Yesterday I took a sick day. I always try to post on Thursdays (often very late even by West Coast standards, but Thursday nonetheless). I doubt anyone else even noticed, but it kind of drives me crazy.
Alas, it couldn’t be helped because I have the worst cold of my adult life (and yes, I am probably being a bit of an overly dramatic baby, but I don’t feel well) and though I was not asleep by the time I would normally have been posting (because it’s nearly impossible to sleep when it feels as though your pillow is inside your head), I was mentally exhausted.
You see, the family and I just returned from a holiday visit to the Midwest which included a successful house hunting trip. It also included flights on four different airplanes because the airlines have all gotten together and decided that no one would ever wish to fly direct from Portland to St. Louis. That’s four planes (two each way), in the company of four different sets of fellow travelers, with four different collections of germs, and four opportunities to breathe in the infectious soup of recycled air in close quarters.
And this brings me to my New Year’s Resolution. I’ve decided that in the year 2013 I will learn to teleport. I’m sure I could use to shed a few pounds, be more productive with my time, get more organized, or whatever, but I really think teleportation is where it’s at.
I figure the first step is to determine whether anyone has ever managed to teleport something larger than a subatomic particle. The short answer to that (assuming that you don’t count wizards or Starfleet) is: no. Well, probably anyway. There’s a great conspiracy theory out there that recounts the mysterious 1943 US Navy experiment in which the USS Eldridge allegedly teleported from the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard to Norfolk, Virginia, over 200 miles away. The ship is said to have remained in full view of the men aboard the civilian vessel the SS Andrew Furuseth before disappearing again and returning to Philadelphia. Oh, and it may also have traveled back in time ten seconds.
The teleportation experiment has never been confirmed by the Navy whose official response was something like: “Hey, so you chowder-heads realize that violates the immutable laws of physics, right?” As for the Andrew Furuseth, the Master of the ship denied that the crew observed the appearance and disappearance of the Eldridge. He was contradicted by only one crewmember who was later shown to have not been on the vessel at the time. Of course, ship records indicate that the Andrew Furuseth itself was also not present at Norfolk on the prescribed day so the story really is probably just a bunch of hokey.
Still, teleportation has been on the minds of conspiracy theorists and science fiction writers since at least 1877 when it featured prominently in Edward Page Mitchell’s short story “The Man Without a Body.” Since then, characters have been transferred, leaped, bamfed, jaunted, beamed up, and apparated from place to place, frequently with dire consequences. The most well-known, of course, is the terrible fate of Andre Delambre, the unfortunate scientist who managed to turn himself into a fly, proving that there may be fates worse than developing a head cold.
Actually, the more I look into this whole teleportation thing, the more I think I may need to reconsider. Maybe bilocation would be a better option. But that’s another post…