Word Prompt: Wonder

I wonder…

Two I’d really like to know the answer to:

Q: If I was at the back of a train that was travelling at the speed of light and I then ran from the back of the train to the front, would I then have travelled faster than the speed of light?

(My 5th Year physics teacher – who, please note, must have had the patience of a saint – assured me the answer was no. Because I am within the confines of the train, no matter where I run to the train would have gotten there first, I can’t run faster that the train. I am still not satisfied with that answer.)

Q: We see colour because an object absorbs some colours then reflects others. For example: a blue balloon. The balloon is reflecting “blue” wavelengths and absorbing the rest. The balloon isn’t actually blue, our eyes are perceiving the reflected light to be blue.

So what the hell true colour is the balloon? Or is there even a balloon at all? Is there just a transparent surface reflecting certain light? If we couldn’t interpret light would there even be anything here?

One of my favourites:

Q: Imagine you have an old shovel. The handle breaks so you replace it. The shaft breaks a few years later so you replace it too. Finally the blade goes rusty so you get another. Is it the same shovel you started out with?

Finally, one I loved as a kid:

Q: Imagine you’re in a room with no doors and no windows and soon you will run out of air. The only things are a table and a mirror, how do you get out? (Answer at bottom).

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Dum de dum….

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Keep going….

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Oh look! Some lovely buttercups!

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A weeeeee bit more

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Ok here it is:

A: First you look in the mirror and see what you saw. You take the saw and cut the table in half. Two halves equal a whole. So you crawl out the hole and now you’re free!

Word Prompt: Wonder

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Published by

An Irish Procrastinator

Penitent. Irish. Faffer.

26 thoughts on “Word Prompt: Wonder”

  1. Hahaha I love these questions! You must have been a smart kid. 🙂
    Okay, for the first one, time would slow down to compensate and ensure that the speed of light is not broken in any inertial reference frame (this is according to my physics major friend, I am by no means an expert in physics whatsoever). So I don’t think you’d be travelling faster than light.

    For the second one I think we have to define what “color” is. According to wikipedia, “Color or colour is the characteristic of human visual perception described through color categories, with names such as red, orange, yellow, green, blue, or purple.” So “color” is really just a tag we put on objects. So we call a balloon whatever color it is reflecting (based on how that particular balloon is made I guess). Let me know if I misunderstood your questions lol

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m a riddle geek! Course you didn’t misunderstand! Ok had to educate myself a teeny bit on inertial frames of reference and time dilation (phew my brain is sore). Think I’m gonna have to concede your friend is right (as was my physics teacher-boooo!)
      On the second one, imagine our eyes were unable to interpret colour, how do we know the balloon is there?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You mean if you’re completely color blind? I think you will still see light, its just the visible light wavelengths arent being processed in your brain or something. like light will still reach your brain, so you can distinguish objects and shapes, but you just cant interpret their wavelengrh.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. No like if humans couldn’t process any colour, like if our retinas couldn’t do it. Would every thing be white, black or what? Would there be anything there? Do we only think there is a world cos our teeny retinas tell us? (Throw a banana at me if I’m starting to annoy!)

          Liked by 1 person

          1. If I threw a banana at you I’d be a complete hypocrite. I think today’s society quiets question-askers way too much (Socrates died for nothing, sadly).

            I’m not entirely sure if I have this correct, but I think youre asking what if we cant see visible light (we will see light as long as we have eyes of some sort.) I THINK there are animals that are like this, instead we will see different kinds of light. You know those thermal vision goggles that military personnel use? You see heat signatures and what not,that is infrared light. So if we cant see visible light, i believe we would have to be sensitive to a different wavelength. If we saw longer wavelengths, we would see infrared vision, etc. If we arent sensitive ti light whatsoever, we’d be blind haha

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Ok, fab! I love this, you’re so patient! ok so imagine in all human history all we could see was infrared. And we never knew bananas were yellow. Does that mean if like an alien came down with super mutant retinas, then he would see a banana as a kaleidoscope of colours? So really the object has no true colour, it all just depends on the observer? So really we have no idea what the true world looks like?

              Liked by 1 person

              1. hahaha no problem, you’re questions are helping me think about things ive never thought about!

                If an alien could see all waves of light, maybe it would be a kaleidescope. I dont think we can say for sure since our brains literally cant comprehend that, but its cool to imagine it that something like that! And yeah, color is more or less a human construct to define our reality. Of course (get ready for an existential crisis) , there is no objective view of the world, so we can only see the world through one perspective. There is no universally “true” vision, at least not in my opinion.

                Liked by 1 person

                    1. Had to look up a clip to understand what you’re talking about (I never watched the matrix lol) and yeah that’s actually really cool! I think in that sense of there not being a spoon, it gets more philosophical.

                      Liked by 2 people

  2. I am sooo not a scientist – Qs 1 and 2 made my brain hurt and the answer is – I really don’t care… (I thought blogging was meant to be fun.) I loved the pretty picture of the buttercups and the bumble bees though. Q3 is like Trigger’s broom in ‘Only Fools and Horses’ – great series.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. three answers:

    the train cannot travel at the speed of light. only massless objects can. anything under the speed of light, yes, as you run forward you’re going faster than the train (and gaining mass).

    the shovel thing also describes your body. so, are you still you after every atom in your body has been replaced (which it has). i’m still me, but not what I once was.

    the color thing: the idea behind a stealth aircraft is that if radar can’t see it, it doesn’t seem to be there. ditto colors, which are just a different wavelength of em radiation than radar.

    cheers. loved the post.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Always love your posts, I love a good laugh and your writing style is written to put smiles on our faces. Like we are in the room with you when you post. Most questions give me headaches, I was terrible in school. These questions make you scratch your head and say what the heck was the purpose of that. My son loves saying that phrase for everything ” What’s the purpose of this?”

    Liked by 1 person

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