Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Century or Centuries (02/17/11)
TITLE: Mandatory Retirement
By Clyde Blakely
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Spaceman Bob: Why, I can still out maneuver these hotshots coming up. Did you know they are replacing me with a kid of 50? Hardly out of diapers and think they can fly!
Star Parker: 50 is hardly a kid, you know.
SB: I know, but really I can still do 50 one arm push-ups. Rules are rules, I guess.
SP: Do you have any plans for retirement? I understand you still have your space pilot’s license and you have your own spacecraft.
SB: I’d like to visit the blue moon again, it was really spectacular: glowing inside from the reflection of the star’s light off the blue gems throughout the tunnels. Magnificent!
SP: That was your one crash in space: once, in a blue moon.
SB: They tried to retire me after that too.
SP: Because you crashed?
SB: No, because they said I was well past retirement age then.
SP: But the century mark has been mandatory for many years. How old were you then?
SB: It depends on who does the calculating. In earth years I was only 78 but I had a boss with a good sense of humor and tried to get me to retire.
SP: What’s so funny about trying to add on 22 years to make them retire?
SB: Well, Miss Parker, remember I orbited that star twice before I made the repairs?
SP: My head was spinning after that interview. Those two years around the blue moon’s star was equal to only 4 and a half hours here on earth. That only added “two years” so to speak to your age. Not even close to 22 earth years.
SB: True, but I flew around that star for another 25 orbits taking scientific readings before I headed back to earth to finish repairs and refuel. Each orbit there was a year or about five earth days. My boss’s calculation put me over the century mark by five years.
SP: You argued with him on it, didn’t you?
SB: We had some fun discussing it. I offered to flip a coin to see who won.
SP: You won and continued to fly.
SB: He knew I had a two headed coin and he always called tails.
SP: So how old are you really?
SB: Counting my earth years, orbits around other stars, and adjusting for various speeds and gravitational differences, while using the Modularium theory of mitrachondrial regeneration subvariables of space vacuum mechanics, it would put me about…
SP: Mr. Bob, I think I’m a little taller right now. It feels like someone’s pulling my leg.
SB: Okay, I see that won’t fly. Let’s just say I’m over the mandatory retirement age.
SP: Did you ever try to calculate the age of some of the stars and planets you visited?
SB: That was part of my missions. Remember our discussion on speed and how close something was to a gravity source would cause all created items to age at different rates?
SP: Sort of, it was a couple of weeks ago. That related to our GPS satellites too, didn’t it?
SB: It did. Using the known speed of light, which varies over time and space, science wanted to know, in earth years, how old stars really were.
SP: And what did you find?
SB: They are the same age as the earth. The heavens and the earth were all created within a few days of each other. Therefore they should test out the same. What they calculated, adjusting for speed and gravity wells, was what I found: you could measure their age in hundreds of years. Not billions as popularly taught back in the 20th and 21st centuries.
SP: It took a long time for our science books to reflect that.
SB: Well, science has known this for some time. They just needed someone to bring them hard evidence. If that is all my career has accomplished, I am satisfied to retire.
SP: There is so much more we want to learn. Can we have you back again?
SB: Any time you have space…
SP: A century has not slowed your mind, Spaceman Bob. Until next visit, Galaxy Radio listeners, this is Star Parker signing off.
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