Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Time Machine

I just watched the most recent version of "The Time Machine" I have watched both the old black and white version and the one produced in the sixties. I thought the movies were all right and of course it wouldn't seem right for me to not have seen them being the time travel fanatic that I am. This most recent movie is much much better than the other two though with the reason being that it doesn't quite follow the story line set out by H.G. Wells. Now I think the original story line of the time machine is decent but overall the plot is not what the story is about. The story is about time travel not about weena. I think I am going to have to buy this time machine movie. The time travel sequences are very pretty and the story is well done and even a bit original although the eloi and the morlocks are still at the center of the whole thing.

I have always been something of a time travel fanatic. I have fond memories of Kip Thorne's "Black Holes and Time Warps". I remember checking the book out of the library in 2nd or 3rd grade reading the first 40 pages or so. I had to check it out multiple times even to get that far. Mostly I would find some out of the way corner and I would sit musing and dreaming while holding the book instead of actually reading it. I would read a few lines or a paragraph or two until something was said that I didn't understand or that made me think of something else and I would close the book with my finger in the pages at the point where I was reading. I remember learning scientific notation from the book which kindly explained for non-technical readers that 6x10^100 meant a 6 with a hundred zeroes after it. I kept going back to that little passage and rereading it over and over again. It was because here there was some tiny glimmer of the workings of real science something of the mechanism that made physics and math really work. I admit that scientific notation is about as simple as you get but to a second grade version of me it was something I could fully understand with a little thought and that was exciting. If I had read it from an algebra book in school it would have perhaps been interesting but no reason to day dream about unlocking the secrets of the universe.

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