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Saturday, September 28, 2013

Its Just a Matter of Time

Jesus Blasco - Alice in Wonderland

Last week I read something I found very interesting in the 'Metro Herald' our fabulous free newspaper that keeps me sane during my daily commute.

Dr Andrew Jackson, a scientist here at Trinity College (Dublin) is researching the perception of time by small animals and insects.  The project he is leading compares 'flicker fusion frequency' - the point at which creatures begin to see separate flashes of light as a blur.  The hypothesis they are following is that the faster an animal's metabolic rate, the slower objects move for them and the longer their impression of time.

This theory can be used to explain why a fly is able to avoid being swatted so easily.  Our actions as humans appear to them like the bullets in 'The Matrix.'

Ron Embleton - Cinderella

Dr Jackson has carried this train of thought a step further after noticing that small children always appear to be in a hurry.  'It's tempting to think that for children time moves more slowly than it does for grown-ups and there is some evidence that it might', he is quoted as saying.   It certainly seems to be the case for me - as my metabolism slows down, time has speeded up to the point where I never seem to have enough to do anything!

For me this theory compliments another I have always subscribed to - that there is a direct correlation between a person's age and their perception of time.  This is based on the percentage of a period of time in relation to an individual's entire existence.  So for a child of 4 the equivalent number of years is very long time as it constitutes his/her whole lifetime.  For an adult of 54 it has a whole different meaning.

Einstein was studying the concept of time and time-travel towards the end of his life.  He saw time as a river flowing in one direction with us travelling along in a boat.  What he was contemplating in his twilight years is the possibility of us manoeuvring the boat to the bank, getting out and walking back the way we had come.  I've always been fascinated by the prospect of time-travel but as I get older I often think it is better we are not able to revisit the past.  Our memories are unreliable and often inaccurate - we are most likely much happier with our rose-tinted perceptions of the past than the actual reality.

My own journey through time:            

Aged 4

Aged 14

Aged 24

Aged 34 (with hubby John)

Aged 44 (with our son Ryan)

Aged 54 (suitably obscured by sunlight!)

Jim Croce's 'Time in a Bottle' (1973).  I've always found it especially poignant that he died the same year this song was released and in the end did not get his full allotment of time.  The photography in this particular YouTube clip is absolutely breathtaking - if you can spare the time its well worth watching!  


Tam said...

I completely agree. I have always said that the childhood years seem to take forever, but the older you get the faster time flies.Maybe that's why I remember my childhood experiences so well. They seemed to take place over such a long period of time,and yet what has happened in the last ten years is but a flicker in comparison.

DeadSpiderEye said...

Interesting concept time travel, I could never grasp the reason why it should be said to only travel in one direction though but I'm no Einstein. I love the snaps, so much variety but that beautiful smile remains constant.

Darlene said...

Time is a subject I think about a lot. Thanks so much for the Jim Croce video. That song always brings tears to my eyes and the visuals are stunning. I love your trip through time as well. You look as lovely as when you were a 4year old princess.

Barbara said...

Sharon this is such a fascinating post! When I look back to my childhood holidays seemed to go on for ever, but Christmas took years to arrive – now it feels like Christmas comes at least three times a year! How odd!
You certainly don’t look your years - you've hardly changed at all.
I loved the YouTube clip and hearing that song again. It's been ages since I last heard it.

Donna Yates said...

sounds like a star trek I once saw. It certainly makes sense. As for your pictures, you are lovely in everyone of them, but then your soul is lovely.

CraveCute said...

Sharon, first of all what an adorable little girl you were! Of course now you have grown into a beautiful woman with a beautiful soul! I find your thoughts on these subjects very intriguing and am always watching and reading about the latest theories on this type of thing. The older I get, the more I realize we, as mere humans, don't really know that much! I remember being so sad when I heard Jim Croce died, that was my favorite song of his. ~Diane

DMS said...

What a fascinating post! I remember as a kid that each day seemed much longer (even though I had to be in be by 8) than they seem to me today. Time does seem to speed up as we get older. It was such fun looking at the pictures of you through the ages. :) You look so young and haven't seemed to change much on the outside over the years. :)

Great song- I had no idea he died the year it came out.

Thanks for the food for thought!

Roger Lawrence said...

Carl Sagan said the higher we are, the faster our own time moves in relation to everything else. That doesn't apply to me of course since I'm only five feet seven inches. All I know is that the moment I take my shoes off on Friday night, it's suddenly time to go back to work on Monday morning. Maybe I'll start walking around on my knees. That should give me a few more years.


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