A traditional way of really putting an edge to a curse is using the “nocebo” effect. You’ve heard of the placebo effect, and how people who down sugar pills will experience relief from their symptoms despite not getting anything they couldn’t have gotten from pixie stix. The nocebo effect is the opposite. People who have been told that a pill will cause them stomach pains will experience stomach pains. People who have been told that a medical procedure will be painful will experience pain.
Careful you don’t go copping a taste of your own medicine though…
NASA deep space probe Voyager 1 may, or may not, be – depending on whose accounts you read – outside the solar system. Whatever the case, at some 34 light-minutes from the Sun, it’s a long away from home. A very long way.
What though if the venerable space probe were subject to manufacturer’s recall or something? Could Voyager 1, using the technology available today, ever be retrieved, or returned to Earth? This despite its distance from us, and the speed, an estimated seventeen kilometers per second, at which it is currently travelling.
Once Voyager had lost nearly all its speed, the Sun’s gravity would take over, and the probe would begin a long slow slide toward the inner Solar System. This would take about 200 years, and with some extremely careful nudges, we could make sure it falls in an Earth-crossing orbit.
It’s hard to believe just how lo-tech our lives were a mere thirteen years ago in 2000, the year that had, in the past, been looked to as the shining beacon of what a futuristic world was meant to represent:
Frustrated, you decide to take the rest of the day off and book your next vacation. You make yourself comfortable on your balcony in the afternoon sun, a bottle of beer in your hand, your laptop ready to search and book a nice place to recover from this exhaustingly un-digital future. Then it dawns you… You have no internet access out here (the Ethernet cable is too short). And even if you had, searching for nice places, good hotels and cheap flights would be almost impossible, not to mention booking online. That’s when you decide you need a different trip, one straight back to the present, to 2013.
By the time they turn 80, most men would have spent a cumulative total of 38 days shaving their faces. What may surprise you though is that there nothing new about shaving… cave paintings that are thousands of years old depict clean-shaven men.
Back in the day, before razors and the like came along, shells were employed to pluck facial and beard hair. It seems the old cartoon show, The Flintstones, was on the mark here… if I recall rightly, men of the Flintstone era used shells, but with, I think, a bumble-bee inside, as a shaver.
I doubt we’ll ever stop analysing events of the Star Wars film saga, and now I read that Han Solo’s recording breaking Kessel Run trip, in the Millennium Falcon, makes him a time traveller:
Because the shortened Kessel Run spans 12 parsecs (39.6 light-years), a ship traveling nearly light-speed would take a little more than 39.6 years to get there. Factoring in time dilation, anyone watching the Kessel Run would see Solo speeding along for almost 40 years, but Solo himself would experience only a little more than half a day. If you haven’t picked out the potential pitfall for the Star Wars timeline I’ll spell it out: In the time it takes Han to complete just one Kessel Run, the rest of the galaxy battles, negotiates, and force-chokes its way through almost 40 years – and pushes the date of Solo’s birth 40 years further into the past.
It has to be remembered though that Solo made a number of unspecified special modifications to the Millennium Falcon, I’d say one of these somehow restores order to the space/time continuum, making all of his jaunts, Kessel Run or not, happen in real time.