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Old 22 October 2010, 04:53 PM
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Cell Phone "Time traveler" using cell phone in Chaplin film

Some goofiness I got in the mail today. I'm not sure, but I think I'd go with "ear horn" before I jump ahead with "time traveller on cell phone".

Quote:
This short film is about a piece of footage I (George Clarke) found behind the scenes in Charlie Chaplins film 'The Circus'. Attending the premiere at Manns Chinese Theatre in Hollywood, CA - the scene shows a large woman dressed in black with a hat hiding most of her face, with what can only be described as a mobile phone device - talking as she walks alone.
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Old 22 October 2010, 05:53 PM
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"I'm stumped, completely stumped." Later on, "It is a phone. It is a phone." I wonder why he's seeking an explanation, since he already knows what it is.

FWIW, I can read lips, and the person is clearly saying "...hear me now?"
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Old 22 October 2010, 06:17 PM
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"The Circus" came out in 1928. A phone from the 20's would have had the handset with both microphone and speaker in one unit. Is it possible that Chaplin had a "crazy" woman talking on a disconnected phone?
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Old 22 October 2010, 06:23 PM
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What's interesting is that the finger positions are just about perfect for how many people handle modern cellular phones. Older phones were bigger and held differently.

Which is exactly where I think most time travel hoaxes fall apart. What are the chances that this was discovered in the exact same time period the time traveler must have come from? Ten years from now, most people will probably not be holding phones to thier ears at all. Ten years ago, the hold signature was completely different. Which means, if his is real, someone must have a time machine right now.
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Old 22 October 2010, 06:27 PM
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I must know more about this. Because I want to know what provider the time traveler has. I mean, covering 98% of the US is great, but I want the provider whose coverage extends into the past. Now that is comprehensive coverage.
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Old 22 October 2010, 06:30 PM
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And whom would this person be talking to? Is there another mysterious time-traveling cell phone user in a contemporaneous Buster Keaton film?
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Old 22 October 2010, 06:34 PM
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She's checking her voice mail.
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Old 22 October 2010, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
And whom would this person be talking to?
The Doctor?
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Old 22 October 2010, 06:43 PM
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Cell Phone

I think this is pretty obviously fake. At that point in his career, Chaplin could easily have afforded to outfit his mysterious time-traveling cell phone user extras with Bluetooth.
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Old 22 October 2010, 06:44 PM
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Lainie, you are very lucky I wasn't drinking. I am on a laptop; new keyboards could be very expensive.
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Old 22 October 2010, 06:59 PM
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Lainie for the win!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Beachlife! View Post
What are the chances that this was discovered in the exact same time period the time traveler must have come from?
Pretty good actually due to a self-selection bias. If the person watching this comes from a time period where they don't hold phones that way, the person wouldn't recognize that the woman is holding a phone. They would instead think she was holding her ears due to the cold, or an ear trumpet, or she had space ear slug disorder.
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Old 22 October 2010, 07:02 PM
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What I see is someone holding a wadded up cloth or handkerchief to their face.
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Old 22 October 2010, 07:03 PM
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Exactly, GenYus. We recognize it as a phone only because that is how someone looks on a phone. If we did not have that pattern in our head, we would fit it into some other pattern.
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Old 22 October 2010, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
If the person watching this comes from a time period where they don't hold phones that way, the person wouldn't recognize that the woman is holding a phone.
I don't come from a time period in which people turned hand cranks to start automobiles or initiate phone calls, yet I still recognize those processes when I see them in films.
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Old 22 October 2010, 07:18 PM
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I see someone who, having seen the camera, was trying to hide her face. The curl of the hand could be attributed to arthritis.
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Old 22 October 2010, 07:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snopes View Post
I don't come from a time period in which people turned hand cranks to start automobiles or initiate phone calls, yet I still recognize those processes when I see them in films.
But would you recognize the hand action without context of seeing the phone or the car? In this case, we see a hand to a face, but no phone, so the only clue is the shape of the hand and the way it is held to the face.

If I saw someone circling their hand as if to crank a phone or a car without the phone/car being visible, I would probably think cranking a car window (or making the signal to lower a car window) rather than thinking of cranking a car/phone.
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Old 22 October 2010, 07:30 PM
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I am not sure if I would think "crank-starting a car" upon seeing someone crouched down and making the motion required to crank a car if the car were not visible. I am not sure what I would think, actually.
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Old 22 October 2010, 07:33 PM
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He says "it's not an AM/FM radio, obviously, because it's 1928." Maybe the time traveller is from 1968 and is singing along to music on a transister radio.

So, the time traveller goes to all the trouble of finding period-correct clothes but walks around openly with technology that didn't exist.

I don't see any device in her hand. I only see shadows.
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Old 22 October 2010, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
But would you recognize the hand action without context of seeing the phone or the car? In this case, we see a hand to a face, but no phone, so the only clue is the shape of the hand and the way it is held to the face.
Not quite so. We see a hand to a face, and the person talking into whatever she's holding in her hand.

So, the analogy would be that if I saw someone manipulating a large crank connected to some off-screen mechanism, and then I immediately afterwards saw that person move across the screen seated in some form of conveyance, would I recognize that the person had been starting a car? Certainly I would.
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  #20  
Old 22 October 2010, 07:48 PM
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I don't think the actions of the woman in the film are nearly so obvious as the scenario you describe. To get to the level of what you describe, she'd have to been seen moving something away from her mouth, pushing a button on it, then putting it into her pocket. We never get a clear look at whatever she's holding to see that it is a phone.
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