What would you pack for a trip thru in time?

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What would you pack for a trip thru in time?

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1TomWaitsTables
Edited: Mar 28, 2010, 5:46pm

Well? Anytime, anywhere. Up, sideways, down the line, whatever allows you to be at your most creative. Forget the usual get-rich quick schemes like lottery numbers or stock quotes. Think fun, like a theme-park animatronic monster or parachute pants and a smoke grenade. Or if you prefer, serious, such as a textbook on flight mechanics.

For example:

I would . . . take along a pair of clean underwear/diapers and go back to 718 CE where I'd hand them over to the mother/nurse of Constantine V Copronymus ("The Dung-named") just before his baptism.

2Anastasia169
Apr 1, 2010, 12:30am

I would pack antibiotics and pain killers. Possibly water purification tablets as well. We would need these in just about any other era and they would fit in pockets as so far, I have never read of anybody being able to time travel with anything other than the clothes on their back and the things in their pockets. I would also hope to have some gold and/or jewels about my person as these seem to be currency in every time except the paleolithic.

I think we should widen the challenge to say that we can't take anything that wouldn't fit in either pockets or a purse or back-pack.

#1 - Can you tell us more about the Dung-Named? Such an intriguing tidbit. :)

3TomWaitsTables
Apr 1, 2010, 12:57am

>2 Anastasia169:
Constantine V, um, he had an accident while in the baptismal font. You can guess which kind.

4TomWaitsTables
Apr 1, 2010, 1:20am

Okay. Nothing you can't carry. What about a car? A time-traveling Winnebago? Modified, of course, so that you can exit in a puff of colorful smoke dressed as a genie.

I would go back to May 17, 1980 outside the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. and shout out "Darth Vader is Luke's father!" while a boombox is belting out Cher's "If I Could Turn Back Time" in the background. Or better yet, duck-tape my friend's mouth before he could say "Darth Vader is Luke's father."

If it's just thing you can carry, Ill take a solar- and handcrank-powered, laptop with every available RAM stuffed full of every patent ever field with the US Patents and Trademark Office. A high-quality, light-weight mountain bike (for the eras with no roads). Mylar blankets. One of those pre-packed survivalist gear for things I might have missed. Good idea about small, high-value luxury items although I think they'll be worth far more in the Paleolithic; I mean, our ancestors were using seashells and amber, and haven't yet discover the art of metal-making. I'd take an archeology book with detailed maps on every treasure ever dug up (it'll be unwise to carry gold on you). And textbooks where things are measured in meters and grams.

No, better idea: Screw with archeologists. Like, leave a note for Howard Carter, saying "You're digging in the wrong place." Signed, Indiana Jones.

5Anastasia169
Apr 1, 2010, 9:35pm

A good list of historical events and concurrences so that one could be in the right place at the right time - or even better, avoid the wrong place at the wrong time.

And that is an awful lot to carry destinyhascheatedme - LOL are you bringing a porter too? I'm just teasing but wow, you must be pretty strong as I wouldn't want to haul around your list. If we are in the paleolithic - a guide to herbs so that when my medicines run out I can manufacture some. Small hand tools like a knife or things that would be good for making more tools?

Seems to me that a lot of knowledge would be one of the most useful things - what you can't carry, you can make. Other eras of course had technologies of varying degrees, so I worry most about the health aspects as that has been the worst through most of history.

6TomWaitsTables
Apr 2, 2010, 6:49pm

>Anastasia169
Where would you go? What would you do? You seem particularly interested in the paleolithic area. Are you a fan of Auel?

A guide to herbs wouldn't help me. Lilacs, aloe, jasmine . . . it's all Spanish to me.

7Anastasia169
Edited: Apr 2, 2010, 11:09pm

No, I'm not particularly interested in the hunter gatherer period, I was just trying to be practical and I thought of the medicines because I have known illness and know that for all of the things wrong with our era, we definitely lucked out in medicine. I consider Auel to be paleolithic porn from what I remember - LOL.

I was born about 70 years too late - I should have been a part of the Lost Generation - I love thier art, their literature, their decorative arts and architecture, their history and I won't even start about the clothes or I would drool. So, the first places I would go would be the Roaring Twenties either New York or Paris, Greenwich Village during the Progressive Era. I would love to see the Resistance in action in WWII - these would be my first choices.

Then, Regency England and pre-Revolutionary France, Victorian England, Asia Minor during the Byzantine Era, Ancient Rome, the Dark Ages to see if they really were as dark as they say, Restoration England, Renaissance Florence and the New World way before it was the New World as I understand that the Plains Indians had a better standard of living through the first millenium and a half of the Common Era than any European or Asian.

I am sure there are others, but that is the list that first comes to mind. Ok, so I showed you mine, where would you go? You are allowed more than one choice - then we can figure out what would be smartest to take for each era.

8TomWaitsTables
Apr 3, 2010, 2:42pm

>7 Anastasia169:
Auel = "paleolith porn"? I'm not sure whether I ought to be interested or uncomfortable. :) One thing's sure. I'll definitely be reading it now.

Oh good. You didn't say "quid pro quo," so you're not a lawyer. In that case:

Renaissance Italy sounds nice. I'd like to visit Beatrice d'Este's court at Milan. Maybe save as much as I can from the Library of Alexandria before it gets burned down by that hateful bishop. Tell Hypatia to take a different route, while I'm in the neighborhood.

Attend the Olympic Games at the height of the Hellenistic era? Attend a Roman triumph. Attend a New York ticker tape parade that's not not a meaningless farce given to overrated athletes.

Watch as the Atlantic Ocean spill into the Mediterranean basin. See the Colorado River carve out the Grand Canyon. See the Beatles perform in Hamburg. Watch a herd of buffalo run by and a flock of passenger pigeons fly through New York's skyscrapers. Hear Orpheus sing. Steal the Declaration of Independence before Nicholas Cage can do the deed.

Take a stroll through Hetch Hetchy valley before it's flooded. Chat with John Muir, maybe.

9Anastasia169
Apr 3, 2010, 10:52pm

The Library of Alexandria is a great choice! I am ashamed I didn't think of it myself as an LTer. The Roman triumph sounds good to me too. While watching the HBO series Rome, there were a couple of background scenes - a wedding party going by in the street springs to mind - where I really had a sense, just for a moment, of how different Rome was as a culture. I think we would find it drastically different than we expect. So - how about Rome as our first destination? What year/era shall we go? I vote for the Julio-Claudian dynasty. Now, what shall we bring?

An English-Latin dictionary and some basic rules of grammar and construction. There will be no magic in our journey - i.e. that we fall into a niche in society. We really are travellers and don't speak the language - unless we already know it. There is a time travel novel called The Anubis Gates, where the time traveller doesn't fall into pre-determined circumstances and by the time he is rescued is basically a homeless beggar. I thought it was really clever and realistic.

As for Auel - yes, it is a bronze age bodice ripper (sorry, had to get the alliteration). Lots of sex between the starring couple who are of course beautiful and well endowed and have perfect chemistry.

10prosfilaes
Apr 4, 2010, 1:25am

I'm thinking of going back to say 1907, with a laptop loaded with books (in Esperanto, of course) on all sorts of subjects, particularly technical or scientific. Then share my scientific knowledge, dropping into very broken English, French, German and Japanese as necessary, explaining it by pointing out that my native tongue is Cherokee (Basque? Sami? Hill Mari?), but since everyone speaks Esperanto in my home time, being merely bilingual has never been a problem.

Of course, giving the WWI powers the nuke would be ugly, very ugly. And while the plutonium A-bomb is probably out of their technical capabilities, the uranium (gun-style) bomb is probably doable. If they had some time to build up arsenals, you could kiss most of Europe bye-bye. And even if you didn't just hand over the specs, leaving out the information would probably leave a noticeable hole in your scientific information.

11Anastasia169
Apr 5, 2010, 6:44pm

Wow prosfilaes - why would you do this? Or are you just making fun of our tiime travel conceit? Seems to me that the world would be a lot better off without nukes (even though I would have made the same decision Truman did probably) and I can't imagine what would happen if we had them earlier. Scary.

12TomWaitsTables
Apr 9, 2010, 3:09pm

>11 Anastasia169:
If atomic weapons had been available when monarchy was still a viable, competitive system of governance, I hesitate to imagine the consequences. I mean, these were the same ruling houses that sent an entire generation to die in the trenches without a moment's hesitation for no better reason than because it was within their power to do so.

On the other hand . . . maybe the early use of atomic weapons, when society was still trying to come to terms with industrialization might have prevented the carnage that followed. But then again . . . if homo sapiens really were, you know, sapiens, we wouldn't have those profoundly stupid situations in India, Pakistan, N. Korea, Iran, Israel, & c. (I'm an American, so the Cold War isn't included because it wasn't an act of MADness, but a manifestation of our own unshakable righteousness ;) Thank God for the level-headedness and humanity of Gorbachev, though, because Reagan was, you know...)

13Landshark5
Apr 13, 2010, 5:20pm

14darrow
Edited: Apr 16, 2010, 5:11pm

AAARGH! There's the orbital picture of the atom again. Atoms are not like that. I'm not objecting to the description, just the picture.

15TomWaitsTables
Apr 16, 2010, 6:41pm

>14 darrow:

Lemme guess, you're a science teacher, too? So what is it? A cloud of electrons around the nucleus or is it a string?

16darrow
Edited: Apr 17, 2010, 2:51pm

Not a teacher, just a science geek. It is not possible to represent an atom in a drawing. The best description I have read of a particle is that it is the point where two "fields" interact. Imagine a piece of paper with many horizontal folds (creases) in it. Another piece of paper with vertical creases passes over it. The point where the creases meet is a particle. The particle does not exist as an independent object. They most certainly do not orbit anything.

17Anastasia169
Apr 20, 2010, 4:40pm

Ok darrow - I think I can just about imagine the intersection of fields being the important thing - so good description as I tend more toward the biological sciences rather than the physics side of things.

18TomWaitsTables
Apr 27, 2010, 4:55pm

>16 darrow:
thanks, darrow. It was helpful, but if you'd be willing to elaborate (i.e. explain it further to me via a monosyllabic discourse), I'd be happy to take advantage of the knowledge you've accumulated. (Oh, and I know time travel isn't possible, but it's just a thought-game.)

Re: Anatasia169

Sorry. It's been a while since I've seen HBO's ROME but I don't think I noticed the wedding party. And it's jumbled in my head.

Julio-Claudian dynasty? Where would you go? To the centers of power or the outer provinces? Or just take a stroll through Rome (it's certainly cosmopolitan enough that nobody would notice the lack of Latin). You forgot to bring a camera! And a bodyguard (maybe Vorenus is available), unless you're black belt (I failed my green belt three times and I once got hit in the face with my own knee). Explore the various religions that proliferated in that era, before the coming of Christianity. You know what else we can bring? We can take along lots and lots of chocolate and market it as ambrosia. It'll be worth its weight in gold.

Let's see, what else happened in that era? Warn people to stay take a vacation from Pompei? Prove once and for all that the Shroud of Turin is a fake (I'm not saying Christ is a charlatan, but there's a difference between belief and being scammed by a city hoping for tourist revenues).

How about attend Caesar's triumph, the one where he staged a naval battle on a lake filled with wine? And take along a BIG cup.

But what I would really like to do is to see the Hagia Sophia in its glory. . . . and deposit a penny in a bank account, travel to the far future, and then book a trip to see the Milky Way in its full glory (top-down (or bottom-up, but that just sounds dirty) as opposed to edge-on).

Indulge in my wilder side by going safari hunting alongside Cornwallis, Seleous and (Teddy) Roosevelt . . . but atop of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. :)

Intervene at the Battle of Manzikert . . . but atop of a Tyrannosaurs Rex. :) Go back my first date in Central Park . . . but in a carriage being pulled by a Tyrannosaurs Rex. I think you can guess where I'm going with this. . . . For all my friends and family (and future self) reading this, I want a T. Rex for my birthday and I can't wait 10 years, so ship me one back in time. If the postage is too expensive, then I'm willing to settle for something that'll win me a Nobel Prize.

Hmmm. Rereading your post (#9) has got me thinking, How many homeless beggars in OUR era are stranded time traveler? Maybe I should stay away from San Francisco.

19Anastasia169
May 4, 2010, 3:50pm

destinyhascheatedme - Now that is an interesting idea about beggars in our era being stranded time travellers. There is another book that uses the same conceit in a different way called The Watch that does the same thing. Also for people who like interesting if off beat science fiction, Dennis Danvers is definitely an author to check out.

I like the idea of a stroll through Rome, possibly during the Golden Age of Augustus and the triumph where they filled a lake with wine sounds like fun as well. We should take money as well, gold would do or we could buy old Roman coins on ebay. We could stay in the Roman version of a hotel! Bedbugs included. And the idea of chocolate is great as well. If we were going to be there for a while, I would bring poppy seeds and introduce the Roman world to the healing properties of morphine/opium for medicinal use. At that point I believe some was imported along the Silk Route, but not a lot and Italy is warm enough to grow it. We could be rich if we had to stay a while.

I would go Safari hunting with Karen von Blixen and stay at her house and hear her stories in beautiful colonial Africa.

And what are you planning to do with your T-Rex? I am happy to indulge you, but I wonder if you have fully thought out the issues of stabling and feeding such a creature. ;)

I know everybody has done this, but I think I might like to see London during some famous eras as well. Or how about Roman Britain for far flung areas of the empire, though I think the middle east might be more comfortable at that point in time.

20TomWaitsTables
Edited: May 4, 2010, 8:35pm

We can track down Arthur and introduce ourselves as Merlin and Company! It's cold and hopefully that will kill the bedbugs and fleas. Ugh. But you know how Virgil's will commanded that his work be burned? Perhaps I can take credit for the Aeneid? :)

The Republican era (pre-Sulla) sounds a lot more interesting than the staid, old Imperial era.

Hmm. Isn't opium addictive? We'd do better to introduce marijuana. It's less addictive so it's safer. And it's a weed so it won't be too difficult to cultivate. Plus, all the best gardeners nowadays are . . . already versed in that are of study.

I confess, I have no idea who Karen von Blixen is, but I suddenly find myself insatiably curious.

Perhaps visit London during the English Civil War and sample the flourishing of its printing industry. Runnymede. The Crystal Palace. Yes, a great idea. Party in the streets when they defeated the Spanish Armada. The even bigger party when they won the World Cup (1966?). And of course, since we would've placed a giant wager on the outcome, drinks are on us.

Can we take a side-trip to a place closer to home? I would really wish to attend the second inauguration of John F. Kennedy (while atop a T-Rex, for old times' sake :)

21tajohnson
Jun 23, 2010, 11:16am

This message has been deleted by its author.

22tajohnson
Jun 23, 2010, 11:19am

Message 4 is the funniest post I have read to date. "Darth Vader is Lukes Father" ... " Leave a note for Howard Carter...." LOL

23tajohnson
Jun 23, 2010, 12:08pm

Given I could travel back and forth from my timeline to a past timeline I would become an observer of history and put answers to many historical questions while answering many historical mysteries. I would then, of course, plan accordingly.

What time periods do you feel need answers or what mysteries need solving?

24Anastasia169
Edited: Jun 25, 2010, 11:54pm

#23 - solving historical mysteries is an intriguing concept, but I wonder if it would in fact be possible unless the time traveller was certain of meeting the people who knew the answers to all of the secrets. After all, to use a hackneyed example, a lot of people were alive and present when JFK was shot, but very few people feel they know the truth of the matter.

What mysteries did you have in mind and who would you have to get close to in order to solve them? Ok gang - get your unsolved history out and let's figure out when, where and with whom you would have to be to solve them. For example, what did Julius Caesar really say to Brutus and was Brutus his son as many people suspected? What was Nero playing while Rome burned as the fiddle wasn't invented? How did the library of Alexandria come to burn and what was in it? Sorry, don't know why all of my examples are of the ancient world - but you get the idea.

What mysteries do others want solved?

25Mud
Jun 26, 2010, 5:38am

Who killed the Bordens? Who was Jack the Ripper? Who kidnapped the Lindberg baby and why? Modern techniques applied to old mysteries would solve them and would give rise to a new legend. That and being on the scene when they happened.

26Anastasia169
Jun 26, 2010, 3:32pm

Ooooh, those are good ones Mud. I once put a flower on Lizzie Borden's grave in Fall River, Mass. What about what happened to the princes in the tower? And for me, I would like an answer to the Main Line Murders - what did happen to those two children, who is guilty and where are their bodies, though I realize this isn't a historical mystery per se, there are a lot of people in PA who would like to know.

BTW, a friend of mine who was a distant relation of the Lindberghs once implied to me that it was an open family secret that Charles was crazy and had done something to the baby himself.

27tajohnson
Jun 29, 2010, 2:23pm

#24 Anastasia169 I agree it would be difficult to align yourself with the people you would need to be with to solve such ancient mysteries in fact it would be next to impossible for many reasons, language, culture, race, gender however, I was not thinking of such specific questions. A person could travel back and witness many historical events and put answers to facts written in the history books. A simple witness to history would be to determine who shot first at Lexington/Concord. Many historical facts are largely debated and written down by the victors there for scrutinized over their real validity. You could go back and watch JFK procession in Texas and align your-self to witness where if a shot came from the grassy knoll however, be careful for you could accidently put yourself in harms way or be accused of the crime itself. The time travel paradox becomes apparent if you changed the past and JFK lived.
If you are to believe Novikov's theory then don't worry you can't create a pardox but you yourself may switch places with Oswald.

28TomWaitsTables
Jul 2, 2010, 5:24pm

Translate Etruscan, among others.

Lost plays, books, works of art, etc. All of Sophocles' lost works. Agathon. Aeschylus. Sappho. God, what I wouldn't give to hear her sing. Save the Maya codices. Save the Gospels of Eve, of Judas, Niccodemus, etc. from the Inquisition. Heck, forget the New Testament, preserve the ENTIRE Bible in full. Especially the Book of the Wars of the Lord because the title intrigues me. Cardenio by Shakespeare, and while I'm at it, prove that Shakespeare did write Shakespeare's plays and shut up those Francis Bacon heretics for good. And before anyone says anything, no, Edward De Vere didn't write them, either. There is no way in Hell a lawyer wrote A Midsummer's Night Dream. Period.

Preserve Dalton's works before it was bombed by the Luftwaffe.

Oh, and lost paintings by . . . them Dutch guys. :)

See if the Flood story mentioned in the Bible and Epic of Gilgamesh had a historical basis. Deuteronomy is a fake, but I'll need proof., so another side-trip.

Go back in time and convince my past-self to go to St. John's instead of BU, learn ancient Greek, and then hear Sappho sing.

Go back in time to when I was twelve years old and tattoo the title, author, ISBN, the entire text, of that book into my arm, a book that will haunt me until I become convinced it was all an opium dream, or that I've fallen into an alternate world where it was never written.

Watch that epic battle between the Rajput king Rana Sanga and the Maratha chieftain Raghunath Rao. Heck, watch Rao dance.

Watch la Pucelle led a cavalry charge. Heck, any cavalry charge by the flower of French chivalry in their heyday.

Be there Pericles' Funeral Oration. And Mark Antony's, although I don't think it was as good as Shakespeare's.

>27 tajohnson:

I'm pretty sure the paradox is that JFK died. I mean, can you imagine a world where that cowboy actor, Reagan, became president?

I'm of the school of thought that believes interventions in the past merely causes the Multiverse to create another brane, with each change moving you further away from your "home" time-line.

>22 tajohnson:
Thank you. Finally, someone who's seen Raiders of the Lost Ark.

29TomWaitsTables
Jul 2, 2010, 5:59pm

An addendum: Go back in time, stop my other time-traveling self, and convince my (original) past-self that St. John's will lead to obscure pedantry, Ivory Tower irrelevance, & eccentric self-indulgence, forget college altogether, and that really, what he should do is take this suitcase, cash in these lottery tickets, put these bonds and stocks in a secure place, and enjoy himself in Paris with that gray-eyed girl. Oh, and bring forget-me-nots; she's not a fan of roses. Don't worry, you'll meet her in the rue de Sevigne, the Musee Picasso, Musee Cognaq-Jay, the Centre Culturel Suedois, & c. Just hang around the Cite Internationale des Arts. Also, "mignon" means "cute," so you are not to engage her in a embarrassing conversation about the punk-rock musician named Mignon and waste another two weeks getting drunk in Amsterdam with your roommates.

30Anastasia169
Jul 7, 2010, 10:00pm

destiny - I want to go with you to prove that Shakespeare wrote his own plays. You know that Marlowe is also a contender as is some effete aristocrat. I won't even get started on my own stupid mistakes that I would change if travelling through time.

31TomWaitsTables
Jul 12, 2010, 10:54pm

Huh. Maybe he didn't. Perhaps we wrote them.

32DCDimon
Mar 5, 2012, 12:43pm

I'd take my mother-in-law back to 1692, Salem, MA, and see how long it takes before someone accuses her of witchcraft.

33dhtabor
Apr 20, 2013, 3:56pm

My towel of course. A notebook and pen, history reference book, a few changes of clothing.

34darrow
May 14, 2013, 2:34pm

Take something to gobsmack the ancients. A solar powered calculator, a digital camera and a copy of Hustler would do the trick.

35dhtabor
Jun 4, 2013, 3:04pm

Chocolate bars can be useful.

36Senserial
Aug 14, 2013, 8:28am

It depends on which century you are planning to travel through :)
I would most probably take my camera.

37KatStark
Sep 24, 2014, 6:09am

I would probably take very little, but something of value that could be traded for local currency.

38TomWaitsTables
Nov 10, 2014, 8:45pm

Gold? Or food, which are cheap now, but was surprisingly expensive back then. You should go with spices and sugar.