Pinky's Book Link

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Pinky's Theory of Relativity

I can’t believe that except for a quick dash to the chemist and grocery store on Saturday I did not leave the house for the entire Easter weekend. That’s four days of sitting on the couch or my bed, wasting time on my laptop and nurturing a deep vein thrombosis. 

Four days I’ll never get back. 
Ninety-six hours of sloth. 
Five thousand, seven hundred and sixty minutes of idleness.

I did learn some stuff though.

I learned that not one person REALLY understands the theory of relativity. I put the challenge out there on Twitter.

Please explain the theory of relativity to me in 140 characters or less, I begged and I received only one reply which merely quoted a load of technical guff.

Scotto tried to explain it to me as we sat with the movie, Interstellar, paused on the telly until he finally lost patience with me and yelled, “You’re doing my head in, Pinky!”

“You don’t even understand it you big faker!” I accused triumphantly when he failed to come up with an answer for how someone can spend one year on Saturn in the time it takes 98 years to pass on Earth.

He attempted to enlighten me on the whole speed of light stuff by explaining how if someone throws a ball on a bus it looks as if it’s going the same speed as normal but it’s actually going sixty kms an hour faster … even though that still doesn’t explain the speed of light.

“But why would the bus driver allow someone to throw a ball on his bus?” I interrupted. “Wouldn’t that be like… dangerous? It could accidentally hit him in the back of the head, or fall under the brake or something.”

“That’s not the point, Pinky. The point is, to an outside observer the ball is only travelling at about 50 kms per hour but it’s relative to the… look, watch this part of the movie, okay.”

A guy on the screen bent a piece of paper into a circle to show how a wormhole works.

“Has anyone ever found a wormhole?” I threw down the gauntlet.

“No, but we can prove mathematically that they exist, they’re theoretical he replied knowledgeably.

“You mean, like the Easter Bunny, multiple orgasms and low calorie cheesecake?” I said.

“No. It’s been proven via mathematics, wormholes exist.”

“Well how come no one has ever photographed one then, buddy boy?”

There was silence.

“I want to go and live on Saturn,” I said. “That way I can live for a really long time.”

He waited, considering whether or not he should reply.

“Well no Pinky, you wouldn’t live longer because time is relative.”

“And that’s why it’s called the theory of relativity,” I trumped.

“Yes,” he replied, wondering why I sounded so smug.

“Now I understand it!”

But I don’t. 
And I never will. 

Unless you’d like to have a go explaining it to me.

My theory of relativity is this.

The woman who gave birth to you is your mum and her brothers and sisters are your uncles and aunts. Their kids are your cousins and the cousin’s kids are your kid’s cousins twice removed and your second cousins. Third cousins are the children of your mum’s second cousin unless they’re step children and then they’re nothing. The thieving cousins who steal your Easter eggs you’ve been saving for months should be removed from the house at once thus making them cousins once removed.

Frame it.