Archive for the ‘Stargate’ Category

Worming One’s Way Through Space   Leave a comment

What’s your preferred method of space travel?  Is it this?

ds^2= - c^2 dt^2 + dl^2 + (k^2 + l^2)(d \theta^2 + \sin^2 \theta \, d\phi^2).

Or this?

ds^2= - c^2 \left(1 - \frac{2GM}{rc^2}\right)dt^2 + \frac{dr^2}{1 - \frac{2GM}{rc^2}} + r^2(d \theta^2 + \sin^2 \theta \, d\phi^2).

I know, I know.  Pretty hard to decide which one to choose.

Allow me to provide you with a clearer example.   This is a depiction of the first equation:


CorvinZahn – Gallery of Space Time Travel (self-made, panorama of the dunes: Philippe E. Hurbain)

This is the second:


Credit: Allen McC

Give up?  Here’s a clue:  There’s a connection between this:


…and the space it occupies.

And the answer is…WORMHOLES!

Okay, okay, maybe I’ve gotten a bit esoteric for you.  I’ll get simple.

The first mathematical equation is otherwise known as traversable wormhole, or one that allows you to move from one end of the universe to the other.  The second one represents a Schwartschild wormhole that, for the most part, is a black hole that allows travel usually in one direction, but also connects one universe to the other.

The definition of a wormhole is a method within the theory of relatively of moving from one point in space to another without crossing the space in between.  To properly explain a wormhole properly means one has to drag out the big guns (i.e. Einstein) and spew forth a lot of verbiage that’s guaranteed to gloss over the heartiest of eyeballs.  A short history of the term is this: Albert Einstein and his colleague  Nathan Rosen came up with the basic principles of wormholes and their relation to time and space in the 1935 and called their concept the “Einstein-Rosen” bridge.  John A. Wheeler, an American theoretical physicist coined the term wormhole in 1957.

Science fiction writers have jumped on the concept ever since.  Carl Sagan, Arthur C. Clarke, Iain M. Banks, John G. Cramer, Stephen Baxter and many, many others have all used wormhole technology to develop their plots, as well as popular shows as the Stargate franchise.

With wormholes, one easily solves the problem of traveling great distances in short times, as long as you don’t exceed the speed of light (a wormhole no-no).  Just about anything can travel through them as well.  The mightiest of space vehicles right down to tiny gnats can zoom through distant reaches to discover, conquer or just make new friends.  It’s a simple device that captures everyone’s imagination because it’s so freeing and limitless.  Need to get someplace?  Hook up to a wormhole, and in seconds, you’re there.

In Stargate SG-1, the cast would travel so quickly through these things that bullets came flying right out of the gate, thanks to the wormhole.  Conversely, robotic probes made their way out into the new planet, seeking information regarding conditions.  True, a proper stargate was needed to connect two points together.  It wasn’t without its risks, either.  Wormholes invite all sorts of malfeasance, if one isn’t careful.  Evil characters often took advantage of this plot device and wreaked havoc, threatening Earth and its inhabitants over and over again.

Next time you look up at the sky and gaze at the stars, think about this: somewhere out there lurks a bridge to another time.  One day, maybe soon, some thing might be transversing it to visit.



Aliens, Mad as Hell   Leave a comment


I’ve come to notice that one thing many aliens have in common:  they’re angry.


Now, I’m not talking all sci-fi films or TV series.  In fact, some are really quite friendly and helpful.  Paul, Alf and E.T. made good friends and lifelong connections with their earthling counterparts.  And a quick look at Star Trek/Wars/Gate will tell you that there’s a bounty of otherworldly types just itching to make nice with us inferiors.

But then again, how many baddies have you come to enjoy over the years?

Let’s take, for example, the Borg.  They’re a pretty economical lot.  If you ask me, they become part of a collective, kind of like communism in its most evil form twinned with just plain communes.  They readily adapt to any situation, yet they clearly enjoy being together.  One could argue it’s the system making them relate to each other so well, but they’re so anxious to turn complete strangers into buddies that they readily adapt the most innocent of bystanders, hook them up to machine-like apparatus and get them angry enough to kill anyone the collective doesn’t like.


Now, here’s what I’m talking about:  Mars Attacks!

These guys made no pretensions, minced no Ack! Ack! to their sworn enemies on Earth.  All they knew is that they looked humble and willing for about twenty seconds, let us earthlings make fools of ourselves and then wreaked utter destruction.  Heck, they even brought down Jack Nicholson!  Yet it was a simple yodel that brought them to their knees and made their gooey green brains blow up like bubble gum in a microwave.  Don’t tell me you didn’t get the parallel between that and germs in War of the Worlds.

Yet, for all the seeming variety out there, we keep coming back to this stereotype:


Now, this guy’s pretty cool and the star of his own film, Paul.  But really, he is indicative of the stereotype.  If anyone says they’ve seen someone that didn’t look like they belonged here on Earth, went finger-pointing up a section of the anatomy not commonly known for engaging positive thoughts, and generally dug around in someone’s insides uninvited, it would be similar to the person/thing above.

I’m asking: where did this image come from?  Where did it originate?  Is this the one imprinted in our brains that makes us react when we think we’ve seen something that doesn’t quite belong to our planet?  Is this vision of an alien comforting to us, as in if we see something just like this, we’ll know to run (if we can)?

Will it angry with us?

Will be have the courage to ask why?

Will it accept a box of chocolates and a bouquet of flowers to kiss and make up?

But first, I’d like to know what it is that we did in the first place…



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