Time Warps

  • The first man to fly in a plane and the first man to walk on the moon were both alive at the same time. The first person to walk on Mars is almost certainly alive right now.  
  • Our familiar favorites in the dinosaur world did not all live together. The time difference between when Stegosaurus and Tyrannosaurus walked the Earth is greater than the time difference between Tyrannosaurus and now. 
This never happened…
  • Betty White is older than sliced bread. 
  • Remember the FAX machine? The “technology” for transmitting images by radio waves was patented 16 years before the telephone. Napoleon Bonaparte got a personal demonstration from the inventor one year before the start of the American Civil War. 
  • We built an atomic bomb 20 years before we invented color television.
  • We put a man on the moon before we put wheels on luggage. 
  • Cleopatra’s lifetime was nearer the invention of the iPhone than the building of the great pyramid at Giza. The pyramid was complete in 2560 BC; Cleopatra died in 30 BC.
  • Mammoths were still walking around 1,000 years after the Egyptians finished building the Great Pyramid.

The light you are reading by could be many thousands of years old. It takes a photon anywhere from 200,000 to 1 million years to travel from the core of the Sun to the surface, then just a little over 8 minutes from the Sun’s surface to your eye, sliding in at 670,616,629 mph. 

P.S. – Photons start life in the core as gamma rays, so half a million years of ricocheting off hydrogen and other atoms calms them down enough to warm us rather than give us radiation poisoning. Some gamma rays are useful but they will not give you superpowers… sorry, Hulk 🙂

Photos exist of veterans of the Revolutionary War. (1864 photo by Nelson Augustus Moore for E.B. Hillard’s publication “The Last Men of the Revolution”)

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