I Call Bullshit — Time Travel!

time travel

I don’t believe in Time Travel.  And I don’t give a rat’s ass what Einstein, Carl Sagan and Dr. Who have to say about it!

Time travel is the unicorn of our human experience: everybody’s heard of it and can describe it in vivid detail, but there’s not one shred of tangible evidence to prove it actually exists.  Yeah, yeah, yeah! Theories of Quantum Physics, or mechanics, or some other mumbo-jumbo say it could happen, but … my mother said if I skipped stones down the alley, I’d put somebody’s eye out.  Yeah, right!  Besides, most of the folks spouting these theories are basement dwellers who spend tons of time watching The Space Channel but haven’t quite got around to finishing Junior College.

If – IF? – time travel does exist, then I have a few questions — and none of them has anything to do with Flux Capacitors.

1 — How come we’re not up to our elbows in antique dealers?  There should be an army of futuristic entrepreneurs — marching around, buying everything from rotary phones to can openers in our time, taking them back home and cashing in.

2 — Why didn’t somebody go back to Germany, 1933 and zap Adolf Hitler?  Okay, some place in the future, a bunch of guys are sitting around a bar, having a few adult beverages and putting on the brag.  I simply can’t believe that, in all the years of future history, not one of them — ever – will stand up and say, “Hey, hold my beer … I’m gonna go prevent World War II!”

3 — How come every person who claims to be a time traveler – isn’t?  We live in a world where, if you stumble on a curb, it’s upload to Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube — in seconds!  It beggars disbelief that somebody wandering around, looking like an extra from Star Trek, would go unnoticed.

4 – How come future gamblers aren’t winning every lottery, Keno game and sports bet on the planet?  I’m pretty sure criminals in the future would think of this.  Biff did.

But I’ve saved the best for last:

5 – Why aren’t historical events overflowing with time-travelling tourists?  I have a friend who would love to have seen the premiere of Hamlet – and she’s not the only one.  Imagine what kind of an audience you’d get for the Gettysburg Address, the Signing of the Magna Carta, or Columbus’ first foot in the New World?  And it’s not a one off: it’s time travel!  People could go every week – generation after generation!  Logically, there should be a couple of million people hanging out watching Da Vinci paint Mona — or waiting in line to witness the Wright brothers “slip the surly bonds of earth” at Kitty Hawk.


3 Ages Of Our Modern World

time on

Everybody knows about the Stone Age, the Ice Age, the Age of Enlightenment and all the other designated periods of human history.  Unfortunately, most people don’t give a rat’s ass about any of them and generally believe that history is just a feeble attempt by old men with bowties to bore the bejesus out of us.  While this is true, history is also a living thing,  and since you’re reading this, you are a living part of it.  For example, if you were born before 1977, you’ve already lived through 3 distinct historical eras.

The Age of Elvis — (Not to be confused with the Space Age which happened simultaneously but was artificially created by World War II German scientists who didn’t want to go to prison for being Nazis.)  The Age of Elvis began when Elvis Presley appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1956.  (Sputnik was a year later.)  It was characterized by young people gathering in social groups to listen to music, drink and/or take drugs, dance with each other, talk to each other, touch, laugh and generally enjoy themselves.  The Age of Elvis died when Donna Summers’ soliloquy to sex, “Love to Love You, Baby” moaned its way to the top of the charts in 1975.  After all, that little disco ditty is best enjoyed by one, two or perhaps three people in single-minded privacy.

The Age of Lucas — This period began on May 25th, 1977 when George Lucas released Star Wars.  Since the last human, Eugene Cernan, had left the moon in 1972 — with no hope of anyone ever returning — Lucas figured (quite rightly) that people were a lot more interested in watching space on a movie screen than actually taking the time and trouble to go there.  He built a virtual universe that earned more money than NASA spent in the last years of the Apollo program, exploring the real one.  Along with a few of his movie-making buddies (Spielberg, Scorsese and Coppola) Lucas changed our society from doers to watchers and made video viewing more than just an occasional leisure activity.  The Age of Lucas abruptly ended on May 19th, 1999 when George released The Phantom Menace, a piece-of-junk film that gave the finger to an entire generation of fans.  But by that time, they all just shrugged and paid their money.

The Age of Jobs and Zuckerberg — By the end of the last century, the Space Shuttle had run 95 missions and wasn’t even news anymore.  People were much more interested in creating a personal playlist for their iPods (introduced in 2001) or building a personal fan base on Facebook, the one-screen-fits-all virtual cocktail party, created in 2004.  Nobody cared that music had become a one person/one headset activity (unless you wanted somebody else’s gunk on your earbuds) and that many of our “friends” were people we didn’t actually know.  The truth is 50 years after our grandparents danced together in the rock n’ roll living rooms, basements and backyards of their time, the party was over.  Since then, our time has been measured out in bits, bytes and bandwidth, and now we’re very much in danger of having those weird guys with bowties I mentioned earlier, discussing the Age of Jobs and Zuckerberg as the era in history when humans finally abandoned human contact entirely.

However, history marches on, and one of these days, Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic is going to launch some tourists into space — and man are they ever going to send back some selfies that might change the world!

Time Is A Telescope


Next Sunday in North America, we are switching to Daylight Saving Time, which means we move our clocks ahead one hour.  What a crock!  That’s like cutting the top end off a blanket, sewing it to the bottom and saying you’ve got a longer blanket!  Here’s the deal.  Time is a telescope.  It contracts and expands and, depending on how you look at it, throws everything out of proportion.  For example, an itch in the middle of your back can seem like an eternity; whereas a kiss, no matter how long it lingers, is always gone too soon.  When I was a kid, Saturdays were too short, summers were too long and February frequently had 35 days.  Now that I’m an — uh — older gentleman, days, weeks, months and even years are flashing by at warp speed.

The reality is, though, time is actually getting bigger.  The rotation of the Earth is slowing down ever so slightly, so a second is now an itty-bitty bit longer than it was when we first discovered them.  Luckily, the international time people (Coordinated Universal Time) have noticed this, and they add a leap second to the clock every once in a while so we don’t stray that far from solar time.  Cool fact, huh?  Here are a few more that might change your concept of time.

It takes most people more time to tie their shoes than it takes Usain Bolt to run 100 metres.

There are only 525,600 minutes in a year.

Cleopatra’s reign in Egypt is closer to our time than it is to the time when the Pyramids were built.

Oxford University is older than the Aztec civilization in Mexico.

Spain was a predominantly Moslem country for 200 years longer than it’s been predominantly Christian.

Alexander Graham Bell patented the telephone the same year Crazy Horse and his buddies killed General Custer and all his troopers at the Little Big Horn.

The 10th President of the United States, John Tyler, who was born in 1790, has a grandson, Harrison Tyler, who is alive today — and living in the family home, Sherwood Forest Plantation, Virginia.

This year’s Oscar presenter Eva Marie Saint is older than the Empire State Building, Hoover Dam, Mount Rushmore and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Barbra Walters, Christopher Plummer and Anne Frank were all born in the same year.

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show toured Germany and Austria in 1906 — when Adolf Hitler was 17 years old.

William Shakespeare and Pocahontas were contemporaries.

But my absolute favourite is:

According to The Economist, the median age of all the humans on our planet is 28 years– which means that half the people on Earth were born after the first episode of The Simpsons!