Star Trek fans, you'd better sit down.
Because there are scientists out there, out there in Texas, to be precise, who believe that you will soon be able to propel yourselves at warp speed.
Alright, I'm not going to put a time frame on the 'soon'. Because, well, what is time anyway? Merely one dimension of our truly warped lives.
But here's the idea that Dr. Gerald Cleaver, Associate Professor of Physics at Baylor and his Associate Associate, Richard Obousy (I have not located a picture of this man, but he is reputed to have elongated ears) have proposed.
They reckon that you or Richard Branson could zip up to the vast Up There in your spaceship and, well, shrink the space that is in front of you and expand the space behind you.
To me this sounds a little like plastic surgery.
However, there is apparently a force out there (no, not from that other sci-fi movie) which essentially works against gravity. Scientists refer to this force as dark energy.
And they believe (if that is not too emotional a concept for a scientist) that dark energy has, over the history of everything that's out there, driven our universe to expand at speeds that are faster than the zippiness of light.
Apparently, space can move at limitless pace.
The theory is that you get your spaceship to hang in a bubble of space, a bubble that happens to be moving at faster than the speed of light. We need to get some of that dark energy in your hip flask to do it.
But, if we manage it, we make the dark energy in front of your spaceship negative, and therefore that space will simply contract. (I really wanted to use the word 'simply' in that sentence.)
These Baylor boffins are, apparently, rather fond of string theory. Which I have heard of. However, I wasn't aware that the Stringies believe there are rather more than the four dimensions in which I suffer- time, width, height and length.
And the whole warp drive effort would require the altering of the 10th spatial dimension ahead of your spaceship.
By now, you might have guessed that I have already shoved my head in a bucket of cold water in order to prevent it from spatially overheating. Please therefore enjoy this link, one that will unquestionably enlighten you more than I can.
However, I have great faith in the work of these Baylor scientists.
I now firmly believe that anything can happen as I have just returned from witnessing Tom Cruise being seriously, brilliantly funny in Tropic Thunder.
If Tom Cruise can be funny, then warp drive is a very possible mission indeed.