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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » From The Twilight Zone! What would you do if You had such a magical timepiece? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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daffydoug
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I am pretty sure it was the Twilight Zone where I saw this years ago. Anyway,the episode involved a guy who gained possession of a watch, that when he stopped it, all time in the entire world would STOP! It was so cool People and machinery were frozen in their tracks like mannequins. He was the only one who had any motion.The world was his "oyster". (Unfortunately, the idiot chose to rob a bank) Then when he re-started it, everybody resumed where they had left off, as if nothing had happened. In short, through this watch, he possessed a godlike power.

Now here's the question..if you possessed such a magical timepiece, and you could make everyone freeze in their tracks at your whim, what would you do during the time everyone was frozen? How would you take advantage of the situation, (if you would.)
I think it would be fun to REARRANGE their positions, so that when I put them back in motion, they were in totally different rooms, (a dolly would come in handy for this, as some people are heavy, and freezing them might be akin to dead weight) or face to face with a different individual in conversation. (So that when they re-started it would look like the person magically changed into someone else!)

Or you could go behind the scenes at David Copperfields show and find the REAL secrets to how he does stuff. Sky's the limit..only your imagination holds you back.

What would you do?
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
Jonathan Townsend
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Lol, just let me at it.

;)
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Cliffg37
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If I recall the episode corectly he would up in hell so to speak. I would be to afraid of his fate.

On the other hand... I suppose I could use it to enhance my magic.
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daffydoug
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Well, in the end, the watch got crushed as everyone was frozen, and he, like Burgess Merideth in the "All the time in the world" episode, ended up alone. (If my recollection is correct.)
The difficult must become easy, the easy beautiful and the beautiful magical.
johnnymystic
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I would stop time and hit up Bill Palmers d*mn cups and balls museum...sorry Bill, but my wicked ways would get the best of me...I'm just a man.

Then I would hit the banks and more banks and then some more, once again my wicked ways would rule the day.

I would be bad...very very bad.

It's a good thing this time piece does not exsist!

johnny
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MagiClyde
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How do you know it doesn't? Smile

A modern version of that tale had a woman owning the timepiece. In the end, she froze time just before a nuclear missle was about to land in her town. She could even see it hovering in mid-air, ready to hit the ground. Needless to say, she knew that if she re-activated time, everyone that she knew and loved would be destroyed. No thanks!

What would I do with it? Don't know right off. Probably try to catch up on practicing my magic and reading books. I like privacy and the idea of not having to worry about the daily concerns we all face. With my luck, however, I'd lose the watch and spend eternity just trying to find it.

As for Burgess Merideth, he wanted to be left alone so he could read to his heart's content. But he broke his glasses and was unable to do even that, making his desired solitude a real hell.
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ed rhodes
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Quote:
On 2007-03-09 21:13, daffydoug wrote:
Well, in the end, the watch got crushed as everyone was frozen, and he, like Burgess Merideth in the "All the time in the world" episode, ended up alone. (If my recollection is correct.)


He deserved it, Burgess's character didn't. I <hated> "All the time in the world"
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
chrismatt
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Consider that the possessor of the magical timepiece will probably age faster and die much earlier than those around him. Also consider that such a situation might be possible. As a very simplified example, if a world could somehow be accelerated close to the velocity of light, an observer stationary relative to that world would effectively "see" time on that world stand still. Years would go by for that observer, but only brief moments would pass on the world. This is effectively a sideways version of the old "twin paradox."

C˛M
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MagiClyde
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I actually understood and sympathized with Burgess' character. It broke my heart to see that fate befall him.

The only problem with the scenario as you outline it Chrismatt, from the standpoint of the timepiece show, is that the character was still on that world. Both would be travelling at the same speed.

An interesting paradox regarding the speed of light issue would be...which is actually travelling at light speed! From Earth's perspective, the observer would be. From the observer's point of view, Earth is. Such things give me a headache. It also makes me wonder about how astronomers perceive our universe and how much they have right and how much they have wrong.
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chrismatt
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That's why it's a paradox! But the time dilation effect is very real and a proven scientific fact. As for your perplexing perspective problem, think of the energy it would take to accelerate a world, or even a "twin," away from the observer at 99.99% of the speed of light. It is this energy of acceleration that tells you who will stay young (people on the planet or the accelerating twin), while the observer becomes old. It is true that a person on the planet would see the observer moving away at close to light speed (and, again paradoxically, see the observer's time slow down almost to a stop), but if the planet (or twin) ever reversed direction and returned to the observer, the observer would appear to age quite dramatically!
The universe is indeed much stranger than Serling or Shakespeare's Horatio or any of us could ever dream of.

C˛M
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daffydoug
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Quote:
On 2007-03-10 19:56, chrismatt wrote:
Consider that the possessor of the magical timepiece will probably age faster and die much earlier than those around him. Also consider that such a situation might be possible. As a very simplified example, if a world could somehow be accelerated close to the velocity of light, an observer stationary relative to that world would effectively "see" time on that world stand still. Years would go by for that observer, but only brief moments would pass on the world. This is effectively a sideways version of the old "twin paradox."

C˛M


I believe the old "outer limits" series had an episode on exactly that theme. It was ultra cool as everyone else in the world except the main character seemed to be standing still, BUT if you looked you could observe their movements progressing at miniscule, barely perceptible intervals. So they were indeed moving, and in THEIR time they were moving normally. But to the main character they were creeping by in ultra, ultra slow motion. As I recall, the main character had to save a little girl who was riding her bike and was about to be hit by a semi truck. I LOVED that show!

It was one of the coolest and fascinating episodes I ever saw. That kind of stuff fires up the imagination.
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Cliffg37
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I always wondered that time dialation (real) was not a foctr on Star Trek. I think Kirk did use it twice, once by accident and once to his advantage in the original series, and then again in one of the films. But all the warping they do and no one has any age discrepancy.
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ed rhodes
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In "The Making of Star Trek," they mention that. Roddenberry decided they weren't going to go into it at all.
"There's no time to lose," I heard her say.
"Catch your dreams before they slip away."
"Dying all the time, lose your dreams and you could lose your mind.
Ain't life unkind?"
MagiClyde
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There is also the fact that as you get closer to the speed of light, the heavier your mass. At light speed, you would have infinite mass. EGADS!!! More headaches!

This entire discussion has me asking more questions about astronomy and physhics. I already have quite a list that I'd like to sit down and ask an astronomer. They're probably ones that either give them headaches or they haven't thought to ask (at the least, I've never seen them addressed).

Aren't there supposed to be, in theory, particles that can travel faster than light, but never go BELOW that?

I do know that the speed of light is NOT constant. Scientists have been able to slow it down to truly human speeds. It requires a special material and temperatures close to absolute zero to achieve. Will try to Google later for the necessary information.
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chrismatt
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Daffydoug,

I remember that "Outer Limits" episode very well. I believe the hero was a test pilot who somehow got projected out of his crashing jet plane (like an "X-15") into the frozen world state. "Coincidentally," his wife is also projected into that same state, as her car was close enough to the crashing plane to drag her into it. In another incredible plot twist, the little girl they save (by tying the hero's belt to the emergency brake of the truck so that it would be drawn back as the truck moved forward) happens to be their own daughter! As I recall, there is some evil force/person also trapped in the "nowhere zone" with them, adding to the suspense.

Cliffg37 and mandrake01,

As for the science "fantasy" (as opposed to "fiction") of "Star Trek," there would be a barely plausible explanation for why time dilation effects would not be apparent. (Of course, no one on the ship would notice anything out of the ordinary, even if near light speed was routinely attained, as they would all age in the same time frame--but they certainly would notice their earth and planet bound friends and relatives were growing old and dying with astonishing frequency!) The "barely plausible explanation" would be if the Enterprise's "warp drive" could somehow warp (fold) the space between the ship and their destination, akin to opening up a "wormhole" (shortcut) between the two places. Then the ship would not really be travelling near (or, Heaven forfend, greater than) the speed of light--it would "simply" be travelling through a tear in the fabric of space-time from one place to another. In other words, "speed" would not really be involved, so much as quantum mechanical disappearances and appearances.

Certainly, this is terribly obvious to members of this site, since we are in the habit of making objects pop into and out of existence all the time!

Regards,
CM
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chrismatt
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Quote:
On 2007-03-11 23:00, clynim wrote:
There is also the fact that as you get closer to the speed of light, the heavier your mass. At light speed, you would have infinite mass. EGADS!!! More headaches!

This entire discussion has me asking more questions about astronomy and physhics. I already have quite a list that I'd like to sit down and ask an astronomer. They're probably ones that either give them headaches or they haven't thought to ask (at the least, I've never seen them addressed).

Aren't there supposed to be, in theory, particles that can travel faster than light, but never go BELOW that?

I do know that the speed of light is NOT constant. Scientists have been able to slow it down to truly human speeds. It requires a special material and temperatures close to absolute zero to achieve. Will try to Google later for the necessary information.


I was busy posting my response to others while clynim was posting the above. Yes, there are "tachyons" (Greek, for "pretty fast moving things"!) that theoretically can never travel as slow as the speed of light. And yes, the theory of special relativity does say that anything with a mass traveling at the speed of light would have an infinite mass (that's why no objects with mass can ever go that fast). And yes again, light itself can travel slower than the "speed of light"--this is because c (the speed of light) is the speed of light in a vacuum. Even a pane of glass or water slows down light--you may know it as "refraction."

CM
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chrismatt
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BTW, I'm reminded of a Café post I made last year: http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/searc......=4804342

It involves Lenny Einstein's "Theory of Relatives":
Quote:
Actually, in his "Theory of Relatives," Lenny Einstein postulates how the sense of the passage of time is significantly affected by the stay of relatives in your home, especially at times of year like these. After just a couple of days, time seems to slow to a crawl and each hour feels like a month.

I myself have noticed the ancillary effects of time dilation since my Uncle Charlie has moved in with us over the holidays. Salami and bread rolls have inexplicably contracted in their lengths almost instantaneously, and not simply in the direction our refrigerator travels through the ether.

As you know, the time dilation and other Lorentz contractions result not just from very high velocities, but also occur in the presence of very large masses. As further confirmation of Lenny's Theory of Relatives, I've taken note that Uncle Charlie's mass has been increasing at an apparent exponential rate ever since he's begun his stay with us. And all relatives notice how time almost comes to a standstill when they approach Uncle Charlie's event horizon.

Sorry to bohr you with this.


C˛M

P.S. I'm happy to report that Uncle Charlie vanished into the ether after the holidays.
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daffydoug
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Quote:
On 2007-03-11 23:16, chrismatt wrote:
Daffydoug,

I remember that "Outer Limits" episode very well. I believe the hero was a test pilot who somehow got projected out of his crashing jet plane (like an "X-15") into the frozen world state. "Coincidentally," his wife is also projected into that same state, as her car was close enough to the crashing plane to drag her into it. In another incredible plot twist, the little girl they save (by tying the hero's belt to the emergency brake of the truck so that it would be drawn back as the truck moved forward) happens to be their own daughter! As I recall, there is some evil force/person also trapped in the "nowhere zone" with them, adding to the suspense.

Cliffg37 and mandrake01,

As for the science "fantasy" (as opposed to "fiction") of "Star Trek," there would be a barely plausible explanation for why time dilation effects would not be apparent. (Of course, no one on the ship would notice anything out of the ordinary, even if near light speed was routinely attained, as they would all age in the same time frame--but they certainly would notice their earth and planet bound friends and relatives were growing old and dying with astonishing frequency!) The "barely plausible explanation" would be if the Enterprise's "warp drive" could somehow warp (fold) the space between the ship and their destination, akin to opening up a "wormhole" (shortcut) between the two places. Then the ship would not really be travelling near (or, Heaven forfend, greater than) the speed of light--it would "simply" be travelling through a tear in the fabric of space-time from one place to another. In other words, "speed" would not really be involved, so much as quantum mechanical disappearances and appearances.

Certainly, this is terribly obvious to members of this site, since we are in the habit of making objects pop into and out of existence all the time!

Regards,
CM


Yeah! that's it! that's it! I believe it was one of the final episodes...but it fired up my imagination
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Jonathan Townsend
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Quote:
On 2007-03-11 23:00, clynim wrote:...I do know that the speed of light is NOT constant. Scientists have been able to slow it down to truly human speeds. It requires a special material and temperatures close to absolute zero to achieve. Will try to Google later for the necessary information.


What did you find?

Last I heard, the speed of light (in free space) does not vary with the (unaccelerated) frame of reference of the person doing the measuring. IE there are no preferred spacial or co-moving coordinate systems. Or did someone find something interesting?
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airship
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More TV and movies with the "watch that stops time" meme:

Bernard's Watch:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bernard's_Watch

The Simpsons:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Treehouse_of_Horror_XIV

Duck Tales:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_Teasers

Clockstoppers:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clockstoppers

Click:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Click_(film)

And more on the Twilight Zone episode from Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Kind_of_a......ht_Zone)
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