Friday, January 23, 2015

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

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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
                                              by Janet S. Tiger   
                                     c) 2015     all rights reserved
         (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    =


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.)

Janet S. Tiger    858-736-6315
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983
Swedenborg Hall 2006-8

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