365: Day 51 – Monument to Captain Janeway

In happy news, I read about the good people of Bloomington, Indiana are erecting a monument to Kathryn Janeway, captain of the starship USS Voyager. Bloomington is the site of her future birthplace! On some level it is silly to erect a monument to a fictional character from Star Trek, but the geeky side of me got really excited when I heard the news. I’m a huge fan of these huge science fiction worlds with a bunch of extended literature such as Star Wars and Star Trek. Whenever I read the books or watch the movies I feel like I am reading historical records or something that has yet to happen. Well, I guess in the case of Star Wars they are historical records of events that happened a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far way. Star Trek occurs closer to home, but in the future.

The child in me would love to live the worlds you see in Star Trek and Star Wars however improbably they may be. The adult nerd in me finds the actual universe far more fascinating, but at the same time far more depressing, because such travel through the stars will never be possible. The speed of light is the ultimate speed limit: accelerating anything with mass to that speed would take an infinite amount of energy; traveling at the speed of light will mean time to you will come to a stop. What does time stopping for your frame of reference mean? One second for you will mean a century, a millennium, or a million years to the rest. Does this make you eternal? Or like having zero in the denominators, does this just mean you cease to exist? Isn’t it fascinating to feel your brain just completely unable to contemplate what this means? And here’s the tickler…does this mean that light, at its speed, knows no time?

Wasn’t I talking about Captain Janeway?

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