|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 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!