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Crop Circle Designs and The Tools of Time
Over the years of doing the type of healing work I do I've found the
effectiveness of 'crop circle essences' in helping trigger cell memory as well
as helping open up the crown chakra to greater levels of spirituality than ever
before. It is usually specific designs which trigger the individual, seemingly
relating to some blockage or some particular life experience at a spiritual
level. For some people, just looking at a specific crop circle design can be
enough, for some it is the crop circle essences that work best though these have
now become difficult to get, and perhaps for some of you the wearing of a
specific crop circle design may help in what you are trying to accomplish at
this specific time of the opening of your awareness. Kaayla Fox makes jewelry
using these designs and Guidance has had me send out her website for your
perusal in case you and your own particular Guidance feel this is something
which may be of help to you at any particular time or place. If you need
suggestions for which particular design resonates or would be of help to you in
your healing or upliftment, please feel free to e-mail me and I will see what
They say--but ask your own Guidance first. Peter

The Tools of Time

By Michael Cassutt

A long time ago (we're already using the word "time") there was a
popular, slick-paper magazine called Liberty, which published a wide
variety of fiction and nonfiction.

One of Liberty's hallmarks was to rate each of its offerings by the
amount of time it took to read. Each piece was slugged with a line
of print saying, "Reading time, 45 seconds" or "3 minutes, 10

I don't know what the optimum reading rate was. Obviously,
individual reading mileage might vary.

Which is what makes time so attractive to a sci-fi writer. It's the
creative equivalent of silly putty?you can stretch it or squash it.

To make a slight shift in metaphor, it's the best pair of tools in
the writer's box.

Just as a subject, time travel is one of the great subjects of sci-
fi film and television. The two most memorable stories of the
original Star Trek were "City on the Edge of Forever" and the fourth
feature film, The Voyage Home. Whole arcs and seasons of Voyager and
Enterprise hinged on paradoxical loops in time. There have been
series devoted to the subject, from Time Tunnel to Voyagers to Time
Cop to Seven Days.

Done well, it's Back to the Future, the Robert Zemeckis trilogy
about a slacker from the 1980s who changes his and his family's
destiny in the 1950s. Done less well, it's Frequency, an otherwise
charming movie that unfortunately treats the immense challenge of
communicating across 30 years as about as difficult as making a long-
distance phone call.

Dozens?hundreds?of sci-fi stories have explored the subject, all the
way back to Mark Twain's Connecticut Yankee, through H.G. Wells to
Ray Bradbury's "A Sound of Thunder" and Asimov's "The Ugly Little
Boy," Heinlein's The Door into Summer, Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-
Five, Bid Time Return by Richard Matheson, Doomsday Book by Connie
Willis, Dennis Danver's unjustly overlooked The Watch, right down to
John Varley's wonderful new novel, Mammoth.

There's a well-loved, classic novel by Jack Finney?best known for
The Body Snatchers?called Time and Again. Published in 1971, it has
been optioned, developed, re-optioned, re-developed, turned into a
Broadway musical in 2001 and made the subject of a sequel (From Time
to Time), but never managed to reach the screen as it should have.
Oh, well ... in time.

These stories?and movies?explore the effects of time travel on
relationships, wringing every possible variation out of the famous
what-if-I-went-back-in-time-and-shot-my-grandfather paradox.

But there's another use for the tools of time ... with them, a
screenwriter can manipulate the flow of time itself.

Today dissolves into tomorrow

A novelist can skip ahead in time by leaving a few lines of white
space on a page, or crafting a paragraph of prose that carries the
reader across years or decades.

How do you show the passage of time on the screen? The classic way
of showing a short leap?from today to later tonight?is a dissolve.
The bad old way of showing greater leaps is filming hands of a clock
turning ... pages of a calendar flipping.

In a time-travel story, of course, the pages flip backward ...

More to the point, a time-travel story allows a writer to change the
rate at which time flows.

I first noticed this tool when watching?what else??George Pal's 1960
film of H.G. Wells' The Time Machine. The Time Traveler escapes from
the Morlocks by running into the cave where he's stashed the device.
Killing his last pursuer, he jumps back onto his time machine and
pushes the control lever forward, and we see the dead Morlock decay
right before our eyes, going from bloat to worms to bone to dust in
a matter of seconds.

This is actually the second example of manipulation of the time flow
(which sounds like something out of sci-fi) in the film: The first
is when the Time Traveler fires up his machine and watches the
changes of fashion in a London shop window?styles evolve from
Victorian to mod, skirts rise and fall, all in seconds. As this
happens, the buildings in the neighborhood change, too ... and the
sky shifts from peaceful summer days to nighttime barrage balloons
under the Blitz, culminating in a devastating explosion as a result
of a strike from "the atomic satellite."

I first saw The Time Machine when I was 10 years old. I have seen it
a dozen times since then, and I still get chills.

Frame by frame to the future

The second tool of time is stretching a moment, making the tick of a
heartbeat feel like an entire minute.

Time stretches in real life, of course: Anyone who's been in a car
crash?or an IRS audit?has experienced it.

My most recent encounter with stretching time was in Batman Begins,
in the spectacular chase involving the Batmobile and half a dozen
police cars across downtown Gotham City. The Batmobile rips along
the highway, swerves, slides, reverses course, screams into parking
ramps, flies across rooftops (that was a new one) as the cop cars
try to keep up.

I live in Los Angeles, where car chases are a twice-weekly staple of
the daily news. They take hours, though the fascination never seems
to lag (a case of time compression, perhaps?).

This Batmobile chase simultaneously compresses time?a chase that
would take hours takes five minutes on screen?and stretches moments?
events that would last seconds are milked for every ounce of emotion.

Stretching a moment is a classic filmmaker's trick. Look at
Hitchcock's work, for example. But working in sci-fi or fantasy,
with video editing, which makes it easy to slow down motion, or stop
it altogether, gives you the justification to use all the tools of

And, for a stretched moment, makes writing fun.

(Total reading time, seven minutes.)


Michael Cassutt is the author of 11 books, two dozen SF stories and
60 television scripts, he is currently working on a time-related
project for the SCI FI Channel. He wrote this column in six hours.