Blue Stars

Did you know that the hottest, brightest stars burn blue?


And they burn through their fuel so quickly they have the shortest lifetime of any star – a mere million or so years? They burn bright, and end spectacularly. Leaving pretty much nothing behind. Stephen Hawking reckons that information can never be lost. So, using a little poetic license, I reckon that the black holes the blue stars leave behind are nothing but the condensed memories of a short life, lived fast and bright.


At the other end of the spectrum (or Harvard Spectral Classification if you’re an astrophysics purest) are red stars. They are far from hot. They are not bright. And they go on and on and on. Apparently, no red star has ever stopped shining. Their long, boring lifetimes far exceeding the age of the universe many times over.


[It’s a little know fact that Astrophysicists’ arch enemies are bathroom tap designers. They can’t stand the fact that they label the hot tap red and the cold tap blue. Hawking confused so many guests by switching the taps on all his sinks. Not only that, he would regularly send his undergraduate students out to egg Cambridge Kitchens and Bathrooms showroom between lectures to show his contempt for them. Sorry, I seem to be waffling]




I found my mind wandering to stars the other evening while performing a little card magic. [It was a lush gig at my new favourite venue; The Spanish City in Whitley Bay. I love, it because I can walk there from home. And it’s pretty classy. And the lobster thermidor is to die for. I found myself astonishing a small table of baby sleeping bag designers who were attending a baby sleeping bag designers posh meal out. Sorry. Seem to be waffling again]


Back to the story. I had just performed one of my favourite tricks. A baby sleeping bag designer was thinking of a card, and then with an over dramatic slapping of palm against deck, fifty one fifty tooths of the pack were gone. Leaving only her thought of card remaining between my hands. It’s a quite satisfying moment and a few profanities issued forth from the assembled designers. [Leading me to hope that their sleeping bag designs were more child friendly. No one wants swear words all over their infant’s bedding. Sorry. This blog seems to be sponsored by totally unnecessary waffling and going off the point]


It was at this moment that it dawned on me that this fine piece of magic was like a blue star. It didn’t last for long, but it shone bright when it did. And it really did leave nothing behind but memories.


The tricks I like least are like red stars. They just go on and on. There’s no satisfying bang at the end. No intense heat. No memories lasting forever more. Just a never ending luke warm hum.  


Should everything in life be like a blue star?


No. A commute to work that ends suddenly in a massive explosion would be far from ideal. [My god, that turned dark suddenly. Sorry – didn’t mean that to happen]. Some things just lend themselves more to a slow burn, red star style.


Becoming a music icon suits the live fast, blue star approach. (Hendrix, Cobain, Winehouse, Moon. You get the idea) And magic tricks. They deserve to be short lived, explosive, and intense.


(If I ever find myself performing a red star trick, I promise it’s getting nudged out of the set. And should you ever find yourself watching one, make your excuses and leave before it reaches its disappointing ending.)


Which brings me to the disappointing end of a long and rambling blog. Note to self, put blogs on that list along with music icons and magic tricks of things which are better for being short lived, punchy and blue star like.


Sorry for blogging like a red star.