1 year ago
Thursday, September 16, 2010
I’m sure you’re familiar with the play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” You know, the one where the beautiful lady falls in love with a jassack. :-)
Shakespeare’s “Dream” is full of bizarre creatures, of all sizes and shapes. One of them – and I’m sure you’re familiar with him too – is named Puck. He’s responsible for the line, “What fools these mortals be!”
Who – or rather, what – is Puck? He’s a strange little creature, not really human. In fact, to come right out with it, he’s an elf.
(His favorite song is “What’s It All About, Elfie?”)
The above line is an attempt at humor and may be ignored.
Anyway, Puck’s boss, Oberon, has a chore for him. It involves travel. No problemo, says Puck; I love to travel. In fact, I can travel around the world in record time.
Great, says Oberon, get started.
Now this sequence from “Dream” has had a number of the greatest scientific minds of our time, including mine, wondering. If it were possible to set up a race between Puck and a modern astronaut, to see who would circle the earth fastest, who would win?
These are the types of things great scientific minds, including mine, waste time thinking about. (I have to work “time” in here somewhere, to fit this week’s prompt, or I’ll be voted out of the Magpie organization.)
Well, after very little effort and no expense at all, I have come up with the answer to this “time” question.
An astronaut takes about 90 minutes to circle the earth.
Puck says: “I’ll put a girdle round about the earth in forty minutes.”
Puck wins, hands down
At the end of Act Five, Puck apologizes to the audience for the general goofiness of this play (and this post): “If we shadows have offended, think but this and all is mended. That you have but slumber’d here.”