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in a web of glass, pinned to the edges of vision

Time Travel question.

I'd forgotten how often we saw Magritte

mucha mosaic

Time Travel question.

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mucha mosaic
Imagine you can travel in time. You can't change anything in the past: you're only an observer.

I think I'd want to see a Shakespeare play performed as the author directed it, for openers.

What would you want to observe?
  • The construction of the Sphynx
    The building of the Pyramids
    The Crucifiction of Jesus of Nazareth
    The eruption of Vesuvius

    I could go on and on.
  • The grassy knoll Nov 22, 1963 - Dallas TX
    Man's first step on the moon, July 20, 1969
    The last days in Hitler's bunker - 1945
    The murder of Nicholas and Alexandra
    Like above, the crucifiction of Christ and the three days after

    I, too, could go on and on.
  • mmm... so many things, I can't decide! Most of them archaeological sites, though. The Parthenon shortly after building. Several Roman cities ditto. Stonehenge during building so I know how they did it for certain. A couple of shows at the Rose THeater, both for direction and overall 'feel' and to see how closely they stuck to scripts in those days, or did they improv when the audience threw too many vegetables?

    Parts of Europe before human occupation, or during its earliest days. Mammoth hunts. Cahokia at its height. The Mayan and Olmec empires ditto. The Sphinx shortly after building.

    The Berlin Wall and Eastern Europe at the time, and the fall of the Wall. I have a huge Cold War fetish. Leningrad. A few minor little scenes of 'history' where someone swapped a briefcase or left a chalk mark. Ditto some of the great intelligence moments of WWII.

    Edo period Japan, from the imperial court to the streets. San Francisco 1906, right before and the week after.

    My grandfather at his best, in his younger days, when I never knew him. A couple of other personal heroes at work who I will never be able to see in their prime or at all.

    da Vinci at work. On just about anything, really. Feynman at a party. Einstein talking physics to a colleague. Watson and Crick figuring out the double helix.

    A couple of choice rock'n'roll concerts from the sixties and seventies, of course.

    The bombings of Nagasaki and Hiroshima, and Chernobyl, assuming they can't hurt me if I can't affect them. Gruesome but necessary. Possibly some Nazi camps as well, and similar horrors in Asia.

    A couple of space missions. Hard to pick. Heck, I've got time, watch them all, at least the early shots, and then pick and choose from which Shuttle mission packages interest me - the neurology ones and life sciences.

    The view over the shoulder of the man who stood in front of the tanks in Tiannanmen. My father's unspoken career in Vietnam. A few key moments at the White House over the years to clarify a few things.

    A couple of great operas and other moments on stage. Nijinsky in his prime. Bach playing something he wrote on a period harpschichord.

    I'll just stop now.
  • That's funny. I was literally just thinking of this today.

    If I could go back in time, one of the things I'd want to see is Judy Garland performing at Carnegie Hall in 1961. I was just listening to that album and said that to myself.
  • Shakespeare would definitely good, but assuming I get a view from orbit, watching the Chicxulub meteor hitting would rate pretty high. Or if you want to go back really far, the mars-sized planetoid that smacked into earth and formed the moon . Talk about fireworks!
  • The 'beginning' of differentiation... basically, the beginning of time.
  • I would want to go back and watch me having sex with various people.
    • Many years ago, Alex Bennett suggested that any new technology is driven by the desire to use it for porn.
  • Free-ranging dinosaurs
    Painters in the caves of Lisieux
    All seven wonders of the ancient world
    Building of Stonehenge
    Chaco Canyon pueblo
    Consecration of Notre Dame
    Manchu Pichu
    Easter Island
    Trial of Thomas Moore
    Signing of the Declaration of Independence
    Gettysburg Address
    The evacuation of Dunkirk
    Nuremburg trials
    Numerous personal moments

    On and on and on. Nice question Freakmason!

  • 1) The sea battle between the Minamoto and the Genji at Dan No Ura, in 1158. Just so I could see Yoshitsune rock ass.

    2) The Fall of Zhou, 200-whatever BC, when Ying Zhang ascended to be the first emperor of a (relatively) unified China.

    3) The battle of Stalingrad.

    4) The murder of Rasputin. Because I want to know how creepy that guy really was.

    5) Apollo 11, start to finish.
  • I'm still a fashion junkie. I could list off dozens of designers in whose studios I'd want to perch and watch as they worked -- the same goes for a number of artists.

    I'd want to see Sarah perform. *grin*

    I would love to watch any one of a hundred old movies being made.

    I'd attend one of the various royal masquerades throughout history, provided I could have my sketchbook in hand, of course.

    I'd watch my grandparents build their house and see when, precisely, the massive mulberry tree was planted.

    Most of the other things that come to mind have already been mentioned. *grin*
  • Chuck Buckowski giving head to William Burroughs.
  • 1) in the cockpit of flight 93 during its final minutes

    2) a caveman making the first cave painting

    3) pompeii, 79 a.d., when vesuvius erupted

    4) mozart pliking out the notes to "twinkle twinkle little star" when he was five

    5) dallas, november 22, 1963. was there someone in the grassy knoll?

    that's all i can think of right now

  • The French revolution

    From Louis XVI to Bonaparte. I'd really like to see how it looked, sounded, felt, smelled & tasted like. That's assuming I can't get killed of course :)
  • The Boston Tea Party. The Boston Massacre. The moment when the briefcase with the note from Germany to the Mexicans promising the return of Texas and the Southwest if they would attack the United States was 'accidentally' left sitting around (I mean, it'd be nice to know if that note was real or not). Lizzie Borden's house when the murders took place, because I really want to know. The death of King Tut. Martin Luthor King giving a speech. Queen Elizabeth. Cleopatra and Caesar. Then, of course, Cleopatra and Mark Anthony. The walls of Troy (if it existed). A play by Aristophanes performed in one of the festivals. (assuming, of course, that along with this ability to hop through time and observe, we can also spontaneously understand the languages being spoken.) Hm. There's a lot more I could come up with. :)
  • Gibraltar Falls would be neat. Chartres under construction would be interesting, not least for a chance to find out who designed it. Jillions of other things, but those I've actually had on my mind off and on for a while.
  • many good suggestions already made; I would add:

    what happened to the Marie Celeste, 1872
    the creation of the Voynich manuscript, presumably c16 or c17
    the fall of Constantinople, 1452
    the Great Fire of London, 1666
    the Beatles at Candlestick Park, 1966
    what happened to "the Little Princes" (Edward V and his brother) in the Tower of London, 1483
    Little Round Top, Gettysburg, 1863
  • Ooh, interesting question. I want to see:

    * The Library at Alexandria (meeting Hypatia would be a huge bonus).
    * The raising of Stonehenge (I'd love to find out the real reason(s) for its construction).
    * DaVinci's studio (meeting Leo would be a huge bonus).
    * The courts of Ahknahton and Nefertiri, and of Ramses II (for comparison)
  • I'd like to spend time with my grandfather.
    • Unfortunately, to my view, that's outside the limits of the experiment. That's not observing; that's interacting.
      • (though there are certainly people I would want to spend time with if I had it within my power to do so)
  • I'd second that one, I have family who performed for him, I'd like to see how my ancestor handled it. He must have done a good job, he got knighted for it.
    • I'd like to take a walk through the streets of Rome on a typical summer day during the reign of Octavian. Maybe walk up the Senate steps, check out the palace, definitely the Forum and the Circus Maximus; then come back 100 years later or so and see how it'd changed. I'd like to sit in the Colosseum and watch a venatio (beast-hunt), and maybe even a couple of retarii taking on a myrmidon. See if I could understand whatever the common people were speaking - the Latin I learned in school was an upper-class literary language, I gather, but I also speak Italian and Spanish and I bet I could understand them.

      Rather than witnessing a particular event, I'd be more interested in making an anthropologic survey of daily life during the time. I would like to see if Rome c. 183 AD had a similar vibe to NYC c. 2000 - first city of a great empire, acutely conscious of their precarious place at the top of the world heap.
  • Most of mine got listed: Stonehenge, Shakespere, Sarah acting, Nijinsky doing the Fawn. I'd like to see Sophocles, but Aristophanes works for me.

    Ones I didn't see on the list:

    Chopin playing at the party where he met George Sand.
    Attila and the Pope in a tent outside of Rome.
    Amy, wife of Leister's tumble down the stairs.
    Mary Queen of Scots for the two weeks before the death of her second husband.
    One day in Versailles under Louis XIV.
    The fall of the Taira in Kyoto.
    One week in a certain settlement in Turkey before writing was invented.
    The eruption of Thera.
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