Time travel is fascinating, and at the same time, maddening. It is the fourth dimension. It is inextricably linked to space. I once read an explanation of the spacetime relationship that went something like this: a batter stands at home plate and hits the ball over the centerfield fence. It takes four seconds for the ball to clear the fence. The batter is then instructed to hit the ball over the fence again, but to make it happen faster by hitting the ball harder. But that poses a problem because hitting the ball harder makes it travel higher, which increases the time it takes for the ball to travel beyond the fence, and so on. I’m not sure where I read that (for some reason I’m thinking it was in the Michael Crichton novel “Sphere” — which was WAAAYYYY better than that crappy movie by the way), but it was a good layman’s explanation for the inseparable way in which time and space are linked.
Some of the best stories of science fiction have been based on time travel. The Terminator. HG Wells’ The Time Machine. Ray Bradbury’s A Sound of Thunder. But when time travel crosses over into real life, an area I like to call reality science fiction because it’s sometime hard to tell whether it’s reality or fiction, that’s when things get really interesting.
A recent example is the supposed time traveler on a cell phone in the 1928 Charlie Chaplin movie The Circus. This video went viral in 2010. Watch it.
Many speculated that the woman (or perhaps a man in drag) in the video may have simply been holding an ear trumpet, an early version of a hearing aid. But in truth, nobody has been able to offer a conclusive explanation.
Another example of time travel claims intruding into our reality is the case of John Titor. Titor was a man who claimed to be from the future, sent back in time from a post-apocalyptic future to retrieve a computer with unique attributes. He first came to light through a series of postings on internet message boards around the turn of the millennium. After telling his story in bits and pieces, Titor announced he would be returning to his own time. He soon vanished, never to be heard from again. Although many now believe he was a hoaxer, his story was fascinating, if somewhat repulsive for its politics.
I’ve always loved time time travel stories. And I’m not a big fan of too-hip-for-the-room nerds who watch movies like the Terminator series and say things like “Dude, that would never happen.” Yeah, genius, you’re watching a movie about time travel… you are aware time travel is impossible, right? It requires a little suspension of disbelief.
A drink might help relieve some of the skepticism.
In a highball or collins glass, combine:
One third Cherry Vodka
Two thirds Cola
Garnish with a cherry