Category Archives: Blog

Jet Packs and Class Structure

A three year study on the use of jet packs in contiguous, current realities has just been completed by Rass Silvian (Q42) . His findings should come as little surprise to those who have thought through the logistics of jet packs. It will disappoint those with romantic notions of a retro future with people happily whizzing about from place to place via personal jet packs.

In the Y17 and Y18 timelines, jet packs are used with alarming frequency in the streets of most American, European and African cities. Silvian writes: “The timelines at first look charming, like a Steampunk’s dream: all gleaming brass metal and flying men. As you look up to see it, however, you are scalded in the face and pressed to the ground by the thrusters of a passing commuter.”

There is no way around the physical fact that a jet pack must apply equal or greater force than the weight it lifts. Even a petite business woman in a sleek, lightweight transport will surge over the ground with a hundred pounds of hot, steaming pressure.

A little observation reveals that all these cities are deeply stratified. “The wealthy whirl through the air, enjoying a full three dimensions of freedom, while the poor are left cowering and parboiled in the streets.

Silvian observes 18 cataloged timelines in which jet packs are used as a frequent method of transport. All have highly caste-like social structures and all reserve the privilege of jet pack flight for the affluent elite. The wealthy in these timelines (and many more) simply don’t care what happens to the people beneath them. One be-monocled gentleman even made a game of making beggars scramble beneath him as he enjoyed an egg sandwich and jetted across Plottsdam Park in London.

He writes: “It is as if the adoption of this method of travel, with its promise of independence and personal freedom, has lead to a complete lack of empathy, or consideration for the welfare of the greater society. Either that, or the cruelty of the jet pack has made these sociopathic tendencies manifest in the streets of this world.”

Silvian goes on to note that the wider environmental impacts of jet packs are devastating, with extremely high Co2 emissions and ozone depletion. He also notes that 8 of the visited realities are divergents from a Nazi-centric timeline (Y17:NOA1946:51) where Germany won the Second World War. “The callous use of jet packs,” he says, “are a perfect symbol of the modern Nazi, allowing him to travel in a style that reflects his egocentric need to exert superiority, while maintaining his classic Nazi banality in the face of his own cruelty.”

Silvian suggests explorers of these “Jet Pack Timelines” are best advised to approach with caution and a heat dissipating umbrella.

 

On the Moon

She never smiles. I wonder, briefly, if it is because the lack of weather depresses her. The moon doesn’t have a breath of wind. Between the stillness and the endless powdery grey, the place feels like a graveyard. Forget the awe of standing on the moon.

The inside of her little pod is painted a cheerful sunshine yellow, like she wants to be happy. Or like somebody wants her to be happy. Her husband, an enormous jovial man named Moque seems to be forever trying to improve her mood. At least, I think he is. I have no business being there and so I have to watch from afar. He seems a good man, the kind who might smuggle a gallon of bright yellow of paint from the Earth if it means cheering his wife.

I don’t know her name. Her husband’s lunar suit has a name-tag, but hers does not. She has a wide face, flawless, with large dark eyes. Her hair is short and black and compliments her long slender neck. Hers is a face like you don’t see in the present, like how paintings from the middle ages show faces just slightly different than ours — not ancient, but old and from a time gone by. Only hers, this woman on the moon, her face is from a time that has not yet come, and I find it difficult to look away.

I did not come to see her. I did not know she existed. I had come to see the Earth while standing on the moon. Most people choose the distant past for this. I had to travel ahead more than a hundred years to do it and I picked a timeline in which I never existed. It is like some part of me knew she was here.

It’s hard to be inconspicuous on the moon, even if you do not, technically, exist. There are only a hundred or so people on the whole colony and a visitor who arrives without a ship is not only mysterious, but impossible. She has seen me at least twice, and both times, rather than panic, she has only looked, blinking at me like I was a phantom  she could not clear from her eyes.

I planned to come once, look at the Earth and go. I’ve gone back three times now, I confess, mostly for her. The Earth in the sky… I keep expecting it to occupy a space in the sky the same size as the moon does from Earth, but of course it is larger. It is more intricate, colored pale blue and green and brown. It is beautiful and amazing and everything people said it would be, but somehow, on this third trip, I have acclimated to the sight of it — but somehow not to to her.

I should not return. I don’t plan to return but as start my journey home, to my timeline, I spy a future me crouching behind a large tank of air, and I am glad.

I Like to Ask About the Future

I am fascinated by what people imagine the future will be. They are wrong in various degrees, usually because they lack the scope of hindsight, and overcompensate by exaggerating whatever is socially or technologically current. It is easy to look on predictions from the past with condescending amusement, but I think it is a good lesson to remind us how flawed and unsophisticated our own predictions invariably are.

A good example comes from Herman Memont, a gentleman who, at 20 years of age in 1740, told me that he imagines the future holds a better way of carving trails and keeping them level so horses may travel with much greater speed and efficiency. He believes that a hundred years hence (1840) that half the world shall have seen fit to convert to a Presbyterian Church. He also imagines that new metals shall be discovered, easier to forge and to the great benefit of men working the lands. I should also mention he also says every good man will have two dark and obedient slaves to work these metal wonders. This shouldn’t have been a surprise to me, but I think my look, an arched eyebrow, may have given away something of what I thought of this unfortunate aspect of the past.

Last week, I was speaking with a representative from 2118 when I inadvertently mentioned a delicious BLT I’d have for lunch.

Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato?” he asked an eyebrow arched.

I worry now that perhaps in the future people don’t eat meat and I am seen as some dull savage.

The Hitler Games Open Today

The Hilter Games open today at 4.pm. CST. For those of you unfamiliar with the games, here is a brief synopsis from coordinator Joanna Sherman:

The Hitler Games are an annual competition to thwart  Hitler’s rise to power without killing him. Members are encouraged to use logic, philosophy and pranks, but must not kill Hitler in accordance with the Union rules against murder.

This year’s contest, set in 1909, poses a particular challenge as Hitler has already been born, is already a horrible anti-semite and has already been twice rejected from the Vienna Academy.

The rules are as follows:

A.) Your team may consist of up to seven licensed and certified IUTT members, and one wild-card willing to submit to a memory wipe upon returning to the present.

B.) You and your team must travel back to the contest’s assigned time and point of origin in 1909 and effect change from there. You will have 90 days to adjust the timeline.

C.) You may not kill or maim Hitler. Do not punch him in the face. Even pacifists sometimes have a difficult time with this. Many contestants think they are fine with it, but upon seeing his stupid little mustache, feel an overwhelming need to make it a target for their knuckles.

D.) You may not cause the accidental death of Hitler. Causing someone to die ‘accidentally’ means, by definition, it is not an accident. (See rule C.)

E.) Do not seduce Hitler. Honestly it’s gross.

F.) You may return to the present at any time during your 90 days if you are satisfied with your results. However you may not loop back to 1909 to make further corrections. Teams are also discouraged from looping back within their 90 days, as that can make the contest go on indefinitely. (Note, your actual age will be checked upon your return.)

G.) Each team may enter only once!

H.) Each individual may enter only once. Please, no multi-looped teams consisting of one member from multiple dates.

I.) Winners will be decided by a panel of 6 IUTT members based on which team creates the best overall resultant conditions for all of humankind on June 14th, 1959, at 4pm. Contestants are strongly encouraged to prevent the atrocities of World War II.

As a note, if you feel you must go back and kill Hitler, you will need to request a transfer to timeline Q173, where the parallel Union of International Time Travelers conducts a nightly hunt, but are rapidly running out of Hitlers.

Time Looping for Lovers and Holidate Skipping

heartAs Valentines Day arrives in your home timeline, some of you will be making preparations to make the day special. Romantics sometimes like to loop the day in order to make it perfect. Time looping for lovers is a longstanding tradition. Just be careful to take precautions not to loop independently of each other, as this will almost certainly end in a heartbreak paradox.

Those of you not involved and without romantic prospects for the day, may feel tempted to time travel right over the holidate. This may feel less sad than napping in your sweatpants all day, but, alas, it is not.

Flipping the dial to the 15th is not a solution for loneliness. There is nothing to be learned by taking a pass. You might feel it is not worth growing a day older to suffer through a solo valentines day, but you don’t know what is coming unless, of course, you  have traveled along your future timeline and seen it — which would mean you’ve already skipped the day, and whatever opportunity it held, and written it off to an alternate timeline in which a different version of yourself had the courage to see it through. You won’t know who you might meet tomorrow, unless you see the day.

Of course, you are not prohibited from blanking the 14th, anymore than romantic couples are prohibited from looping it again and again (though anything more than three loops is gouache). It has been suggested by some that the two practices cancel each other out and bring space-time into balance, but that hardly seems in the spirit of adventure of a true time traveler.

 

 

Frank Sinatra Posthumously Sued

Here is an odd little story from the ever litigious timeline Q11L1973:

Frank Sinatra posthumously sued in a class action suit by people who made it in New York, but not elsewhere.

The Estate of Frank Sinatra has been sued by a class of actors, dancers, musicians and waiters who all met with some measure of success in New York, but failed to make it anywhere else. The suit names both Frank Sinatra, his estate and the estate of the late Fred Ebb who wrote the lyrics to the song New York, New York.

The group is demanding to be compensated for the income they would have made if they had made it in other locations. Boston, L.A. and Guam were specifically named in the suit. The Sinatra Estate has responded saying that the members of the class had failed to play “Misty” for Mr. Sinatra despite numerous requests, and as such had entered into no sort of agreement with him.

 

Back to the Future Date

Back to the Future DateThe “Future Day”  hoax currently making the rounds can be confusing in that it isn’t an actual hoax, but rather appears to be a case of information slippage from a nearby timeline. In this present timeline (Q42), the date Marty McFly travels forward to is  October 21, 2015. However, in the timeline in which Eric Stotlz played Marty McFly, (Q41) the date is June 27th 2015.

Exactly how the date  slipped into this present is unknown, but occasionally Chinese bootlegs from alternate timelines do manage to make there way here. How the year was changed to 2012, however, is probably a matter of impatience and the unrealistic expectation that Mattel will soon be releasing a Hoverboard. That Hoverboard is never coming.

This may be disappointing, but for those of you who dwell only in this timeline, however, you can look forward to seeing a good 20 minutes of Eric Stoltz footage on the 2015 Blu-Ray re-release, which is great fun and not unlike visiting an alternate history.

Top 10 Movie Lines from Alternate Realilties

One of the great pleasures of visiting other timelines is you get to see your favorite films again, and enjoy them for the different perspective. Even people who don’t time travel may know many scenes in Back to the Future were filmed with Eric Stoltz before he was replaced by Michael J. Fox. In timeline Q45 you can see the complete Eric Stoltz version. The script is mostly the same, though one of the most famous lines, “You built a time machine… out of a DeLorean?” has been inexplicably truncated to “You built a time machine?”

However, many movies have interesting variations on the famous lines you know and in that spirit, we present the top ten list of the best movie quotes from the multiverse. They are, of course, subject to change.

10.)from Timeline Q121:H1981, in which  time travel is a plot element in the Star Wars films:
“Luke, you are my father.”
– The Empire Strikes Back

9.) from Timeline R11:H1933, where people are extremely safety-conscious:
“Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a state law.”
– All About Eve

8.) from Timeline Q42:NE1931, where Soylent Green is slightly more disturbed:
“Soylent Green is delicious!”
– Soylent Green

7.) – from Timeline Q56:NOP2002, a timeline in which proper labeling is taken very seriously:
“My momma always said, ‘Life is like a box of chocolates. You always know exactly what you’re gonna get.”
– Forest Gump

6.)from Timeline Q12:ZZ1994, in which Rene Zelwigger starred in several classic films of the 1930’s:
“You complete me.”
– Bride of Frankenstein

5.) from Timeline R01:NZ1933, where the Hindenburg disaster never occurred:
“You’re gonna need a bigger blimp.”
– Jaws

4.) from Timeline Q12:H1849, in which classical and operant conditioning battle for supremacy:
Teacher says every time a bell rings, a dog salivates.”
– It’s a Wonderful Life: The Ivan Pavlov Story

3.) – from Timeline Q121:H1981, which has an inordinate number of twins:
“Nobody puts babies in a corner.”
– Dirty Daycare

2.) – also from Timeline Q121:H1981, with its inordinate number of twins:
“There can be only two.”
– The Highlanders

1.) – from Timeline Q92:H1611, a more agricultural timeline than most:
“Open the barn doors, Hal.”
– 2001: A Space Odyssey


 

 



 

A Note About Alan Turing

The coroner wished it to be a suicide, and pronounced it so. On his word, Alan Turing’s apple went untested  for  cyanide. They say he applied to it to bring about his own, death, eating a poison apple like Snow White. Only Snow White didn’t die, nor was she persecuted for being gay.

In passing years, the legend of it would grow, at first to diminish him, then to recast Alan Turing as a martyr. Yet despite all he endured, he appear happy in his last days, left no note or indication he might intend to kill himself. An IUTT representative sent back to claim the apple failed to locate it. Another attempted to interview Dr. Turing to ascertain his state of mind, came back, and report he seemed well. But this teaches us nothing.

Spencer Fox (member Q42:HOP:7921)took the extra step of leaving Dr. Turing a note imploring him not to kill himself, but it had no effect on the outcome. It remains to be seen if the note went ignored, spurred the doctor on, or had no effect because his death was an accident. When Fox looped back again he entered the home, but was too late. This caused all sorts of trouble by spawning a new timeline in which Dr. Turing’s home was broken into on the night of his death, leading to all sorts of suspicion and a banning of Spencer Fox from the timeline — though not before he went back to the day before and flat our asked Dr. Turing if he planned on killing himself. Dr. Turing offered Fox a few pence and pointed him towards the nearest asylum.

If there is a takeaway here, its that you need to remember that one can only study history so closely before one interferes with it.