Questioning Reality: Watt’s flat?

Questioning Reality is an occasional series and is a complete work of fiction.

The views contained herein are nothing whatsoever to do with the author, and instead are based on the views of the character ‘Thom’. Thom is a fifty-year-old gardener who likes talking to begonias. Although, she may be a twenty-eight-year-old secretary who sings spiders to sleep. Or perhaps he’s a 25 year old panel beater who likes the history of Queen Nefertiti.

Names, where necessary, have been changed, but also where necessary, they haven’t.

Historians used to think the world is flat. Not modern historians, I hasten to add, but history’s historians. I don’t think they had time in those days, although they may have used the occasional sundial. Even though the world curved around in front of them, and they were surrounded by hilly hills, they were still of the impression the world was flat. Nothing anybody said to them to convince them otherwise changed their opinion, and fruit and vegetables such as onions, tomatoes and apples hadn’t been invented yet.

They were probably around back then, in history, but went by a multitude of different names. It wasn’t until the mid to late 1600s when a historical figure by the name of John Ray (sometimes Wray) began a vast classification project of plants and animals that existence began to take on a more structured look. From these yellowed pages, onions eventually became a vegetable and tomatoes a fruit. Presumably, before this classification exercise, they were probably known as ‘weepy thing’ or ‘squishy thing’.

Tomatoes may or may not have been red at that time. As the previously mentioned classification project was starting to take place, Isaac Newton, another historical figure, was discovering colour. Back then, red was the most light colour, and blue most dark. Or least light. You see, Isaac was working on light at the time and discovered the spectrum.

Also at the same time, research was beginning into electricity. Electricity had been a myth for thousands of years before this, even back to the times of Ancient Greece and before. Folk were regularly receiving shocks from creatures such as electric fish, or static shocks from stroking cats, but they had no idea what the effect was and put it to the backs of their minds. William Gilbert, yet another of history’s figures, wrote about a magnet in the early 1600s, and came up with the word electricus at the same time due to receiving a static shock after rubbing a piece of amber. (The Greek word for amber back then was ‘elektron’). Electricity now had a name, several years before fruits, vegetables and spectra came into existence.

Many years after the introduction of electricity into mainstream reality, James Watt (yes, another historical chap) discovered horsepower, nowadays shortened to power. The Watt was named after him. Power, in fact, is the rate of work over time, and it certainly took a lot of time for power to come into existence. Incidentally, James Watt wasn’t really looking into electricity, but steam engines.

The historical fruit, tomatoes, are a source of electricity – especially damaged ones. Lycopene, which is the red colouring in tomatoes and other fruit and vegetables, helps with the generation of electrical charges. The charge is only small, however, only 0.3 watts per ten milligrams of tomato waste, but it’s a start.

From a flat world to a flat tomato the world has come a long way.

The connections between everything in existence are quite remarkable, when you stop and take a look.

Next time: We may look at the invention of time.

Questioning Reality: If we see colours differently, how do we know what green is?

Questioning Reality is an occasional series and is a complete work of fiction.

The views contained herein are nothing whatsoever to do with the author, and instead are based on the views of the character ‘Thom’. Thom is a twenty-year-old fashion designer who likes glittery material. Although, she may be a twenty-year-old fashion model who can’t stand fussy clothing. Or perhaps he’s a 30 year old engineer who likes dancing to Celine Dion.

Names, where necessary, have been changed, but also where necessary, they haven’t.

It’s strange, life.

You go to bed one night (or morning if you’re up all night, for instance a night owl!) and awake to a brand new day. A fresh start. A new beginning. Yet we tend to do exactly the same as the day before. Same work. Same(ish) food. Same mistakes. OK, they’re different, but overall they’re the same…. they aren’t massively different. Be creative, is what I say. Given time. And other things.

Take rubbing stuff, for instance. The medication that either warms up or cools down aches and pains. Say, for example, you had a pain in your neck… or shoulder… or hip… or back… or thigh… or knee… or elbow… or shin… or ankle…  (!) and you used rubbing stuff to ease the pain somewhat. Why does it have no effect on your fingers or hands? That’s very strange, that is.

Why is it when you are desperately trying to find something, you have a rough idea of where you last saw it but it isn’t there. You then go off, demolishing every drawer, cupboard and utensil you can find in said search, and then, in one final act of desperation, you go back to the first place you looked and guess what? There it is. By then, you’ve usually forgotten why you wanted the thing in the first place.

Is perception a fact, or a figment of one’s imagination? If something looks big because it’s close up, but isn’t, can we really, truly, believe what we are seeing? The Sun and the Moon look the same size in the sky, but they aren’t, but in the sky they are. Unless there’s an eclipse, and the Moon totally covers the Sun. Mind you, you can’t see the Moon in an eclipse anyway because it’s New, and then you can’t see anything else for a while for looking at the Sun.

That’s not true entirely. After looking at a bright light, wherever you look afterwards all you can see is a whopping black splotch. But is it black? When you close your eyes, it changes to green – or yellow – or red. Or does it? And as it really isn’t there at all, should it even have a colour? Although it’s probably a good thing that it is there, to serve as a warning to prevent you looking into a bright light in the future.

Still, for all of the strange things life throws at us, there’s always something possibly even more strange waiting to turn up just around the corner. That’s what makes life interesting. That and the every day things that we repeat every day.

Counting Ravens

One two three
The ravens gather
Four five six
Do numbers matter?
Seven eight
Circling high
Nine ten
I wonder why…


One Word Sunday this week is ‘Confusion’.

So, I’ve flipped it around a little and gone with ‘Understanding’. And by that, I mean our way of going about understanding the confusion of the Universe. Well, Outer Space. Well, radio waves. Well, pulsars and the like.

This is the Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank in Cheshire, as it was a few years ago, although it looks pretty much the same today, and probably as it looked when it was first built back in 1957.

I love the magic of the Universe; and the fantasies. I’m more than bamboozled by the workings of it, but have at least some understanding of it thanks in part to the data gathered by telescopes such as this. I couldn’t answer questions on it (or pulsars, quasars or other ‘spacial’ stuff for that matter) and if I did I would receive many a confused look back at me… but as I don’t have any photos of confused looks to use, this representation of understanding will have to do!

Visit Debbie’s site (on the link below) to see more takes on the theme:

One Word Sunday


Three representations of ‘Dazzle’, which is Debbie’s One Word Sunday this week.

The first photo is of a murky, foggy night one Winter a few years ago. I’ve tweaked this image a little, but the streetlights are still a little dazzling.

The second two are of the Moon, which is always dazzling – especially when I try to take photos of it. However, long may the Moon dazzle, is what I say!

One Word Sunday