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One of my favorite Magic: The Gathering cards is the "Time Vault". As the wording on the card was originally formulated a Time Vault could be used to create infinite loops, since it let a player gain an additional turn in exchange for skipping a future turn — and that procedure could then be repeated in the newly-acquired turn. It thus allowed a cheap-trick win, quickly and without skill. Oops! The MtG wording and rules have now been fixed to prevent that.

The main reason I like the Time Vault is the illustration on the card, created by Mark Tedin. It shows a couple of bizarre radiation-suited creatures doing something incomprehensible with broken sandglasses and what might be a primitive nuclear reactor. What's going on? I have no idea!


Occasionally I think of the Time Vault when running a long race. There's always the temptation to "put some time in the bank" by going fast during the earlier part of the competition, when the old legs feel fresh and strong. Alas, that never works: every minute ahead of schedule at the midpoint costs at least two minutes during the second half. There are no Time Vaults in the marathon.

(cf. TheMetagame (18 Feb 2003), DecelerationParameter (28 Dec 2003), ManOfMystery (12 Aug 2004), ...)

TopicEntertainment - TopicHumor - TopicArt - TopicRunning - Datetag20060315

(correlates: AtTheTime, TrueNames, DeliberateSpeed, ...)