Monday, November 14, 2005

Geek Humor

When I was in tenth grade, I would write stories on my calculator. (Being a graphing calculator, it had an alpha pad. Once you do this enough, and trust me, there were enough boring classes to become quite proficient, you can type 15, 20 words a minute.) Anyway, most of the stories were about my calculator himself (His name was Fred. He had a bunch of little friends. He cried a lot), but one of the more odd ones was a romance-ish short story with chemistry facts. The last sentence, and heaven only knows why I still remember it, was "He remember the way she had looked at him, as she stood there in the doorway with tears on her cheeks like water molecules condensing on a vial of liquid nitrogen, and how she had said to him, in a voice caustic as hydrochloric acid, 'All you think about is chemistry.' But he knew that wasn't true." Granted, it was not Shakespeare, but it passed the boring classes.
Anyways, the reason I bring this up is that I have been accumulating, from my physics and calculus classes, phrases that were actually uttered that would make excellent book titles. Here goes:
Great Moments of Inertia- Sort of like all the kids' books Great Moments in Science or Sports or something, this book would feature the stories of various times when interesting things failed to happen. An exerpt "One day in 1565, while writing an essay on political theory, Jacques Pierreson came up with the idea that would change to course of French History for all time. Or at least, it would have, except that it sounded like a lot of effort, so he threw out the essay and went to sleep."
Lifetime of a Dampened Oscillation- this one could go a couple of ways. It could be another one of those kids' science books- tracing the life-cycle of an ordinary oscillation from its spawning point in a quiet spring to the point when it finally dies of air pressure. Or else it could be a brooding novel, Day in the Life of Ivan Illych style, where a slowly dying oscillation considers the impact of its life thus far.
Sizes of Infinity- probably the least entertaining of these purloined quotes. Something science fiction, and very typically so
Moebius Transformation- Not sure. Either a Frankenstein-like story or a touching tale of a child growing up in the wilds of the mathematical jungle
There were quite a few others that came up in class, but I either didn't note them in my notes or they aren't legible enough. Stay tuned for updates.


Miss Cellania said...

Enjoyed your posts. You might get some science idas by checking mine today!

Tobie said...

Another one- The Law of 72. The thrilling tale of the
exploitations and cunning of a secret society that controls of all of the world's banks. Rather like the Masons or Skull and Bones.

Mike said...

The law of Sines and Cosines could be next in the series. Also half-life could be a Clancy like thriller. Inertia could be your social justice story

Tobie said...

Half life works.
The rest are good, but it's a little too obvious what they meant in context. I like the quotes that even people who knows these subjects cold would have to stop and think, "Wha?...oh"