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Reductio-ad-absurdum World Tour by Mail

Cheaper than going in person.
  [vote for,

It seems to be a common trait among your species to brag to one another about the places you have visited.

The downside being that you have to go to all the trouble and expense of actually visiting.

But how much of you actually needs to "visit" ? Does "all" of you need to be there ?

BorgCo now offers a new travel service for cheapskates. Just go to your local clinic and get them to extract 1 ml of blood. and place it in a sterile vial, then drop it into the prepaid refrigerated mailer box and send it to BorgCo, along with your completed itinerary.

Our courier system will then arrange for your blood to be transported (along with many other vials) to the destination(s) of your choice. Safe in its refrigerated container, your vial will be carried respectfully through art galleries, famous houses, city landmarks and historic sites. You will stay in the very best hotels, and your trip will be photographically documented and copies of receipts provided.

On its return, the blood will be warmed and re-injected. Thus you can honestly claim that you (or at least, a part of you) has visited the listed locations; and you will have proof.

For a small extra fee, you can send extra vials to be left at particular locations, allowing you to claim at dinner parties that, "Yes, I went to the Taj Mahal at Sunset/Stonehenge at Dawn/San Francisco/Ayers Rock/Antarctica* and, you know, I think I left a little bit of me behind."

*Delete where not applicable.

8th of 7, Nov 02 2010

'We Can Remember It For You Wholesale' by Philip K Dick http://en.wikipedia...t_for_You_Wholesale
[DrBob, Nov 05 2010]


       [+] I'd love to see the holiday snaps.
nineteenthly, Nov 02 2010

       This would be scarily easy to bake. Given that the //refrigerated container// could be handbag or backpack sized, entrance to sites and buildings should not be a problem. Customs might be more tricky, though I am sure there are institutional work-arounds*. The fees need not even be too high, as long as there is sufficient take-up.   

       *The blood could be distilled, and the distillate collected, and transported as vials of distilled water. That should solve most of these issues.
pocmloc, Nov 02 2010

       This might be hard to explain to the Red Cross when filling out donor paperwork.
RayfordSteele, Nov 02 2010

       Brilliant. So I can go to Africa, and actually catch malaria, without having to leave the comfort of my own home!
Jinbish, Nov 02 2010

       Nice twist, [poc].   

       10 ml of blood could be extracted, and then passed through an RO unit, to extract 5ml of DI water; the rest could be re-diluted with normal saline and re-injected.   

       The pure water wouldn't need to be refrigerated, and on its return the tourist could just swallow it.
8th of 7, Nov 02 2010

       You could always go and spit in the ocean.
RayfordSteele, Nov 03 2010

       Slightly more elaborately, you could send your unborn children on a pre-conception world tour.
marklar, Nov 03 2010

       Baked - sort of, if you've ever donated blood to someone who went on to travel the world. Actually that's an interesting variant of this idea - a service which plots the approximate location of all the blood you've ever donated.
hippo, Nov 03 2010

       [Ian] The maths involved in that is quite interesting. If you select any random historical figure - Julius Ceasar, for example - then there's a better-than-even chance that you just breathed in some molecules of air from his dying breath. It comes from there being quite a lot more molecules of air in one breath than there are breath-sized units of air in the atmosphere. It also assumes that the atmosphere has been fairly well mixed since Julius Caesar died, and that not much of it has been chemically converted into other forms (this may not be a valid assumption, as, for example, carbon dioxide gets converted into trees).
hippo, Nov 03 2010

       I'm not sure about that, [hippo]. My brother once told me that the chance you might breathe a molecule of any of the atmospheric gases used by an historical figure was something like 800 billion to one, or some equally long odds. There's a huge amount of atmosphere on the planet. In fact, I'm curious enough to do some figuring on the subject.   

       The Earth's surface is about 510 million square kilometres, which is about 790,501,579,390,539,000 square inches. That's 790.5 quintillion square inches. At 14.1 lbs/square inch, the atmosphere weighs about 11.146 quadrillion metric tonne.   

       At STP one mole of air occupies 24.5 litres.
Average adult lung capacity is 6 litres but the average breath is about 2 litres.

       Therefore, the average breath contains 1/12 of a mole of air. Let's say a mole of air weighs about 32 grams, and you breathe about 15 times per minute. You'll therefore breathe about 1.31 moles of air per minute, or about 42 grams of air {{{{{{ Brief HHTG shivery moment }}}}}} per minute   

       You will live about 82 years, so you will consume about 647 million breaths in that time, or roughly 43,128 kg of air.   

       Put that over the entire atmosphere and your 43.128 tonne of breaths constitutes 0.000,000,000,003,869 of the atmosphere. That makes the odds about 3.87 trillion to one, notwithstanding the fact that air is consumed in chemical reactions and interactions with plants, regularly, making a lot of it unavailable for breathing over time. It is replaced by other air, as plants break down and chemical reactions occur to release oxygen, nitrogen and CO2 back into the atmosphere.   

       I may be a pessimist but I don't think I've had much of a chance to breathe any of the air that Jesus Christ, Julius Caesar or Da Vinci rendered secondhand.
infidel, Nov 03 2010

       [infidel] I believe the error in the premise to your calculations is that ''breaths" are a unit. They are not. The correct units should be the molecules of oxygen, nitrogen, and the other components of air. The numbers of molecules in each breath make the results much, much different.   

       Isaac Azimov once wrote, in making comparisons of very large and very small quantities more accessible to laypersons (such as myself), that if you dumped a glass of water into the ocean--anywhere--that in a suitable amount of time (I don't remember how long, but it was definitely finite and surprisingly short), you could dip another glass of water anywhere else from the ocean and expect to discover around 100 molecules from that original glass in it. (I should dig this up...)
Boomershine, Nov 03 2010

       [infidel] As [Boomershine] suggests, your logic actually proves the opposite of what you conclude. If you breathe in 1/(3.87 trillion) of the atmosphere, you will breathe in 1/(3.87 trillion) or 4x10-12 of Julius Caesar's last breath. If this breath is 1/12 mole, then it's about 5x10^22 atoms. 4x10-12 x 5x10^22 gives us about 2x10^11 which is a lot of atoms of Caesar's last breath.
hippo, Nov 03 2010

       Back to [IanTindale]'s comment://But is your blood “you”?//   

       I think this is the most relevant question here, or more specifically,//What is exactly "you"?// If you follow Ian's logic (and I do), it can't very well be any part of our physical 'selves,' since they are all replaced periodically. So, that leaves things like our memories, formed from sensory stimuli, added together with whatever goes on in our brains, in the way of context or embellishment.   

       I think that in a very real sense, the things we already do to experience places other than the one in which our bodies reside--photographs, postcards, videos, phone calls, etc--are real forms of "world touring."   

       When you watch a very vivid and engaging movie that takes place somewhere else, are you more 'there' or in the movie theater?
Boomershine, Nov 04 2010

       Hippo. If JC breathes 1 trillionth, and I breathe one trillionth of the well mixed atmosphere with a trillionth of JC breath, Then I will get 1/1trill * 1/trill of his breath, or about 1*10^-24 of his breath. If his breath has 1*10^22 atoms, you see that I get 1*10^-2 atoms. Or .01 of his dying breath atoms per breath. So I have to breath ONE HUNDRED TIMES! count them. To get one atom of the dude's dying breath.
daseva, Nov 04 2010

       I am so confused...(+)   

       // extract 1 ml of blood. / and send it to BorgCo /   

       On its return, the blood will be warmed and re-injected. //   

       HA! Nice try [8th] - we're onto you and your devious assimilation attempts.
BunsenHoneydew, Nov 04 2010

8th of 7, Nov 04 2010

       [daseva] Arguments over the calculations (JC breathed his one trillionth each time he breathed throughout his life, not just once) do not change the fact that *some* air he (and so many others) breathed exists in our atmosphere today; ergo, you and I breathe *some* part of him, however small.
Boomershine, Nov 04 2010

       <stirs pot vigorously>   

       Even if you don't have a whole atom, you might well have one if his electrons ...   

       What you need is an "Interocitor with Electron Sorter" ...
8th of 7, Nov 04 2010

       //That makes the odds about 3.87 trillion to one//   

       Those aren't the odds. If you're looking for a single atom, the chances are extremely good that you have at least one from every human who ever lived. The human body over a lifetime processes some 10E30 atoms, and there are 10E16 cubic feet of water in the oceans, so the average cubic foot of water contains trillions of atoms shed by any single individual. With the mixing that has gone on over the past two thousand years, it would be very hard to avoid having many atoms from JC. Almost miraculous, you might say. It's also likely that your body contains atoms of every animal of any size that has ever lived on the planet, and that every sip of water you take has been pissed out a thousand times over.
ldischler, Nov 04 2010

       //But how much of you actually needs to "visit" ? Does "all" of you need to be there ?//

Sounds like the business model for Rekal Inc. (linky)
DrBob, Nov 05 2010

       //every sip of water you take has been pissed out a thousand times over// Isn't that the scientific basis of homeopathy?
pocmloc, Nov 05 2010

       I started to consider the number of atoms you would breathe in a lifetime but ran out of time to do the numbers before I posted the above calculations.   

       43.128 tonne of breaths equals roughly 8.11x10^32 atoms, I think.   

       The 11.146 quadrillion tonne of atmosphere represents 2.1x 10^41 atoms.   

       Statistics may be a bit scratchy but that still means that in an entire lifetime of breathing "your" atoms still represent only 1/3,869,370,177,600th of all of the atoms in the atmosphere. Correct me if I'm wrong, by all means but I read that as giving me a 1 in 3.87 trillion chance of getting just ONE of Julius Ceasar's expired breath atoms in my projected 82 years of breathing.   

       The odds on winning Lotto each week, with 6 numbers from 45 is about 1 in 8,430,000, which near enough to zero. Atom Lotto is a lot less likely than that, for mine.
infidel, Nov 05 2010

       //Isn't that the scientific basis of homeopathy?//   

       No, homeopathy would take piss and dilute it so there was nothing left except the memory of piss.
ldischler, Nov 05 2010

       //Statistics may be a bit scratchy//   

       Not just a bit.
ldischler, Nov 05 2010

       //nothing left except the memory of piss// [marked-for- tagline]
mouseposture, Nov 06 2010


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