Weblog van Spruit
Goal in life: Create order, think lateral.
Friday, April 11, 2008
Baris' bathtub law
In the category great inventions whilst sitting in a bathtub, but several thousands of years too late I came up with the following.
Whilst I was taking a bath to relax my muscles, I was dangling a drop of water from my index finger and studying its behaviour. It occurred to me that I could preserve this interesting looking drop of water for further study by not slanting my finger too much. Slant to the right or to the left and the drop leaves my finger and joins all its friends in the bathtub again. Not what I wanted, because I was quite enjoying looking at it (wandering at all the cohesive and adhesive molecular forces at work).
So I kept my finger perfectly horizontal... How I know? Because the drop did not fall! And then they wonder how Egyptians were able to build such perfectly straight pyramids without all our modern technology! Discovery channel says they did it by digging trenches and filling them with water. Or by using a triangle shaped piece of wood with a weight on a rope attached in the center. Also all perfectly good ways to determine horizontality!
In my case one would have to take a straight piece of wood, make carves in it at regular intervals, spatter it with water and keep the rod so that any drop of water is exactly in between two carves. I call it Baris' bathtub law. Hey Archimedes, pass me the soap :-)
Which proves again that we are often somewhat megalomane in our thinking about old societies. They did not have our technology, but they did have perfectly good brains. Sometimes I think they used them better than we do, just because there was no technology to do the thinking for them...