Time travel……


Please do not forget to visit my partners in crime and read their contributions:Anu, Ashok, gaelikaa, Ginger, Grannymar, Helen, Judy, Conrad, Maria and Ramana.

How often have we all wished that we could do something improbable? As children we may have wished we could fly or have X-ray vision. I remember someone asking me what I’d do if I had an eye on the end of my finger.  I think I said that I’d use it like a periscope. I won’t tell you what he said he’s do but girls didn’t wear trousers or slacks very often in those days.

This idea of travelling in time seems to have been around for an age, several ages in fact. Seeing the film The Time Machine I was fascinated by the spinning silver discs that played music. Later I was not really a fan of Star Trek, though I enjoyed the conceit of a multi racial crew and the enviable logic of Spock’s mind which from time to time let his human side through the mask.

Where in time would I travel to? Would I be allowed to keep my memories , I wonder? Would I be able to take memories back or forth in time? Would I keep the benefits of my inoculations while travelling through time?

Taking things back  or bringing things back through time has to be a big “No! No!” Even a camera should not be taken back…or forward for that matter. I would not want to risk being burned as a sorcerer or laughed out of town as a primitive.

This brings me to one place and time I would like to visit:

A while back I heard of a device brought up from the wreck of a Greek ship dated to about 100 BC, or possibly a bit later. The device was discovered in 1901 in a wreck off the island of Antikythera.

The purpose of the mechanism seems to have been Astronomical prediction.

Schematic diagram of the mechanism.

Reconstructions of the mechanism have  been made and are on display in various museums but I would love to see the original working as it was meant to be used.

Why, in Europe at least, were mechanisms like this not made again before the 13th Century CE? The secrets were lost….

Just one of those puzzles to which I’d like to find the answer……

A reconstruction of the Antikythera mechanism in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens based on the Derek J. de Solla Price model.

The designer of the reconstruction, Derek de Solla Price, was born “down the road” in the borough in which I live. He was the begetter of the theory of  the exponential growth of science, an idea that occurred to him when he noticed the growth in the Philosophical Transacations of the Royal Society.

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12 Responses to “Time travel……”

  1. Conrad Says:

    We think alike on so many of these subjects. I love the targets of your curiosity. Those would indeed be secrets worth ferreting out …

  2. Maria Says:

    If only you could go back and see that first mechanism for astronimal predictions. In fact, wouldn’t it be fun to pick up Derek de Solla Price somewhere along the time line and take him with you. Now that would really be something. In the meantime, it is wonderful that reproductions exist in museums for those of us who are time travel challenged.

    • magpie11 Says:

      I had never heard of him until I did a bit of research about the mechanism…. and he was a local man!

      Once you get going on this there are all sorts of ideas..

  3. bikehikebabe Says:

    We went to the Astromonical museum in Jaipur, India. Also a clock place with clocks used for navigation in Greenwich, England. (Magpie, you & Ramana know about these places.)

    We have a son who loves old stuff like that. He’s built clocks from kits & fixes people’s watches when he visits. (BTW, He’s the one who swims over to Alcatraz.)
    He built us a clock which keeps going when the electricity goes off. Tom fixed it so it doesn’t chime every 15 minutes.

  4. Grannymar Says:

    The marvel is, that the mechanism was designed and executed without the aid of god Computer!

    • magpie11 Says:

      Ah! but it was a computer in its own right if the ideas of its purpose are correct.

      Where did they get the ideas and skills… apparently Archimedes had a couple of similar machines as well.

  5. Judy Harper Says:

    We all seem to want to go back in time. We seem to be fascinated with seeing the original. Are you interested in Astronomical stuff or just in machinery?

    • Magpie11 Says:

      Both and neither…it’s the knowledge that intrigues me. How could minds come up with that and then lose the knowledge for so long? Also I’d like to know if the rebuild is accurate. If the modern mind is the same as the ancient…it’s hard to explain really.
      We could all have chosen so many things to find out about… Stonehenge is a good one….but you’d have to spend thousands of years visiting it. The pyramids (Conrad) another…
      How about those big animals in the Peruvian (?) desert?

      Oh so much to wonder at…

  6. Rummuser Says:

    BHB, yes I know about both the places and have been to both as well as to the Jantar Mantar in Delhi. If I take off on the Indian system of astrology/astronomy, all of you will fall asleep.

    Magpie, that is indeed very fascinating. Amazing what those old codgers could come up with.

    I would like to go back to see quite what the Stonehenge folks were upto!

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