theories

Relationship Relativity

How is it possible for you to stay the same age yet everyone else ages?

You know what I’m talking about. You see a Pop Star on TV from your youth and they are suddenly OLD, or an old girl/boyfriend appears in your Facebook feed and you think – WOW, how did s/he get so OLD.

I have a theory here, and I think you will like this one. They appear to be old because they ARE older then you now. True. This comes right out of the mouth of Albert Einstein.

When you are courting a nice girl, an hour seems like a second. When you sit on a red-hot cinder a second seems like an hour. That’s relativity.

Albert Einstein

He said it better, but we’ve all seen the same thing – take ten minutes on the Internet and it seems like an hour to your partner who asked you to do something else. Try standing on a corner waiting for a ride – those two minutes stretch relative to the temperature outdoors.

Now, alongside this relativity of time that we can accept, Einstein also said that time is warped by gravitational pull. If you recall, Einstein said that speed of light is relative and that things travelling faster get shorter blah, blah, blah, and that distance and gravity affecting time – it’s all explained here as part of the science behind the movie Interstellar. If you didn’t click the link, you will just have to trust me that the stronger the gravitational field surrounding you, the slower time travels.

So how does all this link to relationships? Well, I think we can apply Einstein’s theory relative to relationships, and here’s how:

The stronger the physical bond between people (i.e. their gravitational pull on each other), the slower they will age, when compared to people who are in a weaker gravitational field relative to us.

Think about it – we are going about our daily lives when suddenly a celebrity from our youth appears on the news. BAM!! They are suddenly old! How can that be? They were one of the beautiful people in my youth – they are of my generation, yet here they are, old, and here I am, looking at my partner and seeing someone who hasn’t changed since the day we met.

adam-ant

Adam Ant, then and now

Relationship relativity, as I’m calling it, also affects the size of things. Do you recall the house in which you grew up, or your first school? Remember how big that place was? My childhood home was enormous in my memory. My bedroom was big enough for all my stuff, with plenty of room left over to play, yet today we need the whole house to contain our stuff and there’s still no room – yet go back and look at that old house – tiny!!

So, the good news in all of this is that, to the people closest to you, you are no older today than when you first met. And those beautiful people all get old much more quickly than you – especially that guy/girl who stole your heart back in High School. They got VERY OLD, VERY QUICKLY.

Time

Time – that strange truth of the physical universe. It is absolute – a second is a second, a year is a year. Unless you are flying close to the speed of sound out and back to the edge of the Universe, time has the same value wherever you are in the world. Except it doesn’t. Time is relative, and not in any Einsteinian way. It’s relative to the task being accomplished at any given moment. You know I’m right, but think about it for a moment:

You are having a leisurely evening with friends, doing your bit for the viticulture industry. In this situation, hours will fly by until it is suddenly 2am, there are a dozen empty bottles and you know there will be woodpeckers in the morning. In this scenario, the wings of time fly swiftly and the hours flit away like the seeds of a dandelion clock on a summer breeze.

Or alternatively, you are chained to your desk racing a deadline to complete a report / homework assignment / press release (insert your own nemesis here). The evil Gods of Time choose this moment to fast-forward the clock. When you started, you had 2 hours to complete what would normally be a 20 minute task. Now, just minutes later, you’re down to 20 minutes to complete what would normally be a three hour task.

Anyone who has woken in the wee small hours knows how minutes can drag into hours. You’re lying there, in the dark. The green digits show 03:48. You don’t want to get up, it’s cold out there, and you will disturb the dog and you will have to let him out to pee, and then he will think it’s morning and time to eat,then go for a walk, then …. You get the picture. And you can’t turn a light to read, because you will wake your significant other, and you do not want to wake your significant other. Oh No. So you lie there, staring at the ceiling. You lie there for what seems like an hour. You turn your head to check, and the clock flashes back at you: 03:57. And so it goes on. You toss and turn, you get too hot so you throw back the covers, then you are too cold. You go pee. You lie there some more, then glance again: 04:26. Finally, finally around 05:12 you fall asleep, only to be woken milliseconds later by the alarm blaring out at 06:00

And another – if you are waiting for someone and you are in a warm car, or indoors, time drags, sure, but nowhere near as slowly as if you are on a windy corner, maybe in the snow. Take off your gloves – the time will move even slower. But if you are the one they are waiting for, your time speed changes exponentially based on the situation in which your waitee is waiting.

Mrs Drew often ‘pops in for a few things’ when we are out in the car. “I’m just getting bread and milk – 5 minutes,” she says. And I am sure to her, she does go round the store quickly. And it takes her thirty minutes and four shopping bags to get bread and milk. My thirty minutes, without my glasses to allow me to browse inappropriate websites on my phone to while away the time, takes 2 hours. Hers, fighting the crowds, spotting exceptional offers, takes 10 minutes.

And so, all you Physics types with your laws of relativity and planet sized brains, figure that one. If time is absolute, why is it so elastic?

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And with that, I conclude my T posting. And I am almost back on track for the Challenge. I O U a U.

Maccie D’s

Pop Quiz: What happened this day in 1955?

Well yes, this is the day that Abraham Lincoln died from a mortal wound inflicted by a vampire he was hunting (what? Didn’t you see the film). Oh, okay then. He was killed by an assassin’s bullet, fired by the infamous John Wilkes Booth. I’m guessing this was also the day that someone slapped his palm to his head and said, “We need a Secret Service to protect the President, the most important man in the whole wide world” (and if you miss the irony, you need to go back and read King & Lion).

Abraham Lincoln - Vampire Hunter

But that’s not the monumental event to which I’m referring (Did you see that? I didn’t split my infinitive. That would be painful).

Anyone else?

Yes, you are right in that it was on this day a mere 82 years after Lincoln’s death and his groundbreaking strides with the Emancipation Act to end slavery that Jackie Robinson broke the colour barrier in baseball. The speed of progress is astounding, isn’t it? But as monumental an achievement as that was, that’s not the big news of the day.

Next? You there at the back?

Yes, this was indeed the day that the unthinkable happened and the unsinkable happened. And so this was the day that ultimately led to the unspeakable happening when we discovered that Celine Dion’s Heart Will Go On (and on, and on, and on). We were, however, treated to the delightful view of a young Kate Winslett reclining nude for Jack Dawson’s pencil (and the later scenes in the Rolls where he demonstrated that he did in fact have lead in said pencil). But no, that’s still not the most monumental event that occurred this day.

Kate Winslet Titanic 1080p-016

Do you need a clue?

There. Now you have it. The most iconic trademark in America. From personal experience I can tell you that a two year old can recognise the golden arches. I tell you, it’s fascinating to research the paranoia behind the Golden Arches. This blogger suggests that the arches are secret symbols of sodomy, with the arches representing male buttocks (why not female buttocks, I ask?). He (I’m assuming he, given the fixation on sodomy, but as we all have an asshole, maybe not), also finds reference to masonic ritual. I guess you can read anything into anything if that’s what you want to see. Someone else found it to be a gateway (watching too much Stargate if you ask me). I’ve seen reference to a nourishing pair of breasts too. Mother’s milk at McDonald’s. Hmmm…. And yet, as always, the truth is mundane. and too boring to waste time with here.

So the answer to the Pop Quiz is indeed that on this day way back in 1955, a mere 90 years after Abe’s final curtain and just 8 short years after Jackie pitched up for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Ray Kroc took the name and the idea for a fast food burger joint from the McDonald brothers, Dick and Mac McDonald, and opened the first ever McDonald’s restaurant in Des Plaines, Illinois. Within three years they’d sold 100 million burgers. One hundred million burgers. Had they sold a burger a day, their first burgers would have been sold to Neanderthals (and many would say, they still are today). With the advent of the fast food restaurant, Ray Kroc may well have launched an obesity crisis, but look what he did for the health care profession, creating countless new jobs to care for the chronically overweight. I always found it incredibly ironic, and a triumph of capitalism over common sense, that McDonalds is a major sponsor of the Olympics.

But you do have to give the scary clown some credit. McDonalds is the ultimate symbol of process excellence. Their product is the same worldwide. No matter what you think of it, a Big Mac is a Big Mac from Singapore to Shanghai, from San Fran to Seoul. Their commitment to conformance is unrivaled in any industry I’ve encountered, and is a model to many looking to provide consistent service standards to their customers.

So hats off to Mr Kroc, whether indeed your arches are a secret code for sodomy, an alien gateway, the strangest shaped breasts ever, or merely a play on the M, you gotta say, Da Da Da Da Da, I’m lovin’ it.

King & Lion

I’m not cheating. Much. This post is not about Lion King and I’m reversing the words just to get K and L in the right order, so we are good there. But yes, I am cheating by wrapping two posts into one but I’m allowed a little lee-way. Daily posting takes its toll, you know?

Anyhoo, the idea for today’s post was originally King, and the tie-in to the King of the Jungle seemed too good to pass up. BTW – did you ever wonder how Leo came to get the title ‘King of the Jungle’ when lions don;t actually live in jungles? They are animals of the savannah, the open grass lands across Africa. There is no jungle out there that I’m aware of.

Sorry – I digress, which is kinda the point of the blog in the first place. Digression, I mean and random wanderings. So back to King. Did you ever wonder how the King in Chess came to be the ultimate symbol of victory yet is the weakest, most ineffectual piece in the game? The King has to be protected by all the other pieces, including the sacrificial pawns. He hides behind the skirt-tails of the Queen who is the one who yields awesome power across the board. He will hide himself away in the Tower rather than face death in a noble way. He expects everyone else to sacrifice themselves so that he can stand tall as Victor, even if he is the only piece left standing. Reminds me of the Presidential roles around the world in many ways – figureheads who are protected at all costs, yet yield no real power. The true power brokers operate behind the scenes, manipulating the politicos as if they were glove puppets, and their manipulators have a hand shoved up their jacksies.

Same is kinda true for the Lion out there on the grasslands. He is seen as the powerful one, the symbol of the pride. Yet it is the lioness who does all the work. The Lion sleeps away the day whilst his lionesses are hard at work. The lioness is the true hero – she hunts, she protects, she bears the future leaders (ringing any bells, ladies?). So how did the Lion get to be the Big Cheese? Is there more to gender inequality than meets the eye, maybe? I don’t know. And maybe that’s the lid of a big old can-o-worms I shouldn’t pry off. Just seems like the females of the world got a raw deal whether human or not.

Floodgates Pandora's box Can of worms photo FloodgatesPandorasboxCanofworms.jpg

Just struck me, is all. In Chess, the most important piece on the board is also the weakest. They hold power only because their protection system is strong enough and they are willing to sacrifice themselves for the greater good. Same goes for many natural environments – Leo being the most obvious one that came to mind.

Still, if we don’t like this status quo there’s always another. We could base our society on the Praying Mantis.

 

Vacation fat is not what it seems

I have good news of a sort for anyone who has returned from a southern vacation, only to find an additional 10lb mysteriously affixed to your waist (or hips, bum, boobs, wherever you store your spare lard).

Can there be any good news in this situation? After all, your vacation is done, you’ve significantly increased your likelihood of a malignant melanoma, your relationship is screwed because you just spent a week cramped in a hotel room with your significant other and now you’re fat. Well there is. Apparently the fat bit at least is not entirely your fault. During my random browsings of the interwebs I came across an article from the Boston School of Gravitational Science that indicated there may be a scientific explanation for your increased girth on return from the southern climes, and it is not all attributable to the free bar and all-you-can-eat buffet.

The BS article I saw said that scientists have discovered an increased gravitational pull closer to the equator. The effect causes body mass to increase the further south towards the equator you go, effectively making you heavier. They call this Residual Gravitational Transference (RGT). The residual part means that the effects take some time to reduce once you head north again, so the scales might actually be lying to you when you get home. Now, I’m not going to say that this gives you licence to binge on your vacation – clearly excessive consumption has a big part to play in your growing girth, but there is a percentage of that monumental mass that is attributable to science. And that’s not all. The same BS article I read suggests the effect is exacerbated the closer you are to sea level – and even more so if you are over water. This last part has to do with being closer to the Earth’s magnetic core. Over water, the reduced density of the water means that the gravitational pull is that much stronger. Now, apparently if you happened to be down south when there was a full moon, then the counter-pull of the moon’s gravity likely offset the RGT factor for your time in the south. On the other hand, if you didn’t experience a full moon then the weight gain through RGT could be as significant as 0.5 lb for every 100 of latitude, for every 72 hours, assuming no lunar offset.

I know the math is confusing. The BS science behind this is quite new, and they want to make it easy for their readership so I did the math using their calculator. Basically if I head from Nova Scotia (latitude 450 N) and spend 9 days in Cuba (latitude 230 N), then all things being equal and assuming no moon, I will gain 3lb in weight, purely through the dynamics of RGT. And I can expect that 6lb to take at least another 9 days to reduce back to zero gain. The even scarier part in all this is that the effect of weight gain is actually amplified by RGT also. The North to South ratios stay the same, so for every 10 degrees of latitude there is a 5% increase in the relative weight gain. This piece they called Equatorial Weight Transference (EWT). So, back to my example, my 3lb weight gain is further impacted by a factor of 20%, for a total gain of 3.3lb. Now that doesn’t sound much, I know, but this is before any additional Marguerites. And, the even scarier piece, the effects of RGT apply to any new weight gain when away. The extra weight is not increased, because it was gained at the southern latitude and altitude, but the effects of RGT mean it will be so much harder to shift when I go north again. And remember that all these effects are exacerbated by altitude, so your sea level resort is adding to your waistline, purely by location, and that cruise ship? You will get fat just by stepping aboard.

So there you have it. There is at last a scientific explanation for your post-vacation girth. I would be interested to hear if anyone has actually seen these effects in action and can attest to the veracity of this BS theory. Oh – sorry, just found the author so you can Google him. Dr Loof Lirpa – a Latvian I believe.

(and by the way – this is my A post for A to Z 2015 – as in April Fool’s, and also a response to today’s Daily Prompt)

Habit Forming

With thoughts of New Year fast approaching and no doubt many Resolutions to be made and quickly broken, I came across this simple little list courtesy of Gretchen Rubin. Gretchen is a world famous author with a speciality in habits and happiness.

gretchen

Gretchen Rubin

Our resolutions are all about forming new habits, and this list made a lot of senses to me. I hope it helps you in some small way to keep the promises you make yourself this January 1st.

The Habits Manifesto

 What we do every day matters more than what we do once in a while.

  1. Make it easy to do right and hard to go wrong.
  2. Focus on actions, not outcomes.
  3. By giving something up, we may gain.
  4. Things often get harder before they get easier.
  5. When we give more to ourselves, we can ask more from ourselves.
  6. We’re not very different from other people, but those differences are very important
  7. It’s easier to change our surroundings than ourselves.
  8. We can’t make people change, but when we change, others may change.
  9. We should make sure the things we do to feel better don’t make us feel worse.
  10. We manage what we monitor.
  11. Once you are ready to begin, begin now.

As I think on this list and my desires to be a serious writer (or more accurately, a writer taken seriously), I can see how these pointers might help me. Here’s my interpretation of Gretchen’s manifesto for my own situation:

  1. Make it easy to do right and hard to go wrong
    Give myself time and space each day to write, in a location that requires no set-up
  2. Focus on actions, not outcomes
    Write. Nothing more. Write without the target of a posting or a quantity or a purpose If it’s a poem today, great. A short story, or a snatch of a longer one. Just write.
  3. By giving something up, we may gain
    Stop striving for readers and followers. If it’s good enough, they will come,.Write for me.
  4. Things often get harder before they get easier
    Set a plan for 30 days and stick to it, come Hell or high water. I posted every day in April 2014 when I signed up for Post-a Day
  5. When we give more to ourselves, we can ask more from ourselves
    For me this is about personal permission to step away and write. And maybe a nice new Surface tablet ….
  6. We’re not very different from other people, but those differences are very important
    Stop comparing my writing to others. There will always be those better than I am, but there are certainly a great many who are worse. Be me, write for me and the rest will follow.
  7. It’s easier to change our surroundings than ourselves
    Find my own space to set up and write (see 1 and a bit of 5 here)
  8. We can’t make people change, but when we change, others may change
    I think maybe the actions in 3 fit here, and definitely 6. I need to find my own voice and go from there.
  9. We should make sure the things we do to feel better don’t make us feel worse
    Definitely! This one is about not beating myself up if I miss a deadline, or if a posting gets zero comments or likes. F**k the stats!
  10. We manage what we monitor
    So monitor actions, not outcomes. Monitor how often I hit my goals, not what I produce.
  11. Once you are ready to begin, begin now
    And don;t wait until January 1st! So I won’t. The new plan starts today! Look out World!

Gretchen’s latest book is:

Better Than Before – Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives

Baldly Go Where No Man Has Gone Before

tom cruise

Bald is a popular choice for men these days, it seems. I know of at least 6 who’ve opted for the depilated dome. I think in most cases this is most likely a male ego response to early onset balding. The 21st century version of the comb-over, if you will. I can see it. Nothing ages a guy faster than a bald top and a little pelmet of hair round the sides. And look how much tougher you look with a bald pate. Take Walter White in Breaking Bad. With hair he was just a middle aged man. Bald, he was a hard-nosed drug dealer! Better to whip the lot off if you ask me. I’m struggling with the coastal erosion of my own hairline, and when the balding at the front meets the balding at the back, the lot’s coming off. Yes, bald is definitely a modern day alternative to the fake rug, comb-over or ridiculous hair implants. And it is definitely a fashion choice for the right person – male or female.

sinead-o-connor

I’ve often wondered though – how do you keep it all looking tidy? Do you start by shaving your beard and just keep going, like peeling an apple in one continuous thread? Is a whole-head wet shave de rigueur? How often do the pesky follicles pop up again? How do you see round the back? And did a baldy ever accidentally shave off their eyebrows?

I’m all for a fellow taking more care of his appearance, and the bald look is definitely a choice worth making for some, but I’ve noticed that some chaps take their trimmings much farther than others. From my unintended observations at the gym, there is a growing trend towards depilatory destruction of other previously proudly bushy body parts. It was not that long ago that a hairy chest was a proud sign of masculinity. Now those pecs are pared of all stray sprouts. I’ve seen many a well-toned chap with nary a hair on his body – and yes, I do mean he has taken up all his carpets and replaced them with a nice polished hardwood (drapes and carpets? Get it?). Now, I’ve no knowledge of whether he had continued his depilatory designs to include the basement and backdoor, so to speak, but I’m willing to lay odds he could well have been an advocate of the back, sack and crack routine so favoured by the proponents of brotherly love. Those boys have always looked after their appearance, of course. The Brazilian look first saw the light of day (or the place where the sun don’t shine) with this solution to entanglement like two sides of a Velcro fastener. No doubt it also allows for a smooth docking procedure too. Before we go too much farther, let me make it clear that I’ve no personal experience in whether the muscle-men go for the sack and crack routine – I don’t know them that well. But I’ve noticed more and more chaps these days who are taking a more extreme approach to follicular deforestation. It’s pretty hard to ignore when you’re sitting down and the guy next door walks out of the shower and bends to get something from his bag. I feel your pain, girls. I feel your pain.

original

This increasing tendency for male pubic pruning is apparently for hygiene reasons (or perhaps, as has widely been espoused, on the off-chance of a BJ). I hear the ladies do appreciate a man who takes care of business, so to speak. One who is skilled in the art of testicular topiary. A manscaper in all senses of the word. And truth be told, a tree standing out on its own is going to look bigger than the same tree swamped in vines and creepers, so, you know, if a guy wants to maximise his assets he should be thinking about the frame for the picture. We’ve been asking our ladies to slash and burn for long enough. Time to man up and swish that Gillette.

So let me leave you a point to ponder. Drapes and Carpets. Do practitioners of the polished pate routinely practice the arts of manscaping? Do they stroke their physique with the mighty blade? Should a real man use a cut-throat razor regardless of the territory under attack? Is a No-No an no-no for the more sensitive areas? And do they face the southern tropics alone, or go in with a partner, so to speak (you trim my bush and I’ll trim yours?).

Some points to ponder next time you spot a baldie. If you find any answers, just drop me a line.