Magnetic children

Back in my Secondary School days I developed a lifelong passing interest in physics.

I have a general grasp of most concepts though I confess to being a little confused at these newfangled sub-atomic particles [what was wrong with electrons, neutrons and protons?].

One concept that caught me completely by surprise though is the latest discovery to hit the headlines – the phenomenon of the Magnetic Child.

I first got to hear about this strange feat of physics a few months ago when a report came out that smoke from a cigarette will actually blow in through a car window and somehow intensify around the back seat.  This strange behaviour flies in the face of my previous misconceptions that smoke would be governed by the Bernoulli Equation.

The Bernoulli Equation states that as the velocity of a fluid or gas increases, so its pressure decreases.  While this may seem a trivial bit of nonsense to most, it is after all what keeps those aircraft above us jetting through the sky instead of collapsing in a heap of mess on the ground.  It is also used in the carburetor of the petrol engine so we have quite a lot to thank it for.

But this new discovery puts all that science in danger. 

A car traveling at any speed will displace air which will have to speed up to get around the surface of the car in time to catch up with itself behind the vehicle.  And if you open a window, the pressure inside the car will drop slightly because of the decrease in pressure outside.  Have I lost you yet?

I have experimented with this in the past.  If Herself lights up a fag in the front seat while we are out for a merry jaunt, I open her window a mere half inch or so, and immediately I can see through the windscreen ahead as all the smoke is instantly sucked out.  I don't open the window more than that as I don't want her sucked out too.  Not yet anyway.

But somehow [according to the experts], if there is a child in the back seat all that smoke will be blow back in again, thereby defeating Bernoulli and choking the little brat.  Not only will it blow back in, but it will be super concentrated presumably as it has mixed with all the exhaust fumes from the car in front.

There can be only one explanation for this paradox of physics – somehow the child must be magnetic?  What else could explain this strange behaviour?  And somehow this magnetic property ceases instantly when the child reaches 18?

Even more confusing is that this magnetism hasn't been discovered before.  How come an aircraft with children on board doesn't plummet to earth?  How come a petrol engine will work even if there is a child near?  Indeed, how does a child even fly a kite?

None of it makes sense.

Unless of course the experts are wrong?

Nah!  It must be something else.

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Comments

Magnetic children — 16 Comments

  1. Experts wrong, GD? Heaven forfend!

    No, you see, GD, where tobacco smoke is concerned, for some as yet unexplained reason all the normal laws of physics are suspended. Likewise, all the normal laws of chemistry and toxicology are also suspended.

    This is a phenomenon which only applies to tobacco smoke, and as research progresses, the experts are finding more and more laws of nature which tobacco smoke seems uncannily adept at avoiding.

    It would seem that tobacco is unique in the universe insofar as it is able to defy every natural law, and indeed logic itself. Life is truly amazing.

    • Maybe we should start compiling a list of things that cigarette smoke can do that defies the laws of science?

      One I can think of off the top of my head is the ability to travel through concrete walls and along telephone wires?

      • Presumably it can also travel through time. The question is whether the smoke from times past is going to come forward in time to kill us, or if smoke from the future has already gone back in time to poison us. Presumably the former, otherwise we would already be dead. Or perhaps it explains ghosts, especially if they can go through solid walls too.

    • “ … for some as yet unexplained reason all the normal laws of physics are suspended. Likewise, all the normal laws of chemistry and toxicology are also suspended …”

      And the laws of Biology, too!!  Don’t forget that smoking causes every single ailment on the planet ever known to man, and has done since time immemorial.  Forget all that quackery about bacteria, or viruses, or radioactivity, or diesel fumes, or genetics.  For we all surely now know that these silly theories were just the ramblings of madmen, all of them paid handsomely by the tobacco companies, of course, even before tobacco companies existed (can tobacco companies time-travel, too, I wonder?).  No wonder antibiotics aren’t working any more – they never really did.  All they were doing was knocking out something which wasn’t actually making anyone sick at all!  Honestly, we could all be living in the deepest squalor, drinking untreated water, never washing either ourselves or our homes, eating rotting meat, surrounded by flies and other biting beasties, and carelessly exchanging bodily fluids with whomever we wished (mmm – that bit sounds quite appealing, actually), and we’d never, ever get sick or die of anything, provided that none of us were smoking.  We’d all live forever!!  Hooray!!

  2. Gubmint paid experts wrong?!?  Can't be!

    We all know that tobacco smoke is single most dangerous thing in the universe.  Any and all things bad begin and end with tobacco smoke.  Before you know it burglers and murderers will be found not guilty because they smoke cigarettes.  It was the evil tobacco smoke that made them do it!

    • Don't worry – it will soon be a bigger crime than murder or rape.  A mandatory life sentence for anyone possessing more than 20 fags, and the death penalty for smoking within a mile of a child?

    • Seeing as 80% of prisoners smoke it is quite blatantly obvious that smoking causes 80% of all crimes.

       

      So smoking makes people steal cars and knock off their neighbours and don't forget smoking is antisocial so is also responsible for all the antisocial behaviour.

       

      The other 20% in prison who do not smoke are only there because second/third/fourth hand smoke contaminated them and made them in to criminals.  Or perhaps it was because their great granddad once smoke a pipe back in the trenches of the Great War

      • Welcome DWP!  We mustn't forget all those people who died before the 21st century.  Those poor people didn't have any laws protecting them from the evils of smoking, therefore cigarettes must have been the cause of their deaths?

  3. Apparently the mad mullahs leading the ISIS lads had a heated debate on the use of ETS against the Russians. It seems that while burning victims alive in cages and beheading and raping as you go is perfectly acceptable, they considered releasing even a tiny bit of tobacco smoke against a foes as abject savagery and against the teachings of the Koran. 

    I read that on the ASH site so it must be true!!!!

    • In fairness to ASH, you must realise by now that second hand smoke is far more dangerous than a beheading?  It's only logical.

  4. I blame tobacco for the English Civil War and its regicide:  if studies have shown that smoking causes infertility in men it must follow that the second hand smoke (which is more dangerous than first hand smoke) to which Elizabeth I was exposed caused her to die without an heir leaving the Stewarts to take the throne; James VI/I hated smoking so it was kept in check but his son, Charles I, as a teenager rebelled and smoked behind the stables; he kept asking the Star Chamber for money for tobacco which was really expensive and they got fed up and got organised as the tobacco control lobby of the time headed up by Oliver Cromwell who vowed to eradicate smoking by forcing smokers (who were all Cavaliers);  Charles resisted all attempts to force him to quit and the Puritans decided the only way he'd stop is if they beheaded him.. As ever, tobacco control's initiatives were the epitome of success: he quit cold turkey in January 1649.

    • I wonder if Gavrilo Princip was trying to give up the smokes when he shot Archduke Ferdinand?  Or maybe Ferdinand was smoking a cigar and Princip was an Anti?  If the latter, then that cigar did indeed kill millions.

  5. Not only will it blow back in, but it will be super concentrated presumably as it has mixed with all the exhaust fumes from the car in front.

    With all the environmental rules and regulations in place for motor vehicles these days along with sticking sensor type thingys up one's tailpipe every other month, exhaust fumes can't possibly be coming from the front of the vehicle unless smoking and having the car window open a bit and having a child in the backseat not only changes the laws of physics but rearranges the molecular structure of your exhaust system so it pipes exhaust back under the bonnet?

    My, what a long sentence that was.

     

    • There may be rules and regulations but you should try standing in my garden and taking a lungfull of good fresh mountain air.  Then nip down to the motorway and compare and contrast! 

      Not as long a sentence but what the heck!

      • I'd love to. And then spending an evening having a pint or whatever together.

        But I do know what you mean as I live in the mountains myself and comparing the air (and water) here as compared to somewhere like Boston (where the VA medical campus is in case I need surgery or something) is like, well, like something I can't describe.

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