where wildly different is perfectly normal
Physics and the subway
Physics and the subway

Physics and the subway

Superstorm Sandy has been a topic of conversation (and education) around here for the last several days. Tom’s office is based smack-dab in the middle of Manhattan, so we watched a lot of live CNN streaming to keep up with what was happening. A, being the curious child he is…and homeschooled, watched with us. I, being the home educator in this scenario, threw all the hurricane resources in the house at him (which was a surprising amount for a home in the midwest), and called it school. This was all tied up in a neat little bow with A building his emergency kit for his Emergency Preparation Boy Scout Merit Badge this week. A kit, may I say, that requires a chiropractor to survive the Zombie Apocalypse, because that bin weighs a metric crapton.

So if you hadn’t heard, getting around Manhattan is a bit of a nightmare. Traffic is unholy (and it was bad enough when I was there in August, and a Once In A Century-But More Often Than That-Storm hadn’t just zipped by) and the mass transit system essentially does not exist. It took one of Tom’s coworkers six (SIX!) hours to get into the office yesterday. He does not live in Ohio, nor did he walk in on his hands. Tom and I were discussing the horror of New York’s current mass transit system last night and, of course, a certain curious child with a warped sense of humor had to jump in.

Us: “Blah blah blah mass transit.”

A: “So cars are mass transit, right?”

Me: “No, cars are (for lack of a better term) single transit. Mass transit is bunches of people being transported by one vehicle, like a bus or train.”

A: “But cars have mass. And they provide transit. See? Mass. Transit.”

Me: “Am I really having this conversation?”

Tom: “Yes. Here, have some wine.”

Yes, I’m in search of a physics tutor with a warped sense of humor. I can no longer keep up.


  1. JenC

    Find an undergrad physics major (or kid in high school who’s headed that way). As someone who used to work in the CU physics department and dated physicists for years, they all have warped senses of humor. Which, in retrospect, makes me question my decisions to work with/ date them. Oh, wait. It was because they make me look normal. 🙂

  2. AnonymousStudentT

    JenC is right – physics undergrad or grad student. Check with the physics or astronomy departments at your local university – there’s almost always someone who wants teaching experience. And a warped sense of humor is a prerequisite to becoming a physicist.

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