This is the third in a series of blogs chronicling an expedition into 'space' with Jack Pynesapp and his granddaughter Red. You may want to read these in the proper order by skipping to episode 1: [ click here ]
The 'journey' Continues.
It was a couple more weeks before I saw Red again. She and her mom - my daughter-in-law - were shopping and they wanted to show grandma what bargains they'd found. After some time, Red sneaked away and found me in my workshop.
"Hi, Grandpa! Have you thought of an experiment yet? "
"Oh, hi Red. It's great to see you, too! And yes I'm fine - thanks for asking."; I kidded.
"Come on grandpa. Seriously, have you thought about our project or not?"
" As a matter of fact, I have."
" That's good because I haven't got a thing."
"You don't? I'm surprised to hear that."
"I'm sorry, grandpa, I guess I didn't finish my home work."
"I was supposed to come up with some ideas or suggestions or something." she said downheartedly.
"Red, don't be silly. There's no homework here." I laughed.
She seemed to perk up a little with this.
I continued; "This isn't school. We're just talking and thinking and letting our minds roam a little bit. If anything, this is anti-school." And right away I wondered if I should have said that.
But Red picked up on my thought. "Like brainstorming! We do that in school all the time, Grandpa."
"Yes, exactly like brainstorming." I said; relieved because she let me off the hook. I don't want to butt heads with the institution of school. And I don't want to give Red any reason to discount the value of what they are doing at school - any more than she might already have, that is.
"Anyway," I continued "the only assignment you ever have with me is to come and visit me and bring along your most excellent brain so we can 'storm' together."
"Oh, alright, grandpa. I can do that." she said with a playful grin. I think I embarrassed her a little because I noticed a little flush coming to her cheeks.
"So," she continued brightly; "what experiment have you come up with?"
As I cleaned the oil from my hands, I explained; "What I'm thinking about is not so much an experiment as it is another walk."
"Okay, I'll bite, grandpa. Where to?"
"Let's walk back over to that shed in the back yard."
"We've already done this, Grandpa .. "; She said skeptically; ".. and it didn't prove anything."
"Well, maybe. But this time could be different."; I say, slyly.
As we started walking around the house and towards the shed, I continued; "Remember we were talking about multiple universes and how they might all fit. And then you said 'fit what?'"
She laughed; "Yeah, that blew your mind, didn't it."
"It did .."; I admitted; ".. for a while.".
By now we had walked to about 20 feet from the shed and I said; "Let's stop here."
"Notice that nothing has changed from the last time we made this walk, right?"
"Right - but only nearly right." I corrected. "Nothings has changed except that now -- if we believe our eyes and open our minds to your multiple universe idea -- I propose that, as we were going past the house on our way out here, the shed really was small and now it has really grown to nearly it's full size."
"Okay, so we're right back where we started because this is what you were trying to tell me before and you, yourself, said that you were just pulling my leg."
"Maybe I was - and maybe I wasn't." I said coyly. "But now you have come up with this idea of separate universes which gives us a different perspective - or, if you will, a different reality upon which to base our investigation (remember when the earth 'became' no longer flat)."
"So, now let's turn and, instead of going to the shed, let's walk over to that fence post over there."
We walked over to this one fence post which was beyond the shed and off to it's side about 20 feet - when looking from the house.
"Okay." She said when we reached the fence post; "Now the fence post is big (as big as as it can get) but the shed is still a little bit smaller than it can get. I don't see what has changed just because we decided not to go all the way to the shed and to come over here, instead."
"Okay, think about what we have just done on this little walk."
"We walked from the house towards the shed and then we stopped and instead of going to the shed we turned away and we walked to this fence post."
"So, let's break that down a little bit. How far would you say we have walked?"
"I don't know. Maybe about half a football field."
"Okay, about 150 feet all together." That was probably a little overestimating but it didn't matter to the point I was trying to make.
"And how long would you say it took us to walk here?"
"About 5 minutes. It would've been less if we hadn't stopped to talk."
"Yeah, I know but let's say five minutes." I pressed on; "So the difference between when we passed the house and when we got to the fence post was about 150 feet AND about 5 minutes."
"So.. "; She offered; ".. we could say we were walking about 3 feet per minute. NOT very fast, grandpa, is that your point."
"No, Red - but good cyphering - my point is that our little walk not only took us through space but it also took us through time!"
"Whoa, grandpa. Good one." You could almost see the light go on over her head.
Then she continued; " I think I see where you're going here: You're saying that what separates our universes is time - not space. Time is what makes it possible for them all to fit. Am I right?"
"Well, partially."; I continue; "Since we passed through both space and time to get from there to here, it must be some combination of both space and time. I think they call it 'Space/Time'."
"They've got a word for it?"
"Yes."; I confessed; "You don't think this was all my idea do you?"
"Well, grandpa, you never know with you, you know?"
"Thanks, Red. That's nice of you to say. But remember that we're not the only ones thinking about this. And some of those people thinking about it have been thinking this - and studying this - for most of their lives."
"They've been thinking about your shed?"; She asked, incredulously.
"That's right," I said, not to be outdone, "I'm continually kicking them off of my back porch. They're becoming a real pest."
"Kinda like the squirrels. "; She laughed.
"Yes, yes, yes - just like the squirrels."
I continued; "But grandma's always offering these guys coffee and cookies. It just makes it so much harder for me to ask them to leave."
"Maybe you shouldn't be so quick to kick them out - maybe grandma's got something there, you know. Maybe you could learn something from them."
"You might be right, Red, but - like the squirrels - I really don't understand their language."
"I know what you mean."; She sighed.
About then we heard someone calling Red's name. It was her Mom on the back porch telling her that it was time to go. So we headed back to the house.
"Grandpa?" She asked as we crossed the porch, "So, why did we stop this time and walk to the fence post instead of going on to the shed?"
"I was hoping you'd catch that."; I said slyly - as I opened the door for her to go in. "Give it some thought and we'll talk about it next time you come over. Okay?"
"Okay, grandpa."; She laughed.
She gave me a quick hug and she was gone.
[ Continue at Part IV ]