The Night Couple

The Night Couple

Here’s a piece of flash fiction I wrote back in 2018, when the world was a much better place to live, write and not to be concerned by pandemics! The story below was published in the 5th issue of the “Sky Island Journal“, which has then become home for aspiring authors from all over the world. Just drop by their webpage to enjoy inspiring stories (or poetry if that’s your thing!)… Not much to do these times other than to read anyway 🙂


THE NIGHT COUPLE

The night sky extended like a pitch-black blanket embedded with tiny diamonds, giving out bursts of condensed starlight at random intervals. Two figures lay on what seemed to be a small islet, judging by the sound of waves hitting hard on the coasts, leaving the tiny spot in the center almost mute except for some kind of virtually inaudible murmuring.


“I wonder if there are aliens out there,” the young female reflected, still fixated on the night sky, stargazing. She felt the familiar presence on her side, moving closer. The stars twinkled as if they had responded her question before he did.


Thinking she wasn’t being taken seriously, she slid a little away from him; just enough to get his attention. This feeling of strong affection towards him was strange to her; she had never felt like that before.


“I don’t know, but the universe is massive.” His thoughts echoed in her mind. “It would be foolish to think we’re alone.” He snuggled even closer than the first time. She loved being on the same frequency with him, communicating without the need of extensive mouth labor to produce meaningless sounds. He was different.


“What do they look like? How different is their world?” Thoughts were generated all at once in her mind.

“I’m sure they look nothing like you, my queen. You’re unique in the universe.”


Satisfied with his quick response this time, she remained anchored at her spot and stretched her arms as far as they could reach, forming arm-width canals that lead away from her body in the soft sand. It wasn’t long before she noticed the sky looking just a tad brighter.


“We need to be going home soon.” Her eyes were still watching the sky as it started to get even brighter.
He was hoping he would have more time to stay with her, but upon seeing the state of the swiftly illuminating sky, he knew there was very little time indeed. It was almost dawn… Dawns had always scared him.


“We need to go, my queen.” His arm gently grasped hers, the one that had been resting just next to him.


“OK, but we’ll continue our little conversation,” she conveyed. “I like thinking about the universe.”


“My queen.” He was getting alarmed. “We’ll dry out here and die if we wait a little longer. We should head home.”


Disturbing images flowed simultaneously into her mind, along with faint but alarming whispers echoing in her head, coming from deep under. It was a warning call from the others. It was time.
It was getting brighter, and the heat was getting more intense as Kepler-47 C’s double suns started showing their faces.


Finally, the odd couple wrapped their arms around each other—all 16 of them—crawled quickly to the tiny hole where they had emerged, and squeezed through, making their way down towards the ocean floor, their suction cups still glued to each other as they propelled to the hive on the seabed for the day.

THE END


I do not like books or any kind of fiction turning into lame silver screen productions, as the essence of the written work is almost always left out or altered beyond recognition to please the viewers, who seem more and more glamorized by special effects and needless action scenes. Individual imagination has been put to rest, and we are made to watch only the director’s imagination in most cases. So, I gradually began writing fiction that could not be turned into films (as it would be pointless to do so) and this was one of my first trials.

Cheers,

Baris Cansevgisi

The Underwear Trials at the Fourth Place

The Underwear Trials at the Fourth Place

From time to time, I create worlds in short prose… invent lore on the go… bear fiction into life; as without imagination and the labour of the mind, we are just empty vessels stuck in their shells…

What if death was not an end, but just a short pause of eternity?

The flash fiction piece below is not based on real events or has no connection to actual living or deceased persons in our dimension. 🙂

“The Underwear Trials at the Fourth Place” by Baris Cansevgisi

“Edwin Arnolds, 27, died on the morning of August the thirteenth after misdirecting his right foot into the gusset of his boxer shorts, resulting in the entanglement of his toes in the reinforced fabric, causing him to lose balance with the wobbly, single footing and-“

“What’s a gusset?” Leonard asked, straightening up a little forward from the chair, stretching his feet down to touch the floor. He hoped Werner was coming to an end reading the report. These reports were getting more boring each time. “Why did he have to read them aloud?” He sighed.

“…fall by slipping in the bathroom and slam his head into the corner of the bathtub.” Werner concluded. “Blunt force trauma, but believe me the emotional trauma will be much worse. What a way to go!” He punched in some keys into the console right in front of him and a video clip showing Edwin’s last moments started playing on screen. It, indeed, seemed like the man was trying to punch a third opening into his underwear while performing a one-legged ritualistic dance on the slippery floor tiles.

“With a little bit of accuracy, the man could have died in his underwear or most probably not die at all.” Werner let out a hearty laugh.

“Isn’t he way old to be here?” The tip of Leonard’s shoes were barely brushing the floor beneath. He pulled his legs up when he felt a sudden cramp.

“Not necessarily, but it’s rare,” Werner took a deep breath. “I was… I am 25. Hey! You are not making fun of me, are you kid?” He winked despite wearing a grim face.

“No.” Leonard said, sliding out of the chair completely. “I just didn’t see any adults except you; here. Not many girls either. This place seems for young male children, that’s all.”

“Well, you sure sound like an adult when you’re not asking stupid questions.” Werner scratched his head and punched in some more keys to change the screen. A pop up screen titled ‘Course of Action’ appeared above the words: ‘Underwear trials: 7199 successful attempts required to proceed.’.

“Hmmmm… that seems a tad much.” Werner commented as he grabbed a tablet and sprang up from his seat. “Come on kiddo, we should be there.”

Leonard and Werner hurried down a long, uninviting corridor with disturbing bright lights oozing out of the walls and entered a room at the end. The man, whom they watched dying on screen was standing totally naked right in front of them with confusion oozing out of his eyes. He opened his mouth, but no words came out.

“Mr. Arnolds! Welcome to the fourth place!” Werner said, extending his hand out for a handshake.

“Wh- where am I?” Edwin’s voice trembled as he shook Werner’s hand in automation. “Am I-?”

“Dead? Well, yes and no.” Werner replied. “You are momentarily wiped out of existence! You see, people are judged upon death and end up in heaven or hell. And, there are those who have not yet earned a place in heaven or have not sinned enough for hell.”

“I don’t understand. Is this Purgatory, then?”

Werner shook his head. “As I mentioned at the beginning, you’re at the fourth place… it’s for those who get to receive a second chance in life, at least until their final destination is booked before their final demise.”

“Reincarnation!” Edwin shouted in partial disbelief.

Werner turned to Leonard with a sudden burst of laughter. “He’s definitely too old for that!” He winked and turned back to the confused man.

“No… no. You will be continuing your life from where you left off after you are… properly trained not to die in the stupid way you did.”

“Time is different here.” Leonard cut in. “You’ll be back where you were even if it takes you years to-“

“This is ridiculous.” Edwin shouted. “I know how to wear an underwear!”

“Think of it as training for the underwear to be more weary of you!” Werner started laughing senselessly again. He was getting closer and closer to the moment of snapping due to the huge amount of time he spent at the fourth place. He quickly started tapping into his tablet and the embarrassing video clip started playing once more. He turned the device towards Edwin and saw the man’s embarrassment materialize in his posture.

“My foot was wet and the boxer was too elastic…” his voice faded away.

“No need to explain.” Werner patted the man’s shoulder. “We are all in the same boat here.”

“Huh!” Edwin exclaimed. “So, this fourth location is for those who have died because of their lack of underwear wearing skills?”

“Haha!” Werner verbalized his laughter and turned to Leonard once more. “If it were so, your question about not many women being here would have been answered, Leonard!” He patted him on the back.

“I don’t get it,” Edwin knelt down and sat on the floor trying best to cover his overexposed bits.

“You see, women’s undergarments are way too small for their feet to get tangled-” Werner suddenly stopped and his face took a serious look. He shook his head, passed the tablet to Leonard and said:

“You go on. You’ve watched me countless times… you deal with this and I’m going for coffee… the horrible muck we have here until a barista shows up.” He hurried out of the door part sobbing, part laughing.

Leonard punched in a code into the tablet, resulting in a secret compartment in the far wall to open with a click. “It’s called the fourth place,” he corrected Edwin’s previous remark. “Not location.” Then pointed at the cavity in the wall housing a large package inside. “And, that’s for you. Any questions?”

Edwin got up, walked to the compartment, took the package and shook it close to his ear. “What’s in it?” He finally asked.

“7199 pieces of clean underwear for you. That’s the number of attempts it takes to return back to your life… to the time right before you died… with no recollection of the time you spent here.”

“This is still ridiculous,” Edwin mumbled as he checked out a pair of white boxer shorts with purple polka dots. Then, he chucked it away into a corner and turned back to Leonard. “Stupid deaths… no matter how ludicrous they are, the causing action that lead to death are rarely triggered by people themselves… like someone ingesting bug spray to kill the bug, he has priorly swallowed… how can you train not to swallow something so poisonous for a countless times?”

“You can’t,” Leonard smiled. “That’s why the fifth place exists!”

The Aftermath of Immortality

The Aftermath of Immortality

We are born, we age and we die. In-between the two significant milestones of what we call life, we seek meaning to this long-lasting event fantasizing about what follows. Is death really the end? Or is it just the beginning of a huge unknown? 

What if there was no end to life?

Let’s assume for a minute that the humanity has found the secret of immortality and death is suddenly off the table for the old, the sick and the unfortunate who are perished every day in freak accidents. The perks of immortality would probably be in the lines of preventing ageing after a certain age and possibly through implementing rapid cell regeneration into our bodies to sustain a never-ending life. Surely, the ultra-wealthy would benefit from it first, but then it would eventually be available for all just like how newly found cures are applied to everyone after a certain time, probably pissing off the ones who had paid high prices for the privilege in the first years. Let’s say that an idealistic scientist made immortality airborne before releasing it to the atmosphere so everyone got the cure for death whether they liked it or not. It’s bad news for the ones with suicidal tendencies as the torment would now be eternal. But, what would happen to the rest of us, what would be in the store for us?

At first, people, especially the old and the sick, would probably celebrate the newfound immortality just like in Jose Saramago’s novel “Death at Intervals”, but soon joy would leave its place to sorrow as clergymen, morticians, life insurance providers, homicide detectives, contract killers and murder mystery writers become needless in society. The first signs of unemployment would spread to every profession eventually as the population starts to grow and retirement becomes a historical notion.

All sources of our eternal fear would eventually cease to exist amongst us, turning fear into a pleasant experience where nothing with grave outcomes takes place. Young daredevil wannabes will find new ways of entertainment as they jump off skyscrapers, run into burning buildings after setting them alight and dashing across streets riddled with drivers racing each other, filming the whole thing for the sake of more social media interactions just before finding out that it was only death that disappeared, not the pain and the long recovery times. Hospitals will be overflooded as a result and healthcare professionals would probably riot in a passive-aggressive manner.

Religions would be wiped out of existence or at least downsized to mini fan clubs with the last of the persistent fanatics working to earn a passage for heaven slowly vanish. With immortality in play, humanity would become their own micro gods. We don’t think God has a god, do we?

Breakthroughs in science and technology would be more frequent as brilliant inventors and scientists continue to benefit from their life-long experience to put on top of what they had already achieved. Soon, the whole universe would be our backyard to explore as manned spacecraft consisting of immortal astronauts chart course for distant stars right after the colonization of the moon by adrenaline junkies on painkiller meds and oxygen tanks, building habitats without any protective gear. Remember! The space is freezing, but what is frozen, can be thawed, just like how it works for frozen chicken in a microwave oven, to minimize the efficiency of the lunar workforce.

Image Credit: NASA

Exploration would not be limited just to space. Hard to reach places on Earth like the bottom of the Mariana trench or the insides of volcanoes would be thoroughly mapped and probably be opened for tourism, eventually ruining the last natural beauties of our planet. On the bright side, new life forms would be discovered.

Education would transform into simplicity of teaching the very basic stuff like the language and the culture as there would be no need for a vast number of specialists on Earth anymore other than for the ones that went off world for exploration.

Language is dynamic, so it would certainly change a great deal. Some expressions and words like “death”, “deathbed”, “murder”, “suicide”, “homicide”, “coffin”, “deadly”, “survival”, “survival of the fittest”, “natural” and all related vocabulary items would disappear, while others shift in meaning over time like the word “alone” would probably be used to describe “with few people in the vicinity” as skyrocketing population growth rate would make sure of that. The word “execute” would lose one of its prime meanings, making it used only for computer commands. New words to express new feelings would emerge as well as a new tense to talk about the very distant but experienced past.

New housing would certainly be a major issue. Some lakes would be dried and some mountains would be flattened to make new space for housing and most of us (mostly the poor) would have to live in vast overcrowded underground dwellings. Satellite estate agents would emerge either selling spots on space junk in Earth’s orbit, rent lunar homes, or advertise Martian blocks of flats for the rich.

Finally, natural resources would become so scarce that we would have to leave our scorched Earth to look for a new home across the galaxy. Luckily, being immortal opens up a large number of options that would have never been possible in history. But, some planet where we wouldn’t have to recycle our pee into drinking water would be swell. Not that we would die of thirst or hunger for that matter, but because how it would make us constantly feel. On the bright side, obesity would be gone forever.

The last thoughts of anyone watching the Earth get smaller from the spaceship monitors would be to try to find a cure to undo the damage of not being able to die. Without and end, life is not so precious after all!

Centuries later, we would have the chance to closely observe how human evolution takes place as we would have lighter bodies having to roam in less gravity for a prolonged time. The ones that couldn’t find a suitable planet to settle would have lighter skin colours and their eyes would probably lose sensitivity to light for better vision. In the end, we would lose our ability to reproduce. Why have tiny versions of ourselves to transfer our experience when we could live forever? Never needing to lactate ever again, female breasts would flatten and disappear, leaving behind only the nipples, very similar to how men are now.  

Doesn’t the word “Immortal” sound much better with more appropriate punctuation and spacing, as in “I’m mortal”?

Dumbing the Herd

Dumbing the Herd

We search for true love and eternal bliss all our lives…

We seek revenge to give us closure when we are wronged…

We try to find comfort in little pleasures amongst the agonies of life…

In short, we are always in pursuit of what is missing in us… what we lack… what we long for…

and sadly…

over the past few decades we have been searching for extraterrestrial “intelligence“, a concept which is becoming more and more alien to us as we advance in science and technology. Weirdly enough, we are becoming dumber as we become scientifically superior, perhaps just because intelligence is no more a prerequisite for survival for us like it used to be throughout our history.

(SETI does the dishes! But, why are they all facing just one (the same) direction? What if all the aliens are behind the hills at the back?)

Contemporary education has become all about implementing brand new methods of spoon-feeding, preparing our children for the future like thoughtless robotic entities. In response, the younger generation is becoming critical at thinking whereas they should be encouraged for the same concept minus the invading preposition. Possessing sponge-like, egg-shelled minds equipped with distinctive skill sets, each valuable asset is being directed into a single path of development, where fish are expected to climb trees and lions to fly. In this system, the monkey excels and becomes our future: marking the next back-step in our evolution.

(It’s not the teacher… It’s the system that hates us!)

Countries aren’t ruled just by governments anymore! They are merely managed in cooperation with the mainstream media. They show us what they believe, not what actually happens. Reporters do the thinking for us and distort the facts upon their liking. In the end, presented with only one option, we are lead to think we are free in believing what we want. Apart from the global or domestic news, we often come across news articles about what certain celebrities did on certain occasions. Our only strength called curiosity is turned into a weakness, as we start wondering which celebrity ate where or who had been dating who in a world where we shouldn’t really care. Usually the dumbest people are presented as role models and we may find ourselves competing for a life of idiocy. Sadly, our closest friends and family often become micro representatives of the mainstream media, acting as catalysts ready to socially outcast us if we are not informed enough on such vital(!) matters.

(It’s not the “what” that matters. It’s the “how”!)

Lastly, a massive blow comes to our intelligence in the entertainment industry; the silver screen, literature, computer, console or mobile games, and social media.

In blockbuster movies, we are easily awed by flashy visual effects and feel blissful by our celebrity crush just appearing in badly written, plot hole infested scripts with no content. How else could we justify the logic of a TV series plot involving a time travel adventure where the world was hit by a disaster 25 years ago, but our heroes choose to go 17 years back in hopes of preventing the global demise. But, who cares as long as the time machine flashes with colourful headlights, makes a weird buzzing sound (when even with today’s technology, my vacuum cleaner is dumb (silent)) and a hot actor is in the lead, saving the world. Or just like in the movie, set more or less 200 years later, the advancement in technology is represented by modified tanning beds that can cure any disease. Everything else is as it is today. What futuristic vision!

(So, you have terminal cancer, eh? 3 days in bed and you’ll be as good as new!)

In bestselling sci-fi novels, we may encounter a distinctively unimaginable(!) alien race from the tenth dimension, complete with humanoid limbs as their fingers linger on the keyboards and humanly actions and behaviours like wiping the sweat from the forehead. Oh boy, they are purely evil, too. What more could do the readers want, as long as they are not mentally challenged and have to think. Seriously, can you guess the title of this best-seller? (I doubt the picture below will give you a hint though.)

(I always felt alien to this world. But, now I might have solid proof: I have fingers and sweat! I am sometimes evil, too.)

The rise of the smart phones was actually the beginning of the downfall of our intelligence. We started relying on them to remember phone numbers (making no more effort in getting use of our memorisation skills), find our way when we get lost (paying no more attention to our surroundings) and post meaningless selfies online to get appreciation from strangers whom we never met (where fake smiles surpassed intelligent dialogues). We also began using them for quality entertainment(!), like engaging with unintelligent pay-to-play games which are falsely advertised and claimed as nearly impossible to beat games. Moreover, players are expected to spend a good deal of money on a regular basis if they want to advance in the game, like hurrying the game clock to achieve a result that they would otherwise get for free in an hour or so. Rushing everything in games and life, gives us much less time to think about the consequences of our actions.

(These two games above look exactly the same. In reality, they are, too! They are both Candy Crush games that have nothing to do with looting or RPG. Besides, how can anyone fail in the examples above?)

Most popular YouTube channels in this era are either the ones that lack original content such as cut-and-paste compilation videos with horrible background music or the ones that follow the ordinary everyday life of celebrity wannabes talking nonsense. As more and more people are satisfied with the end results, no creator has to worry about making more clever and engaging content.

It is true that we have started living in a fast-forward pace, where everything has become easily accessible and we have less time to do any real thinking. But, still…

Why is dumbness being promoted so much?

When what we want is dictated by others and we have the illusion of being happy, we just stop caring and we become much easier to please, thus to be controlled.

P.S: I am sure if this article were a piece on any celebrity, it would get at least twice the engagement!

(I just love how people can be stupid and self-confident at the same time!)
(Yes, why?)

Communicating with visitors from outer space: The uncanny resemblance of the Unfamiliar Familiarity…

Communicating with visitors from outer space: The uncanny resemblance of the Unfamiliar Familiarity…

We are born… totally unaware of the world around us; an alien world…
We learn crying first… that’s our first attempt in communication… or attention seeking until we find more effective ways…
Then, we learn to stand on our knees, crawl and finally walk…
In the end, we learn to speak as we complete the totally helpless phase of our infancy. The comms link is finally online…

It takes us years to get familiar with our home world and its humanoid inhabitants. Yet, we are never fully familiar towards other life forms on our planet…

Nobody has communicated with a chicken…
Nobody knows how a potted sunflower truly feels when neglected too long…
Nobody has ever set their eyes upon the creatures living in the deepest parts of our oceans…
Nobody has tried to make a pact with deadly viruses for them not to make us sick… oh wait! Most of us aren’t even aware that viruses aren’t living organisms… but we try to kill these lifeless but contagious pieces of code anyway.

We still know only bits and pieces about the other life forms we coexist with, on our shared planet…

Yet, we seek intelligent life forms in deep space and still believe we can come to terms with these aliens through diplomacy once we find them and form an inter-galactic federation to rule the galaxy peacefully altogether… or crush the destructive, evil ones…

human-alien-02

Before elaborating more on the ways to communicate with aliens, let’s take a short trip into some popular alien encounter plots in the sci-fi world:

A spaceship either makes its way to one of the largest cities in the world, or just crash lands in the suburbs where a small town lies nearby. The aliens’ agenda is always the same wherever they land though: to destroy us or strip our planet off its valuable resources. Then the war for our planet commences…

We beat them 9 out of 10 times. Perhaps because they look like us somehow… an uncanny resemblance of the unfamiliar familiarity: they’re either off-color humanoids, complete with all the limbs etc. Or some variation of earthly creatures like giant bugs or non-aquatic octopuses.

This physical familiarity must be the reason we believe we can communicate so easily with them.

So, let’s make it easier for the mankind and imagine the first aliens we encounter are not only humanoid in form, but also a nearly exact copy of our image. But even then… what makes us think we can understand each other? How easily can we communicate with other people? Can we even completely understand our fellow earthlings?

human-alien
… in a world where,

… men can’t truly understand women…
… archaeologists can’t decipher most ancient writing forms… (such as the Rongorongo of Easter Island)…
… each Earth culture has its own beliefs and values…(even gestures)…

Still not convinced?

Try explaining snowflakes to a young Masai warrior…

or

what an ocean is to someone who has lived in a landlocked country all their life…

How the Collective Unconscious can Eradicate a Pandemic

How the Collective Unconscious can Eradicate a Pandemic

With the Corona Virus pandemic starting to manipulate our old way of living in terms of social distancing, most of us have confined ourselves in our homes and we have become more dreamers than ever; day-dreaming when the sun is up and plain old dreaming when darkness sets in after we finally get to sleep.

Without being fully aware, we have been dreaming for centuries for various reasons, such as self-healing, entertainment, inspiration and most importantly problem-solving as our minds keep working on a problem in the background while we’re shutting off from the material world.

dreams-problem solving

Here’s a true story about how the needle in a sewing machine was invented after a dream showed Elias Howe, the inventor, how placing a hole on the tip of the needle could solve his automated stitching problem that made the machine useless as the thread incapacitated the needle by winding around it after a short while. In Elias Howe’s dream, he was being surrounded by a tribe of fierce cannibals, poking him with the tips of their spears and… weirdly enough, all the spear tips had small holes in them!

The power of dreams in problem-solving and creativity can be seen in other cases as well, like Mendeleev’s precise categorization of periodic elements, or Einstein’s theory of relativity, which were all inspired by dreams.

So, personal problems can be tackled by each relevant person in their dreams, but how about global problems such as famine, global warming, deforestation, traffic, deadly pandemics?

Do we encounter them in our “personal” dreams?

I believe the answer is “yes”, it’s just that our individual minds are too weak to solve any of the above… unless we work together. It’s a fact that collaboration is most effective in problem solving regardless of being in a dream or not.

The idea of “unconscious collaboration” was first noted by me after watching a Japanese anime series (I remember it as “Stein’s Gate”, but might be mistaken), where a man was telling a friend’s child to do her homework just before going to bed if she wanted to do it more easily. With most of the kids having already done their homework, he said she would be able to tap into the collective unconscious and spend less time and effort to finish it.

And yesterday, I had a weird dream that got me thinking about the coronavirus, the collective unconscious, dream problem-solving, supercomputers and the true potential of our brains! and perhaps aliens!

Here’s my theory!

Think of our brains as individual super-computers

And the collective unconscious as a network database

Dreams as a hub to connect into the network

The Corona Virus as the problem in hand…

Every seemingly unimportant detail logged into the database

Some discarded… some marked as “important”

Until a solution presents itself to an able-minded individual…

network-of-dreamers

This “stream of unconsciousness” kept me thinking how our minds are like supercomputers when we are dreaming. Think about it;

* The human mind works like a computer’s RAM, tackling a problem in dreams until we wake up and have no memory of the dream… just like how RAM is wiped clean after a computer shutdown!

* RAM is computer memory, while REM is our dream memory! See, how similar they are in terms of “lexicality”. (I’m definitely overthinking here :))

* SETI has been using computers all around the world on a voluntary basis, in aid to seek extraterrestrial life with focus on “the more the better”!

* Whether it’s the Corona Virus or a computer virus, viruses are bad and they infect.

* And all computers have users…

Dream on!

8 Ways of time travel without a decent time machine…

8 Ways of time travel without a decent time machine…

 

Everyone who knows me knows how I am obsessed with time travel… and those who don’t – will acknowledge it… in time. By reading this little blog post, you will have the secret of time travel without a decent time machine or no machine at all. Proceed with extreme caution as secrets or time itself are not things to meddle with.

Here are the methods:

If you possess an unstable working prototype of a time machine:

  1. Wear appropriate clothes for your desired destination in time, pee until your bladder dries out, step into the machine, sit, set the desired time and pull the lever or hold and press the small red button by the far end of the console. That’s it!
  2. Same steps as described above… you just pee first, then dress up!

If you DO NOT have a time machine:

   1. The Musical Method: If you wish to go to the past, select a year and google the top 100 in that year’s billboards. Close your eyes and play each song starting from the bottom to the top of the list. Hum along if you know the songs! If your intention is to travel into the near future, the same method can help! Just gather up all the cutlery in the house, click on your phone’s voice recorder, and start dropping them one by one onto the kitchen floor. When each piece lands, say what you’ve just seen like “A fork fell down” or “I dropped a knife” in an untrained, monotonous tone (These are essential as they will make up the lyrics). When all the cutlery has been dropped, stop the recorder, plug earphones into your phone, close your eyes, start playing the audio and enjoy!

wine-glass-and-red-flowers-fall-on-the-floor-fragments

Too bad music isn’t in its golden years anymore and it’s getting worse. Just compare 60’s, 70’s or even 80’s, 90’s music to the hit songs in our present.

2. The Photo Effect: Just open your photo album (printed photos work best) and inspect each photo in full detail. Think about how old you were, where you were and who you were with. Then, focus on the tiny details in the background, are the surroundings the same? or have they changed? As you go down the memory lane, you will realize that you made a slight jump to the past. If you do not have a photo album, or want to time travel to places you’ve never been, enter a desired year into your favorite search engine’s search box, click on “images” and there… you have millions of photos to start with. If you wish to time travel into the future, enter the word “mugshots” into a search engine’s search box and enjoy (They look like selfies, don’t they?)

Now, 9 out of every 10 photos seem to be selfies and most of them do not even include faces as wholes. Mostly, they are close-ups of an eye here and a mouth there!

 3. The Photoshop Dilemma: A very similar method to the one above, but this one requires some photo-shopping skills. Travelling to the past? Find a suitable photo of yourself or have a friend take it on the spot and google for a historical background. Once you find it, just merge the two pictures and presto! You are in a trench in World War II. Going to the future? Find a CGI background using the above method and there you are, picking up alien flowers on Mars!

How-to-change-background-in-photoshop-tutorial-7

 4.  Conundrum of Objects: Find a flea market in your town. Go there preferably on foot. Once you are there, explore each stall in detail, pick up objects, feel their energy. Each object has its own “itstory” (We can’t call it “history”, can we?). Take a deep breath, sniff the air of antiquity. Buy something like an old cassette even if you don’t own a player for it. At least you are in contact with something out of your time. For the future, use your search engine skills to find weird and futuristic object photos. Use a 3D printer, to solidify them.

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5. Dream: One of the best ways to travel back or forward in time! Throughout the day, just think about a time and a place and focus on it in your coffee breaks. Your subconscious will get the message. When it’s bedtime, close your eyes and start focusing on what you’ve been focusing on all day. Sleep! When you wake up, you’ll find yourself with pleasant memories (if you can remember your dreams), check the time and discover that you’ve jumped at least a couple of hours forward in time. In some cases, you’ll have -what is seems like- hours of dreaming, but it has only been half-an hour at most. Try lucid dreaming for the best experience…

6. Read: Fortunately, books are abundant nowadays. (Even I, have some free books on the market). If you are a history enthusiast, find a historical novel and get to reading. If you are a sci-fi fan like me, choose an appropriate novel and start reading. In both cases, you’ll be mesmerized into the setting if the book is any good. Relate yourself to any character in the book to maximize the fun!

7. Write: Just like reading, but with a huge advantage! By writing, you create time itself in your stories. You can even find true love in the past or the future, which you have been searching for so long in the present.

8. Watch: Too lazy to read or write? Then, start going through your movie collection. Although stripped off the best parts, most good books are made into films. And strangely enough, this method requires peeing first (as you don’t want an interruption like a bathroom break in the middle of the film), sitting and pressing a button. Anyway, a surround system is a huge plus.

Archaeology of the Present

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Imagine our current civilization ended up in flames; totally wiped out… a few remaining survivors of the human kind (possibly stripped of all advanced technological knowledge and know-how) started all over from scratch.
In a millennium, every advancement is already long forgotten and our civilization at present is regarded as an ancient one, pretty much like ancient Egypt in our era.
The new civilization follows more or less a similar path as ours to flourish. However, some things have never been invented or some ideas have never been thought of. At least, they invent the notion of archaeology; digging up the past (and trying to uncover our secrets).
Let’s do a thought experiment…
It’s the year 2116; a thousand years from now and the future archaeologists uncover the following:
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1. The personal library of a sci-fi enthusiast, which survived a millennium in a nuclear shelter/bunker. All the books that survived are works of fiction…about intergalactic wars, time travel, aliens, etc… and after decades of hard work, they are able to crack the code of our language. What would they think? Would they regard them as works of fiction or consider them as ancient history? We seem to regard every written record of ancient civilizations as real…
2. An email message printed on a browned out paper (actually the paper browned out much later :), containing letters of the alphabet as well as characters like @,#,_,&,* and :). (From the same library mentioned above) Would they combine these symbols into our ancient language and overthink about their function?
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3. A dozen autographed baseball bats by some of the baseball idols of our era dug out from the ruins of a sports shop. Luckily, the UV coating on the bats preserved the signatures from smearing out through ages. What would a baseball bat suggest to a culture who has not invented the concept of sports (for entertainment)? Perhaps, a primitive weapon of war; inscribed with an ancient god’s name to channel divine power to the wielder? How about the sports shop? Would the future archaeologists be happy that they unearthed an ancient armory?
4. A huge, curvy water slide in an abandoned amusement park: An aqueduct?
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5  A bowling ball… Let me be more specific: A size 14, shiny, purple bowling ball. Hmmm… What are the three holes for? For fingers? But why three? Would they think that ancient humans had two less fingers? Oh wait! That’s how we depict some aliens!!!
The moral of this article?
No matter what your intentions are (when you invent or create something), you will most likely to be misunderstood …

How long is time?

A second, a minute, an hour, a day, a week, a month or a year…are some of the time related vocabulary invented by us; people, trying to have a global standard in measuring time. It’s a good thing that we had the movement of the sun to base our newest concept on or else we would be timeless in a maelstrom of confusion.

But!

Is each unit of time mentioned above, really the same in length for everyone or are they subjective?

A minute feels like eternity at your first kiss …

Perhaps, we feel that way because 1 minute is 60 seconds…and 60 is more than 1… regardless of the word that follows it.

A minute can also feel much shorter than a millisecond when you’re standing by the deathbed of a loved one.

The same logic can be applied here as 1 minute can be 0.0166666667 hours which is a tiny fraction of a whole.

The moral?

No matter how long it is…a minute is never sufficient.

Men are from Mars.Women, too

No, this article has nothing to do with intersexual relationships. The title is quite literal and if you were hoping to read about relationship secrets, I suggest you hit the back button on your browser and google it using the key words provided above.

This article is all about “panspermia” or the theory that our home planet wasn’t the planet Earth but our building blocks hitched a ride on an asteroid or something and ended up here. 

As I’m not a scientifically inclined being (although I write sci-fi) I will not write about how a planet like Mars was suitable to support life billions of years ago or that it had water at some time along with a decent atmosphere. You can Google these up to satisfy your curiosity. My reasons are totally different and less scientific. Here’s my list of reasons ranking from more credible to totally absurd:

1. The feeling of not belonging, (most people I know have this); or feeling totally alien to Earth: Does the phrase “I’m not from this world” sound familiar? 

2. Getting a suntan and even hurting after prolonged exposure to the sun: Perhaps our bodies have always been accustomed to cooler climates where the sun wouldn’t have such effects on our bodies (like Mars). No other animal on Earth ever complains about sensitive skin. 

3. We are fragile beings suspectible to all kinds of diseases. It’s like the whole planet is trying to wipe us out. We suffer from all kinds of diseases and illnesses from deadly ones to common cold. Common cold? We get sick so easily.

4. Apart from aquatic animals, no other mammals are fur-free like us. We are the odd one out unless all the other animals aren’t the ones native to this world. 

5. Even as newborn babies we are quite defenseless upon birth and have to be constantly taken care of while all the other animals in the animal kingdom adapt to their surroundings in little or no time. Maybe we give birth to our off springs before they are completely developed in the womb and kind of forced out early due to a stronger gravitational force (different from what we were accustomed to)

6. Our constant awe towards stars and space: Space is mostly dark matter, or emptiness yet we are charmed with it everytime we look at the night skies. 

7. All religions have the notion of afterlife and other worlds (heaven and hell?) Be good throughout your life and your reward is heaven or perhaps returning to your home planet in some form?

8. We can’t live in peace with the nature. We are constantly trying to terraform the Earth by annihilating nature and building up comfort zones of concrete, maybe trying to make it feel like the barren lands of rocky Mars?

9. The nomadic gene within: Our desire to travel long distances to get away what we call home and to pursue happiness in remote locations in the name of tourism. 

10. The color connection: Our blood is red so is the Martian soil. 

11. Some people have an unexplainable affection towards Bruno Mars. 

I’m not expecting you to believe every word I wrote. However, I’m expecting you to look at the sky tonight and give it a moment of thought…