Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Junk-mail Powered Time Machine

At last! A genuine benefit from unwanted mail!
  (+10, -3)
(+10, -3)
  [vote for,

Physics demands that time travel requires distortion of the space-time continuum, which can be acheived using a black hole. But how does one construct a black hole? The answer is staring up at you from your doormat - JUNK MAIL.

The average adult receives approximately 100 pieces of junk mail per annum, at about 0.02 - 0.05 kg per item (unless its those Betterware catalogues). This amounts to roughly 4 kg of junk mail per person per annum.

Collecting all unwanted junk mail over an extended period of time (a couple of decades should do it for the developed world) and compressing it to an extremely high density required for it to achieve an escape velocity greater than the speed of light (need to iron out those details first) should allow the necessary black hole to be brought into being.

Usefully the time machine can then be used to travel back in time to gather more unwanted junk mail, providing further 'fuel'.

Clearly a number of details require further work, such as containment, control, avoiding paradoxes, and recovering lost non-junk mail inadvertently swallowed up by the black hole.

If this has already been baked, perhaps in 2325 AD, please let me know yesterday to avoid the embarassment of posting the idea in the first place.

ironlung, Jun 02 2006


       I would've thought that this would be better called 'the junk mail nucleus' as what you seem to describe best fits the whole concept of the nucleus of an atom.   

       Then, with the power of the free samples for electrons, you could have a junk mail atom to conquer the world with, perhaps?   

       Please don't mind me. ;-)
froglet, Jun 02 2006

       Can I start sending you my junk mail now? +
xandram, Jun 02 2006

       Bad science, great description.   

Germanicus, Jun 02 2006

       bun just for that last paragraph... +
bleh, Jun 02 2006

       Wierd idea, but hey, i found a use for junk mail. I will gladdly prevent you from posting the idea when it is invented.   

       Anyway, where did i put that croissant...Oh yeah, i gave you one!
wolstech, Jun 03 2006

       Is the last paragraph really neccessary? It's a condradiction of itself. Well done though.
jellydoughnut, Jun 03 2006

       I will bun this in the future of tommorow's past, today.
notmarkflynn, Jun 03 2006

       Could be 'they' have not seen this idea using junk mail and instead developed the time traveling technology (or for those in the know- Triple T) using half pairs of socks. Thus when doing a search in the old archives for anyone posting an idea about Triple T with a request to be notified before posting in the post so the poster could remove or not put up the post, they would be looking for sock based Triple T, not junk mail based Triple T.
NotTheSharpestSpoon, Jun 03 2006

       Maybe it will be invented in 2325 A.D., and they will come back and change time, and we're just in that loop of time where time hasn't corrected itself yet.   

       Just wait for reality to reshift itself as your memories fade away, like unseen rose petals blown in the cold winds of eternity, a truth turned into falsehood by the foibles of time.
notmarkflynn, Jun 03 2006

       Damn those foibles! I'll show them, I'll show all those foibles, of time or of anything else for that matter. Damn foibles...
NotTheSharpestSpoon, Jun 03 2006

       Dammit, Dammit, Dammit, Dammit! I just accidentally erased one of the weirdest short stories I've ever written. I hope I remember it later & write it down (I worked so hard on the pace/poetry/rythem) - & I may never be able to duplicate it.   

       The concept for the story being; Man has never been able to manipulate material properties before without destroying them first.   

       For some reason I thought [froglet] posted the idea, so the main character's name was Renalito. He, being the first to achieve time travel destroyed 4000 years of human history (I mean completely vanished) and was being put on trial for it.   

       The destruction did not occour until he arrived, and the scientist had predicted this would happen. (knowing Renalito had done this 2000 years ago)   

       Damn. The defense (I didn't get that far in the writing) was going to try and get him off by saying that time travel experiments were currently going on now, and without his first step, many technologies of that day would have taken thousands of years more to discover.   

Zimmy, Jun 03 2006

       [UB], thanks. I fixed that. In case there are questions about how a trial or defense could have been mounted considering the vanishing ... (I hadn't completely thought it out), It was pre-set (the trial). All expectations were written down & sealed - sent by one of the experimental time travel machines to arrive incrementally when needed.
Zimmy, Jun 03 2006


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