cotton” Earl Bates, age 27 of Strawberry Plains, passed away on September 7, 2019. Dustin was a beloved son, grandson, uncle and soon to be father. Preceded in death by his grandparents, Eddie and Wanda Bates and grandfather, Clifford Hensley. He is survived and will be greatly missed by his parents, Charles “Chad” Bates and Misty Hobbs; stepfather, Jesse Hobbs; sister, McKenzie Bates; brothers, Peyton Bates and Lee Hobbs; grandparents, Jerry and Polly Holt; grandmother, Barbara Hensley; nephew, Maverick Dylan Townsend; several aunts, uncles, cousins and great friends.

E. LaVerne Wilkerson

E. LaVerne Wilkerson age 91 of Knoxville, Tennessee was received into the presence of her Lord Jesus on Sunday, September 8, 2019 as she peacefully slept. She was a member of Salem Baptist Church.

Welcoming her into the Kingdom are parents Winfred and Iva Nunn; sister Wanda Nunn; daughters Kathy Wilkerson Rowden and Cindy Wilkerson Bryant; and grandson Dennis Carson Wilkerson Jr.

Corum Henderson Wolfenbarger

C.H. Wolfenbarger-age 86, was born in Washburn, Tennessee on July 7th, 1933 and passed away September 1st, 2019 in White Lake, Michigan. Beloved, he rose to heaven surrounded by his loving family. He was attentively cared for by his son, Jim Wolfenbarger and family after suffering a stroke in 2002 causing a slow decline of dementia. He celebrated Christmas and spent the winters with his daughter, Sherry Wolfenbarger Cagan and family in California.

Sandra C. Kitts Thomas

Sandra Carol Kitts Thomas-age 60 of Maynardville went home to be with the Lord Monday morning, September 2, 2019 at Select Specialty Hospital in North Knoxville Medical Center. She was a long-time member of Grace Baptist Church. She was born January 31, 1959 the daughter of the late Rev. Ted and Welmia Kitts, also preceded in death by sister, Mary Kitts.

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