Of Particles and Light Beams and Einstein's Theory Of…

Forget Flying!
Am I the only human being on earth who’s had it with flying? Not only are the planes increasingly unsafe — please save me from the proselytizer who would insist that cars are less safe than airplanes (which they may be, but it’s because of the drivers, not the machines) — they’re a decidely uncomforable way to travel! Correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t the aisles getting thinner, the seats getting smaller, and the space between you and the person in front of you, shrinking like an invisible vise somewhere is slowly moving the rows closer together?

Save me from inconsiderate airlines and their coffin-like seating arrangements! Someone, please, help science move forward on inter-spacial travel…as in, “Beam me up, Scottie.”

Monster Trucks

Okay, this all started with a discussion between myself and Tom, my significant other. We were reading the Sunday newspaper in bed, relaxing in our own laziness (knowing the living room was waiting to be painted before the hoardes of family members descend on us for the long weekend coming), just enjoying our coffee and danish (the danish was left over from an outstanding seminar we gave the day before.)

The conversation turned to the subject of why some people succeed in life and others just ‘talk’ about succeeding. Success, we determined, requires action, and a bit of tenacity. Not something, according to my Tom, that folks who attend Monster Truck rallies have in abundance. The inference was that people who attend Monster Truck rallies (don’t know how they got into the conversation but they did) aren’t much interested in achieving success, just in complaining about not having it.

My reply was a jab at football. I told Tom that I can’t see much of a difference between Monster Truck rallies and football…I mean, they’re both forms of entertainment, both are sporting events…and both seem to embody the desire to maim and/or crush. What I was trying to point out is that chasing a pigskin ball around a large field that could, at any given time, be wet, hot, cold, or humid, just to play pile on top of the one with the ball, didn’t seem a lot different than screaming encouragement to drivers of gigantic trucks as they drove around an arean crushing automobiles. Neither activity takes a lot of ‘brain power’ but that doesn’t mean folks who enjoy those activities, or enjoy watching them, are brainless.

In the end, it isn’t the sporting event that defines the audience, it’s the audience that defines the sporting event. And, some highly intelligent and successful people enjoy both Monster Truck Rallies and football. One cannot dismiss a fan’s successful nature merely by his or her participation in a particular sporting event.

Beam Me Up, Scottie…

This led to further discussion of what makes one intelligent — as we determined that success was a product of intelligence to some degree — and, how could we — as human beings — use our intelligence in better ways, whether we’re football fans, Monster Truck rally fans? My suggestion was to get cracking on the theory of relativity and quantam physics to develop a time-warp that would allow people to travel without having to fly!

Yes, I am ready for Scottie to beam me up. I don’t care about football, Monster Truck rallies, nor those fancy martial arts films that are making Bruce Lee turn over in his grave because they are fake, fake, fake!

Those martial arts films and their above-the-top special effects, developed to appease an ever-increasingly jaded WOW ME! audience, may be fake, but Tom believes human beings, given the correct cirumstances and some proper training, could achieve the special effects of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, on their own. We are, after all, he says, merely particles, as are the walls, the floor, the rugs, etc, etc. With proper concentration and a better understanding of physics, we should be able to put our hands through a wall to retrieve an object on the other side and pull it back through…like slicing a banana creme pie.

Einstein Says

And so he may be right. I can hope that he is. The September issue of Discover Magazine says he is. Much of the entire issue is devoted to Einstein and his theories. Einstein, so this issue tells me, had all sorts of theories about how time works and whether time travel was possible, and how gravity affects everything we do.

Child’s play. For someone born today, I expect. For me, a well-preserved baby boomer, the detail in Discover just makes me wonder why scientists are spending so much time trying to discover another planet instead of spending their time developing a way to get people from NY to CO without having to get on a plane????

I theorize that Einstein would have loved Monster Truck Rallies. Not sure what his opinion would be on football…or was, on football. I do know from my reading that he was as geeky as he looked, yet, while he was smart in many ways, he was dumber in others. Which pretty much makes him like all the rest of us.

It’s sad to think of what we’re missing out on, now that he’s gone. Even sadder is the realization that I am now at the mercy of some young kid, boy or girl — who knows — born in the last 10 years, or just ready to be born now, who will someday conquer the problem of how to bend time enough to allow people to get from one coast to the other, in a few seconds — instead of the hours and hours of torment it takes now!

If you’re reading this — or if your mother or father is reading it — would ya please hurry up!

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