Opening the box while tentatively holding their breath still couldn’t have prepared them for the sight that met their eyes. Inside, Sandra saw huddled in a corner the result of their experiment.

Months of painstaking searching, extracting and combining of the rarest elements had finally come to an end.

John looked up at Sandra briefly, eyes wide with awe, smiled and looked back into the box at the creature they would now have to name and classify and present to the Scientific Council in the following months.

Not only had they proven that a paradox can have a physical representation in the real world but they had created one.

Sandra wrote something indecipherable in her notebook and triggered the mechanism that closed the box once more so they could write their observations.

Gareth who until now had been sitting on the other side of the room sauntered over. “So what did you see?” he asked. They both looked at him scornfully. “Aww, come on I was joking” he said with a big cheeky grin on his face.“ I’ll have my turn soon enough, in the meantime I’ll make a drink.”

“Ooh I’d love a coffee Gareth. How about you John?”

John muttered his agreement as he typed his journal entry of the experiment.

On the table a slight whirring sound could be heard coming from the containment box.

Perhaps the initial nourishment was being delivered or some other necessary task being carried out by the fully automated box.

It was due to reopen for a second “external observation” at a random time within 24 hours from the first opening.

Gareth would be paged 4 hours before this time to ensure he is present for the observation.

The next opening would be in front of the Science council and would again be at a predetermined yet random time approximately 3 weeks from first opening.

The electronics in the box would  have already notified the council members of the date to convene in the laboratory. The team would only be notified much closer to the date to avoid tampering with the experiment in some unexpected manner.

All was quiet in the lab when Gareth arrived. Not even a sound from the box which was due to open  sometime within the next thirty seven minutes. He was anxious to see how the experiment was doing but of course had to remain objective for the observation. Making himself a coffee at the table opposite and keeping an eye on the notification light he pondered the implications of the experiment.

Finally after what seemed like hours the notification light turned red and the box mechanism came to life. Gareth walked over to the box and looked down through the observation hole a look of bemusement forming on his face. The other two had looked happy that everything was going well. Had they been playing a trick on him? He wondered briefly. No of course not came his immediate reply to himself. The box closed. He wrote his observation and went home to bed.

In the remaining weeks all three had written up their notes based on their observation and the measurements provided by the multitude of instruments connected to the box and now the day of truth. The council arrived and positioned themselves ready for the event. This time the box would fold down all four sides so that the experiment could be viewed from all sides.

A screen on the wall was set to show what each team member had seen on their initial viewing at the moment the box opened.The light on the box turned red and the sides dropped down.

The entity in the box looked out into the lab and with a tut of dismay wrote on his notepad INCONCLUSIVE!

Looking around the room it noticed the screen with the words Schrodinger’s Cat, Dragon, Nothing.

Saint Whoseday?

It’s that time of year when everyone goes mad for something Red, Rose or Heart-shaped with loving words or poetry etched, inscribed, frosted or penned on it.

Yes it’s Saint Valentine’s day of course. But, and this is the biggie, what is it? why is it? Here’s the part where your expecting me to give you a little history lesson. Sadly not the case. I have to profess that I am as ignorant as most when it comes to these things. An interesting fact however, is that in 1969 his name was removed from the General Roman Calendar by the Catholic Church because so little is known about him.

Today is a special day for me because it marks my nine year anniversary of arriving here in Zaragoza, tired, bewildered and totally oblivious to what day it was. It was actually a Thursday and sometime around 3 p.m.

It also marks a potential turning point in that it’s a return to writing again after a long spell of, well let’s just leave it at that. Hopefully I’ll complete my short story which I’ll then revise and tidy up. You can find it at

All that remains to say is happy Valentine’s day however you celebrate it.

Time Crystals?

Yes that’s right, Time Crystals!

Some bright spark theorized them in 2012. A man named Frank Wilczek (Nobel laureate at MIT) for the curious amongst you. A quick Google search will give more information than I or any other mortal can understand.

Now two independent teams of scientists have created them in the laboratory.

I don’t pretend to understand the mechanics of it but essentially they are a new form of matter that could theoretically withstand the blast of heat from the ending of the universe, A reverse Big Bang if you like. So potentially if you could surround yourself with said time crystal you could survive the end of the universe. How cool is that?

Hmmm… well perhaps not very. Did you pack any reading material? Lunch? Spare pants or a few million bottles of wine to help you while away the Very empty hours?

Doesn’t sound quite so cool now does it? However, let’s imagine that they protected you for long enough that you saw the recreation of a new universe. Now that would be something, right?

Of course this is all conjecture but how do you envisage the new universe?