String Theory, Albert Einstein, and My Floor

Am I the only one that thought this company was ScanDisk?

SanDiskIt’s SAN not SCAN. I have no less than 15 of these things floating around in various electronics, and I would have bet money on the name…and lost. Which explains why I don’t gamble and why I began to question all that I thought I knew about the world around me.

I have more than you.

Strange things are happening at my house, and my dusty, science thinking-cap (if you can call it that) was reinstated in order to sleuth out an explanation.

Usually having more of something is a good thing not to mention bragging rights. This is not the case.

I have a surplus of gravity at my house.

In a world full of fascinating scientific-breakthroughs, I never imagined I would find myself in the middle of a NOVA episode, and I’m not sure what to wear. Things fall to the floor way above the national average on a daily basis in a Bermuda Triangle type phenomenon. No boring statistical charts are necessary to uncover the facts.

Observances of this physical phenomena

On any given day you can find 4-10 pens/pencils laying on the floor around the house. I’ve never been to anyone else’s home and seen a pen on the floor, so simple logic dictates that something different is happening here.

People aren’t just walking through the house and dropping a pen without noticing. Right?

This is clearly closely-related to string theory, the persistent clinging of strings to the floor, sweaters and the dog.

The Stronger pull of gravity explains many things:

Why lying on my side on the floor innocently playing Barbies with little one looks more like a nap. I simply cannot fight gravity that close to the epicenter of strength.

Why I’m so sore from my workout yesterday and can barely lift my legs. Laughing? Well you try doing squats with extra gravity. It’s like adding 15lb weights in your hands.

Towels that ever so slightly overhang the shelf are pulled to the bottom of the linen closet in mass quantities.

I’m beginning to understand what Sheldon is talking about in “Big Bang Theory“.

Whiter Towels

F = G(mass1*mass2)/D squared.
OK everyone get out your Physics textbooks and turn to page 55 please.
Note: There is no college credit available for reading this article.

albert einstein

Oh the irony that his hair defies the laws of gravity.

Einstein’s theory of relativity predicted that objects with great mass deform space around them, causing light to deflect into them.

This explains why the bathroom’s linen closet is a mess (deformed space) and why my towels are looking brighter (light deflected into them).

Suddenly it all makes sense.

Got extra gravity?

EMP! All Electronics Are Down!

Grounding your child isn’t what it used to be.

When I was grounded to my room, I had an old shortwave radio and record player to keep myself amused. True torture as I would rather be roaming the neighborhood on my bike.

Today your child WANTS to be in his room. So what is a parent to do?

We are a high tech loving family, so now when my children are grounded it sets off a fifteen minute treasure hunt of confiscating all electronic devices:

The Phones confiscated – CHECK


The iPods – CHECK

Laptops – CHECK

Phhhhew…I’m exhausted. A large pile of equipment now clutters up my dresser where I can keep a watch on it while I work.

Bring in the EMP Personal Grounding Device

In Call of Duty MW2 the best killstreak reward is the EMP. I want a personal version – smaller than the one used in Ocean’s Eleven [link to clip] because:

  • I can’t carry that thing!
  • I have nowhere to keep it – my closet is full
  • My Home Owners Association would not look kindly at knocking out the entire neighborhood.

I need a handheld version that covers one room’s worth so only the child in trouble is affected. Then I simply walk in and shout “EMP!! Electronics are DOWN!!”

I will emulate this voice – it has to be in this urgent tone

The only electronic I don’t need to confiscate?

The alarm clock. It doesn’t work for them so why bother.

Grounding was so much easier when we were little wasn’t it?

Welcoming Spring, Weeds, and Critters

weedsSpring has arrived in Florida, and I’ve been busily harvesting the winter crop of weeds. Naturally talented and experienced in weed production, I’ve got some real state-fair-worthy competitors. Unable to convince the deed restriction board that weeds are the new grass, they had to go.

After pulling off an arm starting the mower that has been sitting for 4 months, I set off on my journey that would be best be described as if it were an adventure game. Pollen flying in the breeze, I first maneuver over Armadillo Pit which is covered with holes dug by those nasty creatures and resembles Whack-A-Mole. Priceless wonders left in the yard all winter are uncovered: a football, 2 beach towels (seriously!), the deflated remnants of the blue ball the dog popped, and an arrow from the archery set. Next is the treacherous turn toward Weed Field while dodging the briar-covered Fence of Doom that runs along the conservation area.

Stop! Let’s discuss.

What is a conservation area?

I moved to Florida 13 years ago from North Carolina and had never heard of such a thing. Real estate agents tout the benefits of the natural view of a “conservation” lot. You believe you will be living on the cusp of nature and imagine deer calmly roaming behind your home in a tranquil sea of greenery provided by the trees and lush foliage. There is even a premium price added for the privilege of enjoying the view. I’ll take it!

Once you move in, you realize the true meaning of “conservation lot”:

  1. It is the leftovers of the swamp land your home was built on. (Seriously…I was in a store one day and a guy was reminiscing about the days when my neighborhood was a swamp. He also wished he had bought the land).
  2. Wild thorny plants grow over the fence and take over your yard. Traveling covertly underground, they surface ten feet from the fence. Pulling them out of the ground is nearly impossible but does make a challenging game of tug of war.
  3. Packs of raccoons live back there and attack your trash cans in the night…exposing all sorts of embarrassing items on your driveway.
  4. When it rains, 1000s of frogs sing so loud it is hard to have a conversation in the house.
  5. Armadillos rule the night in your yard, and the dog is scared of them.
  6. There are rattlesnakes big enough to eat a Smart car.
  7. During the winter all the vegetation dies, leaving you with a brown, dead view and the ability to now see the crazy person that sings at the top of his lungs at 1:00am and realize he is drunk…and barely clothed. Close the shades quick!!
  8. There are wild pigs and a small chance that they will tear up your entire yard leaving you no choice but to resod it – it happened to my friend.
  9. Oh yeah….best of all…there is an alligator living behind you.

Conservation = Swamp

…but it sounds so much nicer doesn’t it? Basically I moved into the middle of a zoo.

Living amongst alligators

It took a year for me to get over the fact that there were alligators in every retention pond on every block in Florida.

What do you mean there isn’t a fence between us like at Busch Gardens?? Are you people crazy?

I would walk the neighborhood constantly scanning for them in a paranoid schizophrenic kind of way while plotting the route to the nearest car I could jump on if need be. Reports of people finding alligators banging on their front door or under their parked car fueled my fears. Occasionally I would see their head surfaced atop the water. Then slowly over the years it became a fascination, and I hoped to see them. Out-of-towners would be treated to the official neighborhood alligator tour, and I considered producing some souvenirs. You get used to it. Snakes became my biggest concern. If you missed my snake encounters, check that out.

alilgatorThe resident alligator behind my house came through the yard one day many years ago. Grabbing my video camera, I began filming my personal National Geographic documentary. Done exploring, as they do during mating season, he was returning home to the swamp conservation area behind my house, and I zoomed in close.

Watching them walk is like traveling back in time and observing a dinosaur. It’s absolutely fascinating and almost surreal to watch. Then for a second…because it was zoomed in so much…a moment of panic ran through me when I forgot there were thick bushes between us. Adrenaline pumping, I dashed through the house to catch it coming into the backyard from the side of the house. He effortlessly crawled under the wire fence back to the pond, and I realized the frightening reality that the fence is a false sense of security.

On occasion I hear it roar, and he sounds like a lion. His calls for a mate are deep, muffled, and grumbly, and I don’t have the heart to tell him I think he’s alone in the pond. You’d think by 2011 they would be on the internet or something. I’m guessing by the giant splash as he descends into the water (like a boat being launched) he’s over 10 feet long now.

So, back to mowing. I’m always on the lookout for snakes and alligators. Every few minutes one of those evil conservation vines touches the side of my leg causing me to jump 10 feet, and this is called getting the most out of your aerobic workout.


Sockology – The study of the migration patterns and breeding habits of socks in their natural habitat.

Real science is happening here people! I have yet to see studies published about this in the American Journal of Medicine, National Geographic, or Target’s Christmas Flyer. I’m on the cutting edge of sock research.

Armed with a cool test tube and eye goggles that were completely unnecessary props, I have been busy researching a ongoing problem I am experiencing. Perhaps you can relate to my dilemma.

Odd Sock Collection – Evidence Sample #A244P-33

These sock may appear dirty as the lighting in the laundry room is not optimal.
I will just wait and let professionals from National Geographic photograph them for the May 2011 cover.

There were 19!!!! My laundry room has transformed into a dating service for lonely footwear, and nineteen unmatched socks sit atop my dryer waiting for their “Sole Mates”. On any given day that number can be plus or minus 5.

I approached my research in a logical series of investigative steps:

Fact 1: Pairs are placed in the laundry bin

I know they go in here in pairs. That is because I, personally, have to pick them up from strange locations such as the kitchen floor and always make sure I have both.

Fact 2: Pairs go in the washer together

No odd socks were found lurking behind the bins, so they are making it to the washer.

Fact 3: Advance to the dryer

Since none are left in the washer I must assume they all made it to the dryer still in pairs.


The evidence clearly leads me to the conclusion that something is happening in my dryer amidst the spinning and tossing.

Analysis of conditions:
1) Warm air
2) Freeing feeling of being tossed in the air
3) Close quarters of left socks mixing with right socks

Sock Breeding

I can make no other conclusion but the socks are breeding in the dryer

Based on the average drying time of a load of clothes, I estimate the gestation period to be around 40 minutes. The mixing of sock DNA is producing genetically-altered hybrid socks. My sister, PhD in Genetics, can surely confirm the validity of this extensive research.

For example:

A grey sock and a white sock would produce: a dirty gym sock.

A white sock and a white sock produce: a baby white sock.

This logic explains how a load that included little one’s pink, purple, and blue socks produced this interesting specimen:

Evidence #WTH2011-EGADS

Am I the only one breeding socks?