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Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Reasserting the laws of physics

Inertia

in·er·tia   (Ibreve_1-nûrPrime_2shSchwa_4 )

Physics. The tendency of an object at rest to remain at rest, and of an object in motion to remain in motion.

[source: here]

As some of you may know, we have recently been in contact with the Technion - Israel's answer to MIT - as well as some of the more prestigious scientific journals, because our 2-year-old seems to be in violation of the laws of physics. 

Technically, the concept of inertia allows for the theoretical possibility of perpetual motion.  But in practice, things like gravity and friction should act upon any object in motion to eventually slow it down and/or change its trajectory. 

So, we've been writing to institutions of higher learning and the more respected journals to report that perpetual motion is exactly what our 2-year-old seems to have achieved.   It was all very exciting, you understand!

Until yesterday, that is.

Yesterday when I got home from work I walked through the living-room and dining-room... and into the kitchen, and noticed that things seemed strangely 'still'.  I finally asked Zahava where Yonah was and why he wasn't bouncing off the walls as he normally would be at that hour, and she replied "Didn't you notice him in the Living-room?"

I went back into the salon and looked around but didn't immediately spot him... mostly because I was still looking for an object in rapid motion.

Then I noticed what appeared to be a little boy snuggled into the corner of one of the couches, and I knew right away that our hopes of scientific glory had been dashed forever.

Our amazing little perpetual motion machine had finally come to rest. 

I must say, as much as I'm disappointed at the laws of physics having reasserted themselves (not to mention the prospect of a future without rubbing elbows with the likes of Stephen Hawkings), it was pretty neat to finally see what Yonah actually looks like rather than relying on peripheral glimpses of him as he streaks by.

I didn't know how often such an event would take place so I took the liberty of creating photographic documentation.  For your viewing pleasure, may I present 'An object at rest':

Yonah_rest

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Posted by David Bogner on February 1, 2006 | Permalink

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And it isn't even photo Friday - total bonus! Perhaps you could still get into the scientific journals in a before and after study -or if they simply are in need of a picture of one really adorable kid...good job on that!

Posted by: mcaryeh | Feb 1, 2006 10:41:29 AM

Cute post.
Sorry you have to miss the chance at having discovered a scientific anomaly.

Posted by: Jacky | Feb 1, 2006 11:33:39 AM

I look forward to your article in Nature - and look how he's grown!

Posted by: Lioness | Feb 1, 2006 12:49:40 PM

Thanks for the great way to start my day! He is SO cute... had he been watching Bush's State of the Union speech? Cuz that'll slow down the fastest of streakers!
And thanks for the new pics of the 'big kids', too. Ari is SO grown up and I love Gili with his glasses! OOOOH, I can't wait to get my hands on those kids... 6 weeks to go!

Posted by: val | Feb 1, 2006 1:53:01 PM

The secret to perpetual motion is to have many boys and close together in age -- that leads to an effect similar to the one observed when a handful of similarly-sized supercharged superballs are thrown at high speed into an enclosed area and create high-speed geometry (trigonometry? physics?).

Posted by: Drew | Feb 1, 2006 4:06:19 PM

Oh what a cutiepie!
My husband actually is a mathematical physist who is always looking for new reseach topics. If you get the perpertual motion machine operational again let me know - it would make his carreer!

Posted by: Shifra | Feb 1, 2006 4:21:05 PM

He is getting big! He was just a tiny baby, I think last week. I feel a chorus of "Sunrise, Sunset" coming on. Also, cute shoes.

Posted by: Doctor Bean | Feb 1, 2006 4:31:19 PM

I'll apply for a research grant, as soon as I finish submitting our last turkey dinner as proof against the law of conservation of matter (10 pound turkey produced 20 pounds of leftovers... still trying to figure that one out).

Great pic! Hope the missus doesn't notice the shoes on the couch...

Posted by: efrex | Feb 1, 2006 4:48:36 PM

Cute picture. Bummer about missing all those interdepartmental cheese and wines. Ditto on the shoes.

Posted by: Lisoosh | Feb 1, 2006 4:48:49 PM

Oh my gosh, he is so cute!! And I also noticed the shoes on the couch ;) Hope Zahava does not.

Posted by: Essie | Feb 1, 2006 5:01:19 PM

Oh, what a wonderful post to come to after this awful day of news.

Very cute.

Posted by: westbankmama | Feb 1, 2006 5:03:16 PM

Maybe being a marvel to scientific nature isn't what its all cracked up to be anyway? Phoo... who wants to be close up and personal to all those rich and famous anyway?

Posted by: Shevy | Feb 1, 2006 5:22:20 PM

i didn't know you had to be trained young to fall asleep sitting up on the sofa. i thought it came naturally. . . on shabbat. . . after the kids come along!

Posted by: rachel | Feb 1, 2006 5:42:18 PM

Oh goodness- he's a grand fellow! DOn't they look so angelic when they're asleep?!

Posted by: Regina Clare Jane | Feb 1, 2006 6:04:50 PM

I went back into the salon and looked around but didn't immediately spot him.

I'm wondering if you've always called your living room a "salon" or just since you made aliyah?!? ;)

Very cute.

Posted by: wanderer | Feb 1, 2006 6:13:38 PM

That is so precious!

Posted by: jaime | Feb 1, 2006 6:48:55 PM

That's a really cute, peaceful picture! : )

Posted by: Irina | Feb 1, 2006 11:38:00 PM

Just in case any treppenwitz readers would be interested in seeing very good very graphic pictures of Israeli Police busting heads and trampling under horse young men, young girls, old men, MKs, and a winner of the medal of honor ....

http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2006/02/police-beat-and-injure-hundreds-of.html

Posted by: Scott | Feb 2, 2006 12:01:20 AM

Scott, please let this post be a retreat from the horrible news. The picture of Yonah is exactly what we all need to see to remind of us how precious and beautiful life really is.

Posted by: jaime | Feb 2, 2006 12:42:36 AM

You sound like the narrative voice of John Turturro in Unstrung Heroes.
He's beautiful, btw.

Posted by: Erica | Feb 2, 2006 2:06:39 AM

Awww, what a cutie. I know the perfect nice Jewish girl for Yonah. She is 22-1/2 months old and she defies all laws of physics, too!

Posted by: Stacey | Feb 2, 2006 5:47:46 AM

Mcaryeh... Thanks, that's some consolation. :-)

Jacky... Well, there's always a shot at a grant for acoustic research based on the sheer volume of his screams when he's unhappy. :-)

Lioness... Yes, he's quite the big boy now.

Val... Patience is a virtue. :-)

Drew... Sounds suspiciously like you're describing 'critical mass'. :-)

Shifra... You'll be my first call.

Doctor Bean... I honestly can't remember his as a baby anymore. How strange.

Efrex... We've duplicated your results using zucchini instead of turkey, so there may be some parralel research on which we can collaborate. Oh, and his shoes can't soil the couch because they never touch the ground. :-)

Lisoosh... And here I had my tweed jacket (with the leather patches on the elbows) all picked out. :-)

Essie... Zaqhava is a smart lady... she picks battles she can win. This isn't one of them.

Westbankmama... I have been avoiding the news, but by tomorrow I should be able to start processing it.

Shevy... I do, I do! [waves hand in the air] :-)

rachel... Nice to know some things are universal. :-)

Regina Clare Jane... Yes, he's misleading that way. :-)

Wanderer... Actually I usually only use the word 'salon' when speaking Hebrew, but I was trying to avoid using the word 'livingroom twice in such close proximity. It was a literary license thing.

Jaime... If you look closely you can see the part of his neck I nibbled all the way downstairs on the way to tuck him in.

Irina... Yes, deceptively so. :-)

Scott... I was sorely tempted to remove your comment because it has nothing to do with the post, but I can understand how emotionally you wanted to do something to mark your frustration in the aftermath of yesterday's events. Please wait until I post about this to post any further comments... I promise you won't have long to wait. Thanks.

Erica... Thank G-d all the kids favor their mother. ;-)

Stacey... After reading about your 'yichus' (family lineage)

Posted by: treppenwitz | Feb 2, 2006 10:41:29 AM

They look so much younger when they sleep, don't they? He's a dollbaby.

Posted by: Alice | Feb 3, 2006 2:35:34 AM

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