Thursday, April 25, 2013

The laws of physics: something I just made up one day to torture my children.

Back when we were figuring out how many kids we wanted to have, we were using factors like money, time, housing, and wear and tear on the uterus to make the decision. Here’s the factor we should have used: HOW MANY CHILDREN WILL I HAVE TO TEACH HOW TO DRIVE….

It’s Screamapillar’s turn to try to kill me. I sit there in the co-pilot seat, completely powerless. Never in my life have I wished for a “chicken brake” more.

She accuses me of “yelling” at her when she drives. It’s actually screams of terror. Screamapillar and Thing Two have been the most difficult cases, because they are VERY stubborn and are of the opinion that, although I have been driving for 31 years, I couldn’t possibly have any information of value to offer them. They know it ALL and don’t need instruction. I dread the driving.

The part that is particularly galling is that they think that the laws of physics are something I made up. ‘Cause yeah, I’m just mean like that.

Let’s take a closer look at physics as it applies to teenage drivers!

Every body continues in its state of rest, or of uniform motion in a straight line, unless it is compelled to change that state by forces impressed upon it.
- Newton's First Law of Motion, translated from the Principia's Latin

This means that an object that is in motion will not change velocity (including stopping) until a force acts upon it. For example: If you wish to stop the car, and press the accelerator instead of the brake, your speed will actually increase. And your mother will scream.

The acceleration produced by a particular force acting on a body is directly proportional to the magnitude of the force and inversely proportional to the mass of the body.
- Newton's Second Law of Motion, translated from the Principia's Latin

This is pretty self explanatory: The more you press the accelerator, the more gas is transferred to the engine, the faster the car will go and the more your mother screams.

centrifugal force
an outward force on a body rotating about an axis, assumed equal and opposite to the centripetal force and postulated to account for the phenomena seen by an observer in the rotating body.

This one applies to turning: the faster you make the turn, the more forces are applied pushing the vehicle away from the direction of the turn. This usually results in bonking your  mother’s head on the passenger side window (which has more to do with the First Law actually), resulting loss of control of the vehicle and your mother screaming.

And no, no matter how many times you scream it at me, you do NOT “accelerate into a turn.”

Newon's Third Law: For Every Action there is a Reaction

 What does Newton's Third Law tell us?

(found HERE and edited by mommy)
Newton's third law tells us that when you push against something it pushes back on you with an equal and opposite force. Newton's 3rd law is the law of action and reaction. It tells how forces interact with each other. The forces are the action force and the reaction force. There will be a reaction force even if the object is non-living (or was living before you killed it).

Here are 5 examples of action and reaction forces: 

1.When you push on a wall the wall pushes back on you hit the garage door the garage door hits you. 

2. When you walk on the the ground, you push the ground and the ground pushes you run into the mailbox the mailbox runs into you.

3.When the bat hits the ball the ball hits the bat car plummets from a cliff into the ground the ground hits you 

4.When your finger touches your nose your nose touches your finger overcorrection causes you to plow into a telephone pole, the telephone pole plows into you.

5. When you push on a table the table pushes on you  smash into a parked car, the parked car smashes into you. 

Kinetic energy is a form of energy that represents the energy of motion. 

Kinetic energy is what makes you hit the oncoming car harder after you have failed to overcome centrifugal force because you ignored the Second Law. You mother won’t be screaming anymore because she’s dead.

But that’s okay, because there is no such thing as physics!

I quit teaching. But she still needs to learn to drive. Any volunteers?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Spring Break at the zoo: a top ten

Oh, the adventures we have! We recently had spring break, and thought it might be a good idea to go to the zoo. Eclair insisted, actually. She ALWAYS wants to go to the zoo. It didn't hurt that we had a coupon and she got in for free....

Last time we went to the zoo, it was just her and I. This time we forced the teenagers to go. Primarily, because at the last FHE, Eclair's grievance was that she felt like an only child because the big kids never went on the activities she wanted to do. It was acknowledged that she had a valid point, and now teenagers are required to go on Eclair's activities.

So today, we have for you  a ZOO TOP TEN....

WITH PHOTOS BY BOTH ECLAIR AND MOMMY (see if you can guess which ones are Eclair's!).

10. Traffic was abysmal. Spring Break is the absolute worst time to go to the zoo. If I had had any inkling before we went what the traffic would be like, I would have scheduled this for another day. It took us 20 minutes to travel the last mile to the zoo. Once we reached the parking lot, it took another 20 minutes to park.

When we got into the zoo, it wasn't much better, the gridlock caused by strollers, wagons, wheelchairs and coolers. People brought coolers in for some reason, LARGE ones. I saw a family of four with a wheeled cooler, much larger what we take camping when we are gone for a week or more. What did they have in there, I wonder?  We shoulda brought a cooler so we could have pie and ice cream! I'm a terrible parent: we only brought one bag with water bottles, apples and peanut butter sammiches.

9. YAY for Feeding time! We thought that being there in the afternoon was worse than the morning. Not true. We got to see lots of animals being fed. Strangely enough, the best one to watch was the fruit bats, because of the feats of agility required for them to reach the food and eat without flying....

(due to low light, we only have a photo of the tortoises eating

8.  EWWW for Feeding time! Watching a vegetarian animal eat is far more attractive that watching scavengers eat.

7.We learned that monkey's primarily want to show you their backside. I'm sure that if you have already visited a zoo in your lifetime, you know that this is the least of your worries while viewing monkeys. You never know WHAT they are going to do. In the monkey house I also learned that the monkeys actually smelled BETTER than some of the zoo patrons.

6. Hogle Zoo is in the midst of incredible upgrades. Thus, the train was out of commission, sad day. The finished exhibits are wonderful. The only downside here is that Harbor Seals and Sea Lions in their natural-ish habitats are fast. Too fast to photograph in most cases.

5. Many parents at the zoo are completely oblivious. They must be so engrossed by the exotic animals that they forget that the BROUGHT CHILDREN WITH THEM..... case in point: the gentleman pushing a double-wide rented stroller with no children in it. Priceless was the look on his face when he realized his twin three year old boys were not in the stroller, but were busy shoving me out of the way while they tried to get under the fence to see some rhinos. Another, the oblivious mother whose three year old boy was on a leash. He was six feet ahead of her, diving through the crowd in the monkey house. Behind her was trailing a rented zoo wagon, filled with fruit snacks and water bottles and umbrellas and stuffed animals (there was no room for the poor child). As she was pulled through the crowd by her child, she had no regard for the people she was passing, and plowed into people with the wide wagon that was following her. All in all, she was a 16 foot long train of destruction, damaging everyone in her path. When she came to a stop in front of the gorilla exhibit, no one could get anywhere near, as she was taking up the entire front of the exhibit with her one child and his wagon train.

4. The zoo is an easy place to get photobombed. Halfway through this photo, this woman realized she was in the way. This is her "You can't see me I'm invisible" pose. She came up and apologized for walking though my photo, and we both died laughing when I showed her the photo.

3. Spring is a great time to go to the zoo, because of the baby animals. Eclair was in alt. She must have said "LOOK at the cute baby!" sixty seven MILLION times.

2. Everyone has their favorite animal to see at the zoo. For Eclair, it was all of them. Each and every animal was her favorite, especially the reptiles. She says her favorite is the giraffes, but that might just be because it is her best friend's favorite. She took more pictures of the snakes and lizards, though.

1. There was this woman who had a really really bad dye job on her hair. It was RED. Not the shade of red you would expect to see on a middle-aged plus-sized woman - not auburn,  or titian, or ginger. RED. Like the primary color. Like the American flag. Like the Kool Aid man. After a bit of hiking, uphill and down again on the south side of the zoo, she came to  rest on the bench at the bottom of this hill. Sweat was streaming down her face. Red sweat.  A passing young zoo employee passed her going uphill, then doubled back in alarm.
"Do you need some help?" she asked .
"No, I'll be okay in a minute." REDhead replied
The employee had already pulled out a radio, and says "I'll just call for the paramedics just in case"
The REDheaded woman, wiping red sweat from her face says "No, it's just my hair color coming off."
"Oh!" says the zoo employee, relieved. "I thought we were going to need an ambulance!"

I almost DIED laughing. I'm the one who needed an ambulance.