Saturday, August 25, 2012

Awkward Twister

Just got back from a great camp-out with my YSA ward (Young Single Adults) and we had a blast. We went up by Park City and camped at Affleck Park. Some of the group got there earlier in the day and went out on the boats at Jordanelle Reservoir and some of the group (I was among this portion) got there just before dinner... I would have taken pictures but my phone decided to go to camera mode for who knows how long and in camera mode it doesn't turn off.... -.- ugh. It died. Whatever.

After dinner we had a nice time trying to set up our tents all over the place. There was a lot of tall grass and lumpy ground and the first spot my little group picked had really hard ground and the stakes wouldn't go in which created lots of other problems, well mostly just one other problem, but it was a kind of big one.. the tent wouldn't stay up. Yeah, it was one of those kinds that sort of uses tension as a tool for its stability. Crazy, but whatever, what do you expect? It was designed by people that use math and stuff. I want to buy a tent designed by someone who goes camping. They make them, and they are flawless, and they are also expensive.. hmm, maybe I'll just go camping in my back yard where the ground is soft enough for cheaply designed plastic stakes. Yay!! Hahaha!

Anyway, after that catastrophe was traversed we had a lovely devotional and the Bishopric shared their thoughts and impressions about a talk given by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland. They also shared some touching personal experiences with us and let us ask them questions about themselves or scripture or whatever we wanted. After a couple very personal and heavy topics I asked what his favorite flavor of ice cream was... He said something like butter pecan caramel swirl.. I just remember thinking, "dang! he answered that fast, this man likes ice cream!" We ended with a prayer and then I went to get a few... items from the car.

One new game I had never played before was called: Awkward Twister. In this game you must stand in a circle to begin, and one person starts by moving one of their feet to touch one of the feet of the person next to them. Then that person must move the foot that was touched without moving their other foot beyond pivoting, or touching the ground with anything but their feet, to touch one of the feet of the next person and so on, and so on. At first, that doesn't sound too hard, or very awkward, but given a couple of times around and people are starting to look funny due to whichever foot they have had to move and depending on what foot was available for them to touch. It starts getting funny when people are all tangled up in each other and people are holding on to whomever they can get their hands on to keep from falling. But, here's the thing, if you ever say the word "Awkward" as in "oh, man this is getting awkward!" you are out, and are immediately removed from play, and if you are in the middle, twisted in between two or three people that can be ugly ;) but very funny. We played a couple really epic rounds where we were feeling like working together and we got pretty intense. Some people were getting far apart, while others were being twisted together and one guy had to stretch all the way through the cluster to reach the guy's foot he had to go for on the other side. It was amazing. There was a ton of fun to be had and lots of people I probably wouldn't have been exposed to meeting were it not for an activity like this. After such an ice breaking game, I was pretty much friends with all of the participants.

We got some sleep and woke up the next morning ready for more boating! Well, some of us were ready, a bunch of us were bums and took forever to get up and going... oh well. After a strangely disjointed breakfast where only one thing was ready at a time and subsequently devoured before all had a chance to partake of each, we set out to Jordanelle and got our game faces on. There was some kind of "Earth Days" thing going on so they almost made us pay twice per car, but I guess people figured a way around this, we just stayed behind the Bishop's boat, and they let us go. Awesome.

We had a great time boating and getting to know each other better. I wish I had pics of anything but all pictures in this post were taken by Brad Marshall.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Wormholes and Time Dilation Fields

I am sort of a geek. Or perhaps a nerd... maybe it is that I am nerdy about certain things... The words are basically interchangeable, but the exact meaning of each is contextual in most settings.

Whatever. Anyway, I like the Stargate TV shows: Stargate SG-1, Stargate Atlantis, Stargate Universe.

I also like the Chronicles of Narnia books: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, The Horse and His Boy, The Magician's Nephew, and The Last Battle. They are great books and if you haven't read them, I would recommend you do that soon.

I have recently been re-watching the Stargate Atlantis series and it got me thinking that the way the Narnia stories work would match up nicely with some actual scientific theories that drive the Stargate stories. Briefly, if you are unfamiliar with Stargate, you should remedy that ;) but the SG-1 series that ran for ten years did a lot to establish the mythology of the whole story, as would probably happen... over ten years... The Stargate is an interplanetary traveling device that allows you to step from one world to another almost instantaneously through a wormhole. Occasionally, outside circumstances affect the operation of the Stargate, causing energy feedback, or time dilation, or something crazy like that. So let's look at one of them: they come across time dilation, which is when one position in space and time is moving at a different rate than another due to some influence like a black hole. When someone is inside the field time passes more quickly, or more slowly than outside the field. This presents problems or opportunities depending on the situation as it gives entities on the other side of the threshold either and advantage or limitation regarding the differences in the passage of time. One is slowed down and the other is relatively much faster so the faster one can get much more done while the slower one does almost nothing. To each, time is moving normally and one wouldn't really notice anything special, but if you were on the outside looking in, you would see people and things in suspended animation so to speak.

That's kind of what happens in the Narnia stories, sort of..

~Narnia Spoilers below. If you want to read the books and don't know the story, go read those, and stop reading this~

In Narnia as the children go through the wardrobe they live out a good portion of their lives but then, after reigning as kings and queens, they find their way back into their own original time line by returning through the wardrobe. On this side of the wardrobe almost no time has passed and they are once again children, with all the memories and knowledge of their Narnian existence. Later, they go back (in another book from the first) and while they have memories of their time there they had become more like their childhood selves and had forgotten how they ought to act. They struggle with the memories of what they once were while they are currently less than that. Each time the spend time in Narnia next to no time passes in the "real" world (ah, but which world is more real?). Pretty crazy stuff.

I don't remember all of the correlations I had thought of when I first started thinking about this. I can't type fast enough. But I remember that in stargate they depict the wormhole's event horizon as a sort of vertical puddle of water, but theoretical physics tends more to the idea that because two points of space are basically now touching each other, as you looked through the event horizon of the wormhole you would simply see the other side of your journey. You would see the destination as though it were but a few steps away, when the point may in fact be light-years from where you start. That is what happens when Lucy first goes through the wardrobe, she starts in and as she pushes through the coats suddenly she is in a forest pushing past the low branches of evergreens.

Anyway, I thought it was pretty cool in my brain.