To the Moon and Back
“I love you to the moon and back”. Did you know that people could reach the moon with a piece of paper? No, I’m not talking about a little love note giving an astronaut enough drive to go to the moon. I mean someone could literally go to the moon with a piece of paper. Theoretically, anyways.
If you took a very fine piece of paper that is one thousandth of a centimeter thick and folded it in half, it would be 0.002 cm thick. That’s not very thick. Well, what you may not know is that repeating this action many times can get you very far. This is called exponential growth.
Say you fold that very same sheet another time. Then it will be .004 cm thick. Then .008 cm thick. Then .016 cm thick. After folding this theoretical sheet of paper 10 times, it will be 1.024 cm thick. That’s just a little 1 centimeter. Although, after 17 folds, the paper will be 131 cm thick. That’s just a little under 4 feet. At grand fold number 25, the thickness will be at 33,554 cm, or just under 1,100 ft. That is roughly equivalent to the height of the Empire State Building. Let’s take a moment to reflect.
We took a hypothetical sheet of paper that was .001 cm thick and folded it in half 25 times only. It is now hypothetically the size of the Empire State Building. We did want it to go to the moon, though, so shall we continue?
So, at 25 folds we are on the Empire State Building. At 30 folds we are 6.5 miles in the sky. This is the average height that planes fly. The air’s gettin’ thin up here, eh? At 40 folds we are 6,832 miles high. This is about where GPS Satellites orbit. Almost there! Finally, at 45 folds, we are on the moon. One more fold and now we’re back on earth. That’s how folding PAPER could get you to the moon and back.
Now that we’ve got that interesting tidbit out of the way, let’s talk about the phrase itself. “I love you to the moon and back”. What do people mean when they say that? I know it means they love you “a lot” but how much exactly? Maybe the distance between the moon and the Earth doubled should be multiplied by, say, how much you love… a cookie? Maybe I could turn that into a formula:
love of cookie(distance*2) =
No, that won’t work. How do you measure the love of a cookie? Shouldn’t the distance be a set medium? What if you don’t even like cookies?? Hmm. Lemme try something else:
(distance*2)how many times you think of them per day=
What if when someone says “I love you to the Moon and back” they mean “I would go to the Moon and back with you”? Maybe “I would go to the Moon and back for you”? It could be. People say something completely different that what they mean LOADS of times. Like when someone says “I could care less”. They MEAN “I don’t care” but they’re actually SAYING “I care a little bit”. Huh.
Well, there is some brain food for you. A little something for you to chew on for the rest of your day. This is the end of my Wrant. Congrats, you made it through.
And remember, I love you to the Moon and back.