Monday, October 31, 2005


I don't have anything deep or provocative to say today. No profound thoughts or rants about how children should be raised or how women are oppressed even today. I just feel like I should check in since I've been slacking off in the posting department.
Here's what I've been up to the last couple of weeks.
Working like crazy. Before I got my Master's degree (a year ago this Friday!) I never worked this hard. I feel like the stereotypical grad student with hardly any personal time, constantly losing track of finances, keys, time, etc. Last weekend I worked the whole time. I got some good data though and my advisor went out of his way to email me and congratulate me on it, which made it all worthwhile.
Sunday night/Monday morning hurricane Wilma came. I don't want to downplay Wilma's fury because I know the other coast is really having problems. However, I slept through hurricane Wilma. I was all wound up about it, and then I slept through the whole thing. I got the day off work though on Monday which was good.
This past weekend was very fun. Friday night I met a friend's much-talked-about new girlfriend. The three of us had drinks and then went and saw In Her Shoes. I really liked the new girlfriend. She reminded me of my college roommate, which made me a little melancholy and made me miss her, but hopefully I made a new friend Friday. In Her Shoes was cute and a lot like the book (which was why I wanted to see it). Not too much to think about, perfect after a couple of beers and a hard week at work.
Saturday I watched my Gophers get spanked by Ohio State. It was close until the fourth quarter when everything came unraveled. For awhile I thought, no FANTASIZED, that the Gophers would make it to the Outback bowl here in Tampa and I could go and it would be awesome. But then I remember that it always seems possible through the first 5 or 6 weeks of the season and then things go downhill for my Gophers.
Yesterday I FINALLY got to go see Bodies. It was very cool. I don't have a whole lot to say about the exhibit without going into utter, excruciating, gruesome details. My one comment is this: Wow, the human liver is way bigger than I ever expected. Okay, that's it. Dean went with me and he held up very well. Not icked out or anything. One time he said he couldn't handle it and it had something to do with male reproductive disorders. He made me proud.
Nothing else new for me.
I hope everyone has a happy, safe Halloween!


Scott said...

It's nice to see you back MagnetBabe. Everyone seems to be on hiatus lately. I'm having trouble finding the time myself.

I've had this idea for a story to do with time travel, and was wondering if you had any interesting theories about it. That was from left field I know, but if you have any cool science ideas I'd love to hear them.

magnetbabe said...

Okay. Here's a brief detour on time travel. Since I don't know how familiar you are with relativity, forgive me if you know a lot of this already. Time travel is tricky because traveling back in time requires one to travel faster than light which is seemingly forbidden under Einstein's second postulate. However, the second postualte REALLY says that information can't travel faster than light. Why isn't this the same thing? Take as an example the expanding universe. Galaxies are moving away from us at a velocity proportional to their distance. This means that the very furthest galaxies are moving at an incredible speed realtive to us. They can even be moving away from us faster than the speed of light. These galaxies though are out of our "sphere of causality" which means that we can't know anything about them. Clasically, most science fiction writers work around this problem by invoking worm holes, or else they completely ignore the physics of time travel and ask the reader to do the same. Personally, I prefer the tactic of just ignoring that it realistically can't happen. At that point you are sort of deviating away from "science fiction" and just writing "fiction with a twist" or something. A good example of this is The Time Traveler's Wife, which I cannot rave about enough. It was awesome.
Anyway, I don't know what your story idea was about so I don't know if you were trying to get around the physics of time travel or just looking for a science point of view. I don't read a lot of science fiction so I don't know what all has been done in that area. From a scientific standpoint, traveling FORWARD in time is completely possible via time dilation. This is a relativistic affect that says that moving clocks run slower. Seeing as though we are biological clocks, if a person were to travel away from Earth at near light speed and come back, that person would find themselves far into the future where they haven't aged hardly at all. I think it would be very cool to do a good job tackling this phenomenon from a literary aspect, say a story about the hardships of a futuristic astronaut leaving his/her Earth only to return after his/her loved ones are old or gone. Think Elton John's "Rocket Man" in book form ;)
Like I said, I don't know if this answers any questions or helped to plant any seeds in your head.

You know a lot more about sci-fi than me. Feel free to chime in if you have any other thoughts/opinions.

mom said...

natalie, it's okay to not always be "deep and provocative" in your blogs. we all know that you work like crazy, it's nice to see you relax and lighten up once in awhile. (but not too often!) and it does my heart good to know you had a fun weekend, despite the gophers loss. sideline to scott, i highly recommend reading the time travelers wife it just all worked very well and was believable to a non believer in any kind of science fiction.

Scott said...

Thanks for the explanation. I knew about the impossibility of travelling faster than light, so I was hoping to find a plausible explanation to get around it. Maybe a story could feature a scientist who finds a flaw in that limitation, but it would have to be dazzling enough to be believable. I don't want to be the kind of writer that ignores facts, and would prefer to impress the scientific types, or at least enrage them enough to rip me to shreds.

I like your idea though, of coming back when time has moved on. That I believe was the premise on the original Planet of the Apes. You didn't find out what really happened until the end when Heston finds the Statue of Liberty sticking out of the sand.

I'll pick up a copy of the Time Traveler's Wife, and thank you to your mom for backing that recommendation up.

lefty_grrrl said...

That book is good.

Yeah, I saw Body World in Chicago back in February. It's weird - I wasn't grossed out when I was there, but when I think back on it...yeesh.

magnetbabe said...

Sorry Scott. I can't really think of any way around the traveling back in time thing. I understand wanting to dazzle science types, but Einstein will not go down without a significant fight. The idea that faster than light travel as long as no information is transmitted thing could be the way to go. The other thought is taking advantage of quantum entanglement, a weird quantum effect that I know very little about. Here is a link from Wikipedia.
Now that you mention it, I did know that was the catch with the original Planet of the Apes even though I never saw it. The story I thought of was a little less futuristic, like one where an astronaut comes back and humans are still ruling the world ;) Specifically, I was thinking of a scenario where an astronaut travels somewhere far away and comes back to find his young wife an old woman having led a life he really wasn't a part of, how he might interact with children he didn't watch grow up, maybe even children that are older than he is now. I dunno, it's late and I'm rambling a little.

I totally know what you mean. I was fascinated while I was there. Then just tonight I was eating rotisserie chicken and I started to remember the exhibit and I lost my appetite a little.

Hairless said...

To travel through time, your best bet is to use an energy argument. Take some sort of source outside the universe (ala Men In Black II) and you can do anything you want. I would suggest pick a timeline style and stick with that. Keep an eye out for tuna fish.