September 9, 2008

This might be mildly chauvinistic

From McSweeney's:

Physical Theories as Women

0. Newtonian gravity is your high-school girlfriend. As your first encounter with physics, she's amazing. You will never forget Newtonian gravity, even if you're not in touch very much anymore.

1. Electrodynamics is your college girlfriend. Pretty complex, you probably won't date long enough to really understand her.

2. Special relativity is the girl you meet at the dorm party while you're dating electrodynamics. You make out. It's not really cheating because it's not like you call her back. But you have a sneaking suspicion she knows electrodynamics and told her everything.

3. Quantum mechanics is the girl you meet at the poetry reading. Everyone thinks she's really interesting and people you don't know are obsessed about her. You go out. It turns out that she's pretty complicated and has some issues. Later, after you've broken up, you wonder if her aura of mystery is actually just confusion.

6. Cosmology is the girl that doesn't really date, but has lots of hot friends. Some people date cosmology just to hang out with her friends.

Soil physics is the lady you meet at the bus station. She's 45 with dingy teeth, glue-on nails, and 3 kids. She yells at one of them not to turn over the trash can, but he does it anyway. As you pass by, she asks if you know how to get gum out of hair. You keep walking.