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22 Jan 2018 home : about : create : digests : bestofs : specials : priests 1:55:43 GMT

Internet Oracularity #959-09    (4huFa dist, 3.4 mean)
Selected-By: "Alyce Wilson.Nesbit" <berlin63@hotmail.com>

The Internet Oracle has pondered your question deeply. Your question was:

>                                                  Stiftung Warentest
>                                         Oberhintertupflingerstr. 69
>                                               47111 Koelle am Rhein
>                                                             Germany
> Orrie
> c/o Internet Oracle
> Mount Olympus
> somwhere in Indiana, USA
>                                                  Koelle, 1997-11-11
> Subj: your service, file number IO501-11
>       (Please attach the file number to your reply.)
> Dear Mr. Orrie,
> we, the Stiftung Warentest, have spent a long time with watching
> your organisation. As an omniscient being you surely know that we
> intend to check products and services on the German market in order
> to warn people of products or services of poor quality or even
> dangerous and broken things.
> Since there is an ever increasing number of German supplicants to
> you, the so-called Internet Oracle, we have decided to check your
> service as well.
> So far we've read over 500 questions and your answers. For our last
> and final test we'd like you to answer the following included
> question. The questions has been selected from over 1000 questions
> and represents a question of average length and difficulty.
> ___________________________O/____ cut here ________________________
>                            O\
> Oh Internet Oracle most famous,
> please explain Einstein's relativity theorie to me.
> My physics teacher couldn't succed.
> ___________________________O/____ cut here ________________________
>                            O\
> Thank you for your cooperation,
>    Prufer
>   (departement for testing omniscient beings and gods and so on)

And in response, thus spake the Oracle:

} Dear Stiffie,
} Of course I am familiar with your organization, as well as several
} other consumer-oriented agencies around the world.  I must say
} that I was at first reluctant to reply to you, since I have been
} disappointed in some of the coverage I've received from you in the
} past.  For example, your review of The Internet Oracle's Marmot-Be-Gone
} Mark XVII was quite critical of the product's potential for ejecting
} bone splinters at high velocity, while we maintain that no other
} product provides such a satisfying finality to the completion of
} its task.  Also, we feel that you completely missed the point of the
} fun and hilarity in The Internet Oracle's Virus Of The Month Club.
} Nevertheless, the question you have selected for me allows me to
} address another of these differences of opinion, and so I agree
} to address it for you.  It is indeed fairly typical of the many
} submissions I get, in that it contains multiple misspellings,
} poor grammar, and a salutation completely inadequate in scope.
} This supplicant has made the common error of asking a simple question,
} assuming that the answer is much more complex than necessary.
} Einstein's basic breakthrough was in understanding the importance
} of the observer in interpreting events.  For example, consider that
} stein of full-bodied ale on the table in front of you.  (Don't worry,
} your boss can't see you.  He's not omniscient like me.)  You would
} say that it is about half a meter away.  I, on the other hand, would
} say that it is nine thousand miles away.  How can two observers come
} up with such different answers?  Because we are measuring space from
} our own frame of reference.  The answer we come up with is *relative*
} to our own location.
} Based on some interesting manipulation of Maxwell's equations (Einstein
} drank coffee rather than beer), Einstein realized that time was in some
} ways much like the three dimensions we know as space.  His theory was
} that the measurement of time might be subject to the same *relativity*
} as space.  Now, go ahead and quaff your beer ... all of it!  Yes,
} order another, by all means.  You see, in your frame of reference,
} the glass became empty about five seconds in the past.  But in my frame
} of reference, since I must write this reply before you can receive it,
} the beer has not even been poured yet.  Thus, time also is *relative*.
} As you can see, the answer is really quite simple.  There are some
} fascinating effects of physics which result from the relativity
} of time, which account for much of the confusion on the principle.
} For example, there is the well known "twin paradox" which involves
} two twins who go separate ways.  One stays on Earth, while the other
} journeys away at a speed close to the speed of light, then returns.
} Due to the different properties of their frame of reference, time
} passes much more slowly for the traveling twin, and he returns younger
} than his brother.  Many people find this counterintuitive, having flown
} with an airline at one time or another.  Go ahead, have another beer,
} it will help you relax and understand.
} As a further illustration, consider The Internet Oracle's Time Travel
} Club.  Yes, this is the same plan rejected by your agency as "Schpamme
} ver Dumkopfen".  However, with your new understanding of relativity,
} I think you will begin to appreciate its merits.  Have another beer!
} The basic concept is to make use of Einstein's theory by traveling
} through different time zones (frames of reference, remember?) and thus
} altering the mechanics of time for the observer.  By traveling in the
} orientation known to Earth observers as "west", one can enter a frame
} where time is shifted backward one, two, three hours, or even more.
} Even more mind-boggling, if you travel "east", you can see several
} hours into the future!  Have another beer!  Of course, the high rate
} of speed is what causes the effect to be noticeable, so these trips
} are not inexpensive.  But rest assured that your $100,000 buys you
} the finest coach seat available on the fastest commuter aircraft
} available to modern science.  Have another beer!
} I think you will agree that The Internet Oracle's Time Travel Club
} makes much more sense now.  I accept your humble gratitude for
} answering your question, and eagerly await your organization's new
} appraisal of my latest offering.  You might want to wait until after
} you've been to the men's room.
} You owe the Oracle an analysis of Window Seats 95.

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