Sunday, January 23, 2011

Standup Physics

Everybody needs a hobby, Dear Readers. Everybody. Even I have to take respite from high-level global financial parasitism on occasion, in order to maintain my keenly honed intellect and razor-sharp sarcasm.

One of my hobbies is collecting books on the history and philosophy of science, especially physics. I have developed quite an impressive library, which glowers ominously from my bookshelves like a mathematical reproach to my ignorance and wooly-headedness. For make no mistake, My Skeptical Friends, I have read very few of these weighty tomes and understood even fewer. Nevertheless, I like the way they look, the graceful, incomprehensible equations which crowd their dense pages, and the mistaken impression they create among visitors to my home, who naturally believe I have read and understood them all. They also tend to set conversational expectations somewhat higher than the latest shenanigans on The Jersey Shore, which obviates the necessity of me punching my houseguests in the nose should they sink so low.

Anyway, I have absorbed enough of the issues and concepts of physics that when @__phlox tweeted a clever joke earlier today on Twitter, I felt both compelled and inspired to reply in kind. Herewith, for your entertainment and edification, is what followed.

The action:
@__phlox: a neutron walks into a bar, orders a drink, and asks how much. the bartender says, "for you? no charge."

My unequal and apposite1 reaction, with explanatory links:

A Higgs Boson walks into a bar. The bartender says, "Hey! Where've you been? Everybody's been looking for you."

A neutrino walks into a bar and just keeps going.

A proton says to another proton, "You repel me!" "Are you sure?," asks the other. "I'm positive."

An electron says to a neutrino, "I really like you, but I just can't get a reaction out of you." She replies, "Aww, don't be so negative."

A photon asks another photon, "So, which slit are you going through?" The other replies, "Dunno. The experimenter hasn't decided."

An electron on vacation asks a photon for a date, but she replies, "I'd love to, but I'm already entangled with someone back home."

A mother neutrino calls upstairs to her son, "Junior, where exactly are you?" He replies, "Sorry, Mom, I'm not completely certain."

And the capper:

"Thaaaaat's all, folks!," exclaimed the particle, as he waved goodbye.

* * *

So, never let me hear you say that TED cannot sink to the lowest level of cheap, nerdy humor when he wants to.

And let that be a lesson to you, too. Mess with me, and I just might trot out my Émile Durkheim jokes. Then you'd be sorry.

1 Sic. You didn't really think that was a mistake, did you? Really? I'm disappointed in you.

© 2011 The Epicurean Dealmaker. All rights reserved.