How long ago was Christmas Day 2021?

  1. Christmas Day 2021 was about a month ago, so we’re as far from that Christmas as it was from the Russian anti-satellite test that endangered the International Space Station.
  2. In its turn, that test is now about as far in the past as the US withdrawal from Afghanistan was when it took place.
  3. That withdrawal is now as far in the past as the container ship Ever Given getting stuck in the Suez canal was when it happened.
  4. The Ever Given incident is halfway in time between the present and the SpaceX Dragon 2 launch in May 2020.
  5. The SpaceX Dragon 2 launch is halfway between the present and Canada’s legalization of cannabis in October 2018.
  6. Canada’s legalization of cannabis is halfway back to July 2015, when New Horizons flew by Pluto.
  7. The New Horizons flyby is halfway back to early 2009, when Barack Obama became US President.
  8. Mr O’s inauguration is halfway back to early 1996, when Muppet Treasure Island was playing in theaters.
  9. The release of Muppet Treasure Island is halfway back to the summer of 1969, when Apollo 11 landed on the Moon.
  10. Apollo 11 is halfway back to 1916, when a million people died for absolutely nothing in the battle of the Somme.
  11. The battle of the Somme is halfway back to 1811, when the battle of Tippecanoe spelled doom for Native Americans in what would become the state of Indiana.
  12. The battle of Tippecanoe is halfway back to 1600, when they killed Giordano Bruno for having opinions.
  13. The killing of Giordano Bruno is halfway back to 1178, when five monks in Canterbury saw the meteor strike that formed the crater on the Moon that is named Giordano Bruno.
  14. The formation of the Giordano Bruno crater is halfway back to 334, when Constantine the Great was nearing the end of his time as emperor of the Romans.
  15. Constantine’s reign is halfway back to 600 BCE, when the city of Milan was founded.
  16. The founding of Milan is halfway back to the origins of the Assyrian civilization.
  17. The origins of the Assyrian civilization are halfway back to the Younger Dryas cooling event.
  18. The Younger Dryas is halfway back to the founding of the oldest permanent human settlement yet found, a group of huts where the town of Dolní Věstonice now stands in the Czech Republic.
  19. The settlement at Dolní Věstonice is halway back to the beginning of the Upper Paleolithic Age.
  20. The beginning of the Upper Paleolithic Age is halfway back to the building of the earliest surviving stone structures on Earth, which stand near Wadi Haifa in southern Egypt.
  21. The building of the Wadi Haifa structures is halfway back to the first evidence of humans in Europe (circa 210,000 years ago.)
  22. The oldest evidence for humans in Europe is halfway back to the likely date of the first bears.
  23. The first bears are halfway back to the beginning of the Cryogenian Ice Age (circa 850,000 years ago.)
  24. The beginning of the Cryogenian Ice Age is halfway back to the earliest stone tools crafted by hominins.
  25. The first stone tools crafted by hominins are halfway back to the first human ancestors who ate grasses and sedges.
  26. The first human ancestors who ate grasses and sedges are halfway back to the last common ancestors of humans and the other great apes (circa 7,000,000 years ago.)
  27. The last common ancestors of humans and the other great apes are halfway back to the Middle Miocene Climate Transition.
  28. The Middle Miocene Climate Transition is halfway back to the comet strike in the Sahara that produced all that black glass.
  29. The comet strike in the Sahara is halfway back to the Paleocene/ Eocene Thermal Maximum (circa 56,000,000 years ago.)
  30. The Paleocene/ Eocene Thermal Maximum is halfway back to the extinction of Pelorosaurus (circa 112,000,000 years ago.)
  31. The extinction of Pelorosaurus is halfway back to time of the common ancestors of mammals, the mammaliaformes.
  32. The mammaliaformes appeared halfway between the present and the Late Ordovician Event, a mass extinction that wiped out about 85% of all marine species (450,000,000 years ago.)
  33. The Late Ordovician Event is about halfway back to the appearance of the first multicellular life on Earth (circa 900,000,000 years ago.)
  34. The appearance of the first multicellular life on Earth is about halfway back to the appearance of the first eukaryotes on Earth.
  35. The appearance of the first eukaryotes on Earth is about halfway back to the formation of the oldest fossils yet found on Earth (circa 3,500,000,000 years ago.)
  36. The oldest fossils yet found date back about halfway to the formation of Arcturus (circa 6,900,000,000 years ago.)
  37. Multiply 6,900,000,000 by two, and you get 13,800,000,000. So the formation of Arcturus dates back halfway between the present and the Big Bang. Now you know how long ago Christmas really was.
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