What takes up your Time?

We try and kill it, wait for it to pass, run out of it and try and get it off but no matter how we deal with time, it always continues on. When it comes to using time, I will be the first to admit that most of my time is spent on procrastination; even this article is being written at 12.30 am. I can, of course, explain that writing needs inspiration and I can never predict when that will hit but at the end of the day, I’ve wasted a lot of time (thanks to Mark Zuckerberg).

The average life expectancy in Australia is currently 81.85 years, which is about 30,000 days. Research suggest of those we spend 26 years sleeping, 11 year watching TV, 7 years trying to sleep, 4 years on the phone at work, 1.5 years in the bathroom, 6 months waiting in queues, 30 days having sex and 9 hrs having an orgasm (higher in women). So what I can gain from that is that some things take forever (like waiting on hold for Telstra and others are over all too quickly (men, you know what I mean).

While we are spending our lives going to the toilet (3 years) or waiting at the traffic lights (2 weeks) there are other things happening; some faster and some slower than you would expect.

One second – A thought

We think nothing of thinking a thought, but when we try to recreate one second of human thought using computer technology, it’s not quite as easy. Researchers in Japan have succeeded in creating an artificial nervous system of 1.73 billion nerve cells connected by 10.4 trillion synapses. Unfortunately, this is only a fraction of the neurons every human brain contains. Scientists believe we all carry 80-100 billion nerve cells, or about as many stars as there are in the Milky Way. Knowing this, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the researchers were not able to simulate the brain’s activity in real time. It took 40 minutes with the combined muscle of 82,944 processors in the computer to get just one second of biological brain processing time. How bad do you feel now about wasting your thoughts on daydreaming?

One Minute – Oil Usage

We rely heavily on crude oil for everyday use. We use oil for making lubricants, electricity, heating and producing plastics. Without plastic we probably wouldn’t survive. From the mobile phone in your hand to the plastic jacket you use to cover yourself from the maddening rain, plastic has well and truly become a part of our lives. Even if we were to get rid of all the plastic in the world, we would still be discussing uses of oil. Apart from plastic, there are heaps of things around the house that use oil. The toothpaste you use daily is made of a type of petroleum compound, so is your shampoo, soap, shaving cream, deodorant, perfumes, nail polish, and nail polish remover. They all have some type of petroleum compounds like crude oil or natural gas included in their ingredients. However, about two-thirds of oil in the world is used for transportation. How much oil do we use? Well, in one minute we use 8.9 million litres globally (?). If we pumped oil into Lake Burley Griffin at the same rate, it would be full in 2.3 minutes.

One Hour – Body Regeneration

While you’re sitting in that lecture that never seems to finish, the cells in your body (somatic cells) are rapidly replicating through a process called mitosis. Mitosis is the simple duplication of a cell and its entire DNA. Two identical copies come from one original. This process is responsible for your hair growing, regenerating your skin as well as maintaining organ function. How long does it take for one somatic cell to duplicate? Exactly one hour. No wonder you feel tired when the lecture’s over.

Note: You just used 3 minutes of your time reading about time. Maybe it’s time you used your time more effectively.