The Long Arm and the Law

We are all familiar with basic laws of physics, at least to the extent that we are able to pour milk on our cereal in the morning or go bowling (which, incidentally, I think is the real sport of kings). But we all have little superstitions that we are convinced are real physical laws. Perhaps the best know is the way socks seem to disappear in the dryer.

I marvel at the way I can drop something over the side of the bed and it will turn up two feet under it. I'm not talking about a superball; I mean something like a pill. I have not been able to duplicate that. Even on a hard floor I can't get a pill to roll two feet. But when dropped on the carpet beside the bed, it somehow moves until it's just far enough under the bed to get covered in dust (and get me dirty reaching way under there). For some reason that fascinates me.

Another "law" is the way traffic is always the worst when you're in the biggest hurry. I realize this is largely due to our perception; but since all we have to experience the world is our senses, isn't it as valid as other so-called empirical facts?

I'm getting long-winded. That means it's time to stop. What are some of your laws?


trb48 said…
It seems that people tend to interrupt me when I don't want them to. I will be working on a hard problem, and that is when everyone needs my help, wants to talk, or their computer breaks.

Another "law" that greatly entertains me deals with computers. Someone will call me. They are frantic because their computer does not work. As soon as I get close to the computer everything works fine. The person that asked for my help feels foolish, and I feel happy that I have one less computer to fix. This happens rather frequently, so frequently in fact that it surprises me.
Krista said…
There's this certain room here in the ICU that whenever I have a patient in there they go crazy during the night. It's happened the last five times. Other people can have the patient and they won't be crazy. The combination of me and that room = nutso for some reason.

Also, the worse my back hurts the bigger the patient.
John said…
I know that there's some undiscovered portion of Einstein's relativity. He relates time and velocity to reference frames, but somehow boredom must be included. I know time stops everyday in my class. The world outside goes on normally, but inside the room the clock stops. I think that if you were in the most boring class with the most boring professor time wouldn't just slow down, but maybe reverse.

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