I tend to insomnia. In a small way. I usually wake up 3 times a night, including the one in the morning that sticks. If I encourage these wakings up, by say, getting out of bed, and going for a run or reading or some such, it usually means I am doomed for the next couple nights to wake up at that same time with a body that's all like: "I'm up! Time for Harry Dresden!" Or cake, pizza, a run, whatever it was that I did the night before. If I give in, then the next night I am doubly hosed and unable to sleep... a self enforcing behavior.. The defense is to Not get out of bed, but just lay there, in the darkness, until I finally crash out of sheer boredom.
But they only way I can lay still is if the mind has something to fiddle with in the wee. Usually I fall asleep by giving the mind something to fiddle with. When I was a kid (I've been doing this forever, but only just lately noticed it. One advantage of getting old-(36 now)- you get to know yourself) When I was a kid, 9x out of 10 I imagined Star Wars stuff. I was a jedi, facing down D.V. or some such.
Lately its been... a variety of things. The one I wanted to mention here is relativity.
I'm no relativity expert, I am a casual dabbler. One of my mythical beasts that I casually hunt from time to time is an attempt to understand Einstein's relativity. I don't get it, I'm not smart about it, but I'd like to be.
One of the ramifications of it is, of course, time dilation. This is the bit about how if you travel at speeds close to light speed time slows down for you, so that a journey that appears to every one else to take you 100 years to complete only takes you like 4 years or some such. The Twin paradox, perhaps you have heard of? One twin stays on earth and ages while the other takes a space voyage and comes home a year older, and finds his brother an old old man. It's also how come superman was a baby when he got here from Krypton. (which is pretty much the only sci fi I can think of that doesn't just blow relativity off)
The Lorentz factor is this : As I understand it, this formula tells you how much time is going to shrink for you based on how fast you are going.
tB is the time the trip appears to take to everyone not on the trip. tA is the time it takes from the point of view of the one who takes it. v is the velocity of the trip, and c is the speed of light.
The other night I was thinking in my sleep about this junk and the following thought occurred to me:
From our point of view, we see the stars, not as they are now but as they were hundreds of years ago, or thousands, or dozens, or 8 minutes ago if you are talking about The Sun, because that's how long light takes to make the trip to us.-
-Thats from Our point of view. But from the point of view of the light... from the point of view of the light how long does it take?
If I am reading this right... from the point of view of the light the trip takes Zero time. Just as long to go from Alpha Centuri to here as from your computer screen to your eyeball. No time at all. If you are a beam of light, everywhere you have ever been, everything you have ever bounced off of... it all happened at once. Light does not experience time. Light is eternal. Go figure.
At least that's the way I understand the Lorentz thing. Maybe I have it all wrong. I wish I had a relativity expert that I could bounce questions like this off of, but I don't. Seems like I remember reading that Einstein said that there were only about a half a dozen people besides himself who ever really understood relativity anyway. Maybe someday I will take a class in modern physics just to get my skull blow open.
Started Harry Dresden III today! I have a couple candidate best lines from it already and I am only 15% into it.