August 27, 2009

See You in The Future … If We Make It

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The nervousness! The intrigue! The walking into wrong classrooms! The first day of school is often exciting — the academic world rushing to welcome you in all of its charming geekiness.
But F all that optimistic noise: today also ushers in a whole year of hard work and late nights. Which is why lately I’ve started to think more and more seriously about time travel and astronauts.
Senior year is upon me (wah wah), but for real: wah wah! I feel like an old geezer in saying this, but I hardly remember where three years of my life have gone. What’s worse, I’m already gripped with an amorphous anxiety —the causation of which I haven’t quite pinned down but which I think is concerned with my impending graduation. So, the most logical and easiest way to deal with this anxiety is not to probe it, but rather, to run from it.
It’s an old truism: only winners run from their fears. I generally entertain the idea of myself as a winner, and so, I have been considering the pros and cons of space / time travel lately.
Can you think of any better way to pursue a slacker lifestyle than to move cross-dimensionally? Neither can I.
Here follow my rigorous researches regarding time travel and astronaut food — because, damn, a lady’s gotta eat on the run, regardless of the eon.
Wikipedia states that time travel was first posited in — where else? — a science fiction novel of the eighteenth century, Memoirs of the Twentieth Century by Samuel Madden — though it should also be noted that many novels of the time touched upon the idea of time travel.
So, which geek took hold of this fictional idea and ran with it? That would be the minor celebrity, Dr. Albert Einstein, with his theory of relativity. Again a sort of fiction, his contemporaries mathematically proved that space-time dilation, appearing as rifts in the continuum, is theoretically possible.
But the best example of time travel with the coolest machine to date is the 1985 silver Delorean of the Back to the Future trilogy. If I must time travel, I’d like to do it in style.
Lo! Craigslist Cleveland, you’ve got my back: A Delorean for sale for a cool $9,000! The seller says of the car:
“This car was one of 32 used in the back to the future movies runs and drives great i picked it up 14 years ago at a car auction in colombusi have the certificate of authenticity every thing works inside including the flux compacitor this car is fast. the mr. fusion runs on plutonium if you want to travel through time. except the car does not fly like in 2nd movie.”
What a steal! Despite its inability to “fly like in the 2nd movie,” the seller never states that it doesn’t fly at all. Score! All that’s left to do is to suss out my many plutonium connex and test this puppy for myself.
If all else fails, and I can’t travel through time, I guess I’ll settle for bumping that one Kanye track “Good Morning” really loud while I drive fast. “Scared of the future while I hop in my Delorean”: That’s me rapping the International Coward’s Anthem!
BUT, if I don’t fail my mission and fast-forward to 2015 like Marty McFly and Doc Brown, I want to be prepared. Okay, I guarantee food six years in the future will not be that different from today’s, but I bet it’d be a really funny joke to future-people that I came with my own K-rations.
I’ve also thought of myself someone who always “shoots for the stars,” so to speak, so my proclivity for freeze-dried astronaut food comes natural. Yet, upon inspecting what our valiant cosmos-explorers eat, I’m not sure I can commit to this gloopy bullskeet. tries to put a good spin on it by saying that what the astronauts used to eat was way too gnarly and that today’s food is comparatively less so. The site states,
“Most [of these foods] were semi-liquids that were squeezed from tubes and sucked up through straws. There were also bite-sized cubes of compressed and dehydrated foods that were rehydrated by the saliva in the astronauts’ mouths.”
Yeah, whoa. I don’t know if I’d be down to eat a chicken dinner out of a Capri Sun pouch.
But I’m still not convinced. Yes, space food now offers a variety of foodstuffs, from chocolate brownies to seafood (Lobster in space? Really?), but space food will always be bland. Why, you ask? According to NASA’s website, due to microgravity, astronauts’ bodily fluids (i.e. phlegm) travel upwards, rendering their noses permanently stuffed. Alas! Eating on a space shuttle is like always eating with a horrible head cold. So maybe I’ll just pack a brown bag lunch for the future.
Then again, maybe my lazy impulses will get the best of me and I’ll learn to appreciate my last year for what it is. So no matter how I get there — by time-travel or good old living — I’ll see you in the future, friends.