Dark Matter

En route to Daphne’s uncle’s seaside cabin, Scooby Doo and the rest of the Mystery Inc. gang are waylaid at an abandoned amusement park – which, according to the kindly local innkeeper, is haunted by matter that cannot be detected from the light which it emits. So mysterious is this ‘dark matter’ that its presence can only be indirectly inferred from motions of astronomical objects. Unclear as to how this would constitute the type of adventure the gang is usually involved with, Freddie remains in the Mystery Machine while the rest of the team begin to investigate. Whilst Shaggy and Scooby get involved in some hi jinx involving the local fauna, Velma discovers that, indeed, if it weren’t for this dark matter and its associated gravity, most galaxies would fly apart due to their own velocity. Undaunted by Freddie’s petulant horn honking, Daphne’s general uselessness and Shaggy and Scooby’s cowardly antics, Velma carefully plans and executes a scheme whereby she successfully captures the dark matter. When the authorities show up Velma confidently lifts the mask off the dark matter revealing none other than Lou, the kindly innkeeper, whose motives remain unclear although they seem to involve treasure.

– – –

The Origins of the Universe

Having just returned from yet another battle with the Decepticons, Optimus Prime wearily examines one of the monitors in the communications room deep within Autobot City. He lets out a deep sigh as Jazz enters in a jubilant mood “That was some battle. We sure showed those bastards. High five?” Optimus is clearly in no mood and leaves Jazz hanging. It is awkward. “What’s wrong?” Jazz asks his beloved leader as he makes a move to suggest his hand had been raised in order brush back his hair.
“Do you ever wonder where we all come from?” the autobot leader is clearly in one of his moods.
“Cybertron,” replies Jazz confusedly.
“No no, I mean from where did the universe arise?”
“Well, extrapolating back from the known expansion of the universe we can imply that at the beginning of time all matter and energy were at an immense temperature and density.”
“Sure, but what happened prior to the big bang.”
Jazz has no immediate answer. Instead the two transformers stand silently. Optimus Prime gazes thoughtfully into space. Jazz brushes some dust off his shoulder and does some stretches.
“Maybe our universe’s initial hot, dense state arose from the collapse of a similar universe and there have been an infinite number of past bangs and crunches,” continues Optimus.
Jazz seems unconvinced and merely nods his head in an effort to convey his ambivalence.
“Of course I don’t want to preclude the existence of a creator God, we are after all giant robots, someone must have built us. Do you think that’s it?” Optimus asks.
“I’m a nihilist,” responds Jazz.
“I didn’t know that.”
“Oh yeah, huge nihilist.”
“So you don’t believe in anything?”
“Well there are different schools of thought. First you can believe that nothing exists. Or you can think that the reality as we experience it does not exist. Personally I like to think that as reality is unknowable, pursuit of understanding is pointless.”
Again the two twenty foot robots stand in silence for some moments before Optimus breaks the stillness, “Good talk.” Deciding that the conversation has come to an end, Jazz transforms, with the accompanying beeps, into a Martini Porsche 935 Turbo and drives out of the communications room. Optimus Prime turns back to the monitor he had been examining.

– – –

Grand Unified Theory

The two scientists couldn’t help but feel vaguely disappointed. Finding this man had not been easy. They had been buoyed on their long journey by all the passer-bys who had said the one they sought would no doubt be able to help them to unify hypercharge, the weak force, and quantum chromodynamics. The imposing woman who lived in that castle had been especially convincing. Sure she seemed to be half falcon, but she had made some excellent points. And the large anthropomorphic bee they met had called him, “the most powerful man in the universe.” It was those kinds of endorsements that had kept the men going on their search. And now they had found him and he wasn’t what they were expecting. Firstly he was wearing a loincloth. It seemed unlikely that anyone wearing a loincloth would be intimately familiar with the vagaries of quantum mechanics. Also, he was sitting astride a panther.

“He man?” the first scientist timidly asked. “What can I do for you?” the large, half naked man, replied. The scientists then launched into a detailed description of their problem but soon trailed off as He-man went from being politely interested to manifestly confused before losing all interest and beginning to play with the giant sword he had strapped to his back. The talking skeleton had been right; this He-man character hadn’t been worth all the effort. The two scientists thanked He-man for his time and headed off dejectedly. They had heard some wonderful stuff about a woman named She-Ra, maybe they’d check that out.