Infinite Dimensions

Previously, I wrote about there being two kinds of time travel.  More specifically that there are only two kinds that work and make sense without leaving giant gaping holes in the stories.  Now I’m going to spin-off into an examination of dimensions…

The Big Bang

If you ignore the faith-based beliefs that the Universe just sprang into existence when a deity willed it to be, then you pretty much have to accept the theory of the Big Bang, that everything exploded out of “something”.  For a while, science and science fiction grasped on to the idea that eventually at some point down the line, the Universe would stop expanding and would begin to contract.  People really like this idea because it lends itself into a nice loop.  Everything racing back together, getting faster and faster, exceeding the speed of light, warping back in time billions and billions of years and then exploding again.  The end is the beginning.

Assuming a warping of space and time, it isn’t hard to jump to the idea that when the Big Bang happens again that it doesn’t have to be exactly the same.  In one way of looking at it each version of the Universe is happening in sequence.  The end of Universe 1 is the beginning of Universe 2, and end of U 2 is the beginning of U 3, and U 3 to U 4 and so on.  Thanks to the warping of time and space, however, you can get to the idea that these Universes are also happening simultaneously but somehow out of phase with each other.  This conjures up the idea of wonderful strangeness, like in our Universe there are nine planets (Pluto, I’ll never let you go) but in one of our neighbors, X-1 or X+1, there are ten and due to some sort of anomaly, that tenth planet occasionally influences or even crosses over into our Universe.  Your keys weren’t sitting on the table the whole time you were looking, they had actually slipped into X-1 but found their way back eventually.

Now we have evidence that the expansion of the Universe isn’t slowing, and may even be speeding up.  It’s hard to tell what is going on with all the dark matter out there and whatnot.


But how does an examination of dimensions of this sort relate to time travel?  You have to stop thinking so three dimensionally.  What if the Big Bang wasn’t just a simple explosion, but instead ripped right through space and time.  Now you have Universe 1 beginning, and then a tiny fraction of a second later Universe 1 sub 1 begins.  A tiny fraction later Universe 1 sub 2 begins, and U 1 sub 3 shortly after, and U 1 sub 4, and so on.  And infinite number of Universes trailing behind us through time.  And since we are just as likely to not be the first Universe as we are to be it, there are an infinite number of Universes extending out in front of us as well.

Now, when you travel through time, you aren’t really.  You are simply jumping to another copy of our own Universe.  Jumping forward in time by one hour is actually sliding to a Universe that began exactly as ours did but an hour out of alignment.

The very first time that I thought about this was when I was watching the movie Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure.  In it, Rufus explains to them that no matter what they do or where they go, they have to keep an eye on their watch because the time in San Dimas is always moving forward.  This is because the phone booth isn’t actually travelling in time, it is sliding between dimensions where the intended time is happening “right now” and when they return to their own dimension if they’ve been gone for an hour it will be an hour since they left.  Time marches on, so to speak.  The only real problem with that theory as far as the movie is concerned is Rufus’ stated reason for being there.  His mission would appear to be a closed loop (he’s going back in time to help them with their report because he did go back in time to help them with their report that they almost failed), but then you get the paradox of how that loop got started.  It would have to be that a Rufus (or someone) from a Universe that didn’t have a successful Bill & Ted pinpointed the need for them to pass the history exam 700 years prior (or however long they needed) and traveled to the appropriate world to fix it, then returned home to live in his unacceptable world (or maybe he didn’t go home).  In that world, 700 years later, Rufus climbs into a time machine in a perfectly excellent world to go back 700 years to ensure it still happens… or rather, that it happens for someone else.  So either lots more cross Universe communication is happening, or only one world every 700 years gets to be excellent.  In a manner of speaking.

Of course, the second movie completely throws that out the window with all the jumping forward and backward and delivering items to themselves.

But assuming the Echoes theory is true, it means that you can’t change your past or future.  You can only change the worlds offset from your own, and in order for your world to change an offset you needs to be the instigator of change.

No matter what, thinking about time travel this much will probably give me an aneurysm.

A Week of Tweets on 2010-11-14

  • When you hear rumors of layoffs, is it poor form to ping people you know to find out if a) it's true and b) they got hit? #
  • There is nothing wrong with being wrong. You make it wrong by pretending you aren't. #
  • This is the beginning of the end of the second half of the fourth quarter of the middle. Now if I can just figure out "of what?" I'll be ok. #
  • I wish people would stop linking that Cracked article about why a zombie apocalypse can't happen. It has so many flaws… #
  • Good bye, Mr. De Laurentiis. You made so many films I love. Thank you. Rest in peace. #
  • 7483. Still way behind, but it feels great to finally have my congestion cleared and to be writing again. #nanowrimo #
  • Friday is upon us! Rejoice! #
  • Rejoice? But I have joiced yet! I am disgruntled. I'm not sure how I got gruntled in the first place, but now must regruntle. #
  • Why am I awake at 2:50am on a Sunday? #

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Times are Changing

There are two days out of the year that I hate.  One in the beginning of Daylight Saving Time and the other is the end of Daylight Saving Time.

I really wish the United States would do away with it.  Its rubbish.  The only thing is really does is confuse people, make them anxious and stressed, and throw off their sleep schedules.  Sure, the extra hour in the fall is great, but that lost hour in the spring is dreadful.

Anyway… don’t forget to check all your clocks.  Sync up with the Naval clock here.

Iron Man

12 out of 13 nots
for fantastic heavy metal, both suit and soundtrack

This is how you do a comic book super hero movie.  The guys who made the Fantastic Four should be forced to watch this and maybe they’ll understand why their movie was crap.  Normally when a character from comics is brought to the screen, the first thing they want to do is tell you the origin of the character.  However, most writers/directors don’t seem to quite understand that you don’t have to start at the beginning and tell a linear story.  The audience, quite contrary to popular belief, is not stupid.  They may gravitate to more visceral experiences of things blowing up than the more cerebral dramas, but just because they enjoy simply uncomplicated pleasures it does not make them mentally deficient.  The Fantastic Four and Hulk movies dragged because rather than jump into a very interesting story and fill you in on the origin as they went, they decided to start at the beginning, which has little action and is a snooze-fest.  Daredevil, while suffering from other problems (mostly, in my opinion, a miscasting of Bullseye and Kingpin), at least the pace of the film works well.  With Iron Man they did decide to tell you the origin, but at least they were smart enough to weave the story of the film in with the origin such that they are not explicitly telling you the origin of Iron Man but instead telling you a story about Tony Stark during which Iron Man comes into being.  It is a subtle yet very important distinction.

Anyway, I’m not going to go into details of the film because it was awesome and I don’t want to spoil it for anyone.  However, I do want to touch on the soundtrack, mainly because it too was awesome.  The use of rock music in the film was superb, and the song choices were excellent.  I was surprised pleasantly throughout the film as songs popped up and properly set the mood for the scenes, and even more surprised that they actually held off using Black Sabbath’s Iron Man until the end credits, because, frankly, using it anywhere else in the film would be like hitting you over the head with a hammer.

Fans of Iron Man should be pleased with the film as they did sprinkle enough “nerd knowledge” throughout to make the comic book geek in me smile without drowning me in comic references.

Fun, fast and fantastic, Iron Man gets a well deserved 12 out of 13 here… I’d have given in 13, but I do try to hold off perfect scores for stuff that is truly life alteringly spectacular.


12 out of 13 nots
for awesome spy stuff, characters I cared about, and actually having an ending

So, I managed to make my way through all five seasons of the TV show Alias.  Damn, that was some good television. Read more

Dead Rising

This week’s Zombie Wednesday is going to stray, just a little, from my thoughts on the Zombie MMO I would design, and take a look at one of the best Zombie games I’ve seen in a long while: Dead Rising. Taking a look at this game shows alot of the play style elements that I want in my own game, minus the shady organization giving you missions. If it can be picked up, it is a weapon or it is food.

One of the things that I love most about it is the variety of zombies. Some almost run toward you, some shamble, some barely even notice you at all until you get right on top of them, some grab at you slow, some lunge quick once you are in range, and more, and any combination of those. It shows that much can be done without breaking the traditional zombie standards.

Personally, this is the first time I’ve encountered the “Save progress but Start over” type of game. As you level and learn new tricks, you can save your game and keep going, and if you die you have the option of loading that save and losing everything you’ve done since then, or saving your character progress and starting back at the beginning. This method results in some odd happenings sometimes. My brother, for example, was playing and got to a point where the main character is kidnapped and all his possessions, including clothes, are taken. The result: when he started the game from the beginning, all the opening cut scenes featured our hero wearing only his boxer shorts.

All in all, the game is great. The only thing it lacks is multi-player, but rumors abound that it might be coming in the Platinum Edition of the game or as downloadable content. If you love zombies, the game is worth it, even at twice the price.

The Amulet of Samarkand

I suppose one of the things that always kept me away from the Harry Potter books were the descriptions of Harry himself. In the beginning he’s pure and noble, and everything he does is for the good. Its almost sickening sweet. The later books help fix him up right as he makes mistakes and costs people their lives.

In The Amulet of Samarkand, the first of the Bartimaeus Trilogy by Jonathan Stroud, one of the main characters is a horribly flawed boy who lives in a horribly flawed world. In the London of his world, magicians rule, literally. They aren’t hidden or secret, they run Parliment and keep the “commoners” beneather their feet. Common children are sold into apprenticeship where they are forced to forget their birth names and learn the ways of magic. Nathaniel, is one such child who is apprenticed to a minor magician of small power, but Nathaniel wishes to be greater, teaching himself more than his master will allow, especially once he is humiliated by Simon Lovelace, a much more powerful magician. Nathaniel takes his self taught knowledge and summons Bartimaeus to help him get his revenge on Lovelace. The only problem is, in seeking his revenge he stumbles on to a much more deadly plot by some of London’s other magicians. While keeping revenge on his mind, Nathaniel also decides that he needs to help the society of magicians by stopping this fiendish plot.

Most of the tale is told by Bartimaeus, who like many of the demons summoned by magicians, hates magicians and their petty squabbles. He’s also a wise cracking smartass, which helps keep the book fun and fast. One of the things I really enjoyed about this book, however, is that while it does leave some loose ends, the tale sits well by itself, and if I never manage to read the rest of the trilogy, I won’t feel like I’m missing something. I would gladly recommend it to young and not-so-young readers.

The Mod Squad

I’ve never seen the TV show, but it had to be better than the 1999 movie.

Giovanni Ribisi is fairly good in everything he does, and he’s about the only watchable part of this film. Almost, because he’s barely watchable in this. Claire Danes acts poorly, and Omar Epps proves that he’s not Wesley Snipes (a compliment to neither Omar or Wesley). The only real actor worth a damn is Dennis Farina, and he dies in the beginning… good thing too, at least he can say the rest of the movie wasn’t his fault.

I think the worst part of the movie had to be that it was just so absolutely predictable. Linc (Epps) tells Pete (Ribisi) not to damage his car… so Jodi says, “Its going to be a running gag, Pete’s going to keep damaging the car.” And it was. Like five times Pete does something to hurt the car, and it got less and less funny because you could see it coming ten miles away.

In the end, I believe I’ve spent far to much time talking about this movie… it was filmed, and that’s the best thing I can say about it.

What happened to .plans?

Many moons ago, when technogeeks were first beginning to form within the webs of what would one day be called the Internet, people with shell accounts on company systems could manage a ‘.plan’ file. In it they would keep a list of projects they were working on, tasks for the day. And system admins could poll the .plan files to see what people were up to (when they weren’t looking at porn).

Later, as the technogeeks formed their own companies… gaming companies… some of them still maintained .plans. They would write about the work they were doing, graphics, game engines, world physics, pasta recipes… all the important things (like porn). This was when I started. As a fan of all the gaming sites, I read the .plans of the guys at id and the other game companies daily, and decided to start my own. First in IRC, then on a GeoCities site, then one of my own sites… through, and on to

Somewhere along the way, retards started abusing the internet. They didn’t understand ‘.plan’ and because most of them read like journals they just called them weblogs. Then more retards came, and ‘weblog’ was just too long a word, so they called them blogs. And now, with the internet bursting at the seems with retards (and porn), blogging has become a national passtime… (why couldn’t they have chosen porn?)

I’ve given up on calling mine a ‘.plan’ because… well.. its not anymore. But I flat out refuse to call it a blog… weblog is as far as I will go. The line in the sand has been drawn. This is my weblog.



The boxes get packed, the boxes get moved, the boxes get unpacked.

And somehow when you unpack them, they contain more than you packed into them. The shelves aren’t big enough. There aren’t enough drawers. The closets are tiny. And then there is the pile of stuff you thought you had lost, and the pile of stuff thought lost that you wish still was because you don’t know what to do with it.

This is one of those moments. Somewhere between an end and a beginning. Neither, yet both. Its like playing a game of poker. Someone has just cleaned out the pot, and the next hand isn’t on the table yet. The time when you shuffle the deck, shake things up a bit. Throw a little extra random chance into the mix.

So when the boxes are gone, and all that remains is the beginning of something new, I wonder what kind of hand I’ll have been dealt.