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Mrs. Perkins's Electric Quilt by Paul J. Nahin

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Really Long Falls

Hesiod’s Heaven is just 1.57 Earth radii from [Hell], near enough for relatively easy comings and goings. —B. G. Dick, “Hesiod’s Universe” (1983)

6.1 Falling into the Sun

What if, instead of a long fall through Earth’s atmosphere, we had the atmosphere itself, the oceans, the continents—everything, the entire Earth—fall into the Sun? How long would that take? If we allow our imaginations even more freedom, how long would it take to fall from Heaven to Hell? Outrageous as that question no doubt seems, it is raised and answered in both ancient Greek theology and in more recent English poetry. So, as an inverted form of the Earth-into-the-sun ...

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