Many people think of Science courses as being dull and dry. They believe laboratory experiments have no relation to real life. Some people don't see the differences in the three major sciences. Their trouble I think, is that they don't see the practical side. The part that can be applied to everyday living. Separating the Sciences from each is no real problem, when you get down to the basics. If it's BLOODY, it's BIOLOGY, if it's SMELLY, it's CHEMISTRY, and if it DOESN'T WORK, it's PHYSICS.
In Physics lab this year, we have proven that statement to be true quite often. Really, Physics is fun. All Sciences have laws that govern the behavior of their subjects, but Physics has some unusual laws that help us explain some of the phenomena that occur in the physical world. Many of these laws are not written in books. But they exist as surely as Newton's Laws, and can be used more often, as you will see. These laws, I will call the laws of Physical Frustration.
One lab we did this year, gave a good a good exampe of how the Laws of Physical Frustration come into play on almost everything we do. We started setting up the apparatus for the experiment that day, and got off to a typically faulty start. We would put up a piece here, and a piece there would fall off, level this spot, and that one would be crooked. Tighten this screw, and the next one to it become loose. Some people would call this bad luck, but being the scientific minds we were, we realized that no luck would be that bad, it had to be something else. Finally we realized we were really just proving Murphy's Law, that IF ANYTHING CAN WRONG, IT WILL GO WRONG. And that's just the way the day went, wrong! But with dogged determination we continued. Every time we would almost have it, someday would say "That's it," or tell someone to be carefull and not hit it, and of course, down it would come. But again, it was not luck, it was an infallible, unescapable law. This time we are violating the UNSPEAKBLE LAW. AS SOON AS YOU MENTION SOMETHING, IF IT IS GOOD IT DISAPPEARS, AND IF IT IS BAD IT HAPPENS. I'll bet you've run into this law too, bet you didn't know it even existed. See how practical Physics is! During a period of complete and utter silence, we finished setting up the experiment, by-passing the unspeakable law.
We can then sit down around the table to talk over the results we were expecting. As usual, we agreed to work under the NON-RECIPROCAL LAW OF EXPECTATIONS. This one explains that NEGATIVE EXPECTATIONS YIELD NEGATIVE RESULTS, WHILE POSITIVE EXPECTATION YIELD EQUALLY NEGATIVE RESULTS..
With this in mind, we went to the Student Union Building (SUB) to rest our battered bodies, and mend our torn egos.
But, the LAWS OF PHYSICAL FRUSTRATION were not to be easily escaped. Just trying to get a Dr. Pepper, we found ourselves in their clutches. ETORRE'S OBSERVATION - THE OTHER LINE MOVES FASTER was proven as fact that day. You probably prove it each time you go to the bank, or to the movie. The only time I ever saw it fail, was when I was in Boot Camp, we were in a line to get our shots. But we finally got our drinks, and went to sit down at a table.
While we sat in the SUB, we were suprised to see so many others experimenting with the LAWS OF PHYSICAL FRUSTRATION. One guy over in the corner, gave an excellent demonstration of JENNING'S CORROLLARY. That's the one that you usually prove at your rich aunt's house. THE CHANCE OF THE BREAD FALLING WITH THE BUTTERED SIDE DOWN, IS DIRECTLY PROPORTIONAL TO THE PRICE OF THE CARPET. I bet that the fellow never realized the significant contribution he made to our education that day, not to mention the additions to our vocabularies. Another guy we saw, probably thought he was just having a bad day when he knocked his Root Beer over on his friend's TI-92 calculator. Little did he suspect was just a victim of the LAW OF SELECTIVE GRAVITY - AN OBJECT WILL ALWAYS FALL SO AS TO DO THE MOST DAMAGE.
We went reluctantly back to the lab, to face our now seemingly awesome task. We tried many different approaches. We fiddled and we faddled, we tried it this way, and we tried it that way, everyone had their own idea of how it was going to work. What we finally ended up proving was HOWE'S LAW - EVERY MAN HAS A SCHEME THAT WILL NOT WORK. This unfortunately was not the subject of the experiment, so we began to analyze the data we had collected. It soon became evident that we were going to have to make a major decision. We could try to apply SKINNER'S CONSTANT, or use MAIER'S LAW. Everyone knows that SKINNER'S CONSTANT is. You may not have recognized it as such, maybe you know it as FLANIGAN'S FINAGLING FACTOR. It's THAT QUANTITY WHICH, WHEN ADDED TO, SUBTRACTED FROM, MULTIPLIED BY, OR DIVIDED INTO THE ANSWER YOU GOT, GIVES YOU THE ANSWER YOU SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN. MAIER'S LAW, on the other hand is more direct and to the point. It says that IF THE FACTS DO NOT CONFORM TO THE THEORY, THE FACTS MUST BE DISPOSED OF. Finally, after a great deal of SKINNER'S CONSTANT and a little bit of MAIER'S LAW, we arrived at an acceptable answer. At the end of that lab, we decided to make a small addition to the LAWS OF PHYSICAL FRUSTRATION. We called it O'Toole's Commentary on Murphy's Law. You remember MURPHY'S LAW. IF ANYTHING CAN GO WRONG, IT WILL. We concluded that MURPHY WAS AN INCURABLE OPTIMIST. So you see, the next time your day goes from worse to even worse, remember, it's not luck, it's probably the law.