Slipping Friction

Ice cream day again and time to clean out the tab collection before we move a new collection in. Besides, the weather beavers have proclaimed a ‘cold’ front is moving in tomorrow and we shall get a dose of what in Alibam is jokingly referred to as winter.

There’s a couple of things wrong with those statements. The nasty one is cold, which, as opposed to ‘cool’, has no meaning. We cannot quantify a relative absence of heat. So it must be considered an example of bog foolery and nonsense. Such is especially irritating these days with so much of this use of relative absences.

The second thing is that winter in Alibam is no joke. It is not as bad as spring, when the tornado blitzes come, but it can be bad and for the same reason – bogs. The primary danger of tornadoes is the bogs during the aftermath when they get into fights at petrol stations and either shoot one another or lacerate one another with tire irons. Winter is similar. Because the temperature never gets more than about 5 degK below the liquid -> solid phase point of dihydrogen oxide, we get a lot of the solid phase in thin deposits on surfaces. Think low coefficients of friction and extremely easy breaking from slipping to sliding friction. And our exalted bogs have a common wisdom that when the weather is inclement they should go as fast as they can, whether by foot or vehicle, to minimize the time they are exposed to the inclemency. Of all the motorcar incidents I have been involved in, none my fault, 0.9 occurred during winter.

While we’re on boggish behavior, I ran across an article [Link] about the discovery by archaeologists of a rather old (1250-1550 BCE) bronze headband – jewelry. The piece is rather striking despite the corrosion,

and offers us a striking hypothesis. Perhaps the developments of metals technology was driven by demands for weapons (male vanity) and gee-gaws (female vanity)?

Along this azimuth, I also noted a New Yawk Times article [Link] entitled “The 10 Best Books of 2012”. What makes this a useful article is that I can honestly say that I have read none of these books. And yes, I have read lots of books this year, an average of two per week or so. All of the books are apparently bog books and of almost negative interest from the reportage. But then what does one expect from the New Yawk Times? For that matter, what can one expect from New Yawk except depravity and parasitism?

The benefit, of course, is that one can use the list of books recommended by the New Yawk Times as an avoidance list, rather like those rather demure signs around toxic waste areas that warn humans to “keep out” and avoid nasty effect on health and well being. Of course, the toxic waste dump signs are visible; the NYT signs are not.

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