News from Kochi-power Research Institute (Part 25)
■Talk about time travel
The time machine already exists.
What’s with the suddenness? But if it were true, I’d like to go back to my childhood and bring back a lot of out-of-print plastic models and sell them in stores for a big profit.
Solar Sword, Aurora Plasma Return!
Aurora Plasma Return!
Aurora Plasma Return!
※The “Solar Sword, Aurora Plasma Return" is a special move of the “Sun Vulcan Robo" from “Taiyo Sentai Sun Vulcan," before which the three rangers are sure to make a fixed pose.
Unfortunately, it is unlikely that we will be able to return to that era. A time machine is theoretically possible, and several models have been proposed. A famous example is the “Tipler Cylinder" proposed by an American mathematical physicist Frank J. Tipler. Build a cylinder of very high density and infinite length, rotate its surface at more than half the speed of light, and you’re done. Then, by spiraling up or down near the surface of the cylinder in a sturdy rocket, “the rocket" can go to the future and past you want. This is not a fanciful story, but the truth derived from Einstein's equations.
Then we can go back to the 1970s, can’t we?
For this to happen, the Tipler Cylinder must have existed in the 1970s. There is no doubt that the Tipler Cylinder is a time machine, but it cannot travel back to the past in itself like Doraemon's machine. In short, it is just a launcher and receiver that sends the rocket to a certain time. That’s why I emphasized “the rocket" in the previous explanation.
This means that humanity must have already completed the Tipler Cylinder in the age we want to return to, but since we have never heard of such a thing, we cannot go back to the past even for a second.
You’re getting a lot smarter. However, it is a different story if aliens have completed the Tipler Cylinder somewhere in the past. If it was completed in the Edo period, we can go back to the Edo period, and if it was completed in the Cretaceous period, we can even meet dinosaurs.
How much technical skill does it take to make a Tipler Cylinder?
A study has shown that if a cylinder with a length of 100 km, a radius of 10 km, and a mass equal to that of the sun rotated 2,000 times per second, it would reach the Tipler Cylinder criterion. It is quite a hurdle to achieve this with existing technology, but it is believed that a neutron star has a radius of about 10 km and a mass roughly equal to that of the sun, and a pulsar, in which a neutron star is rotating at high speed, has been observed to be rotating at 700 revolutions per second. Thus, if we can control celestial bodies that exist in nature, it will not necessarily be impossible to achieve.
Are you lying when you said earlier that a time machine exists?
No, going back to the past is difficult, but going to the future is easy. You’ve probably heard that according to Einstein’s equations, time moves slowly as a moving object approaches the speed of light.
It’s called the “Rip van Winkle effect," isn’t it? One twin leaves the earth in a rocket at near light speed, travels in space for a few years, and comes back to find the other twin is an old man…
An object traveling at 99.9% of the speed of light will reduce the progression of time to 4.5% of normal, so just one year on a rocket at that speed will take you 22 years into the future. At 99.999% of the speed of light, that’s 224 years in the future. However, Einstein’s equations also suggest that the apparent mass increases by the reciprocal of the progress of time, which in the previous example is 22 times at 99.9% of the speed of light and 224 times at 99.999% of the speed of light. At 100% of the speed of light, the apparent mass would increase to ∞ (infinity), and this is the reason why objects with mass cannot reach the speed of light.
Building a time machine to go to the future also seems to be difficult.
The time machine to the future just a little ahead already exists. Try riding an airplane for 12 hours every day for 80 years of your life. I estimate that if you continue to fly at an average speed of 500 km/h, you will be 0.0001 seconds further into the future than someone who never flies at all before you die (unless you die in an accident). Also, a one-year stay on the space station orbiting the earth at 28,000 km/h will put you 0.01 seconds further into the future than people on the ground. I said that the time machine exists because going to the future is already a reality in this way. Also, time flows slowly even under strong gravity, so if a rocket can be developed that can withstand the tidal forces of a neutron star or black hole, just staying nearby will be a time machine to the future. In any case, you can’t come back to the present, so it’s just a one-way time machine.
If we can’t go back in time, then making a lot of money from out-of-print plastic models is a dream that will never come true.
No, if a tachyon particle that travels faster than the speed of light is discovered, we can send information to the past. In other words, it will be able to send a message to me, an elementary school student, that said something like, “Buy up a million-yen worth of Marusan battery powered monster plastic models and keep them in a safe place. In the future, it will be worth about 200 million yen." The moment the communication was successful, my consciousness would change and I would be filled with the satisfaction of having become a wealthy man, having purchased the Marsan plastics models according to the information I had received so long ago.
Last September, a research team led by Nagoya University made headlines when it was revealed that they had identified neutrinos that travel faster than light.
Personally, I think the experiment was either an error or a mistake, but it’s an area we’ll have to keep an eye on if we’re going to get rich.
・”FUTURE MAGIC: HOW TODAY’S SCIENCE FICTION WILL BECOME TOMORROW’S REALITY” (Author: Dr. Robert L. Forward, Translator: Katsumi Kushimoto, Kodansha Blue Backs)
・"Time: A Traveler’s Guide" (Author: Clifford A. Pickover, Translator: Kaoru Aoki, Kodansha Blue backs)
※Please forgive me if there are various calculation errors.
■Time travels themed movies
(1) “Somewhere in Time" (1980, distributed by Universal Pictures)
Christopher Reeve of “Superman: The Movie" (1978) plays Richard, a screenwriter who falls in love with Elise (Jane Seymour), an actress who was active 60-70 years ago, and finally goes back in time to meet her. It is a perfect pure love story, but it is also a science fiction film, as the line “time travel" appears in the movie. I highly recommend watching it twice, as the first few minutes of the film will be even more moving the second time around. Jane Seymour, who played the Bond Girl in “Live and Let Die" (1973), is really beautifully portrayed. Christopher Reeve also gives a good performance in a different role than the Superman.
(2) “The Girl Who Leapt Through Time" (1983, produced by Haruki Kadokawa Office, distributed by Toei Yōga)
Based on a science fiction novel by Yasutaka Tsutsui, it has been made into a film many times, including an anime, but for me personally, this one is enough. A film directed by Nobuhiko Ōbayashi, who died in April 2020, lyrically and beautifully portrays the days of Kazuko (Tomoyo Harada), a high school girl in Onomichi who has the ability to time-leap. Director Ōbayashi lovingly and carefully filmed Harada, who was making her film debut, to create an impressive adolescence drama about Kazuko’s faint romantic feelings for her classmate. In addition, there is an episode that Director Ōbayashi told Masataka Matsutōya, who is in charge of music, to refer to the music of “Somewhere in Time."
(3) “Back to the Future" (1985, produced by Amblin Entertainment, distributed by Universal Pictures)
This is the first film in the well-known blockbuster movie series. It is an entertaining film that has all the points of a time travel story, but I personally think that Part 2 had more thought-provoking scenes for science fiction lovers than Part 1: For example, the following scenes.
・Biff hands over the sports yearbook to his past self and makes a fortune in gambling.
・The main character, Marty (Michael J. Fox), is staring at the climax of Part 1.
・Doc, who has been transported 70 years into the past, writes a letter to Marty, and a man from a telegram company faithfully follows his request and gives the letter to Marty.
It was a time when Western movies had a lot of energy, and I personally have fond memories of this film.
(4) “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home" (1986, distributed by Paramount Pictures)
The crew of the Enterprise returns to the past of the 20th century to capture an extinct humpback whale in the 21st century in order to save the planet. I saw it at the cinema, and to be honest, it was the most boring of the series. I dare to introduce it because it is a good example of how much a work fades away when biased ideas and cheap beliefs are brought into a science fiction film. The whaling ship scene seemed (fortunately?) to be of a Norwegian nationality, not Japanese, but I think many people were displeased with the film. The filmmakers may not understand these feelings, but if we Japanese make a movie in which Godzilla was exposed to the atomic bomb in Hiroshima, and after landing on the West Coast, he gifts the fully inhaled radioactivity to the United States, I wonder how many Americans would honestly enjoy it as a monster movie. I think it was a good decision for Leonard Nimoy to quit directing after this, because the time warp, which was the key to the film, was poorly done as a science fiction film, easily achieved by simply flying around the sun.
My favorite robot toys; Episode 11 “Smoke emitting toys"
In this article, I would like to introduce you to toys such as robots that exhale smoke. In general, a cotton ball soaked in paraffin oil is heated with a nichrome wire and exhaled through the mouth with a bellows. Unfortunately, when the paraffin oil runs out, these toys stop emitting smoke. My parents bought me a Bullmark “Remote R/C Ancient Monster Godzilla" as a Christmas present, but it soon stopped smoking, and I had a sad experience. The “Godzilla" in my possession is a used one that I got at an auction, and since it is at least 50 years old, the amount of smoke has decreased considerably. I also bought a new reprint robot “SMOKING SPACEMAN" (Mike International Inc.), but 14 years after I bought it, it hardly emits smoke anymore. On the other hand, Marusan's “SMOKING PAPA BEAR" may be about 60 years old, but as you can see in the video, it still exhales smoke vigorously. Even if the product is claimed to be “fully operational", the amount of smoke it emits will vary depending on how much it has been played with, in addition to the differences between individual products, so please be careful when purchasing an expensive used product.
(1) “Remote R / C Ancient Monster Godzilla" (Bullmark)
Originally manufactured and sold by Marusan, it was a popular product that continued to be sold even after the company became Bullmark. Looking at the leaflet at that time in Bullmark, the price of the tinplate toy series is 1,420 yen for “Godzilla" and “Baragon," 1,530 yen for “Jirass" and 1,540 yen for “Gigan." Also, the price of the plastic toy series is 1,310 yen for the “Arstron" and 1,420 yen for “Gomora." I once estimated how much the admission fee to the Osaka Expo would be in today’s monetary value using starting salaries for college graduates, and according to the same method, “Godzilla" would cost 7,580 yen. We were not a wealthy family, but I would like to thank my parents again for buying me such an expensive toy. In another leaflet, the price of “Godzilla" has gone up 63% to 2,310 yen, which I think is due to the “Oil Shock."
In addition to the feeling heavy and sturdiness of tinplate, “Godzilla" was a super toy, swinging both arms as it squealed and moved forward, its mouth opening and closing and lighting up its eyes and mouth as it exhaled smoke. As a result, these toy series are very popular in the current used market, and are actively traded for 50,000 to 100,000 yen. Of these, the “Gigan" rarely appears on the market, and according to the results of the survey using “Aucfree," the winning bids over the past five years have ranged from 280,000 yen to 900,000 yen. My “Godzilla" does not have the original remote-control device and has some difficulty opening and closing its mouth, but it does exhale a small amount of smoke and I am satisfied that I was able to get it for less than 50,000 yen.
(2) “SMOKING SPACEMAN" (Mike International Inc.)
Originally, it was a large robot manufactured and sold by Yonezawa in the 1950s. The one in my possession is a reprint by Mike International in the original color of orange. I think the current selling price is around 20,000 yen, but it was available at a much lower price back then. It seems to have been reprinted by brands such as TIN TOM TOY and HAHA TOYS, but the details are unknown. All of them are made in China. It moves forward by waving its hands while rotating and lighting the lamp on its head, then stops and exhales smoke three times while flashing its eyeballs. It is a wonderful gimmick.
(3) “SMOKING PAPA BEAR" (Marusan)
I don’t know the details, but this product was manufactured and sold by Marusan in the 1950s and 1960s. When the bear’s father picks up the pipe while walking, the tip of the pipe glows red and smoke is exhaled from its mouth. The sequence of actions shows that this is a product manufactured for the overseas market. The arms and legs are made of tin, but the face is a plush toy’s one, and the body is properly dressed in cloth. The one I have was acquired cheaply at an auction, and I was surprised to find that it was really fully functional.
Celebration! “Return of Ultraman" 50th Anniversary.
The project to make soft vinyl monster dolls walk on batteries
（No.19 Plastic monster “Gokinezura"）
Thank you for your patience with my long series of articles. I would like to introduce the last monster I made, Gokinezura. This monster appears in episode 22, “I’ll Kill This Monster! “, which was shocking at the time because the captain of the defense team “MAT" was replaced midway through the series. This episode, written by Shinichi Ichikawa and directed by Eizō Yamagiwa, was full of highlights, but the hairstyle (?) of this monster was strange and its appearance didn’t seem to fit the content of the drama. However, the soft vinyl doll made by Bullmark has a small but very cute finish, and I decided to use it for this project.
The walking system of “Gokinezura" is used on Tamiya's drive belt and pulleys, which were used in many of the projects, but the tires are mounted eccentrically on the pulleys on the running side so that it can move forward while swinging both legs.
Due to busy work and my family issues, this project has been suspended since this “Gokinezura" which was completed in 2015, but I still have a few soft vinyl dolls that are candidates. In my next article, I would like to introduce such soft vinyl dolls that have not yet been motorized and the concepts of remodeling.