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July 21, 2008

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Physical Theories as Women

Ah, here’s McSweeney’s with a piece for the xkcd crowd:

0. Newtonian gravity is your high-school girlfriend. As your first encounter with physics, she’s amazing. You will never forget Newtonian gravity, even if you’re not in touch very much anymore.

1. Electrodynamics is your college girlfriend. Pretty complex, you probably won’t date long enough to really understand her.

Et cetera.

What I want to know is… which girl is the theory of luminiferous ether?

Posted July 21, 2008 at 10:30 | Comments (6) | Permasnark
File under: Briefly Noted


Luminiferous ether is the girl from your pre-school that you were too shy to talk to. Unfortunately, she wasn't around long enough for you to build up your courage. She went to a different elementary school than you, or maybe her family moved away. Your memory of her is idealized and fleeting, like a smile from a stranger across a crowded room.

I might add that luminiferous ether was so long ago and so far away, you aren't sure whether or not she ever really existed.

Insert requisite grumbling about male appropriation of physics as yet another female sex object here.

Ha ha, more than sexist, it seems totally heteronormative to me! Probably both. Oh well... I posted it anyway :-)

Did Saheli say something? A group of Baconian physicists were penetrating nature and forcing her to reveal her secrets, and I had to call the police.

"For you have but to hound nature in her wanderings, and you will be able when you like to lead and drive her afterwards to the same place again. Neither ought a man to make scruple of entering and penetrating into those holes and corners when the inquisition of truth is his whole object." - Francis Bacon

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