Doug McLean World Tour 1999-2000Back Home Next
Sent: Monday, April 24, 2000 9:11 AM
Subject: April 3, 2000 - Recife V...TTFN.
Current Date/Location: Monday, April 24, 2000...using Luciana's computer in Recife, Brazil...smile.
Itinerary: Leaving for Fortaleza tomorrow (again...I think...)...then on to Belem...Manus...etc.
Speed of Light NOTE:
In Arthur C. Clarke´s end sources for his book 3001 - The Final Odyssey (Copyright 1997)...he says the following regarding the speed of light:"One of the assumptions I have made in this novel is that Einstein is correct, and that no signal - or object - can exceed the speed of light. A number of highly mathematical papers have recently appeared suggesting that, as countless science-fiction writers have taken for granted, galactic hitch-hikers may not have to suffer this annoying disability. On the whole, I hope they are right - but there seems one fundamental objection. If FTL is possible, where ARE all those hitchhikers - or atleast the well-heeled tourists?". I guess I am not the only one not completely convinced...guess that is why they call it a THEORY...and not a LAW, eh???
Speed of Light NOTE II:
Special thanks to Steve, fellow traveller and AA employee, who sent me the following notes regarding my questions about the Theory of Relativity and exceeding the Speed of Light:"Doug, I'd like to add a brief point about the speed of light.Einsteins equation, e=mc squared, refered to the relationship between energy, mass, the speed of light, and time. As you approach the speed of light, mass increases as you said, but also, time slows down. At the speed
of light, mass would be infinite, but time would stop. So at the speed oflight, in theory besides mass being infinite, time has stopped (ie, it's not happening). I think that is at least some of the reason you cannot travel at the speed of light.And one more thing about traveling at the speed of light. Einstein's equations are all mathematical formulas. I did read an interesting article once about changing his formula by multiplying them by minusone. Everything is then reversed. I don't know why this is never discussed but I at least find this very intriguing. In that Mathematical Universe, an object could only exist that travels greater than the speed of light. As the object slowed down to approach the speed of light, mass would decrease,and time would speed up. That would also make it impossible to
travelexactly at the speed of light since the object would then have no mass (notexist) in an
infinite amount of time."
...pretty interesting, eh??? I still don't understand it fully...but slowly, very slowly, I am getting a better grasp of it...maybe someday I will agree with Einstein...maybe not. Either way, Thanks Steve!
April 3, 2000 (Mon):
Ugh! I had to get up early today...but it was worth it! I was going to visit Luciana's hospital for the day...as a special guest of the doctora! I hopped in her car at 7am and we were off. She works as a 2nd year Doctor in Residency at Hospital das Clinicas which is the teaching arm of the Federal University of Medicine.
When I arrived, there was some fanfare and lots of quick chatting in Portuguese which I could not catch all of...but I am pretty sure I was the center of the conversation. It was pretty obvious that Luciana had mentioned me once or twice (or more) to her coworkers...everyone called me by name and knew I was from Texas! (smile...) I was ntroduced to the other doctors and to her professors...as is the Brazilian style, I was warmly greeted...but...this time, I noticed the greetings were given with additional enthusiasm...I was special because I was Luciana's new boyfriend.
It was obvious that Luciana was widely liked and appreciated by everyone. It is something that you could just feel...anyway, I got a tour of the ward...she mentioned some of her cases...and we walked into another ward
where she talked about their diseases. Like I have said...it doesn´t matter what the job, it is a pleasure to see someone get excited about their work...and Luciana was simply aglow explaining things about the hospital to
me, her cases, and challenges. I was seeing a different side of Luciana...one that I like immensly.
I ended up talking with several of her friends (the other doctors who have been students and workers with her for the past 5-6 years)...they all spoke of Luciana in a ways that conveyed the adoration, respect, and great affinity that they have for her. Ended up talking to one of the doctors, Evoide, for quite some time...we talked about lots of things like being a travelling doctor and that in Brazil, the structure of their work simply does not seem to allow them anytime off between University, Hospital, and private practice...they all are necessarily joined together, only providing short-term (one week vacations at most) chances for escape. During our conversation, I also observed Luciana talking, consulting, and working with other staff and patients. She has a caring, efficient, and competent manner that comes across best when she is working. Smile...I have never enjoyed being in a hospital so much in my life!
We all went to lunch at a local restaurant...one difference here is that people have beer with lunch. This is like Germany in that respect, that it is simply a part of the meal...no other thought about it. Everyone had a
glass or two, not nearly enough to even get close to drunk, just enough to wash down the food...but just imagine in the USA, a group of doctors going out and having a few beers then going back to the hospital...hmmm...can't
you just imagine all the American Lawyers drooling to get their hands on that case??? As I travel, I see many things that are somehow better than in the USA. Now, I am not saying that doctors drinking a beer at lunch is necessarily good...but it doesn't seem necessarily bad to me either. We are VERY GUN-SHY of everything that may leave us vulnerable or compromised in the USA...always on guard against offending anyone (as anyone who ever
worked with me...I was MR. Politically-Correct in the office...the lawsuits in the USA make this absolutely obligatory! ...however it is sad...it truly limits some of the more social, fun aspects of work life...and makes the
work environment in the USA somewhat more cold and less friendly...not sure I can change it...just some of my thoughts). Anyway, we had a great lunch...everyone was wonderfully warm and friendly...the Brazilian
Culture(and for that matter, the Latin Culture) just exudes warmth and familiarity. Something that is unfortunately somewhat lacking in other Western Cultures, including mine as a US Citizen.
After lunch, I left the hospital by bus and went to the bus station (Rodoviaria) to buy a ticket for tonight to Fortaleza. I bought a 9:30pm ticket...this giving me as much time as possible with Luciana. It wasn't easy to go and buy a ticket to leave...but I know that my travels must continue...or I will regret it later in life. But, by the same token, if I lose Luciana (who I value HIGHLY)...then I am likely to regret that as well. I had talked with Luciana about this, and she encouraged me to continue my trip...and that if we were going to work out...it would work out. I promised her that I would come back to visit before I left Brazil...probably flying back from Manus to Recife...not sure yet.
Headed back to the hospital by bus...finished reading Gore Vidal's Creation on bus going back (I seemed to have some extra time to read because I got on the bus going the wrong way and was riding for over an hour...but hey, I had a book to finish, so I didn´t care!). Some more of my favorite quotes are:
"Needless to say, a throne is not the best place from which to see anything except the backs of prostrate men." (Hmmm...maybe the thrones of today are the Executive´s suite...or Ivory Towers far away from the operations of the
"Xerxes always regarded bad weather as a sign of heaven´s spite and he was forever trying to find someway of punishing the rain or the wind. ´What is the point of being lord of the universe,´ he used to say, ´if you can´t go
hunting because of a storm?´" DOUG NOTE - Hmmm...truly a noble thought...consider Xerxes THE original CARVE member.
"Wear a mask too long and you will come to resemble it."
"No one enjoys being reminded of all that he has not accomplished in life."
"He had the advantage of knowing what all the words of his language meant - and that is the secret of power."
About Confucius..."There are four things he does not do that I revere. He takes nothing for granted. He is never overpositive. Or obstinate. Or Egotistical."
"I have yet to come across a really inspired liar who was not positively lyric on the virtue of truth-telling."
"Never go to war against a poor country, because no matter how it turns out,
...BACK TO THE JOURNAL...
Met up with Luciana again at hospital...she was done early...SMILE...we drove to a place for dinner...Cafe Rhodes. We shared some fondue...talked alot, and basically just spent some wonderful quality time together before I had to leave. We were both sad to be parting...but also happy that we had met...
I ended up leaving Reicfe on the 9:30pm bus...sniff...sniff...I had left her with a couple of things to remember me by...my only sew-on Texas Flag patch (which had been purchased after a great search in Corpus Christi, TX with my
Grandmarky) and my prized University of Texas T-Shirt (NOTE: I got this t-shirt while I was at UT...I have had it for probably 7 or 8 years now...and have worn it on almost all of my travels...for me to give it away is by no means a small gift...it is literally a part of my history)...but more than these material things that I was leaving behind, I felt that I was again taking a risk and leaving my heart behind...oh well...it is just one of the risks one takes while travelling. Some would say that you risk more by Running with the Bulls, Bungee Jumping, or skydiving...somehow, as I left Recife...I would have disagreed...
Cést la vie...
Tchau Tchau For Now,