In a famous series of stories in the 1940s, physicist George Gamow related the adventures of one Mr. C.G.H. Tompkins, a humble bank clerk who had vivid dreams of worlds where strange physical phenomena intruded into everyday life. In one of these worlds, for instance, the speed of light was 15 kilometers per hour, putting the weird effects of Einstein's theory of special relativity on display if you so much as rode a bicycle.