The Big Whack Theory

The following is a slightly edited extract from a Toastmasters speech I wrote in December 2012.  

It was the last project in the Competent Communicator manual – Inspire Your Audience – and a 10-minute speech as opposed to the standard seven minutes.  

I was struggling with the project’s purpose and spent a lot of time considering how I would tackle the task.  What I finally chose to do was demonstrate to other members (who were also struggling) that you can write a speech about anything – a moment in time, a single memory.  Even a moment in history.  

Not only did this speech help others overcome their (speech topic) dilemmas, it became indelibly etched into my soul.  In my opinion, it’s one of the best speeches I have ever written.  I love it, always have, always will and I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoy delivering it.

– ⋅ o ♥ o ⋅ –

The big whack started with a big bang . . . 13.7 billion years ago.

And following that momentous occasion, as the universe commenced it’s ever ever-expanding journey, were shock waves, acceleration, contraction, angular momentum, gravity, inertia, and velocity.  The magnitude of it was simply . . . breath-taking.

It would be more than nine billion years before a region inside a molecular dust cloud collapsed causing matter to flatten and gather in the centre.  The temperature of that central mass would eventually increase at an alarming rate, initiating thermonuclear fusion, triggering the creation of a star now classified as a yellow dwarf.

In the meantime, matter continued to flatten into an orbiting disc of dust and debris.

Repeatedly rotating, atoms began to collide and stick forming molecules, that began to collide and stick forming fragments, that began to collide and stick and this process continued until they’d formed clumps large enough to attract and interrupt the orbits of other clumps through their evolving gravitational pull.

Drawn to each other like star-crossed lovers, over tens of millions of years they formed protoplanets and dwarf planets that in turn attracted other infant planets through their increasing gravitational power until finally the end result of all this rotating and colliding and sticking were the great masses we call planets.

And it’s right here, where everything gets a little tricky.

We don’t know what happened next, but one theory indicates that during all this activity, a larger planet was struck by an infant protoplanet.

The force of the collision caused the iron core of the protoplanet to sink towards the centre of the planet, both bodies blending and sharing the base elements of their unique molecular composition.

The force of the impact tilted the planet slightly upon its axis and gifted it a significant amount of weight and orbital motion.

The force of the crash vaporised the surface of the planet shooting it into space where 50% of that ejected wreckage merged and became imprisoned within the planet’s gravitational force, forming a natural satellite and creating a bond with the planet unique within the known universe.

And there it has stayed for over 4½ billion years, rotating upon its own axis and orbiting the planet in synchronous rotation.  A ballet of grace and beauty that sees the same side of the satellite always facing towards the planet.

Many and various worlds evolved over the last 13.7 billion years, but there is only one that we know of where all the events conspired and pooled perfectly to permit life to exist.

How wonderful and precious.

I was in grade one in July of 1969 when I sat surrounded by others at school.

I remember the room was full of students and teachers from other grades.  An area that normally held twenty, bulged with three or four times that number.

I remember a moment of eerie silence as we directed our attention to the old black and white television.  It lived on a trolley that raised it above the heads of everyone in the room.

And I remember watching Neil Armstrong take “ . . . one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind”.

At that moment my heart pounded like never before and I connected with that beautiful heavenly body.  My dear old friend who shines through the darkness and inspires me beyond comprehension, who fills my heart with gladness and reminds me how wonderful and precious life really is.

I will always remember falling in love with the Moon.

– ⋅ o ♥ o ⋅ –

I believe the following is one of the first photos I took of the Moon.  It was Anzac Day, April 25, 2013, and our daughter Shelley’s birthday.  We were living in a high rise apartment in Brisbane.  I’d set Dean’s camera on the tripod (yes I do know how to use one 🙂 ) and was photographing the Moon in the pre-dawn as it sank behind Brisbane’s Mt Cootha.  Prior to this, I didn’t have a camera capable of capturing our gorgeous heavenly body in such lovely detail.  

I’m so glad I do now.

This photo was taken at 4:20 am, July 20, 2019

– ⋅ o ♥ o ⋅ –

This is my last entry in my Blue Moon Squares as part of Becky’s ‘Blue’ Square in July photo challenge.

(Sorry, Becky, I know my first photo isn’t square.  I just couldn’t crop the detail from it.)


I hope you have been entertained by the journey of a lunatic – or Selenophile – as I now like to call myself.  I have had a blast and, all the sharing aside, over the last month I’ve learnt so much about the Moon myself.  

A huge thanks to Becky for once again hosting a fabulous, month-long photo challenge.  

I can hardly wait for the next one in October.

2 Replies to “The Big Whack Theory”

  1. You have been extraordinary this month Clare, such a brilliant blue square interpretation. Been such fun and so interesting, and this a fabulous way to finish. Thank you x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Becky. It was always my plan to finish with a ‘big bang’ so to speak. 😊 I’ve had so much fun. Thank you for being an amazing host.
      (PS. I ordered a crystal orb/ball/ lens this morning and can’t wait to start playing with it.)

      Like

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