In a mirror, temporally

In cosmic archery news, scientists are once again asking questions they can’t answer about things that don’t matter instead of trying to make a difference.

They seem like obvious questions: “Why does time only go in one direction?” and “How do I turn this obvious question into grant money?”  Giant space brains (below) worked the answers out eons ago and moved on.  But they have troubled scientists for over a century.

NGC-6888_2960564k

A new theory has proposed an answer — time used to run in both directions, but somebody from the Mirror Universe took the other “arrow of time”.

bigbang

Most scientists believe that the universe is some sort of giant star-spangled bell (above) with the open end on the right.  And usually, when scientists model the beginning of the universe, they point the bell in the right direction.

An experiment to recreate the beginning of our universe suggests that as the Big Bang happened, someone held up a mirror, creating a mirror universe that took the other arrow and ran backwards to get away.  This Big Bang theory gained widespread acceptance on Thursday night at 8.

The experiment solves a key problem in theoretical physics: why can’t you just turn the bell around and point it in the other direction?

The current theory suggests that entropy — the force of the universe that converts lost socks into keys that you don’t remember what they go to — also drives time forward. Since the universe began with two million billion zillion socks and only one lock and key, as it gets more disorganized, it takes longer to find the right key to unlock the door to the laundry, allowing socks more time to disappear into a parallel universe.*

While that is many scientists’ working theory, it is impossible to prove. Scientists love when theories are impossible to prove, so when this theory meant they could just say that time doesn’t have to flow in just one direction, theoretical physicists got all excited.

This other, or “mirror”, or “wrong” universe has the bell pointing to the left (below). As a result, all the printing in that universe is backward and hard to read**, making the denizens of this Mirror Universe particularly cranky and evil.

mirror big bang

Early negotiations between Spocks from both universes (see picture at top) to share the arrows broke down after our universe started allowing every Rom, Dax, and Harry (below) with a transporter to access their universe and interfere with their Empire.

Eventually, the other Arrow of Time decided it was not inspirational enough for the cranky and evil Mirror Universe, so it faked its own death.  It had to become something else: it had to become the Green Arrow of Time (below).

green_arrow_arrowhead_symbol_wp_by_chaomanceromega-d57zku6

Attempts to re-open negotiations with the Mirror Universe (Motto: “Building a Better Yesterday”) began earlier this year, but have been stalled amid allegations that due to differences in the flow of time, Ambassador Spock (below left) has become his own mirror grandfather.

When the universe began, it could have created another one flowing in the other direction when no one was looking, wrote Julian Barbour, Tim Koslowski, and Flavio Mercati.  “Any internal observer will only be aware of the records of one branch because they’re observing internally,” they write.  “Would it kill them to try observing externally every once in a while?  It’s a nice day!”  Their ideas have not gained wide acceptance, however, because they were written down in backward script, causing those who read them to become cranky and evil.

Click here in either the past or future to explore this theory.

* Some scientists have postulated the existence of a perpendicular universe where the arrow of time points up, but to date nobody cares.

** Interestingly, this mirror time flow allows for the correct sequence of events for the development of the first stars, galaxies, planets, and giant space brains (billions of years ago), the Dark Ages (500-1000 A.D), and the period of high inflation (1974-82).

The other major point of contention is why we keep sending them all those unmatched socks.

Can anybody really know what time it is?

(Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement.  As I said last winter, I wouldn’t buy this stuff with money I found in the street.  Your money may vary.)

After my recent misadventure with the time-space continuum, I started wondering whether there was any sort of device I could use to help me navigate these trying times.  Fortunately, there’s help.  My good friends at Hammacher-Schlemmer have been sending me e-mail offers since 2013, so I know there’s a world of gift ideas for the time-challenged among us.  With that in mind, I offer the following gift ideas from the H-S Temporal Obfuscation catalog, home of the original Faceless Watch (above).

WATCHES

The-Classic-Calculator-Keypad-Watch

The Classic Calculator Keypad Watch  $59.99

Simply press any key, and white LEDs behind the corresponding numbers will illuminate, in order to show the hour and minute.  0-6-4-5, for example, means 6:45, or 6:54, or 4:56, or maybe 5:46.  Pressing the pound sign reveals the month and day using the same method.  1-2-3, for example, means January 23rd, or possibly December 3rd.  Its chunky plastic keycaps recall the ugly design of the world’s first handheld calculator, while the order of the numbers mirrors the layout of IBM’s seminal Model M keypad, which didn’t have a pound sign, because it wasn’t a telephone.  The links in the silicone strap resemble a chain of space bars (Quark’s, Ten-Forward, the Cantina from Star Wars, etc.), unless you look at them, or are familiar with bars in space.

tick mark watch

The Tick Mark Wristwatch  $99.95

This wristwatch has 28 LEDs that illuminate in sequence to indicate the time, date, and day of the week in some weird form of digital cuneiform that linguists have been unable to translate.  Two vertical rows of blue LEDs match with numbers etched into the watch face, which would make the LEDs superfluous if the etched numbers could be seen without a microscope (not included).  As the time elapses, the corresponding LEDs illuminate to create an ever-changing display of meaningless tick marks.  (10:15 is shown above, according to UFO crackpots who believe ancient aliens built the Pyramids using base-28 math.)

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