Monday, August 28, 2006

Air Travel

The weekend is over and it is back to work on this cold and rainy day that feels more like November than August. Whatever happened to global warming? I have been freezing my buns off at the office, and given the fact I don’t have any junk in the trunk to start with, I am somewhat concerned. Will my small bum eventually make my ass look fat in these jeans? I was awake all night just thinking about it. Many things keep me up at night, like air ravel. Not the concerns of the day that we seem to find in the news on a regular basis, but the whole principle of how it all works. I mean, I know who it works, but when I try to from the 3D model in my head, my brain gets overloaded and shuts down and I am forced to watch mindless TV… Like CNN.

Here is my dilemma… if the Earth is turning toward the east at approx 1000 miles an hour, and San Francisco is 5448 miles from Amsterdam, and I am on an airplane heading west at approx 530 mph, why does it take me 11 hours to get there? I know why this happens, the gravity is keeping me in place above the earth, but that also means I am traveling backwards at a slightly slower speed than the planet, so when I land, I haven’t actually gone west at all, just less east. I just can’t get the model in my head to work. I have seriously spent many sleepless nights in bed thinking about this exact topic. Unfortunately, I didn’t really get obsessed by this problem of physics until after my dad, who was in avionics, passed away. This is exactly the type of conversation that would have bonded us closer than anything else.

This next problem arose the first time I crossed the international-date line while traveling from Beijing to San Francisco and according to the clock, I arrived in San Francisco before I had left Beijing. I had traveled back in time. Does that mean that everything that happened on the flight didn’t really happen yet? And the movies I watched I hadn’t yet seen? And, if I were to fly on a plane in the artic circle and keep heading east in a circular fashion, crossing the date line over and over again, how far back in time could I go? Would I also age backwards as well?

It’s more than my little mind can handle… So, yesterday I decided I needed a break from the sciences and went to the movies instead. I went to see “Step Up”, in which my future husband Channing Tatum has a starring role. I can sum him up in 3 words – De-lic-ous. The dancing and music were great and the film ranks right up here with Poseidon in terms of script and acting. I know, I know, it’s all about finding and fulfilling your dream against all odds, blah, blah, blah, yawn. It's enough to give me the dry heaves. We all know what happens after the credits role. He knocks her up, forcing her to quit school, he ends up working at a gas station for minimum wage only to leave her at home alone for extended periods of time while he goes off breakdancing with some hot muscled and slightly corrupted policeman named Johnny. I’ve seen Brokeback Mountain, I know how these things play out.

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