I have a white ceramic flowerpot in my kitchen, fitted-out with a wooden T-bar that converts it into a “knock-bin” for coffee grounds and other organic, compostable waste. It was filled with a few days’ worth of waste – the tag ends of some lettuce, a bit of banana skin (etc) when I noticed a couple of Drosophila orbiting the bowl.
An old punchline flew through my mind:
time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.
…and the thought struck me:
has anyone every fully tested this hypothesis?
if so, what does a “time fly” look like?
Careful consideration of this matter led me to infer that a timefly is some sort of bluebottle – a robust insect, capable of time travel.
The reason that it has a blue arse as it travels away from you would be a form of Doppler effect, familiar to astronomers anywhere. Of course, astronomers everywhere will immediately point out that anything receding from you should be redshifted and not blueshifted as we observe.
It could be that, like quasars, the timefly emits gamma-rays which are redshifted into the blue – belying some form of nuclear power source – but I prefer the more elegant, alternative theory that we see their redshift as blueshift because they are traveling backwards in time.
Moreover: they are blue/redshifted because they are traveling at enormous velocity, but note well: they are traveling with enormous velocity, very very slowly.
This makes perfect sense if the time-space continuum is fractal in nature, because although we are bound by short distances, timeflies (being 4d-aware) may have to travel enormous distances – even parsecs – merely in order to move an inch or two. Consider the following famous fractal puzzle:
To move from bottom-left to top-right via either of the obvious routes in any of figures 1, 2 and 3 requires traversing the same distance, even though it appears that Fig 3’s route must be shortest as it closely approximates a hypotenuse.
Timeflies evidently suffer this challenge to an extreme – even to their detriment, having to traverse several billion kilometers in order to move an inch.
That’s enough to make anyone’s arse appear red. Or blue.
The next test, of course, is to poll the various archery clubs around the UK seeking archers who suffer from apparent infestation of bluebottles.
This should fill some otherwise idle weekends in the autumn, when I shall also of course be testing the ballistic properties of bananas, using high-speed photography.