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Tuesday, Sep. 27, 2016

Time Out of Joint

Posted Wednesday, December 12, 2007, at 2:43 PM

What's your chronometer reading, sweetheart?
We've all either experienced or heard about the phenomenon of time "standing still" when a person is suddenly confronted with a life-or-death crisis. In fact, just doing something stupid is enough to bring on the phenomenon. For instance, I have pushed my car door closed and realized at that very moment that my keys were inside. There seemed to be time to envision and calculate all the various stages of embarrassment, inconvenience and expense I was about to go through, all in the tiny space between the shove and the slam.

But it turns out I was just fooling myself.

Researchers at the Baylor School of Medicine came up with a very clever experiment to find out whether our perception of time really slows down in an emergency, or if we just think it happened after the fact.

They used a chronometer that was adjusted to be just barely too fast for test subjects to read, then put the subjects in an extremely terrifying situation and checked to see if it "slowed down" enough during the crisis for them to read it. It turns out that time does not "slow down," it just seems that way after the fact because you tend to more clearly recall things that happen to you when you believe you are about to die.

The interesting thing to me was how they induced the crisis. They used a carnival thrill "ride" called a SCAD, or Suspended Catch Air Device. This is a large, suspended net, and the idiot (excuse me, "rider")using the ride drops backward 150 feet into it. No bungie cord, no parachute, just free fall up to about 70 mph. According to one of the researchers, this was perfect for the test because, "It was the scariest thing I've ever done."

So we now know scientifically that time does not "slow down" in a terrifying crisis. One wonders if they confirmed that the excretory system "speeds up."

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Maybe the anal sphincter "loosens up"................

-- Posted by Johnny Yuma on Thu, Dec 13, 2007, at 11:11 PM

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