ok, this is realy bugging me that i cant figure it out and it just agitates me all day long. I've heard explanations of these, but those explanations only cause the following questions in my head: --- (u can skip this part, just kinda telling where i come from since this is my first post in this forum) first off, I just finished highschool and am going into film school so my understanding of physics is not very profound. I've always been very good at logic and science (biology, philosophy, chemistry, etc...) ... not in school - i don't consider school education lol - but spend a lot of my free time studying these subjects under the philosophy that life is too short and the universe too beautiful to not try and understand it. but math/algebra is another story, i honestly think i have some sort of brain damage when it comes to numbers (couldnt do multiplication in my head if you payed me), so please try not to use equations when explaining but images or analogies instead. so I may be (and probably am) way off... tyring to understand einstein's book without looking at a formula was challenge enough. aanyway here's my problems ---- 1) with the ladder/garage/pole paradox (http://www.phys.unsw.edu.au/einsteinlight/jw/module4_pole_paradox.htm) the solution that is always given is solved by explaining the different relative times at twhich the barn doors would open.. but isn't that kind of a cheat from the main problem? what would happen if: -both doors were closed, and the man with the pole was standing inside the garage holding a pole that is, say, 3/4 the size of the garage. -this man accelerates (while he is still IN the room) to a speed fast enough for the pole to (in his view) be longer than the room he is in (for a split moment, as to not run through the wall and out of the room, but remain in it) here's my problem: from the point of view of the man, the pole would crash right through the room, but form the point of view of the room, the pole has shrunk and fits perfectly inside the room... so which is it? the walls can't both collapse and not collapse... 2) with the twin paradox (I'm gonna use the way it's explained here http://www.phys.vt.edu/~jhs/faq/twins.html ; there are different versions) it explains that the difference happens because one of the twins changes its trajectory while the other one remains in inertia.... but isn't inertia relative too??? -if one twin changes it's trajectory, or accelerates, or decelerates, twists, turns, whatever... would the same not be true of the other twin in that twin's point of view? if twin 1 is going in one direction and then turns back in the view of twin 2. isn't twin 2 also going in one direction and returning form the view of twin 1? also -it states that when twin 2 arrives to the station, his clock is different form the one at the station because he has traveled there at a slower relative speed... but wouldn't the "outside world" also be going at a slower relative speed and, also, the distance be relatively smaller for him (that is: he is traveling 1L at proper distance, but not relative distance from his point of view: wouldn't the distance between the planet and the station have shrunk from his view?), having the 2 effects cancel each other out once he arrives? i hope i was clear... it's 3 AM. thanks to whoever takes the time.