Saturday, July 7, 2012

How to Figure Out Where You Are - IN TIME

Pennsylvania hikers and urban explorers, take heed:

While investigating reports of strange gases in an abandoned coal mine in Pennsylvania, you fall into a kind of suspended animation for 492 years, waking to find America under the iron heel of the Air Lords of Han. While chasing down an armed perp (again in Pennsylvania), you’re accidentally swept up into someone’s sideways-in-time vehicle and land in a Keystone State full of pagan Aryans in desperate need of a new source of gunpowder.

These two PA examples are from a post about the dangers of suddenly traveling through time and refer (if my science fiction remains strong) to the original Flash Gordon, and hell if I know.

But I think a lot of us have played this game:  if we suddenly found ourselves in a strange place, how could we figure out where we are?  I usually expressed mine in terms of the old Prisoner TV show.  I often thought that you could get a pretty good approximation of latitude by observing the weather, looking at stars, and building a sun dial, though of course you'd have to do it surrepetitiously, and have uninterrupted consciousness for 6 months (if they drug you for a month at a time without telling you, that would screw things up).  And beyond that, you could even make a pretty strong guess at longitude - I'm at 51 N?  Okay, I'm obviously on an island so I'm not in Canada or Russia, I must be somewhere in the North Atlantic. 

Yes it's a weird example, but it's generally useful for outdoors types to have an array of techniques to figure out where we are.  And let's be honest:  I've thought about weirder things.

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