Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Insomnia Chronicles, Continued 

I've been pooped the last few days. It's not like I've been doing that much. My grogginess is due to my attempts to squash the insomnia I first spoke about last week. I decided to set down specific times to go to bed and wake up, and to stick with regardless of consequences.

For the last few days, that meant I was going to bed around 11pm and lying awake. For some reason, my body really wants to be awake at around 4am when the paper is dropped by my neighbor's door. When this happens, I then have the choice of sleeping in until the afternoon, or getting up earlier and being groggy and sluggish all day. For the past couple of days, I chose Option Two. It sucked.

Last night, I was finally tired enough to fall asleep around 11pm or so. However, my body would just let things proceed with out protest; it had to wake me up at 2:30 in the morning.


I wasn't going to take that lying down (actually I was, oh never mind). I had to turn the fan on and play a little music, but I finally got to sleep just after 4am. I ended getting around 8 hours of sleep total, while waking up at a semi-reasonable hour. I'll gladly take it.

Before I drifted off to sleep, once again my brain came up with a thought that can only come while lying awake at 4am. In the last Back to the Future movie, Marty McFly needs to race across a railroad bridge to get from 1885 back to 1985. He's dubious since the bridge is incomplete. Doc tells him that it will be OK, since the bridge will be complete in 1985, and Marty will be back in 1985 on finished bridge before he physically reaches the end of the incomplete 1885 track.

I came up with the thought that Marty will likely end up in space when he returns to 1985. Since the car is not fixed to the earth (only the car and all inside it pass through time), the earth will rotate on its axis as well as revolve around the sun independent of the car.

The only way Marty would end up on the same spot on earth is for him to end up on the exact part of the day in 1985 as he was in the day in 1885. In addition, since the earth is revolving around the sun, he would have to be precisely travel to the exact part of the year in 1985 as 1885. Otherwise, the earth would be in another part of its orbit, and Marty and the DeLorean would be stuck floating in empty space.

Truly a thought that would only bubble up to the surface at 4am.

You forget about the sun orbiting around the galactic core. Star's are not fixed in space, any more so than planets. Sadly, even then, it's not a neat circular revolution, but a wacky erratic one. And the galaxy is moving too. And our local galactic group is also....

Let's just face it, the odds of landing in the cold vacuum of space are just to high to do it just as a pure spacial positioning.

But what if time travel is tied to gravity (like Star Trek IV). Then as you travel back and forth outside the normal flow of time, you're pulled along by that great big gravity well you are stuck on. I don't think it'd be good enough for the DeLorean, but for a spaceship around a star, probably good enough, given the openness of space.

Also, try getting up at 5 am each day. That builds character!
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