Archive for time travel

The Time Machine

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Mystical Experience, World Myths with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 22, 2012 by javedbabar

“The Time Machine has an underground theme,” said a member of the production crew, “and we could have some fun with special effects. It would be like Doctor Who in 4D! It gets my vote for next month’s show.”

“What about 2001: A Space Odyssey?” said Danny. “We could really make something of that last bit, with the crazy colours and blinking eye.”

Sophie was proud of the QARY project’s success. Converting the old quarry into a venue for multimedia shows had been her baby. She was looking for a show to complete the second season; the short list comprised The Time Machine, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Fahrenheit 451, and 1984.

The latter two had been discounted. Fahrenheit 451 because its flames would be too disturbing underground, and 1984 because its world of tiny apartments, two-way screens, media brainwash and endless wars, already existed. People may as well stay at home.

Sophie said, “Okay, who wants Time Machine?” Some hands rose. “Two Thousand and One?” A few less. “The Time Machine wins. So as we discussed, there are three main journeys. The first is the table top model disappearing in front of the inventor’s dinner guests. It’s a minor plot point but we could beef it up. The second journey is the one to 802,701 A.D., where he meets the Eloi and Morlocks. That’s the main part of the story. The third journey is the one thirty million years into the future, where he sees a dying earth and menacing red crablike creatures, and black blobs with tentacles.”

Danny said, “Will we have use of the third chamber for the show?”

“Good question. The renovation of the third chamber is almost complete, but we have unresolved health and safety issues, in particular black mould. Hey, maybe we could use that to bring the black blobs to life.” The production crew chuckled.

Danny had been difficult initially, but was now her most helpful crew member. Even though his favourite idea hadn’t been chosen, he was right back to 100% commitment on the idea that had. He said, “We could use the two main chambers to create Eloi and Morlock worlds. That would give them scale and depth. The inventor’s home is only there for framing than story. We could create it in the entrance area, or even by narration alone.”

Sophie thought, yes, that would work. The thrust of the story is the ultimate result of modern industrial relations. Bosses and workers became distinct classes of people with little in common, something Wells was very worried about.

The best way to show this would be to create two different worlds. Sophie directed the crew to focus on this separation in a modern context. She told them to create opulent and restless worlds.

The Eloi world was very bright. There were small communities of happy elfin people in large futuristic buildings. They performed no work, just spent their lives at ease, laughing and playing, whilst consuming a healthy, fruitarian diet.

The Morlock world was dense and dark. The noise of grinding machinery was everywhere as evidence of their constant industry. Stocky, brutish people moved around in a threatening manner, awaiting their chance to catch and eat you.

On opening night Sophie noticed something disturbing. Unlike previous shows, people were not moving between the chambers. Professional people reclined in the Eloi area, while unskilled workers and their families walked around the Morlock world. It seemed the process of social degeneration was underway.

Fourth Dimension

Posted in Alternative Energy, Classic Sci-Fi, Lucerne Village with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 13, 2012 by javedbabar

AMP co.’s experiments were progressing. Alfred’s innovative 3D printer had so far fabricated another 3D printer, a worm, and a baby. With the right data and ingredients – chemical or organic – it could produce almost anything. The process was now proven.

“What do we do now?” said Sami, his regular helper. “Shall we start making and selling stuff?”

Alfred said, “People are bored of buying stuff here, my friend, but I would like to monetize my invention. We must do something original. You know that so many inventors have gone mad or gone broke, leaving others to benefit from their work. Another thing to watch for is corporations. They try to buy your idea for peanuts, and if that fails they launch their own version, differing in a few details, and if you complain they launch a battery of expensive lawyers at you, and sometimes send crooked cops and heavies.”

Sami didn’t like the sound of any of that. “What should we do then? Should we sell basic versions of the printer for people to use at home? They could make spare parts for domestic items, and maybe copy precious objects; they could replicate seeds, and make their own medicines and cosmetics.”

“They could certainly do that,” said Alfred.

“You could keep the full-scale printer here, and charge a premium for complex jobs. That way you could also safeguard the technology.”

Alfred stared hard at the printer’s levers and cogs, as he often did when mulling over an issue. He said, “Sami, I’m enjoying working with you. You are an asset to AMP co. How would you like to work full time here, helping me with development of the 3D printer?”

It was an unexpected offer. Sami’s day job – if you could call it that, for it sometimes involved working all night – was assistant to retired holy man Guru Baba. He’d learned so much from him; he was like the grandfather he’d never known. He didn’t want to abandon him. Sami said, “Can I continue to help you casually? That’s what works for me right now.”

Alfred was surprised at the rejection of his offer. Rather than dwell upon it, he said, “Okay, let’s get moving then. Something has been niggling me for a while. Production takes time, too much time in my opinion. I want to integrate time into the process.”

“You mean accelerate production? We could fabricate more machines, and break down jobs into parts.”

“I’m not sure that would work. Each job is processed as a whole. Anyway, I meant something else. I meant using time as a fourth dimension.”

“You want to make a 4D printer? Is that possible?”

“I’m not sure, but I have an idea. We could integrate the start time and end time of production into the process – so the object exists in both times at once – and then compress them into a singularity. I’m not sure if that would make the object unfinite or infinite though.”

They adjusted the 3D printer’s settings, fed in crustacean data and plenty of calcium and chitin – and produced a pink crab. It moved and stopped, moved and stopped, moved and stopped. It was hard to say if this was the crab’s erratic motion, or continual flux between life and death. This was the secret hidden by its shell.

Whether or not the experiment was successful, it amused the baby they’d fabricated the day before. She kept waving her arms and legs about, clamping her fingers together, and laughing.

Programmable Matter

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Conceptual Art, Lucerne Village, Sacred Geometry with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2012 by javedbabar

There was chaos at the Devils’ Den event, with the host Collette Vapinski running around, shouting at her assistants. The previous presenter’s slideshow had malfunctioned. Instead of impressing the panel of expert investors with his technical prowess, the flashes of goofy pictures, drugs, pornography and End Time prophecies bemused and disgusted them. The amateur entrepreneur left in shame.

Collette said, “On behalf of the organizers of the New Ideas Show, I would like to apologize to all audience members for this unexpected occurrence. If people are really upset, we can curtail the event. Who would like us to cancel the rest of Devils’ Den?” A few hands went up. “Okay, not too many of you, so we’ll continue. Please give us five minutes to set up again.”

Bobby realized that he’d been thinking too conventionally. The first notion he was developing was that of a “spice cream” van, serving exotic flavoured ice creams. The second was that of an African Sandwich shop, which sounded exciting but he hadn’t yet thought about what his definition of “African sandwiches” should be.

Presenters today had shown their ideas for floating cities, underwater container houses, and head plug-ins to connect men and machines directly. He too should stretch his imagination.

After a while, Collette Vapinski said, “Okay, we’re back in business!” The audience cheered. “Who’s next?”

A tall blonde girl, wearing a loose white dress, walked up to the stage.

“Not her! Not her!” said low-tech pioneer Amisha Jordan. “She’s some kind of fraudster.”

Ex-banker Arthur Choo and social media activist Juno Osh both burst out laughing. “Don’t say I didn’t warn you,” said Amisha. “You won’t be laughing later.”

Collette said, “Excuse me panel, what’s so funny? Would you please explain to our audience?”

Juno said, “Cindy will explain.” Arthur nodded.

“Grrr!” said Amisha. “I’m tempted to take a break. I don’t want to share the stage with this crook.” Juno and Arthur gave welcoming smiles to the girl in the white dress, while Amisha sat in a grump.

“Hello everybody,” said the girl. “My name is Cindy. I’d like to present my idea for programmable matter. It’s a way of arranging electrons and atoms into different shapes. You can change the information and energy present in objects to transform them into other objects. Einstein said that all items are energy with differing vibrations. It we can change their frequency, we can change their form. It works with products and with people. My initial tests with repurposing, invisibility, and time travel have been very encouraging, leading to…”

Amisha said, “This is ridiculous. She somehow sneaked into my office last night and tried to trick me out of money.” She walked off the stage. “I’ll be back when she’s gone.”

Juno and Arthur however were both entranced, and said nothing.

Collette said to the girl, “So what’s your offer?”

One-quarter of my company for one million dollars.”

Juno said, “Hey, yesterday you said one-half of your company for one million dollars.”

“Well, I transported myself to all three of your offices, and received two expressions of interest. So I changed the terms. Of course, if you are no longer interested, I could go elsewhere.”

“No, no,” said Arthur. “I’m very interested.”

“Me too,” said Juno. “Let’s talk after.”

HOT Chicken

Posted in Classic Sci-Fi, Organic Farming, Unknown with tags , , , , on March 14, 2012 by javedbabar

It was embarrassing. Everyone had brought the same dish to the party – and because they had all brought the same dish, they knew two things. First, that they hadn’t made it themselves – they had brought it at the grocery store. Second, that it was on special offer – that’s why it had caught their eye.

There was a table full of steaming HOTTM chicken, which everyone knew was past its shelf life, and had been reduced from $9.99 to 99 cents. Was it legal to sell out-of-date food? People weren’t sure, but presumed that the grocery store wouldn’t have offered it otherwise. On the bright side, everybody loved HOTTM chicken. Its unique combination of Habaneros, Olives, and Truffles was unbelievably good. As its millionaire fitness instructor/chef inventor said in the ads, it was “Hot, healthy richness to die for.”

Nobody would dispute that the Habaneros – fire for your tongue; Olives – lubrication for your heart; and Truffles – joy for your mind, created pleasure divine indeed. But a table full of HOTTM chicken was too much to handle. For a start, HOTTM chicken was way too hot for children to eat. They were told not to touch it, but couldn’t resist. Little hands reached up and sneaked around. Others openly raided the table’s edges. Every few minutes a new wailing began, as tender pink tastebuds were slaughtered.

The HOTTM chicken had all been unwrapped (to remove evidence of its out of dateness) and heated (to provide evidence of its just having come out of someone’s oven) – so it couldn’t be returned to the store. Yet a tableful of it couldn’t be wasted either.

Shaun called his son. “Tain, what are you doing right now?”

“Uh, nothing.” He was looking down, bored. A little moody. “Just talking to Egan and Baird.”

“Ok, tell them you’ll be back in a minute. Go upstairs and use my computer. You know Level One of TimeworkTM.” Tain nodded. “Find an offer for the kids – something they’ll like.”

“I’m not sure, dad. Can you do it?”

Shaun snapped at him. “No – you do it! I’ve got to stay with our guests.” He hadn’t realized he was so stressed; guests are meant to be a pleasure but are usually a pain. Still, he shouldn’t have snapped. “Go on Son, please find something for them.”

Tain headed upstairs. “Where are you going?” said Nola. He told her. “Can I come too?” She didn’t wait for an answer, just tagged along.

TimeworkTM was a popular low-level programme. Serious time programs were reserved for government use. Hackers sometimes jumped across from TimeworkTM to restricted programs, but were caught and punished. In most cases their TimeworkTM access was curtailed – easily done with DNA and sensory digitization. They remained forever in the extant present – how dull!

Tain found a good offer on MMMTM Muffins. He dragged the Mango Maple Marshmallow muffins to their household account, and was about to close down, when Nola said, “Wait! Wait! Wait! Why don’t we make another change?”

“My dad only said about the offer,” said Tain. “Don’t you like MMMTM Muffins? They’re the best, even…”

“They’re great. I’ll eat six of…”

Tain said, “Looks like you already have!”

Nola smacked him. Being a tomboy she wasn’t scared of boys physically, and they couldn’t hurt her inside. Sticks and stones and all that stuff.

“Look, I like the muffins but I also like HOTTM chicken. Have you ever tried it? I bet you haven’t, you wimp! My dad let’s me try some. It’s so good. And they let you change the formula. That’s why it’s so popular.”

“How can you change the formula?” said Tain. “It’s Habanero, Olive, and Truffle. It’s famous.”

“That’s what made it famous.” She manoeuvred herself before the computer. “But people change it all the time. It’s a Level Two program. Let me show you. What’s your password?” Tain told her without thinking. “Ok – look at this. You can change the ingredients according to letter. H can be Haddock, Halloumi, Ham, Hare, Haricots, Hazelnuts, Herbs, Hickory, Honey, or Hummus. O can be Onions, Okra, Oranges, Oxtail, Omelette, Oatmeal, or Oregano. T can be Tomato, Turkey, Tofu, Tuna, Turnip, Tortilla, Toast, Tarragon, Tamales, or Toblerone. Why don’t’ we try Hazelnut, Orange, Turnip? Or Ham, Omelette, Toast – just like my best breakfast?”

“We can’t change the HOTTM chicken,” said Tain. “They’re eating it already. We don’t know what will happen.”

“Well, we’ve got to change something,” said Nola. “It’s just too boring. Ok, I’ll just change the T. Eating Truffles is disgusting anyway. They make poor pigs find them in the forest and then kill them and mix them to make truffle sausages. People in Europe are very cruel. So let’s change the T to Toblerone.”

“Isn’t that European too, from Switzerland?”

“Yes, but it isn’t cruel. They just use honeycombs.” Nola confirmed the change to Habanero, Olive, Toblerone Chicken. Almost immediately there was a commotion downstairs. They rushed to see. There was Shaun with his face puffed, writhing on the ground. Dr. Bungawalla was attending to him.

Tain knew that his father was allergic to peanuts, but Toblerone contained almonds, so it couldn’t be that. And TimeworkTM had filters to prevent such accidents. However special offers to consumers require cost cutting by producers. How else could they make a buck? In this batch almonds had been replaced by peanuts. Tain had two minutes to reverse the ingredients. This was a more advanced operation. “Nola! Do you know Level Three?”