Monday, December 26, 2011

The tale of the toast.

Today I fell into an inflamed discussion (not to say - an argument) with someone about why the toast always falls butter side down. First - this is a fact. Second - it's such an exasperating one that it deserves its own blog post.
When I was younger and more depressive I used to explain this phenomenon by Murphy's law. To paraphrase - if there is a way something could suck, it will suck. It's an easy way of perceiving the world,  however unsatisfactory as you're closer to leaving your teens (my argumentation is strong here as I just spilled my tea over my laptop. You see my point). When you're done with middle school physics you start saying that everything that happens is the result of gravity, star -> footnote -> air resistance is negligible. This was what I was saying arguing about the toast today morning. Yet, it's not quite the case, so let me tell you why this peculiarity is so. There are four factors:
1. Gravity, star -> footnote -> air resistance is negligible (like, butter weighs more than nothing)
2. The size of bread.
3. The height of the table/kitchen counter.
4. The angle at which bread starts its fall.

All these factors lead us to the ultimate reason. It's the period of rotation. It can be seen in astronomical objects (Earth rotates with the period of one day). The rotation period of a toast is considerably smaller because of its size (and mass). Here comes the factor number two. A cracker is smaller, hence its rotation period is smaller. We can therefore say that if we let a cracker and a toast fall at the same time from the same height, the cracker will be falling more rapidly. Here comes the factor number three - the average height of a kitchen counter and an average size of a toast are circumstances that make the cycle intersection equal precisely the floor. However if we got on a ladder (bet that's what I'm thinking about doing right now?), changing the height in this way, the toast would fall butter side up! If we changed the size of the slice instead of the height, for instance if we sacrificed a cracker and spared the ladder, the cracker would fall butter side up!
The fourth factor means more or less the fact that butter is never evenly distributed and that you rarely hold a sandwich at a perfect balance, which makes it more prone to rotate and fuel it's fall.
And the first factor is obvious. It's what they taught us in middle school - gravity is everything! Star ->footnote-> air resistance is negligible.
Isn't physics fascinating?! Fun science, fun science, it's the science that is fun!
I am sorry I haven't posted my own experiment results on here. I'd better go work on that now.

Song of the day: O Come All Ye Faithful - Elvis Presley

PS. Here's an adorable picture - the text says 'The sandwich always falls butter side down. You made it the wrong way'.

PPS. The Doctor Who Christmas Special, you guys!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

So this is Christmas.

You know what strikes me about the Nativity story? We've talked about it this week at Holla! It's Jesus Time and it was mentioned by our pastor today at church, which is curious as I was thinking about it a lot lately as well. Although the Scripture doesn't say that, many Apocryphal writings emphasize that Mary was fourteen at the time she gave birth to Jesus. Imagine being fourteen, engaged with a man you don't even really know and there comes the angel from the sky telling you that you're to give birth to the Son of God. She could go 'Sorry, Gabriel, but... biology?'. But instead she said 'Behold, the bondslave of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word'. Let it be stressed that bearing Jesus was a massive humiliation for the entire family of Joseph, for He was believed to be a bastard. But despite the fact that she did not have the slightest idea what was going on, didn't care about humiliation, biology and convenances. Deep down inside, this was all she felt:

"My soul exalts the Lord, 
And my spirit has rejoiced in God my Savior. 
“For He has had regard for the humble state of His bondslave; 
For behold, from this time on all generations will count me blessed. 
“For the Mighty One has done great things for me; 
And holy is His name. 
He has done mighty deeds with His arm; 
He has scattered those who were proud in the thoughts of their heart. 
“He has brought down rulers from their thrones, 
And has exalted those who were humble. 
And sent away the rich empty-handed. 
“He has given help to Israel His servant, 
In remembrance of His mercy, 
As He spoke to our fathers,
To Abraham and his descendants forever.”

This is a lesson of humility and joy in the works of God. I believe she was the happiest woman in the entire world and I wish everything God does today filled me with such happiness and desire for obedience. 
I am grateful we have a day to celebrate the day when the unlimited became human. I wish all the the divine blessings for you all and if for those of you who believe in God, may you have trust in God's mighty deeds, may you have faith in His decisions for He has and will fill the hungry with good things.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Song of the day: Joy To The World - Nat King Cole

John Smith: I believe in Christmas Eve miracles!

I looked at the TV guide today and almost choked on a gingerbread cookie when I saw the front page title. A very prominent celebrity in a Santa hat  making her way through the spruce branches, looking as if she'd found a door to Narnia there, at least. The title beneath the photo says "such-and-such: I believe in Christmas Eve miracles".
Now, the reason why I looked at the TV guide in the first place was because I wanted to check if it's in fact Christmas. Since there were no ads on which broadcasting station Home Alone was gonna be aired, I was sincerely worried that Christmas was to be cancelled. Luckily, we're saved! Home Alone is ON, this Christmas! Let's go back to the kitchen, now that we're sure.
Anyway, I was almost physically hurt when I saw that front page. I know this celebrity pretty well. I know all about her romances. I know that she ran in the competition for the most beautiful bust in the country. Now I even know that she believes in the Christmas Eve miracles. But I don't know what is it that she does. Surely she acts, probably sings, writes books and hosts talk shows. BUT. No. Nobody cares. The most important information is her belief in Christmas Eve miracles. And that bust thing of course. Weird they haven't mentioned her place in that article - Christmas has always been renowned to be the season of woman objectification.
I'm not mocking national press' choice of front page topics! Quite the contrary, I think everyone should share this important piece of information publicly! They give us so many days off, we might as well occupy ourselves with who believes in Christmas magic and who doesn't. This account is so significant I want to hear all about it.
See, I always consider a press article good, if I was to read it had it not been about the bust competition winner.
'George Bush: I believe in Christmas Eve miracles!'
'Richard Dawkins: I believe in Christmas Eve miracles!'
'Michael Jackson's doctor: I believe in Christmas Eve miracles!'

That would make my day!

'John Smith (42 years old, Tarrytown, NY): I believe in Christmas Eve miracles!'

Oh, surely it would!

Song of the day: Celebrate the day - Relient K

Merry Christmas everyone!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Top Ten 'Tuesday' - the books I hope Santa brings

In my recent days I've had very few things to be proud of. I messed up so many characteristic hallmarks of my talented self - my traditional salad ( I forgot to boil the vegetables), my so-called laboriousness ("it's snowing today, I guess I won't go to work. Oh, well") or my strong environmental standpoints (I had to start intaking gelatine. However painful that was to my beliefs and my...ego). I'm not even mentioning NaNoWriMo (I dropped out four days in). For a long time I used to be super proud of horse-like health - I haven't been sick since I nearly died being eight years old, due to pneumonia. I had to undergo a series of Mongolian alternative medical procedures (alternative for us. I wouldn't be that crazy to go for something that's alternative even in Mongolia. Okay, I'm not mocking Mongolia, I say their regular medicine is awesome enough :) that left me -seemingly- invincible to EVERYTHING. For ten years I would go out in winter without any overcoat layers, make eagles in the snow and eat ice cream when it's minus twenty outside. Nothing would get me. In addition to that, I've never broken a bone. This stopped my vigilance so much that it was decided I should probably care about The Organism more and bam, there's nasty tracheitis. What is more it's very highly probable that I broke my rib ('she's so lucky, she's a star!'). So there it goes - I totally lost my cool. To questions like 'what's so special about you?' I would always say two things: 'I never get sick' and 'I've never seen Home Alone'. The former is no longer adequate and the latter... well, tomorrow's Christmas Eve. I will be exposed to the temptation (not really. But you know, at that time of the year, EVERYTHING CAN HAPPEN).
I guess I'm trying to say I want to get back to blogging daily to restore my motivation and try to keep the awesome at a decent level. I'll start with a good ole' list. This is a Top Ten Tuesday meme from the Broke and the Bookish. It's on a Friday because I'm a slump. I also might have a broken rib. Just for the record.

Top Ten Books I Hope Santa Brings

1. Will Grayson, Will Grayson - John Green, David Levithan
2. A Cassandra Clare book from either the Mortal Instruments or the Infernal Devices. 
3. The Hunger Games Trilogy - Suzanne Collins
4. It's Kind of a Funny Story - Ned Vizzini
5. Shine - Lauren Myracle
6. No way home - Carlos Acosta
7. Anna and the French Kiss - Stephanie Perkins
8. The Pilgrim's Progress - John Bunyan
9. 420 Characters - Lou Beach
10. Tree of Codes - Jonathan Safran Foer

As you can see the majority of those are YA fiction. That is because I usually don't read those books and everybody on YouTube is talking about them all the time (like Stephanie Perkins or Lauren Myracle. All those videos make them really desirable).

I shall end with a song of the day:  December Snow - The Moody Blues and I will talk to you tomorrow (oh yes, this blogging daily whim is officially a thing now!).