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Spinning Tops With Lights Question

Steven asks…

Can you help me think of some small trinkets that would have an impossible or illogical quality about them?

In the new movie Inception, the characters have small objects that they carry around with them called totems that help them tell the difference between what is a dream and what is reality. The main character, Cobb, has a small metal spinning top. When he is in a dream, the top does not fall over after being spun, but continues to spin indefinitely. Another character has a chess piece with a specific weight that only she knows, and in reality she is seen using it by toppling it over with her finger (It is unclear what happens if said totem was in a dream, but I suspect that it would either not fall when tipped or fall but then rebound, or she could just simple tell its a dream if it has a different weight). It is not required for a totem to break the laws of physics in a dream, for example someone has a loaded die that lands on a number only he knows, but this is not relevant to the question.

Anyway, can you help me think of some more small trinkets that, when in a dream, would have a unique property or would posses a quality that is against logic or that is impossible. I have got a few already:
An hourglass whose sand moves upwards instead of down. (<– this is the one I would use)
A watch or pocket watch that moves backwards
A compass whose pointer spin around and points in ALL directions.
A everlasting gyroscope (variant of the the spinning top)
A coin that always lands on heads.
A lighter that doesn’t go out (except when not in use of course)
A rubber ball that always returns, no matter how far bounced.

I need help thinking of some more. While you’re at it, can you think of a quality that goes against the laws of physics for these items: a spyglass (it’s a mini telescope), a key (a key that opens every door does not count), and a ring (don’t say a ring that wouldn’t stop if you spun it, I think we’ve got that covered). Remember, these items need to be small.

Oh yeah, and I picked to put this question in the physics section because who else would know more about breaking the laws of physics than you guys!

scottparat answers:

A flashlight that emits a beam of darkness, wherever you shine it.
A cube of metal that has the property of inverse inertia. In other words, if you nudge it gently
it flies away at tremendous speed as if massless and weightless. If you throw it hard or drop
it from a great height, it will move extremely slowly in defiance of gravity.
Another cube that does not obey gravity at all. It stays where you put it, even if in mid-air.
A coin that exhibits reverse gravity: drop it and it will fall up. Toss it upwards and
it will fall downwards.
A reverse-vectored marble: it will move in a direction exactly 180 degrees opposite to the
direction of the applied force.
An ordinary looking crystal. When placed in a room, this crystal has the ability to absorb photons that are still bouncing around the room in a totally random manner, and re-focus those photons such that one is able to
view events that happened in that room at any time in the past.
A spyglass that always shows a view of what something will look like 15 minutes in the future.
A key that recognizes its lock by getting noticeably warm to the touch as it gets nearer. It does
not react when brought near the wrong lock.
A ring that can be turned sideways to appear as a one dimensional line, and while viewed from
this angle it can be stretched to any desired length. Then, when turned again the ring will be
as large as it was stretched to be while in line form.
Another ring. This time, when you hold the
ring up to your eye and sight through it, any image that is in your field of vision when
seen through the ring remains inside the ring. For example, you hold the ring up to
view the Eiffel Tower from a kilometer away. The ring traps the image of the tower and holds on to it, like a hologram, in all its
3 dimensional reality. The image can be viewed later, and closer examination reveals
that it is more than just an image. It is a real-time view of the actual tower, showing tiny people moving around, as well as birds flying by, cars in the distance, etc.

Carol asks…

Is there something wrong with my xbox 360?

when I turn it on the top two lights on the ring don’t turn on or flash or spin or anything. The one controller I’m using shows the top left light as usual, but the only light on from the ring on the console is the BOTTOM left. The controller still works and everything, but it’s as if the top two lights are burnt out. Can they burn out? And if that was the problem, why or how would the console just substitute them with the bottom lights? I’ve had several problems with these machines and I’m paranoid that this is a sign of something bad to come. If anybody can explain this, I’d appreciate it. Thanks

scottparat answers:

Yea they probably just burnt out that’s what happened to me and the lights showed at the bottom…..unless they turn red you have nothing to worry about

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