The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Friday, December 19, 2008

I've been thinking...

Sometimes the weirdest ideas pop into my head. Occasionally, they keep returning. Consider this:

Does the day go by faster at the north and south poles of the earth?

Time is a relative thing. We measure a day as a complete rotation of the planet. An "hour" is 1/24th of that rotation. At the equator, that would be the time it takes to move about 1000 miles. But at the pole there would be no distance at all. So what happens to time there?

What do animals dream about? Animals do dream. Just watch a sleeping dog sometime; his paws will twitch, he may bark softly. Perhaps he's chasing something. I've watched cats sleep and they do it also. When I was a child, very young, the conventional wisdom was that animals operate on instinct, not independant thought. Watching them dream tells me that isn't so. You cannot dream without some abstract thought process involved.

Following the above, do insects think? If so, is it collectively or independently?

A phrase came to mind which was triggered by one of Michael's blog posts. He mentioned that he "rearranged the furniture in [his] room" and I thought about how I think and form new opinions or new perspectives. I came up with "rearranging the furniture in my mind." That pretty much sums up the process. I just move the different perceptions (furniture) around until the arrangement makes sense. Or, sometimes, just amuses me.

I went to bed last night with a rushing sound in my ear. It's like an ocean wave, that rhythmically "shushing" sound as it breaks and then dissipates. I realize it matches my heartbeat and that it is the pulse echoed somewhere inside my right ear. It's actually relaxing, like one of those white noise generators. I slept well.

I play golf a couple of times a week. It's a strange game. Very simple, really, and it should be easy to play. But our minds get in the way. No one plays it perfectly, all golfers mess up, even the pros. The worst days are when you start thinking about the complexity of the swing. The ball is stationary. All you have to do is swing the club in an almost perfect arc down and through so that a 3 to 4 inch club face makes perfect contact with a certain quarter inch of the ball at just the right angle and with just the right amount of power so that the ball is driven through the air the proper distance and in the desired direction. Yes, just a simple thing. The best days are when you don't think at all.

I still haven't mowed the lawn yet.


Michael said...

North Pole: Depends on where you're standing around the pole, as you could potentially be standing in any of the twenty-four timezones, or even have your feet standing on two different timezones. I think the pole (and subsequently all air above the pole) are still separated into twenty-four sections, down to the tiniest atom, even splitting a quark into twenty-four equal segments.

Furniture: I moved my furniture around, certainly so that it made more sense, but it did amuse me as I like to organize my stuff. I like the analogy. Elegant way of putting it.

Golf: I've only played golf five times, but I liked it. My arms were trained to swing by my playing tennis, badminton and squash. I think the second-last sentence definitely applies to me, especially today. I will note it down and try to keep it in mind for next year.


P.S. Your actual last sentence is amusing. I'd mow your lawn for some extra pocket money.

Barry said...

I prefer Michael's answer about the North Pole better, but here is what I found on line (your question having bothered me as well)--

Time is related to the position of the sun over the Earth and to the position of the observer. Because any direction from the North Pole is south, the sun is always in the south and it is always the same time at the Pole. But what time? The I International Date Line runs through the North Pole, leaving it between one date and the next. In other words, it is always midnight at the North Pole.

Douglas said...

Michael - I like your answer, so does Barry... that means it's unanimous.

Barry - That would mean it is either midnight between two days or you are not in time at all. My sense of the absurd leans toward the latter.

HektikLyfe said...

Get this...gravity and velocity also affect time so if the rotation of the Earth increases and its rotation around the Sun speeds up as well, time WILL move quicker, relative to other, non-mass environments.

So we would never notice because we are here.

Do you hear the rushing sound in both ears now?

BTW: The movie group is now online.

Now On Video

Just send me the e-mail address with which you sign onto Blogger with so I can add you as a contributor if you would like to post reviews. I sent an invite to the one in your profile but I'm not sure it is the correct one.

redchair said...

Interesting. Made me chuckle. I have one for you: Why does time seem to go so much faster as we get older? Why should our perceptions of time change at all?
You could say simply because we have more that fills our days so time zips by- but it that doesn't follow now that I'm retired. My days involve 1/10 of the responsibilites I had when I was working- yet my perceptions of time moving faster with every passing year continues.

Alan said...

Ah, time and space, you do know I like them...

The reality is if you were standing at the equator and I were one foot from the pole, the circumference of the Earth where you are would be about 24,000 miles, and at the pole about 3.14 feet. (one foot away = 2 foot circle with 1 foot radius times pi)

Interestingly it would take the Earth 24 hours to rotate once regardless. If we were observing a celestial object it would be 24 hours before it returned to the exact spot. The same length "day".

Of course you will have traveled 24,000 miles and I 3.14 feet. Your view of the celestial object would have apparantly moved farther and faster, mine perhaps not as much, particularly if directly overhead.

My daylight might have been much shorter though due to the angle of the Earth's axis.

We also would have both traveled mind-bogglingly fast through space in our orbit about the sun. Then of course their is the incredible speed of the entire galaxy, I believe I read it is something like 680,000

At least I think that is all right... lol.

Keep on truckin'