Page 21 - The 'X' Chronciles Newspaper - June / July 2018 Edition
P. 21

10 Things Science Fiction Got Wrong                                                                                    21





                10 THINGS THAT

          SCIENCE FICTION GOT

                         WRONG



                  Continued from Page 20


          8. TIME TRAVEL
          Got an itch to spend time in Arthurian England?
          Or perhaps Gettysburg during the Civil  War?
          The same relativistic principles that keep us
          from going faster than light also keep us from
          traveling backward in time and messing with the
          past. It’s possible to slow down time - the closer
          you get  to the speed of light, the slower time
          moves for you relative to your original frame of
          reference - but to get the clock spinning in the
          other direction would require you to go faster
          than light, and you can’t do that. Again, there are
          theoretical loopholes that could allow it -
          wormholes, actually, which are “tunnels” in the
          fabric of space-time that could possibly allow
          travel back in time. But once again, keeping
          these wormholes open would require exotic
          matter with negative energy. Got any? Neither   SECRET INGREDIENTS                             artificial fireplace logs.  The composite quick-
          do we.                                                                                         burn material contains peanut shells and skins,
                                                                                                         which burn and become airborne in the smoke,
          9.  THE PLANETARY GRAVITY                      Ingredient: Sunscreen                           and then can be inhaled.
                                                         Found in: Salad dressings
          SCAM
                                                         Explanation: Burger King’s Fat Free Ranch
          Everywhere you go in science fiction, people are                                               Ingredient: Beaver secretions
                                                         Dressing and Wendy’s Low Fat Honey Mustard
          walking around like they weigh just what they                                                  Found in: Ice cream
                                                         Dressing both contain titanium dioxide. It has
          do on Earth. Chances of that happening in the                                                  Explanation: The male North American beaver
                                                         several commercial uses: In salad dressings it’s
          real universe? Slim.Consider our own solar                                                     marks its territory by urinating on things. Along
                                                         used to create an appetizing, creamy-white
          system. On Mars, a 180-pound man would                                                         with the urine, it secretes a liquid called
                                                         color; in beauty products, it’s used as a
          weigh 70 pounds; on Jupiter, 424 pounds (not   sunblock.                                       castoreum, which gives off a sweet scent.
          that you can walk on Jupiter, which has no solid                                               Castoreum also enhances the intensity of vanilla
          surface). That man on the moon? Just 30 pounds.                                                flavor, which is why the extract made in the
                                                         Ingredient: Pepper juice
          The man’s mass is the same, it’s just that                                                     beaver’s anal glands, is used to flavor vanilla ice
                                                         Found in: Health care products
          different planets have different gravitational                                                 cream. (It’s not listed in the ingredients - it’s one
                                                         Explanation: Oleoresin capsicum is the active
          pulls. The idea that all the planets that humans                                               of the “natural flavors.”)  Trappers harvest the
                                                         ingredient in pepper spray - when you spray the
          might visit would exactly match Earth’s own                                                    scent glands and sell them to additive
                                                         stuff in a bad guy’s eyes, oleoresin capsicum is
          gravitational profile is a little much.  As is,                                                companies.
                                                         what makes the eyes burn, swell, and redden.
          alternately, the idea that all alien creatures would
                                                         The same ingredient is present in personal
          be as comfortable in our gravitational field as we  products that create a warming sensation to let  Ingredient: Animal fat
          are.                                                                                           Found in: Those ubiquitous thin plastic
                                                         you know they’re working, like pain and itch    shopping bags
                                                         creams.
          10.  THE PLANETARY SAMENESS                                                                    Explanation:  Plastic grocery bags are
                                                                                                         manufactured with an innate slipping agent to
          PRINCIPLES                                     Ingredient: Sheep oil
          The desert planet of Tatooine. The ice planet of  Found in: Multivitamin tablets               reduce friction, allowing the bags to be grabbed
                                                                                                         easily and opened without sticking to each other
          Hoth. The jungle planet of Dagobah. What do all  Explanation: If you take a multivitamin       or themselves.   What makes the best slipping
          these planets have in common? One planetary-   supplement that contains  Vitamin D3 - you’re   agent? Animal fat.
          wide ecosystem. Which isn’t too likely. Our own  also consuming a by product of wool.  The
          planet has varying zones and ecological areas:  vitamin   contains    a    chemical    called  Ingredient: Hair remover
          desert, tundra, jungle, and so on; other planets in  cholecalciferol, a derivative of lanolin, a waxy          McGriddle     sandwiches    at
          the system also show marked zones of varying   oil that is extracted from sheep's’ wool.       Found     in:
                                                                                                         McDonald’s.
          atmospheric and weather patterns. Mars has ice
                                                                                                         Explanation:  Both, the maple syrup-flavored
          caps as (relatively) temperate zones; Jupiter has  Ingredient: Insect attractant               “griddle cakes” and the egg patty of this
          distinct weather systems based in different areas  Found in: McDonald’s cilantro-lime and orange  breakfast sandwich contain  sodium acid
          on its globe. The planets that show a sameness  glaze dressings                                pyrophosphate. Generally regarded as safe by
          are the ones we couldn’t live on. Venus is all  Explanation: These salad dressings and         the FDA, it’s used to maintain color and
          desert, but that’s because a runaway greenhouse  sandwich glazes contain  propylene glycol     moisture in protein-heavy products (lie eggs)
          effect makes it hot enough to melt lead. Pluto is  alginate. It’s considered safe for human    and acts as a cheap alternative to yeast in
          all ice, but it’s so far away from the Sun that its  consumption in small doses...but it’s illegal to  manufactured baked goods: Coupled with
          atmosphere freezes for most of its orbit. There  use in cat food, because the FDA doesn’t think  baking soda, it makes bread rise. Elsewhere,
          may well be purely desert or jungle planets, but  it’s safe for cats. Propylene glycol is also used as  sodium acid pyrophosphate aids the removal of
          most planets we’d want to live on would        an agent in bug traps because ti both attracts and  hair, dandruff, and feathers in hog and poultry
          probably be ab;e to accommodate both. []       traps beetles.
                                                                                                         processing. It’s also,an effective stain remover,
             Looking for Real “Reality” Radio?                                                           particularly when applied to leather goods. []
                                                         Ingredients: Nuts
                        Look No More!
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                     SimulRadio Is Here!                 Explanation: If you have a peanut allergy, you
                    www.SimulRadio.com                   might want to stay away from light-and-burn            www.simulradio.com
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