Nothing to show for it

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Transcript of voice recording on IPhone belonging to Jack Callcutt, presented at the inquest of his disappearance, 14th July 2012:

Well. Here I am with the box in front of me. Oh. It’s Jack Callcutt, by the way. I am about to open it, the box that is, but let me record the fun I’ve had the last couple of weeks.
I won this prize. It’s daft really. I don’t know why I went in for the competition, but it seemed like a good idea at the time. And I won. So I get to spend two thousand quid on myself on anything I like, but I mustn’t have anything to show for it at the end.
Well. That means no new hi-fi or computer. No bits for the car. No trinkets for the girlfriend. Logically, I can’t even have a great blow-out at the local Balti, ‘cos I’ll only put on weight and then definitely have something to show for it.

I asked all my mates, but I had to spend the money rather than give it all away to them, greedy lot.

My mum said to buy a farm animal for a third world village. I seriously thought about that. But it wouldn’t really be for myself, and I’d get a certificate, so that wouldn’t do.
It was certainly a tricky problem. So I got on the net and started putting all sorts of things in to the search box, night after night.

Then I found it. Some bloke was selling black holes. I checked him out, I even emailed some of his satisfied customers. They all said they were well pleased with their black holes, wouldn’t be without them. I didn’t like to ask what they did with them. I mean, they might get ticked off and I’d be getting spam for the rest of my life. But I checked out what black holes really are.

One of my old school mates was mad on physics so I got hold of him on Facebook. We had quite a hoot reminiscing old times. He’s a lecturer now at one of the London colleges and he said that a black hole wasn’t nothing. It was black because it’s mass was so high, its gravity stopped the light escaping from it. Wow, that’s heavy. That means a black hole is something I’d have to show after spending the money. It made me wonder how much postage that bloke on the net charged for his black holes.

I was getting desperate. The whole idea seemed daft. How could I spend two grand and have nothing to show for it? Perhaps it didn’t really matter, I mean, the people who ran the competition weren’t going to ask for the money back, I just had to tell them what I’d done, get a pat on the back, and get interviewed by the papers. All PR really.

Then one of the satisfied customers, the ones buying the black holes, emailed me about something he wanted to flog. Same sort of thing, he said, but he couldn’t say what in an email ‘cos there are bad people out there who look at these things. So I met him in the bar at Waterloo station on my way home tonight. We had a couple of drinks. He was buying so I didn’t say no. I told him about the competition and all, and he gave me the gist of what he had to flog.

He called it quantum foam. He said it was all around us but you can’t see it. He had managed to concentrate some into a small metal box with a multi dimensional field generator using hyperbolic equations or some such. I’ll have to ask my mate the professor about that, certainly sounded like a load of bolicks to me. He said, as you couldn’t see it or detect it with all the usual scientific stuff, it would be as though I had bought nothing.

I thought about this for a moment, over yet another drink – he was still buying – and I thought, what a scam. But, hey, I’m having a great time meeting weirdoes, what the heck. Then he said I could write him a post dated cheque and if I didn’t like what was in the box, I could cancel it. Well, you can’t say fairer than that. So I said, could I open the box now and he said, no ‘cos it’s a secret and he didn’t want anyone else getting to know before he was ready to make loads of them. So we had another drink and I wrote him a cheque.

I nearly missed my station on the way home. I don’t normally drink much this early in the evening, so I got a Balti round the corner to soak it up a bit and loads of black coffee. I mean, I don’t want to miss anything when I open the box.

Well, I’m sober enough now. I’ll put the phone down while I open the box.
Here goes. Quantum foam eat your heart out

Transcription ends.

About the Author: 
Retired Electronic Control Engineer. Enjoys writing science fiction and fantasy.

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Quantum Theories

Q is for ... Qubit

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L is for ... Large Hadron Collider (LHC)

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Z is for ... Zero-point energy

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S is for ... Superposition

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A is for ... Alice and Bob

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Q is for ... Quantum biology

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Y is for ... Young's Double Slit Experiment

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I is for ... Information

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N is for ... Nonlocality

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D is for ... Decoherence

Unless it is carefully isolated, a quantum system will “leak” information into its surroundings. This can destroy delicate states such as superposition and entanglement.

W is for ... Wave-particle duality

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A is for ... Atom

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H is for ... Hidden Variables

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C is for ... Computing

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T is for ... Tunnelling

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J is for ... Josephson Junction

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A is for ... Act of observation

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F is for ... Free Will

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E is for ... Entanglement

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P is for ... Probability

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T is for ... Teleportation

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X is for ... X-ray

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P is for ... Planck's Constant

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M is for ... Many Worlds Theory

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M is for ... Multiverse

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R is for ... Randomness

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C is for ... Cryptography

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S is for ... Schrödinger’s Cat

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R is for ... Reality

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V is for ... Virtual particles

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U is for ... Uncertainty Principle

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B is for ... Bell's Theorem

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R is for ... Radioactivity

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L is for ... Light

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U is for ... Universe

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K is for ... Kaon

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W is for ... Wavefunction

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G is for ... Gluon

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B is for ... Bose-Einstein Condensate (BEC)

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G is for ... Gravity

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I is for ... Interferometer

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S is for ... Schrödinger Equation

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O is for ... Objective reality

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D is for ... Dice

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H is for ... Hawking Radiation

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