Time Travel With Merriam-Webster

If there’s one genre that gets me every single time, it’s time travel. I absolutely cannot resist the concept.

So I was thrilled to recently read that a physicist came up with calculations that eliminate the paradox problem. You know the issue when someone goes back in time and has to worry about changing something and destroying the present? Apparently things would all work themselves out somehow. Yay?!?!

Not only is the time travel genre fun, but it’s a great way to learn some history. I find myself wondering if certain parts of the story lines are true, so with some quick research, I’m able to find out.

Recently I enjoyed a couple of time travel series on Netflix. Since I also love foreign films, the variety of time travel shows available exponentially increases with more languages included. Back to 1989 is in Mandarin and placed in Taiwan. Live Up to Your Name is in Korean and takes place in present day South Korea and goes all the way back to the Joseon Dynasty.

So why am I bringing up time travel today? Because Merriam-Webster is playing along with the idea. They have a link you can go to and travel back. Pick the year you were born or any other year. You’ll find out when certain words were first used in print. The earliest year you can go back to is 1500, then by century and generally before the 12th century.

I went back to 1964 and it surprised me to find some of these words used so early. They seem more modern! Others are interesting in that the terms have changed and are used differently. It also makes me think about how the more things change, the more they stay the same. Below are a few.

AAA, black hole, carryout, colorism, condo, drink-driving, endangered, fentanyl, garage sale, gender identity, gigahertz, grandparenting, graphic novel, gun control, homophobia, hydrocodone, mack daddy, minicam, miracle fruit, mitochondrial DNA, naloxone, pants suit and pantsuit, point-and-shoot, precalculus, precooked, quinceañera, rat fink, red bush tea, retribalization, reverse discrimination, skinny-dip, slow-wave sleep, street hockey, table sugar, tostone, triple jump, xanthan gum, zip-code

If you have a few minutes, take a trip back and let me know what you think!

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Screenshot Image: Merriam-Webster

Recently Watched: Being Erica

Opening scene from Being Erica.

This past holiday season, I watched very few Christmas shows even though I look forward to them every year. But I enjoy time travel even more. And around Thanksgiving, I found a television series called Being Erica. I streamed the entire four years through the holidays and finished on December 30th. I wish there were more years, but watching this show was so satisfying —like eggnog and Christmas cookies. Which I indulged in while watching!

It was also a great way to end 2019. Especially since the year 2019 plays a role in the show, which aired on CBC Television from 2009 to 2011. So my then 2019 present, now my past in 2020, was the distant future on the show. How meta!

The easiest way to describe Being Erica is to compare it to Sex and the City. Located in Toronto instead of New York and with the added bonus of time travel! Erica is Carrie. She doesn’t have a Mr. Big, but she does have a series of romances and is a major part of the publishing world. We meet her group of close friends of course, but unlike Sex and the City, Erica’s family is a major part of the show. I always found it strange that we didn’t see Carrie’s family.

The way time travel works on this show is that it’s therapy. She meets Dr. Tom who gives her the ability to go back in time to regrets in her life and fix them. There are certain caveats to the time travel though. Which there always are!

This show has also made me realize a gaping hole in my Canadian travel. I’ve been to Canada a few times, but only to Montreal. I’ve never been to Toronto. It’s a new decade and before the 20s are over, I plant to visit! Hopefully I can get to some other places in Canada as well.

I won’t say more and give anything away, but I loved this show and was so glad that I found it streaming on Hulu. It’s also on Amazon Prime. The first episode is on YouTube, so you can watch it there for now too.

If you watch it, let me know what you think. Do you have any favorite time travel shows?

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Photo Credit: Screenshot @ Hulu

Recently Watched: Nine: Nine Time Travels

On this last day of the year, it seems like the perfect time to share one of my favorite television series with you. There’s something magical about moving from one year to the next in the span of one second. And the magic in this series is time travel. One of my favorite things!

I watched Nine: Nine Time Travels over a period of a few weeks. It’s dramatic, mysterious, fun, heart-wrenching, romantic and surprising. I looked forward to watching it each day and hated for it to end. I really loved this show.

The 20 episode series is in Korean with English subtitles and originally aired on tvN  in South Korea in 2013. I saw it on Netflix and it’s still available to watch.

The stars Lee Jin-wook and Jo Yoon-hee are so engaging that I was swept up in their story immediately. Wikipedia gives a good plot summary below.

The science fiction/romance series is about a man who finds nine magical incense sticks that allow him to travel 20 years back in time. He attempts to keep his family safe in order to change the world he lives in today. However, this is not without consequences as his actions in the past affects the lives of many in the present, including his.

As a fan of time travel, it’s always interesting to see the device chosen to facilitate the travels. The use of incense was very different than most, because it’s so relatable for me. Sometimes I’ll combine it with candles when I meditate. I love the smell. There’s something very calming about it — watching the smoke floating and knowing that it will burn itself out. The time component of the way incense burns is a key element of the story.

The lead character is a news anchor named Park Sun-woo who is able to travel back exactly 20 years to the day. So with each day that passes, he can go back to a different day in order to solve a mystery. The show is quite a ride! The twists and turns!

I hated when the show was over, but there is some good news. For the future. According to a 2013 article, actress Yunjin Kim, known from the shows Lost and Mistresses, is working with ABC on a show based on the series. She will be one of the executive producers of the show.

Since it’s now going on five years since that article, I’m not sure the status of the show, but it’s something to keep an eye out for.

This is the last that I’ll be here for 2017. See ya in 2018!

Happy New Year!

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Screenshot: tvN

Boston Total Solar Eclipse History From 1932

Total eclipse of the sun August, 31, 1932.

Are you excited about the total solar eclipse today? I am! Unfortunately I don’t have glasses, but I’m hoping to enjoy the event anyway.

Also, today I learned that my family has eclipse history. Who knew?

My aunt found a clipping from her aunt’s scrapbook with a portion of a poem called “The Total Eclipse Of The Sun Of Two Centuries Ago.”

I found the full poem online called, “On The Eclipse Of The Sun, April 1715.” It was written by Allan Ramsay, who was born in Scotland in 1686 and died in 1758. With a quick search, I found that the eclipse was on April 22, 1715.

However, with some further digging it seems that because of changes with the calendar that the date of this total solar eclipse, called Halley’s Eclipse, may have actually been on May 3, 1715. Below is portion of the article from The Guardian.

[A] total solar eclipse was visible across a broad band of England. It was the first to be predicted on the basis of the Newtonian theory of universal gravitation, its path mapped clearly and advertised widely in advance. Visible in locations such as London and Cambridge, both astronomical experts and the public were able to see the phenomena and be impressed by the predictive power of the new astronomy.

So this 1715 eclipse was special. It was predicted based on recent scientific developments and the public was ready and waiting to see the spectacular sight. Ramsay, who was about 29 years old at the time, must have been deeply moved by the eclipse, because his poem is quite epic.

Below is a portion, edited for length. See the full poem here.

Now do I press among the learned throng,
To tell a great eclipse in little song.
At me nor scheme nor demonstration ask,
That is our Gregory’s or fam’d Halley’s task;
‘Tis they who are conversant with each star,
We know how planets planets’ rays debar;

When night’s pale queen, in her oft changed way,
Will intercept in direct line his ray,
And make black night usurp the throne of day.
The curious will attend that hour with care,
And wish no clouds may hover in the air,
To dark the medium, and obstruct from sight
The gradual motion and decay of light;
Whilst thoughtless fools will view the water-pail,
To see which of the planets will prevail;
For then they think the sun and moon make war,
Thus nurses’ tales oft-times the judgment mar.
When this strange darkness overshades the plains …

What’s especially fascinating about the clipping of this poem, besides the coffee stains, is that my great aunt wrote on it. She wrote that on August 31,1932, she and two of her sisters stood together on Tremont Street in downtown Boston at St. Paul’s Cathedral across from the Park Street T station to view the eclipse.

I’m assuming that they had glasses, because none of them lost their vision from what I know. This story is new to me and gives me some insight into my great aunts’ lives that I didn’t have before. They were really into the eclipse!

Also, my mother pointed out that the names mentioned did not include my grandmother. So now I wonder. Where was my grandmother? And why wasn’t she with her sisters?

As someone who is very much into the idea of time travel, this also makes me think about how I have an approximate time, date and place to go back to to meet some family members!

An article from Science Magazine says that the 1932 total solar eclipse was a path about 100 miles wide that included New England, so they had the real deal, unlike what we will have here in New England later today.

The picture above is from a short video that I found showing the preparation for and actual video from the 1932 eclipse. Today will be full of wonder and no doubt will be history for those looking back at this someday.

Hope you have a wonderful day and Happy Solar Eclipse!

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Screenshot: YouTube

I Want This Commercial Turned Into A Movie

The first time I saw this commercial, I wanted to know what was next. Who is the wife? How do they meet? Was that a restaurant he was going into? What did he eat? 😋

Since Back to the Future day is now behind us, I’ve been thinking about time travel this week and was reminded of this ad. I can’t be the only one who was intrigued by this commercial. Wonder if there will be a follow-up?

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Image: YouTube