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time travel Archives - The Square Root of Cheese

time travel

The War against Time wages on... but I cornered Time enough to bring you these health tips.


I dropped something heavy on my finger at work. How do I know if it's broken or just bruised?


Dear Injured,

You could go to a doctor, but that costs money. Money that I presume your employer has not provided since you came to me.

A cheaper way to find out would be to hitch a ride to another planet with a different colored sun. When you expose yourself to the right color (usually 2 hues up on the color spectrum), you should find, among other things, that you have developed X-ray vision and can see your bones for yourself.


Dear Dr. Cheese,

What is ebola exactly? And how worried should I be about it being only 3 states away?

Medical Moron

Dear M.M.,

Ebola is a dangerous and potentially deadly virus. You should be totally and utterly terrified that it exists in even a single person within your national borders. But don't panic. There are things you can do to protect yourself.

The best way to avoid ebola would be to pack up all your things and travel 87 years into the future. I've received word from my Future Self that ebola will no longer pose a threat by then.

Do be aware that there is a slim chance that the future you travel to will still have ebola. This would mean that removing yourself from the timeline somehow delays or prevents a cure, and that your presence here in the present somehow contributes to the end of ebola. So if this happens, please come back.

If running away to the future doesn't work for you, you'll have to settle for locking yourself indoors for the next 87 years to stay safe.


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What can I get my sweetie for Valentines?

Otto Time

Dear Otto

Bah! Humbug, I say!

Don't get your sweetie a sappy gift just because everyone else on the planet is being sappy on the 14th. Get your sweetie a sappy gift because you want to give her something sappy. And why wait until the 14th? The 12th is just as good a day to let her know how you feel. Or if you really want to surprise her, try waiting until March 3rd. Poor Cupid is overworked as it is on Valentines Day.

That said, I should mention that there is a lot of contagious Hype out there, and judging by your panicked tone, she may have contracted a case. This Hype leads to expectations. Unmet expectations lead to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to... No wait... that's something else. Anyway, it's a dark path that is difficult to return from.

Just in case, keep something on hand from at least one of the main Romance Food Groups: Flowers, Sweets, Jewelry, or Communication (sappy card, singing telegram, etc.) Which one is really up to you. After all, you know her better than I do.


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Dear Tick,

If you were rolling down an ocean on a jet ski and the wheel came off, would it take the same number of pancakes to cover a doghouse?


Dear Diana,

Since the ice cream is boneless, I'd have to say 'purple.'

I also have to say that your question sounds very familiar. Have you written in before?


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Dear Cheese guy,

So you claim that that lady in the old footage is just pretending to use her cell phone to mess with us? What if I told you that with just a little bit of jiggrey pokery, you can easily get a cell phone to talk across time.

The Doctor

Dear "Doctor"

True enough. I've also seen that documentary about The Doctor (and I don't think he'd appreciate you using his name like this). At one point we do see him add a little device to a friend's phone to allow her to talk across time. This enabled the phone to use his time vehicle as an alternate antenna, which is what actually did the work of relaying the call across time. Not the phone itself.

It is possible that "Chaplin's Time Traveler" also has a powerful enough time vehicle to use this same trick... But the phone it question is an iPhone. A phone that you cannot simply crack open to poke around in without jiggering up the phone itself (or your warranty, contract, future upgrades, etc).

I still maintain my original answer. She's toying with us because she knows that it will frustrate people without access to a time machine of their own.


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Dear Cheese Guy,

Bats keep getting into my house. How can I put a stop to this?

Invaded Belfry

Dear Bel,

Remember, bats navigate their world mostly by sound. If you sound-proof your home, it should be nearly invisible to them. Any bats still hiding inside will immediately attempt to move out because they are blind and miserable in the soundless environment you've created.


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Dear Square Root of Kevin,

I hate my job and who it's made me become. I want to go back and make it so I never worked there, but I lose my nerve when I think about all the movies I've seen where people mess up the future or almost destroy the whole space time continuum. How dangerous is it really to do this? Am I really putting the whole universe at risk?

Needing a Change

Dear Needy,

Time travel is indeed risky business; There are the risks of unintended changes* to the timeline, the hazard of less than 100% reliable transportation back to the present day, and those pesky paradoxes that you were referring to.

While indeed very dangerous, I can't say that paradoxes necessarily put the whole universe at stake. It's possible that the damage could be very localized, limited only to your own galaxy. But I'm sure your neighbors would agree that this is still a significant risk. Proceed with extreme caution.

Something else to consider is that most time travelers retain their memories of what the timeline was like before they changed it. This means that in your case, changing the past will not help your goal to change who you have become. What you should do is ask a trusted friend to go back and make the change for you.



Examples of possible unintended changes worth consideration:
Preventing an accident that turned out to be how your parents met;
Redirecting the path an abandoned puppy that would later have been rescued, adopted by the old couple down the street, and later foiled an attempted burglary on their home;
Swatting a fly that was the grandfather of the one that irritated your great aunt, causing her to wave her hand and spill her drink, which would have caught the attention of her no-longer-husband-to-be thus canceling the birth of that cousin with the birthmark that inspired your mother's interest in botany.

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Mr. Colby,

There's some kind of plague going around my work place. How can I avoid it?

Clinging to Health

Dear Clinger,

Your safest course of action is to simply avoid your workplace. If you can, work from home. If not, contract yourself a lesser illness that will allow you to take time off until the plague passes.


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Cheesey Guy,

I found this video on YouTube that seems to show proof of a time traveler in the 1920's with a cell phone. Could this be for real?

Hopeful Skeptic

Here's the video:

Dear Hopeful,

Yes... but no. That time traveler is a phony. Sure, she brought her iPhone back to 1928 and got herself captured by a camera that she knew would be there. But look at that smile when she looks at the camera. That's the smile of a prankster who knows that she's got people fooled. The fact remains (and in a few years it will be proven) that no mere cell phone sized battery can hold up more than a few seconds when transmitting through Time.

The time traveler and her iPhone are real, but it's a prank call.


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Help me Skippy,

Spring time is here and I'm helpless in the garden. How can I get myself a green thumb?

Lost with Tomatoes

Dear Lost,

Well, if you like to talk to tomatoes, it sounds like you're in good company. Granted, not many tomatoes can speak back. Nevertheless, there's no need for you to be helpless when hired help is listed in the phone book.

As far as your thumb goes, all you need is bowl of water and some food coloring.


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Dear Cheddar Man

There's an awful lot of theories about time travel and different ideas about what kind of device or conditions are required. Who's got it right? Do I need to snag a bolt of lightning at 88 miles per hour, or just look for wormholes under my kitchen sink? Do I need to borrow a starship and slingshot my self around the sun, or can it really be as simple as a hot tub or a phone booth?

I need to know because it makes a big difference on how much I can pack.

Quantum Cheeseburger

Dear Traveler,

The truth is that all those theories and methods generally work. Time travel is THAT unstable a process. (Except for that silly one you threw in; that made me laugh.)

Pick whichever one can best accommodate your luggage.


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Dear Cheesey,

This guy at work is driving me nuts! He's really gotten under my skin with his antics... What can I do about him?

Itching for Vengeance

Dear Itchy,

You need to get him out from under your skin before he causes more problems than itching. See a dermatologist immediately!


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I should have been more careful when taking that question about the Triangle. Long story short (I'll come back to it at the end of this post), it triggered a chain reaction that swept the SRoC and I away on the Winds of Time... And then buried it in the Sands of Time. In fact I'd still be lost if not for the crosswinds of Daylight Savings Time sweeping me back next week.

Thanks to this, things are pretty unstable around here again. Especially with regards to time. Updates will likely appear sporadic and random until things settle down and the Sands quit shifting. I'll aim to do so on as close to a weekly basis as circumstances allow.

[The longer version: Those of you paying close attention may have noticed that my answer to the Triangle question initially posted itself on the previous Tuesday. It also took all the weed killer and dead plant with it. This made for twice as much weed killer on that prior Tuesday which then continued to exist alongside the original application of weed killer until it was knocked back in time again. In other words, a dangerous Temporal Feedback Loop was created. This feedback caused two things: I was lost in Time, as mentioned above, and an infinite amount of weed killer obliterated anything plantlike in the website. It also trapped the chemicals in the past so that from that point forward in time, the Square Root of Cheese became entirely non-toxic.]

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Before we get rolling, I'd like to make a quick note that despite some stability issues, the About page has been restored. The layout is still shifting once or twice a day, but things should settle down soon.

Now then, on to your questions:

Dear Cheese^2,

I'm having difficulty making friends. I moved to a small town for student teaching and it turns out that I am neither like my spring chicken students nor like the older than mold teachers! How do I connect?

--Middle of Nowhere

Dear Middle,

Age is really just a matter of perspective. Try and strike up a conversation about something older than dirt (far older than mold) and see if you can find some common ground. Better still, if you can find someone who is older than dirt to hold this conversation near, your chances may be much better. And definitely, don't try this around the chickens.


Dear Cheese-Master

I'm not good at making time for things. My work is falling behind and my social life is suffering... Can you recommend a good time-machine dealership? I can't afford any of the big names.

Short on Time and Cash

Dear Shorty

Start putting money aside now. Preferably somewhere that it will collect interest. If you can save up enough cash at any future point in your lifetime, you can have your time-machine tonight! Just bring it back to yourself once you've bought it.

A word of caution: Be sure to set an appointment of when and where to expect your future self to arrive. Destructive paradoxes frequently result from time travelers interrupting and changing their own past actions. If you are expected, you won't actually change anything.


Dear Kevin,

How cann I graft_t my ownn-.... my own....-... my own pine-- pine-- pine pine pine


Sorry folks... it looks like something in that last question tripped a breaker here at the SRoC...

Join us again next week for more advice, and more stability improvements.


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