Author Topic: Superman '78 and time travel, plus physics.  (Read 6579 times)

houtex

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 933
  • I was the turkey all along! MEE!
Superman '78 and time travel, plus physics.
« on: June 27, 2013, 04:19:51 AM »
First, right off, stuff ain't real, just go with it as usual. :)  And second this was caused by me thinking about things in the Man of Steel thread.  Here goes:
 
So, in Superman '78, Superman spins around the earth to make it go backwards in time.  I suspect that this does a whole lot of mucking with the Earth.
 
The spinning backwards somehow causes time to flow backwards.  This causes Lois to be unburied, her car to be back on terra firma, the dam to be unbusted, and all the water flowing back into the dam (and the earthen dam Superman built to hold back that water to be undone too), and Lois is alive! Ticked, but alive.
 
HOWEVER... she's in the same place the gas ran out.  We do not know what happened to the train, nor the bus and the Golden Gate Bridge damage, nor the missile that went off in the first place to cause all this stuff, and the condition of the San Andreas Fault, of course.  Not to mention the exploded gas station and telephone poles.
 
Ok, so... since Lois got to where she was, and was still there... One of two things happened. 
 
1) Superman had to go running around YET AGAIN to deal with the dam, the train, the bus, the fault, because he obviously didn't fix the missle in the first place, or Lois wouldn't have been spooked at the gas station and gotten to where she was, only this time, instead of admiring his awesomeness in making that earthen dam (too small, by the way, but whatever) and took off at TOP speed to ensure the crack didn't even get that far, so as to save Lois.
 
2) The "earlier" Superman was doing all that, leaving the "now" Superman to just do one thing.  Fix the crack, and then be a smart ass and say "I think it's out of gas."
 
Which is fine, I suppose... but why do all that when you can *get the missile in the first place?!* and make it a MUCH simpler solve?
 
Paradox, that'd be why.
 
Back up in the movie to the other missile, and where Superman had just let it go.  He looks back towards the earth to see... nothing?  What happened?  Where's that other missile?  He knew he was going to have to deal with that one, and righfully, he picked the lesser of the two to impact, because the one going to Hackensack was definitely going to kill people, the California one was going to the middle of nowhere, and he might could fix it... but... where is it?  Is it a dud?  He uses his supervision and sees.. himself.  Grabbing the other missile.  And flinging it away.
 
This patenly can't happen, though.  Without cause, Superman doesn't go back in time to get the missile.  It *has* to impact.  As the Doctor says, "Fixed point in time, sorry."  Soe he only sends time back around to save the Dam, and save Lois.  It can be assumed that the Dam once again explodes and he has to make the earthen dam, then boogy his ass over Lois' situation.
 
So yeah before he gets all "not listening Dad!" and sticks his fingers in his ears going "La la la!" as he ignores the Non-Interference Rule and goes whizzing about the Earth... he's releasing the first missle, he looks back and sees the second missile impacting... runs around saving the day for everyone except Lois... and is amazingly ignorant/oblivious to the whirling vaportrail going on above him during the Saving Jimmy/dam exploding bit.  Understandable given the Lois situation, but really, when flying around, you dont' see *FREAKIN WEIRD STREAKS* against the partly cloudy blue sky?!  Yeah...
 
Well, ok, he was kinda busy.  Fine.  So he fling the Earth backwards in time, but JUST enough to get the dam back together, and Lois outta the ground. What happens next is he MUST do the dam bit one more time, then save Lois.  Because, you know, earthquakes and stuff still happening. 
 
How did Lois get back in the car?  Was it like some weird Weekend at Bernies where she just kinda zombie hops back in it, dirt mystically fills in around her, door magically flings itself back onto the car and reattaches correctly, then gets semi-gently put back in as if someone were holding it and putting it back in the dirt filled crack in the ground?
 
There is *NO WAY* that happens without a Superman doing it in reverse.  None.  Oh, and the earthen dam?  Doesn't go back up, as Superman isn't there to act upon it.  So it stays on the ground.  Well, at least he wouldn't have to do THAT again, but Lois is now befuddled going "how... what... what the HELL happened to the car and me?!"
 
Or, no she's not.  She's still dead, as she couldn't have gotten uncrushed, unless Superman was there to make that happened.  And all that flyin' around the Earth is for SQUAT.
 
And there's the rub.  Superman could not, would not, have ever saved Lois.  With one exception:  He would have had to travel back in time and gotten Lex out of the picture before he even went to Addis Abbaba.  Which he could have, but it would have WILDLY messed with Human History, and we can't have that now, can we.  The extraordinary, extratemporal example of Lois notwithstanding.
 
---
 
But that's just the trick of Lois not being dead being a non-thing-that-can-really-happen even in the movie.  Now, let's have fun with the physics side of the whole reverse spin of the world and what it'd do to Earth.
 
First, the act itself would cause the stars, planets and moon to be *ever-so-slightly* misaligned.  Not to mention the fledgling GPS system, and other satellites whos positions will be rather out of whack after The Event.  Superman's huge desire to not let Lois be dearly departed could wind up having huge, global, economic, and yes, even deadly consequences.  And that's just a relational position thing to the rest of the universe.
 
The next thing that'd happen?  Weird tides.  The moon has advanced in it's orbit by a few minutes, and so has the Earth.  Remember, the SPIN on the earth's axis is only being affected, and nothing else in the universe.  This would exert a different pull than normal on the waters, and could NOT be avoided.  Gravity sucks after all.  The rippling effect on that in only ONE direction would be rather interesting... in reverse, then back again?  I shudder to think what some coastal communities would experience, and how long this would take to be completed.  In the clip the North American Plate was just coming into the sun... which is another thing... it was a bright sunny day in California... and now it's in the night side?  Weird....
 
So anyway, the Atlantic is on the bright side, as is the Indian Ocean, Africa, Asia and Europe.  Possibly Austrailia, but probably getting dark there.  So anyway, all of those places and oceans get some extra sun.  This isn't an insignifican amount of BTUs people, nor UV light.  This is going to do some damage.  The 'few' minutes' is not so few.  Standing around in the sun for an extra 15-20 minutes would be a problem for some people... and they're unwittingly going to do this because they themselves can't stop time, and are GOING to repeat their little bit of life.  But beyond that, the Atlantic is GOING to get extra water pulled up into it.  I don't know where the moon is though.  That would be important.  We know it's not a 1/8 or 3/8 waxing moon, or it'd be in the shot.  It could be 1/4 moon, or anywhere from Full to New.
 
If it was from 3/8 to 5/8 (which includes Full Moon) then it would be a Bad Thing(tm) for the tides.  If it were 7/8 to 1/8 (including New Moon) that's a Worse Yet Thing(tm).  Anywhere in the 1/4 and 3/4 Moon is the best hopefull scenario, as that's would help to pull water away from the Sun's pull to the side.  The other two enhance the tides, the Full side being less so on the Atlantic than the New side, which is going to pull the most water.
 
So, for the sake of this argument, the moon is at 3/4, so it's the more hopefull.  The water is still going to be pulled up into the sun's side.  As much as we'd like to believe that the Time Travel Trick (or T3 for short) is going to keep all the waters and people's metabolisms and sunburn protection, it's not.   It will let more physical things such as the rushing river, which isn't all that affected by the sun, and the rockslide, sure, those can be moving back.  But the sheer mass of the water of the ocean simply NOT going to ignore the pull, and peoples skins can't ignore the extra dosage of UV light, much as we'd like that to happen.
 
The ocean swells up more... and then more again as the planet reverses again... And in all this, you have rogue waves being generated by this, similar to those big wave making machines at the water parks.  Someone's town is going to be nonexistent, or at the very least, a few people are gonna get swept away.  Multiply this by a whole lot if the Moon is New.
 
That's just the ocean.  The weather would be affected in some way as well, although it's possible the effects of tidal force won't be as great.  Still, something to consider as a possible.  No, the weather would be affected by the fact that, again, the Earth has moved forward in it's orbit by a few minutes.  But it was slighly tidally locked for those few minutes due to the revese spin.  This has the effect of warming that particular side of the earth by quite a lot more than just a little bit.  As would the dark side also be radiating heat for a few minutes more.  THAT is what will affect the weather of the planet, as the weather of Earth (and indeed, all weather in the Solar System, and the Universe) is a heat moving mechanism.  The warming of the Atlantic due to the extra time under the sun (as evidenced by the clip, mind, which is already messed up) would ensure an extra hurricane or tropical storm.  And a bigger one of those at that.
 
Oh yeah... remember what I said about the ocean tides  The earth's movement... Rockies, Hawaiian islands, Himalayas, all those masses flinging themselves suddenly backwards through the air?  Are we SURE the air is going with us?  I bet not... it's too diffuse.  Eddies and counter currents, hook patterns, tornadoes galore... all can be expected in the next couple of hours if not days.  Not in the traditional places, like Kansas... but more like... Denver.  Kathmandu.  Kona. 
 
Tetonic stresses beyond anything you can ever expect to believe.  Destruction of cities scale the likes of which has never been seen.  Cuba disappears.  Kilauea, Loihi won't be the only volcanoes going in Hawaii, Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Haleakala, Hualali, all will be active.  The Panama Canal will widen itself, and the locks will never close again.  That sort of thing.  The Earth's Dynamo in the form of the spinning cores and mantles would be so disrupted, we will never have the Van Allen Belts during our lifetimes, and forget North and South poles,try Northwest, Southeast, Top, Bottom, Strange, Up... 8 or more matching pole systems. 
 
Death and destruction of plant life and animal life due to increased radiation, especially at the locations where a neo-pole unluckily decided to be.  Dallas and Sidney could be ghost towns because poles sprung up there, funnelling in the suns' radiation, making them uninhabitable.
 
All for Superman's desire to save a potiential booty call. 
 
Way to go, Clark.
 
/This is a whole lotta supposition, and there's probably more, but I think I've formulated the destruction of Earth as we know it thanks to Superman's awesome studliness, don't you?
//I look forward to a rousing debate upon these small points I've brung up.  Let's have fun! :D

Codewalker

  • Hero of the City
  • Titan Network Admin
  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,740
  • Moar Dots!
Re: Superman '78 and time travel, plus physics.
« Reply #1 on: June 27, 2013, 04:30:25 AM »
Where's that other missile?

This is what happened to the other missile.

(couldn't possibly be that missile, right?)

Tenzhi

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,642
    • My DeviantArt Page
Re: Superman '78 and time travel, plus physics.
« Reply #2 on: June 27, 2013, 05:26:35 AM »
What if Superman wasn't actually flying around the Earth fast enough to make the Earth spin in reverse and somehow reverse effects on it?  What if he was just going backwards in time *himself*?
When you insult someone by calling them a "pig" or a "dog" you aren't maligning pigs and dogs everywhere.  The same is true of any term used as an insult.

TonyV

  • Titan Staff
  • Elite Boss
  • ****
  • Posts: 2,175
    • Paragon Wiki
Re: Superman '78 and time travel, plus physics.
« Reply #3 on: June 27, 2013, 06:04:35 AM »
2) The "earlier" Superman was doing all that, leaving the "now" Superman to just do one thing.  Fix the crack, and then be a smart ass and say "I think it's out of gas."
 
Which is fine, I suppose... but why do all that when you can *get the missile in the first place?!* and make it a MUCH simpler solve?
 
Paradox, that'd be why.

So?  How do you know that he's not stuck in a time loop even now, continually repeating the motions of stopping the missile, seeing the other one impact, zipping around the earth, stopping the other missile, thus precluding the need to zip around the earth, thus causing the other missile to impact, zipping around the earth, stopping the other missile, thus precluding the need to zip around the earth, thus causing the other missile to impact,...

Have you by chance watched the British television show Misfits?  There was a brilliant little piece of writing in which two of the characters get stuck in a time loop like that when the actors decided to leave the show.  At the beginning of the season, one of them shows up after having gone back in time, and for a while, two of him exists in the timeline.  Then one gets killed off while protecting someone else, leaving one of each.  Then the other gets killed off, and he goes back in time, which is where he ended up at the start of the season.  For everyone else, life continued on, but for those two characters, they're perpetually "stuck" in a time loop.  In a way, I think it was supposed to be kind of romantic, because even though they both were killed, they were eternally locked in that loop, reliving the best times of their lives.

Nos482

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 895
  • We've gone and done the greatest crime...
    • My PSN profile
Re: Superman '78 and time travel, plus physics.
« Reply #4 on: June 27, 2013, 01:54:08 PM »
 :o
And we needed this mindscrew why exactly?
I'm bad and that's good.
I'll never be good and that's not bad.
There's no one I'd rather be than me.

...unless I could be Batman, of course. Everybody wants to be Batman.

Heroette

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 319
  • Penelope Pistol lives forever in my heart.
Re: Superman '78 and time travel, plus physics.
« Reply #5 on: June 27, 2013, 03:17:21 PM »
:o
And we needed this mindscrew why exactly?

LOL.  For me, it just went on and on and I stopped reading the OP about half way through.  Too much to think about and ADHD kicked in.  But for those who did read it all, congratulations (in a good way).
« Last Edit: June 27, 2013, 03:26:24 PM by scalebeast »

TonyV

  • Titan Staff
  • Elite Boss
  • ****
  • Posts: 2,175
    • Paragon Wiki
Re: Superman '78 and time travel, plus physics.
« Reply #6 on: June 27, 2013, 05:29:46 PM »
LOL.  For me, it just went on and on and I stopped reading the OP about half way through.  Too much to think about and ADHD kicked in.  But for those who did read it all, congratulations (in a good way).

It's mainly an accusation of Superman for being grossly negligent in his anger and jeopardizing the lives of every human being on Earth.  Obviously a Lex sympathizer.  But you know, they don't say not to tug on his cape for nothin'...

TimtheEnchanter

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,466
  • There are some who call me... Tim?
Re: Superman '78 and time travel, plus physics.
« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2013, 09:37:48 PM »
What if Superman wasn't actually flying around the Earth fast enough to make the Earth spin in reverse and somehow reverse effects on it?  What if he was just going backwards in time *himself*?

I like this. I'd never thought of it that way before.

dwturducken

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 2,152
  • Now available in stereo
Re: Superman '78 and time travel, plus physics.
« Reply #8 on: June 28, 2013, 02:15:52 AM »
I guess I watched too much Star Trek. I always thought it was just Supes going back in time, kinda like a Trek-style slingshot maneuver.
I wouldn't use the word "replace," but there's no word for "take over for you and make everything better almost immediately," so we just say "replace."

houtex

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 933
  • I was the turkey all along! MEE!
Re: Superman '78 and time travel, plus physics.
« Reply #9 on: June 28, 2013, 02:48:55 AM »
:o
And we needed this mindscrew why exactly?

Because. Exactly.

houtex

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 933
  • I was the turkey all along! MEE!
Re: Superman '78 and time travel, plus physics.
« Reply #10 on: June 28, 2013, 02:49:25 AM »
LOL.  For me, it just went on and on and I stopped reading the OP about half way through.  Too much to think about and ADHD kicked in.  But for those who did read it all, congratulations (in a good way).

But... you missed the punchline!  v.v

houtex

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 933
  • I was the turkey all along! MEE!
Re: Superman '78 and time travel, plus physics.
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2013, 02:53:23 AM »
It's mainly an accusation of Superman for being grossly negligent in his anger and jeopardizing the lives of every human being on Earth.  Obviously a Lex sympathizer.  But you know, they don't say not to tug on his cape for nothin'...

Naw, Tony.   Nothin' so complex as that!  :D

It was just the silliness of how grossly negligent the telling of any comic book super hero story can get, then adding how my twisted brain works, all rolled up into a wallotext.  :p

/And also servin' to make the point that nobody will ever get any comic book character 'right' in a movie.  Ever.  Because stupid happens when writers try, OR when TPTB decide to make the writers add gigantic spiders.

Zombie Man

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 296
Re: Superman '78 and time travel, plus physics.
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2013, 06:38:42 AM »
The Earth doesn't reverse spin. The 'camera' following Superman travels back in time with him giving the Earth the appearance of reversing spin.

Superman travels far back in time to stop all missiles.

Jor-El's warning is superfluous, there is no bad consequences for Superman to go back in time.

TimtheEnchanter

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,466
  • There are some who call me... Tim?
Re: Superman '78 and time travel, plus physics.
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2013, 07:15:52 AM »
The Earth doesn't reverse spin. The 'camera' following Superman travels back in time with him giving the Earth the appearance of reversing spin.

Superman travels far back in time to stop all missiles.

Jor-El's warning is superfluous, there is no bad consequences for Superman to go back in time.

Ah, there was for a brief time, two of him there at the same time.

Maybe that's the real reason he ended up having to kick his own arse in the third film.  8)

Shenku

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 388
Re: Superman '78 and time travel, plus physics.
« Reply #14 on: June 28, 2013, 05:34:24 PM »
What if Superman wasn't actually flying around the Earth fast enough to make the Earth spin in reverse and somehow reverse effects on it?  What if he was just going backwards in time *himself*?

I always thought this was the case myself. Always assumed it wasn't the earth's spin reversing, but rather Superman using the Earth's gravity to slingshot himself around the Earth fast enough to travel through time in reverse causing the illusion that the Earth's rotation and all the destruction was being reversed, when in reality, it was only a visual indicator of time playing "backwards". The part where he stops and starts flying back in the other direction is him trying to right himself with the proper flow of time so that time is passing normally for him again, because elsewise his temporal momentum would have perpetually kept him going through time in reverse.

As for the second missile and how all the death destruction and mayhem was avoided/stopped/reversed, chalk that up to bad writing/directing. Besides, since when has Hollywood been known for having great continuity and accurate science in their movies? I think it's something like 9 out of 10 times, they'll just make the science up Star Trek style and hope no one is paying close enough attention to call bull****...

Of course you can always just remember that it's a movie, and stop over analyzing it and just enjoy it for what it is. :P

doctorlurkin

  • Boss
  • ****
  • Posts: 124
Re: Superman '78 and time travel, plus physics.
« Reply #15 on: July 03, 2013, 03:29:29 AM »
I always figured that Superman was just flying backwards faster than the rotation of the earth so theoretically he would be making a complete lap of the earth in less than 24 hours so wouldn't that cause time to travel backwards? I mean if Supes left New York at 12:00 noon and it took him only 23 hours (for sake of argument - I don't know Superman's top speed) to make one complete circle against the rotation of the planet wouldn't it then be only be 11:00 a.m. upon return and essentially time traveled backwards one hour?  Could it be really be that simple?
I'm not really a doctor, but I've played one on Television!

houtex

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 933
  • I was the turkey all along! MEE!
Re: Superman '78 and time travel, plus physics.
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2013, 05:59:08 AM »
There was no wormhole generated (according to what was on the screen) so all this 'he went backwards in time' is huey.  He spun the Earth backwards which we *all know* causes the local time reversal effect to happen.  Duh.

/Reminds me of the spinning in Rocky Horror Picture Show near the end... where we all go up to the screen, and start 'spinning' it to the right... then the scene cross fades from the spinning people lyin' on the ground to the globe spinning... THE OTHER WAY... and we all reverse our 'spinning' motion until some yells as the right moment "Stop the world I wanna get off!"  Whereupon the Criminologist does exactly that, and we all go flying stage left, some of us into the wall.
//Your pardon if I've got the left/right backward, I have directional dyslexia.  Left right, east west, Houston Katy, always and forever being backwards when I say/type them.  It's the oddest thing, I think...

Tenzhi

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 1,642
    • My DeviantArt Page
Re: Superman '78 and time travel, plus physics.
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2013, 09:37:42 AM »
There was no wormhole generated (according to what was on the screen)

Superman doesn't need a wormhole.  He travels faster than light while using his cosmic string vision to create vibrations in the speed force that propel him backward in time.  That visible streak was actually his time tunnel.  Your science was a hamster and your physics smells of elderberries.  I blow my nose at you.  ;)
When you insult someone by calling them a "pig" or a "dog" you aren't maligning pigs and dogs everywhere.  The same is true of any term used as an insult.

doctorlurkin

  • Boss
  • ****
  • Posts: 124
Re: Superman '78 and time travel, plus physics.
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2013, 10:45:52 PM »
Is there someone else we can talk to?
I'm not really a doctor, but I've played one on Television!

houtex

  • Elite Boss
  • *****
  • Posts: 933
  • I was the turkey all along! MEE!
Re: Superman '78 and time travel, plus physics.
« Reply #19 on: July 04, 2013, 03:24:59 AM »
Stephen Hawking, but I don't think he's available at the moment.

Tenzhi, your nose needs more blowing because them ain't elderberries, they're snozzberries.  As IF I would use elderberry smellin' physics...

Something something something that I was thinkin on, and then which brings up the point of if the Earth could be stopped and reversed, Superman kills *everyone* on the planet with the sudden stop and reversal... brick walls being met and all that.  A gigantic amount of red blotches.  And then does it *again* when he stops and reverses it back...

So the movie got it completely wrong, but used creative license to make sure he didn't hurt anybody.  If he actually did this, when he spun it back, the brick wall effect would happen, and he would truly be the last sentient being on Earth. 

Well, excepting maybe those few who were in the airplanes, and floating in the middle of the oceans... Ooh, yeah, Tsunamis.  Did I say that already?  *rereads first post*  Well, not in the exact term, but yeah, I remember that bit.
 
And the buildings, the skyscrapers?  Twigs, the lot of them.  Bent about like trees in a nuclear bomb blast wave.  Dead peoples everywhere, blotch blotch blotch.  Forget the tsunamis, UV burns, weather crap... they'll be dead by the second sudden stop.

So yeah.  Definitely snozzberry smellin' stuff right there.

/Fun fact... the hamster in a wheel is a perpetual motion device.  The hamster gets blown off course/distracted, but that's the only reason it's not perpetual.  Mine's named Rudolph.  Specifically so I can yell at him " RUN RUN RUDOLPH!!"  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dB1n3XGViOM
//Please note, the term 'fact' in the previous PSlash may be a misnomer.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2013, 03:30:17 AM by houtex »