artphoto by splunge
artphoto by TheophileEscargot
artphoto by Kronos_to_Earth
artphoto by ethylene





Mecha Wiki

Metachat Eye


IRC Channels



Comment Feed:


18 July 2006

What the? This may be the strangest AskMe question I've ever read.
I can't even wrap my head around the concept this early in the morning. Travels by temperature? What?
posted by cmonkey 18 July | 10:37
I got an instant headache while trying to comprehend what he was on about when I first read it, and I read it again and thought it was really cool. Or really hot. ;)

I think it's fascinating, but I couldn't really think of anything to contribute. I was wondering if the creature could somehow be "trapped" by putting it in a container which was regulated to be a certain temperature, but didn't feel like asking it because I felt like a big dum-dum.
posted by iconomy 18 July | 10:40
My ex-husband used to do this hilarious thing in the grocery store called "Mr. and Mrs. Lizard Go Shopping" -- when he got to the frozen foods aisle, he would start moving really really slooowwwwww.
posted by JanetLand 18 July | 10:45
*takes hit from bong*
posted by brainwidth 18 July | 10:47
Strange... and awesome!
posted by agropyron 18 July | 10:57
I can't figure out what the hell is going on that question. I don't know if that's because I'm not smart enough or not high enough.
posted by jrossi4r 18 July | 11:06
puff puff pass, brainwidth... I need a little help over here.
posted by I Love Tacos 18 July | 11:14
What I can't grasp is how it would experience different temperatures. Is it living its life from hot to cold? Can it change at what temperature it exists?
posted by Specklet 18 July | 11:15
* head explodes *
posted by seanyboy 18 July | 11:15
This creature is just an ordinary time traveler, but one with limitations am i rite?
posted by iconomy 18 July | 11:16
Yes, it is living its life from hot to cold. It cannot change the temperature at which it exists, any more than you can change the time at which you exist. The original concept was that it experiences all times simultaneously, but that it can only exist in places and times where the temperature is X. (X = its current temperature 'age')

Just as I can currently only exist in places that are experiencing the early part of July 18, 2006 (Pacific Daylight Time), this creature would be able to experience any place or time that is, say, 102.1 F. The creature is 'aging' along a temperature scale, so it will soon only be able to access places and times where the temperature is 103 F. (Assuming it grows hotter instead of cooling off.)

Jimbob points out some problems with the concept, but I don't think they're insoluble. The creature can move through time like we move through space, so maybe it could carry on a conversation by "pacing" along the timeline to follow a human, the same way I'd pace alongside a slow-moving car and talk to its inhabitant.
posted by agropyron 18 July | 11:27
Now, phrontist and Flo have really given some good objections. 'Course, they're not hitting the bong.
posted by agropyron 18 July | 11:28
That question made the Baby Einstein cry.
That sounds like the sort of thing I would spend hours trying to write in middle school. Unfortunately, temperature is ultimately a function of time (even ignoring the relation between Entropy and the scientific definition of Heat). The vibration of molecules and the radiation of IR photons that we perceive as heat are all processes that take definite amounts of time to happen.

Or, reading the answers to the question so far, what Jimbob said.
posted by Eideteker 18 July | 11:33
Too bad you have to be all serious on AskMe, 'cause the correct answer to that question was, "Dude."
Oh, and for those still grappling with the problem, I'll do agropyron one simpler. If you think of graphing events, you can dictate whatever axes you want. The querent here is simply looking at swapping the time axis for a temperature axis. Think back to first year physics, Newtonian motion. Instead of distance over time travelled, think in terms of distance travelled over temperature.

But that raises further questions; because the entity couldn't just travel along isotherms like we do roads. Technically speaking, it could never be in two places with the same temperature, because its temperature is always rising (just as we can't be in two places at the same time). It could go from anywhere that it's 101 K to anywhere it's 101.1 K, but never again would it be able to go anywhere 101 K.
posted by Eideteker 18 July | 11:41
Don't questions like that usually get deleted instantly on AskMe?
posted by matildaben 18 July | 11:42
Yes, unless they require enough pseudo-science wankery to keep people amused with charts, numbers, and formulas.
posted by occhiblu 18 July | 11:51
Well he did ask for help solving a problem:

"Please help me find any potential flaws and limitations of describing the goings-on of a creature that travels by temperature but has no limitation of when".

That's pretty much the criteria of whether a question stays or goes.
posted by iconomy 18 July | 11:56
It was a legitimate question: is this science fiction scenario plausible? It has a purpose (the author is trying to write a story), and the question has an answer (no).
posted by deborah 18 July | 12:08
You could say "color" instead of "temperature", or even "sound" or "oscillations" or "pounds per square inch" or all kinds of stuff related to frequency counting or measuring. Transdimensional "creature" exists at point X in some arbitrary point or range in a gradient curve of some arbitrary measurement method.

But without time/space, that hypotheoretical creature/thing/whatever exists all over the place throughout any and all contiguous universe(s) at that arbitrary point or range.

So imagine this interdimensional thingymabob intersecting with/inhabiting all the areas of 98.6 degrees (again, aribitrary - not a point but a range) in the known universe. From our time/space view if we can see it at all it's just this sponge-like convoluted shape of *stuff*. As the temp it can inhabit cools to 98.5, 98.4 and so on it's domain and shape changes over our time.

As a thought experiment it's not entirely unlike the dimensional thought experiments in flatland - nor is it much like them at all, except instead of discrete objects/beings and defined dimensions you throw all that out and work with arbitrarily defined domains of whatever aribitrary value.

In other words, which is to say, and furthermore: fuck dude yeah man pass the bong already goddamn shit.
posted by loquacious 18 July | 12:56
You wanna talk about weird questions, how about this one? Isn't the headhunter by definition supposed to find you?
posted by Eideteker 18 July | 13:32
Jesus people; the answer is simple: 6

Now was that so damn hard? Next!
posted by KevinSKomsvold 18 July | 13:40
posted by Smart Dalek 18 July | 17:18
I didn't even make it to the end of that question. I tried three times. That story, when finished, is going to make my head all hurty.

Eid: No. A headhunter finds you a job. They may be given a contract to find a person for a particular position available, but they will draw from the pool of people who have already found them.
posted by SassHat 18 July | 18:10
All of the headhunters I have encountered have contacted me, out of the blue. Except the one I met at a party once. And she was a headhunter for a headhunter firm, recruiting other headhunters. Quelle meta!
posted by Eideteker 18 July | 23:52
If you could eat anything right this minute || Bulk Vanderhuge! Buff Drinklot! Stump Beefknob!