The Real Physics Forces -- A Gateway to Understanding the Universe

>> Thursday, March 31, 2011

I just saw a cover of a magazine that said that scientists either need to completely rewrite the big bang theory or abandon it altogether.  Per magazines, learning documentaries and articles the world over, our understanding of the universe is in serious jeopardy.  "Most of Our Universe is Missing!" warns a BBC television episode. 

Certainly, we don't understand how or why the great cosmic structures of the universe move and behave the way they do.  We also, apparently, don't understand the interaction of matter and invisible/unknown/theoretical particles.  We only seem to know -- or are slowly becoming aware -- of how very much we don't know.

Well, I'm not quite sure what all the mystery is about.  My friends and family and I are very much aware of a whole host of forces of nature that the physicists have neglected to discuss in any of their cosmological theories.  What is the power of a supernova when compared to the explosive capacity of a hungry child that missed a nap?  What is electromagnetism when compared to the compulsion of a shedding cat to find the one person in the room with allergies?  How can the strong and weak nuclear forces stand up to the attraction between dripping paint and the one spot of carpet that is not covered by cloth?  What is the measure of gravity considering the adhesive quality of cat fur to cloth?  What of cosmic black holes when there is one that exists in the clothes dryer of every American household?

What and how, indeed?

I think the secrets of the universe, and all of its unknown forces and powers, maybe explained not in the laboratories of great universities, but in the kitchens and living rooms of the average home.  Let's consider some of the great forces that we encounter and accept every day, without questioning their power or their origin.  Perhaps these are the forces that today's physicists need to better understand:

1.  The mysterious connection between white fuzzy particles and dark carpet (and vice versa)
2.  The nearly inconquerable attraction between a household pet and the one piece of furniture s/he is not allowed to climb
3.  The remarkable adhesive quality of cat snot  (Okay, this isn't a common one, but trust me on this.  The effect is more potent than chewing gum.)
4.  The mystical contact between grease and women's tops
5.  The impressive relationship between spaghetti and white things
6.  The ability of a person severely allergic to poison ivy to miraculously stumble on the only poison ivy leaf in a hundred mile radius
7.  The attraction between dirt and children's faces
8.  The magnetism between young children and puddles
9.  The mythical and powerful workings of the forces of Entropy and Chaos on a household

I could go on, and on, and on ... and I'm sure you could as well.  Any of us could.

Now, I am also sure that several of these phenomena can be combined into one cohesive explanation, such as a new attractive/repulsive force similar to electromagnatism, but in order to reach these cosmic conclusions, physicists will need to examine the phenomena in more detail.  For some reason, they have failed to do so before now, which is an oversight that I believe has contributed to the disasterous state of our understanding of the cosmos that we are encountering today.

In the spirit of scientific cooperation, I will make the ultimate sacrifice of opening my home to investigation, and this blog is my open invitation to the leading experimental and cosmological physicists. 

I eagerly await your reply.


The Long-Awaited, Probably Dreaded, "Pregnancy Post."

>> Wednesday, March 16, 2011

You knew it was coming.  You knew I couldn't go nine months without talking about my own biological state.  After all, I shared my eviction of my gall bladder with you, so what's a little obstetrics between bloggy-friends, right?

Don't worry.  I won't get too personal (except to mention that it is impossible to go through maternity and delivery and still avoid a sense that most of the world has seen everything, and I do mean EVERYTHING about you).

We have about 2 and 1/2 months to go, and I'm growing very concerned about my belly button.  I think it's no secret to anyone that has been paying attention that I have belly button issues, but this time, I'm really concerned.  When I was pregnant with Bubba, against all odds I managed to maintain an "inny" (innie?) belly button the entire time.  This time, I'm not so sure.  I'm petrified that any day now, with the excess scar tissue I am carrying, that little old belly button of mine is going to pop out into an "outie" (outy?).  If that happens, I just might go over the edge.

Let's face it.  There is a "no touch" zone around my belly button that is as serious as Israeli airport security, and nothing is going to change that.  Any deliberate move in the direction of my belly button by DH is grounds for immediate divorce.  Similarly, if any of my so-called "friends" ever wish to see if I am serious about this issue, I will kick them into Canada with one blow and then install an electric fence.  My only concession to the "no touch zone" is for sonograms, and that takes serious effort.  I understand sometimes that icky cold gel and that stupid wand need to encroach near (sometimes *gasp* on) my belly button to take some crucial baby-measurement, but that doesn't make it easy for me to tolerate.  I have to know it's coming, scrunch up my eyes, and hold someone's hand in my fist like I'm making hamburger out of it before I can force myself to hold still and let them do it.  (In my mind, I imagine it is as close as I will get to an actual labor-experience, because all my kids will probably have to be via C-section.  Certainly I have wounded DH's hand enough to make him THINK it was labor.  Maybe it's as close as HE will get to a labor decision.  Yeah, that's probably better.)

So, if that little belly button pops out, what will happen next?  Catatonia, maybe.  I can barely even fathom the idea of having the inside of my belly button actually outside, rubbing against my shirt.  In fact, I'd rather  .... honestly, I can't hardly think of something I WOULDN'T rather do that deal with an outie belly button, but I'm afraid most analogies would seem rather cold and insensitive, so I'll just leave that thought unsaid.  (I once nearly fainted when I was pregnant with Bubba and *saw* another pregnant woman with an outie belly button.)

Last time, with Bubba, I was carrying excess amniotic fluid, and so far we've no sign of that this time.  Then again, it is a little early to know for sure. (I think.  Those memories are getting blurry.)  Either way, as I got to the middle of my third trimester last time, random strangers were stopping me in parking lots asking if I was having twins or triplets.  These days, people who actually know me on sight have finally stopped saying, "Oh, you're pregnant?  Congratulations, I didn't know!"  Hopefully that means I actually look smaller (although I don't see it), which means the risk of developing an outy-button isn't as high as I fear.  Hopefully. 

All I can do is hope that normal biology and my pathological aversion to contact with my belly button don't collide.  Pray for me.

And as for those so-called acquaintences of mine that didn't know I was pregnant, I choose to conclude that they were being overly polite, and that my big belly was cleverly disguised by my voluminous winter coat.  Otherwise I am forced to admit that they think I have a really big ass when I'm not pregnant and thus failed to notice my maternity pants and expanding belly.  I choose to think optimistically on this one.

Finally, for your random fact of the day, while I was writing this post, a fox ran through my back yard.  Now you know.

Thus endeth the pregnancy post.


The Year of Entropy and Chaos Part IV -- I Can Win Sometimes

>> Tuesday, March 8, 2011

I think Entropy has caught a cold.  Or something.

He seems to be spending a lot of time sitting on the couch lounging, doing nothing to stop me from cleaning the house. 

I've got to give the guy credit -- he has been expending a lot of energy recently trying to disrupt our lives, and he's done a pretty good job of it.  I mean, first there was the toilet disaster.  That, you have to admit, was inspired -- letting us fix everything that was wrong with the toilet except the one thing that worked before we started the "repair."  I have to award points for cleverness.

Then there was the heat pump.  That thing froze, solid, but we managed to thaw it after only two days.  Our neighbors called repairmen, but we, WE managed to fix it ourselves ... sorta.  It worked for a day, then froze again (and we fixed it again).  Then it froze again ... on a day that the temperature outside was above freezing.  Ooookaayyy, clearly we were no longer dealing with an ordinary mechanical repair.  Clearly Entropy was invoking the supernatural powers of Chaos to affect problems mere natural law cannot achieve.

Still, we perservered.  We refused to panic when the heater failed to respond timely to a drop in the temperature, and we just turned on the emergency heat or wall heater and put on a sweater.  Eventually, the heat pump caught up.  In the meantime, we apparently exhausted Entropy.  He had one more trick up his sleeves, by trying to upset my stomach over the weekend so I couldn't clean the house, but we foiled him.  I sat and directed Bubba and DH what I wanted brought to me, and I sorted while they put away.  It wasn't a perfect solution, but it did the trick.  DH even managed to paint the baby's room on Saturday afternoon while Bubba was sleeping.

And that seemed to be the last of Entropy for at least a few days.  We had a monster rain on Sunday, and there was no flood in the basment or the backyard.  Given our prior problems in that area, "no floods" is a bloody miracle.  The land surrounding our backyard was taking deposits for duck condos, but we were doing fine.  Then, on Monday, I managed to do laundry and clean a large chunk of the house without so much as a child-toy-dumping.  Clearly, Entropy is not himself.

I could get used to this ... but I know better.  Entropy just has the flu and will be back any day now.


You Can't Blame Me for This One ....

>> Friday, March 4, 2011

And still I'm slow in getting blog posts out.  I have a couple "in the works," but Entropy and Chaos have been doing their darndest on me recently.  The toilet is fixed, but now it looks like our heater won't be quite so easily solved.  More on that later.

In the meantime, my fellow blogger @BustedKate recently posted a link that I feel compelled to share with you about what can happen when you don't shut off auto-correct on your iPhone.

Please take a look at this link: and feel free to laugh yourself silly.  We sure did.

Fair Warning:  The material at the link is not PG-13, so please be aware.  There are no graphic pictures, but apparently the iPhone has a dirty mind when left to it's own devices. 


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