Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Time Flies When You're Reading About Time

I hope you all had a great Labor Day weekend. Mine was excellent, although not terribly productive. But hey, it was a holiday weekend, right? Surely those don't have to be productive.

I did manage to crack a few books as research for my work in progress. At this point, I have to digress and put in yet another plug for libraries. A few weeks ago, I came across a book on amazon.com that I really wanted to look at for my current manuscript. I'd had an idea of someone using insulin in an attempted murder, but I needed some ideas on how this might be done. Lo and behold, I found a book called The Insulin Murders, a historical overview of cases in which insulin was used as a weapon. I really didn't want to spend $30 on it, however, especially when it might not really help, or might not be what I thought. I looked it up in Worldcat and found it was only in about five libraries in the U.S. I hesitated putting in an interlibrary loan request for it where I work since a) I wondered if this would be too much trouble and b) you hate to ask at work for a book about murders and how they're committed. People might start looking at you funny and avoiding you.

Actually, though, our interlibrary loan guru didn't bat an eye. So let me reassure you--interlibrary loan folks have seen it all. Don't hesitate to ask. She also got my book for me within a few days, all the way from Vermont.

Next, I've mentioned being interested in time travel--again, for a story I'm working on. The other day it suddenly occurred to me to wonder if there were any serious scientific books about the possibility of time travel. Turns out there are quite a few. I ordered a couple of them through our library and they came just in time for the long weekend.

So I spent some time over the weekend reading about...time. I discovered one basic fact. The concept of time is a lot bigger than my brain. I think the side of the brain that does physics is completely dormant in me. It may actually give off no measurable brain waves.

I also came away with a sort of awe and wonder of how big our universe is. Turns out, there are more dimensions of space and time out there than we can imagine. And just think, God is not only big enough to imagine it all, He created it all.

I'll probably be telling you more on this subject. It's fascinating stuff. I think. Assuming I understood any of it.

Books I'm reading about time and time travel:

Time Travel in Einstein's Universe: The Physical Possibilities of Travel through Time, by J. Richard Gott III

Enchanted Paths and Magic Words: The Quantum Mind and Time Travel in Science and in Literary Myth, by E. C. Barksdale

What God Knows: Time and the Question of Divine Knowledge, edited by Harry Lee Poe and J. Stanley Mattson