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Monologue Mania Day# 345 by Janet S. Tiger Jan. 23, 2015

*This was originally from a piece started in 2004*

Real World Physics Chapter 1

(A woman enters in a lab coat, she can have a blackboard or eraserboard if the budget- and time-allow)

Hello. I was given this lovely grant to teach science to seniors. Senior citizens, that is, not high school. So, please, grab some paper and pencil and have a listen in because this is REAL LIFE SCIENCE - Physics to start. And most of you watching will identify with these issues, as you probably have extensive knowledge of them.

Here’s the type of problem I think physics should
concern itself with.

(She nods)

I heard that! So what if I
finish the sentence with a preposition – laws of grammar are all made up, they
are not

__real__laws like physics!
Back to what's important. Let’s say everyone is eating breakfast – four
people, two adults and two children.
Both children eat cereal with bananas, requiring knives to cut. One child has toast, requiring a knife to
butter the toast, which one parent, the female one, uses as well. The other parent has eggs, cereal and toast,
and also cuts oranges for orange juice.
The first question is simple math – how many knives were used this
morning? Don’t peek!

Let’s first use logic – one knife to cut bananas,
one sharp one to cut oranges, and one to butter toast. Three.

Did you guess three?
Wrong! There were fourteen knives
used! Why?

Because logic has nothing to do with the real
world! One sharp knife was used to cut
the oranges, but then it was misplaced on the counter, out of visual range, so
another sharp knife was used. Two knives
already. One knife to cut the bananas,
but then that was dropped on the table and lost in the morass of breakfast
dishes. So now we have two knives for
bananas, and two for oranges. Four more
for butter (one for each different piece of toast, and one lost) and we are up
to eight knives for four people. Where
did the other six come from? These are
special knives, known in the world of physics as ‘sink knives’, which appear
only when called into existence by the presence of other knives. These knives only exist to be washed, then
they mysteriously disappear when placed in the drawer.

We will cover more of this under string cheese theory RE: items that go into a very cheesy tenth
dimension)

So here -finally- is the physics question that deals
with energy, a key component of many physics problems.

How much energy would be saved every year if only
three knives were used instead of fourteen?
(Be careful, this is a trick question –even Einstein would have to think
twice about this one.)

On a strictly logical basis, you could determine how
much energy was used to wash one knife – water, electricity to heat the water,
dishwashing soap used, and the technical energy of actually physically washing
the knife which uses a highly complex equation that looks something like this:

(She illustrates on the board)

Energy used = force to lift knife off table into
sink

+ force to drag smelly
sponge with soap over knife

+force
used to place knife into silverware holder

+ force used to scream at
family members to clear table

This final Then, the number is added to the equation:

Energy used to wash 1 knife
times the time it takes to wash one knife + cost of water, soap, electricity,
etc = x (with x being the mathematical coefficient
bringing all these factors together)

This x is now multiplied by
14 to determine the total X, which is
multiplied by 365 days. Then multiply 3
times x to get Y times 365.

## 365 X - 365 Y =

Time/money/energy WASTED on KNIVES THAT WERE USED
UNNECESSARILY!

If I seem a little
irritated, that’s only because this number is infinitesimal compared to the
TOTAL wasted time/money/energy! Spoons,
cups, plates, etc.

But this is not the real
question! The real physics problem is-

At what point is it
efficient to spend 15 minutes of energy screaming at your family to not use so
many knives?

This requires advanced knowledge of energy
relationships – should the fifteen minutes of screaming happen before
breakfast? -When you have more
energy- or Is it better to scream once a
day for fifteen minutes, or to do a BIG SCREAM once a week for 30 minutes –
more exhausting, and with a definite loss of value in relationship to the week,
which can be graphed in calculus-like function.

In other words, the first day very high level of following of
instructions, second day fall off, until the end of the week when no one
remembers what Mom lost it about, please see this graph

(Pulls down a graph)

So, now that you’ve crunched the numbers - please
vacuum up the crumbs please- what’s the mathematically correct solution? When you figure it out, please let me
know. I have to lie down and rest after
all that yelling.

(She turns to leave, stops, looks back)

By the way, I had a prominent student of physics -my
son - check out all the equations and he gave a thumbs up to everything I’ve
written here. Or maybe it was a
different finger, I wasn’t wearing my glasses.....

(She exits, physics-lly exhausted.)

---------------------------------------------------------------------

www.JanetSTiger.weebly.com

Member Dramatists Guild since 1983

Playwright-in-Residence

Swedenborg Hall 2006-8

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