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On Designing a Time Machine

time_machine.jpgAnd speaking of time, this time in lower-case, what mental picture do you see when you hear the word “time machine”? Because the majority of our mental pictures involve the canonical 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, we think of the golden-domed glass elevator Wonkavator that soars over the dreary skyline (which for some reason, we’ve always assumed to be postwar Belgium) in the final sequence. Kurt Andersen examines the finer points of time machine design in the latest episode of Studio 360, a special time travel show taped in front of a studio audience—perhaps one populated with people from the past, or the future. In this segment, Andersen chats with Simon Wells, great-grandson of H.G. Wells and the director of the 2002 film adaptation of The Time Machine, about how a time machine should be designed. Meanwhile, physicist David Goldberg says the time transport vehicle might look more like a spaceship, and Goldberg and science fiction author Connie Willis debate whether a visitor to the past would be able to reshape the future, with unforeseeable consequences. Power up your flux capacitor and click below to listen.

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