19 May 2005

I'm a Scientist!

I've got an Ology! Auntie Beattie would be so proud.

Seriously, in just the same manner as Dr Braxton-Hick (or Braxton & Hick) 'discovered' practice contractions simply by officially recording them on paper, I hereby claim the following discovery as my own, plus the law which governs this phenomenon. Nominations for a Nobel prize are expected any day now.

Time is constant, provided you measure it from a set position, correct?


Time is vicious and malicious and has a sense of humour. That is my discovery which I shall call: Contrary Time (as in 'Mary, Mary', not as in 'opposite'.)

Time warps and is warped, in whatever way you wish to take the meaning of that.

Here we go then:

Barring a few minor variables or interruption, a set task performed by a set operator may be said to take a constant amount of time: t

This is equally true of my daughter tying her own shoelaces or my particular kettle coming to the boil. That is the crucial part, the 'operator' performing the 'function' need not be a human being (with our various quirks) at all, but may also be any device designed for a set purpose. Kettle, toaster, traffic lights etc.

The time on the clock = T.

Under normal circumstances the time measured on a clock, or more specifically the actual time that passes in the rest of the world, (T2 - T1) (end time - start time) = t, i.e. the time that the universe says has passed is exactly equal to the time it took to perform the function.

Under the laws of Contrary Time this is no longer true.

The law (which I propose naming Old Bag's Law) is as thus:

In any situation where two tasks must be performed, the first (getting the kids coats on) governed by t, the time it takes to do the job, the second (being at school on time) governed by T the time, according to the universe, at which this should occur, where task 1 is exactly equal to the available time before task 2, it all, ALWAYS goes completely belly up.

Whenever you have precisely X minutes to perfom a task which takes X minutes, then

(T2-T1) = tn (where n>3) In other words the universe will always stare you in the face and tell you that the task suddenly and miraculously took you at least three times longer than normal.

And thats the science bit over.

Be honest, if you check a pizza in the oven and decide it needs another two minutes, you will use that time to perform a two minute task, only to return to a blackened lunch and a universe that says you took at very least six minutes, even when you know thats not true.

If you live slap bang across the road from work or school you are always late.

If you put a hot coffee to one side to do the washing up, you return in what you know to be five minutes, to a stone cold mug with a film on top that the universe says has sat for twenty minutes.

Cheer up! You are not going nuts. It's not fair and it's not your fault. Time is sentient and has an evil sense of humour. (that's my excuse, anyway.)

God, I feel smug. Applause would be nice..........

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