Time Travel Cheatsheat

time travel shirt.jpg
TopatoCo created is selling a t-shirt and poster featuring a handy guide of stuff to know and do should you ever get stranded back in time. For instance:
Aluminum used to be more valuable than gold. Depending on when you are, it still is. Extract it from rocks by dissolving them into molten cyrolite and running current through it. You'll find cyrolite in Greenland, latitude 61.2, longitude -48.16. Look for glassy white crystals.
[via SuperForest] Update: The graphic was made by Ryan North of "Dinosaur Comics," which I also love. (thanks @Skwid!)
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15 Responses to Time Travel Cheatsheat

  1. Powerphail says:

    There’s also a poster.

  2. Halloween Jack says:

    Yeah, this is kind of cute, but pretty much just one guy’s quick summary of grade school science. You’re not going to get very far trying to smelt aluminum or refine penicillin. Tell people to boil their drinking water and have a good idea of how to put together a decent double recurve bow, and you’ll rule.

  3. Tralala says:

    Problem is, as soon as you start demonstrating this stuff, they’ll burn you as a witch.

  4. craiig says:


    If you’ve gone back in time far enough that they haven’t figured out the plough, then you should probably figure that out pretty damn quick, unless you like spending all your time looking for food.

    Some (James Burke! Connections! Look it up!) feel that the plough is responsible for the calendar, writing, philosophy (time to think when you don’t have to find food).

    Also, don’t forget the Horse collar as the yoke kinda sucks.

  5. Skwid says:

    To be more accurate, Ryan North of Dinosaur Comics fame at Qwantz.com created the shirt. TopatoCo is just selling it.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Depending on how far back in time you go, Polaris may not be the polestar.

  7. Anonymous says:

    One of the most important inventions of the history was left out!

    Gunpowder is 5 units of Saltpeter 3 units of charcoal 2 units of sulfur.You know where to get charcoal. Sulfur can be obtained as yellow deposits in places of geological activity, such as hot water springs. Look for saltpeter below cow dung, it looks like salt. It can be obtained from urine. Both sources where readily available in any pre-gunpowder civilization.


  8. nehpetsE says:

    Thanks #3!

    Now i can finally defeat the man in rubber lizard suit who keeps trying to NOM-NOM on me!

  9. Garr says:

    #3 maaaan, you’d travel to the stone age and the first thing you’d do is invent weapons of mass destruction?

  10. Bloodboiler says:

    What if your time machine is similar to the Terminator model? Pay attention in school and you can take all this and far more useful information with you. Then you can do some real damage to the timeline.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Wait a second… if you ‘invent’ penicillin and vaccination, decreasing fatal disease and creating a population explosion, but you don’t have a corresponding ‘green revolution’ to feed those people, you are likely to have a pretty serious famine! Agriculture is conspicuously absent from this t-shirt!

  12. michaelportent says:

    Dinosaur Comics is genius and all, but this may be Ryan North’s finest achievement.

  13. radiantthought says:

    I love dinosaur comics and all, but I would have preferred a more serious attempt at this… killing bacteria and making magnets are great, but many of these things just are too modern if you’ve gone back more than about 200 years. Quartz oscillators and radios are just not practical, how to create steel or the aforementioned gunpowder would have been much more useful I feel.

  14. dculberson says:

    Garr, when all manner of unseemly things are trying to kill you, gunpowder will not seem so unnecessary.

  15. Jazzhigh says:

    Wouldn’t this info be much more useful printed on a towel. I mean, who carries a t-shirt with them everywhere they go.

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