twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
Somehow nearly all of our constellations share the same names as yours. Parallel universes are weird.

For Equestria, space travel is not the option it may be in your universe. Our sky is an illusion where going up eventually leads you back to the ground. The horizons touch at all points and our constellations exist just this side of that convergence. If you could imagine the fourth dimension of space as a cone perpendicular to Equestria and the other three dimensions of space, "outer" space is a point and Tartarus is infinite.

The closer something gets to where the horizons join, the bigger it looks from the ground. During the day, the higher up you fly the hotter it gets due to the inverse square law and getting close to the sun.

Staring up into the nothingness beyond the stars makes me giddy.

Don't ask me to explain gravity. Nopony has that figured out yet.
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
I've noticed that "guns", which use an explosive chemical reaction to push a projectile, seem to be a weapon of choice in your euclidean universe. In Equestria, that would not be practical. The explosion is too fast for most ponies to guide the projectile in a way that it can reach its target with any force or accuracy. Shooting arrows or launching spears and rocks gives a pony a lot more control, consistency and distance. If you depend only on a split-second detonation to push a projectile, the 'path' (choice of distances) it takes from point A happens at random, and it could end up at just about any distance in the direction it was heading. Due to gravity, its displacement through the air is not in a straight line, it follows a curve. That means at every instant, its "vector" (to use the euclidean term) has a different slope and thus a whole new infinite selection of 'paths' (distances from A to B) that it will 'follow' at random. A pony would do much better to just throw a rock, thereby maintaining control of the 'path' of the rock the whole time it's in flight.

Party cannons, like those used by Cheese Sandwich and Pinkie Pie, employ a spring. A spring launcher is slower and lets the party pony control the path of objects fired. That way Pinkie can use a party cannon to set tables and launch balloons and confetti.
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
A lot of pony magic comes from our ability to navigate our non-euclidean environment and our two dimensions of time. It allows us to stick to objects with our hooves, lever very large objects through the air, to fly, to walk on clouds, all by negotiating increments of distance. With the same force, a pony or an object has an infinite number of choices of distances. Thus a small force that shouldn't move an object, can, if you choose the right path. And similarly, a pony can control the resistance of the air and water, allowing for flight and walking on clouds. Van der Waals adherence is a function of twisting microscopic distances between surfaces so that enough of the hoof touches the handle/wall/ceiling to stick. Some ponies do these things better than others, and it usually takes practice.

Making a force field or a hard air bubble is an extension of this magic. Air is a lot of gas molecules bouncing around in random directions with a lot of space between each molecule. To get the air to stop moving, a unicorn must alter random paths of gas molecules to expand into a cloud of probable locations, thus occupying more space, becoming larger, and locking in with each other to form a amorphous solid of super-sized gas molecules. This is different from the pegasus approach of increasing air resistance by reducing the path air molecules travel with each applied force (wing beat).

Theoretically, an earth pony or a pegasus could stamp or wing a shock wave of solid air. That wall would dissipate the instant they moved.

Like with glass (which is a non-magical amorphous solid), light goes through but solids and gases are blocked. Gas exchange through the barrier could occur slowly through swapping. This could be useful for underwater exploration, maybe as a cylinder that's open at the top. It would require using weights to reduce buoyancy.

Rapid growth magic is a combination of squeezing and pulling cells and taking advantage of the second dimension of time. Earth ponies are particularly good at this, although I can grow a mustache on a pony by getting skin cells to die in columns. That takes some rather tricky mental folding.
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
On further thought, for non-natives, moving about in Equestria wouldn't be quite as wobbly as I'd first imagined it. I had thought that should a human appear in Equestria, they would find that moving would be like walking on violently shaking jelly. The thing is, most of the paths between points in Equestria are roughly the same distance, so it wouldn't be quite that bad.

The overall effect of the non-euclidean geometry is to give objects a quasiprobable location and thus a fuzzy appearance to unadjusted eyes. The outlier paths between points are what you could consider the equivalent of quantum tunneling and they're easy enough to find and exploit.

So sure, careless walking will cause you to suddenly bang into objects that had appeared to be far away, but if you keep perfectly still, your surroundings will look a lot sharper! Maybe your best bet would be to sit in a cart and let a pony do the walking. Of course, there's the risk that every jostle of the moving cart could cause you to accidentally drag it every which way, and the hapless pony pulling you, along with it. Well, how about a full-body cast hooked to balloons? That might work!
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
Ponies choose appropriate routes in the Equestrian environments to optimize their own displacements, but they also use this predictive ability to move objects, from thrown apples to rain showers.

Ponies have a feel for taking a route that gets them to their destination despite living in a landscape where the shortest distance between two points is rarely a straight line. As I explained before, the slightest shake changes how long a train trip lasts and just hoofing it can get you there faster.

Ponies start to develop these skills from the day that they're born, developing a cognitive map of their immediate surroundings and recognizing landmarks. They inventory objects, remember outcomes and sense the passage of time. The critical part of the brain responsible for navigation is the hippocampus, a pair of 'c' shaped structures in the temporal lobes. As young ponies grow, they choose preferred paths to navigate a wiggly environment where distance is a function of approach. Of course, each pony makes slightly different choices when building a cognitive map of their Equestria, but the outcome is generally the same.

The hippocampus is where memory, time sense and the cognitive map of a pony's private Equestria resides, but it's in the prefrontal cortex part of the brain where a pony makes sense of it all and acts accordingly. The prefrontal cortex also connects to a unicorn's horn. By capitalizing on the wiggle of Equestrian topography and the fact that nothing is ever perfectly still, a unicorn moves objects. What moves and how subtly is a function of the mental origami performed in the unicorn mind. Timing, movement and form. Grab, throw, grab, throw, pull through and there you go. Tying that winter scarf, just like your mother taught you. That's magic.

A unicorn may be adept at guiding an object through space, but all ponies get a sense of where objects that they've let go will land. Earth ponies and pegasi use position and timing to ensure objects to which they've imparted kinetic energy and momentum land where they want them to. Rain clouds generally stay where weather ponies put them, but it takes extra skill to get the rain to fall where you want it to. Just like it takes skill to get apples to fall from the trees and into your baskets, and not land three fields over.

Pinkie takes navigation in a non-euclidean landscape to the next level. She not only predicts the best path for her movements and for things she's moved, she feels out the possible paths of objects around her that could intersect with her projected positions.

Like traveling from point A to B, it's largely subconscious. Pinkie has connected her enhanced map to her motor cortex and translated her feelings of dread into coded body spasms to better know what it is she's expecting and act accordingly. She calls this her Pinkie Sense.
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
If I was to somehow cross over into your universe without getting scrambled, I'd probably be very disoriented at first. I'm adapted to living in Equestria, where travel between two points rarely takes the same path, but my perception of distance, taking advantage of the two dimensions of time, gives me a steady illusion of reality. Crossing over from my rocking ship to your immutable steady-state would probably put me halfway between blind and seasick. I'd get over that, but every time I'd take a step it would be a shock. I would not be able to find the most convenient path and with every step the world would wobble and spin. It would take considerable effort to move toward an objective.
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
Space exploration is a thing in Earth, as in traveling in a direction perpendicular to the ground and beyond the constellations? That is not possible in Equestria, at least not in a Euclidean sense. What we can do is move orthogonal to the Equestrian _universe_ and cross over into a parallel universe. That's what the Breezies do, by way of tunneling through the fabric of our perceived reality. But just flying straight up here does not get you out of Equestria. Should you try to fly much higher than the constellations, you will find the edge of Equestria rushing up to meet you. As such, to step down to the ground, the constellations need just step up.
twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
Lecturing is something I do best!

Equestria appears flat but that's an illusion. Equestria is more like a bag with the edges connected. If Ponyville was all there was of Equestria, you could walk past a building on the edge of town and end up passing a house at the opposite end of town and find yourself heading for the town center. So Fluttershy's cottage could end up next to Rarity's Boutique even if they are at the opposite ends of town. It all depends on which path you take, and there are an infinite number of paths. This could make travel across Equestria a gamble, as the time it will take changes, even if you take the train. The slightest shake will change your path. But this is all second nature to us ponies. We're born with a sense as to where to go and how long it will take. It would be very strange if the distance from your house to the bakery was always the same. If that were to happen to me I'd know I was dreaming.

The appearance of the sky over Equestria is dependent on velocity. Einstallion worked out the relation between velocity, mass and energy, but understanding the math behind his theories is a bit of a hard slog. It works out like this: because ponies move quite a bit slower than the speed of light, we don't see the curve of the land, we see a gap, and that gap is the sky. Plus the moon, which is a dollop of Equestria that somehow got pinched off. Pony philosophers are still working on that. It might just be a shiny pebble that got tossed into the air at just the right time and place, thousands of years ago. So anyway, we see a gap, a gap that doesn't exist if you move at the speed of light. A gap peppered with stars and stuff.

It gets weirder.

The sun and the stars are borrowed light, extracted here and there, visible to us as stars only because we aren't traveling at the speed of light. The light can be borrowed because at the speed of light, there is no distance and it takes no time to go nowhere -- it's borrowed and paid back in the same instant. The sun is just a really big loan from the nothingness of space that Princess Celestia pushes up from the edge each morning. She's really good at easing it into a track that crosses the sky. Since the sky is an illusion and the "edge" is a single point, it looks like she is pushing the sun up from the same place each day. Anyway, it's a good thing that the entire sky doesn't belch light -- Equestria would burn to a crisp! Some philosophers speculate that that is happening to Luna's moon, which is why it glows, right through the rock! It's like a failed Equestria, floating right above our heads. *shudder*

But what magic makes the stars in the first place? Many ponies believe that after they die, their magic lives on as a star... or part of the sun. They believe that they don't really die completely. And so it goes for the stars that came together to form the constellations, constellations that are very much alive and that step down from the sky to rest and play. Astronomy is such a fascinating field of study! I must get more books on the subject.


twilightpony: Big tree with windows and door, fall foliage (Default)
Twilight Sparkle

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