Warning - Some posts may cause choking, spitting of beverage and /or a severe giggle fit. This advice brought to you by regular reader Louisa.

Monday, 4 October 2010

*is clueless*

Day four of October, and by some strange coincidence, it's also day four of my October Blog Marathon, complete with the fourth suggestion from Maria. Today's ramble really will be a ramble, because the topic for today is, and I quote, "your thoughts on a topic that you are not qualified/have no business discussing (oh I don't know nuclear physics, genomics?)"

Lordy. *faints*

Now, I'm not qualified on thousands of topics, so picking one wouldn't be a problem. But because Maria gave me a couple of options, I'm going to go with one of those. Looking at them, one looks marginally easier to tackle than the other. Not because I have any idea about either of them, mind you, it's just I have at least heard of one of them. Seeing as I have never in my whole life heard of 'genomics', I'm going for nuclear physics (not that I know anything about that, either, but at least the words are vaguely familiar).

So, nuclear physics. Where to start? I have no idea what this is, and because Maria stipulated that I needed to have no knowledge of the topic, I can't go to trusty Wiki to have a look see. I figured because I am definitely clueless, I would split the topic in two (like an atom - maybe that's to do with nuclear physics?)

First I'll ramble a bit about the word 'nuclear'.

I'm a bit of an ostrich really, who is mostly oblivious to what goes on outside the space that is the Tara Bubble. I know, it's bad - I mean, everyone should be at least a little bit aware of what is happening in the world, right? Not so with me, though. It's not that I'm uncaring or disinterested, it's more that I'm way too easily distracted and have always found it better to concentrate on the things closer to home or I would end up worrying about half the world's problems (yes, I'm a natural born worrier too). So to me, when I hear the word 'nuclear', I don't really know what people are talking about, except that it has the potential to be very, very bad, and that scientists from all the main 'power' countries all want to be the first to master it (or whatever term you want to use). I have vague notions of apocalypse-style bombs being made and entire continents being blasted off the face of the earth, that sort of thing, you know. That's it though. I have a feeling that my notions are a little extreme, but I suppose I have a tendency to over-dramatise as well as sticking my head in the sand.

As to the second half of the phrase - 'physics' - well... let's just say that the word actually brings me out in a cold sweat.  Along with my complete ineptness at maths, physics is a subject that just goes over my head. I had the typical 'mad scientist' as my physics teacher in secondary school. Well, I'm pretty sure that he wasn't literally mad, but he just gave off that air of scattiness that all good scientists should (in my humble opinion). I completely frustrated the poor guy, I have to admit. It wasn't that I played around in his lessons, or refused to do any work, I just didn't understand anything that came out of his mouth. For two entire years he might just have well been talking gobbledygook as far as I was concerned.

I remember having one breakthrough in one of his lessons though. I distinctly recall having a strange feeling come upon me one afternoon. I was sat at my table, dutifully paying attention and trying my best to understand what he was talking about, then I almost fell off my stool in shock. Unless I'd been deceived, instead of the usual 'blah de blah blah blah, gurgle gurgle, blah blah' that I generally heard when he talked, my physics teacher actually uttered a few words that sort of made sense. Even stranger, when he asked a question, my hitherto dead weight right arm actually moved in an upwards direction.

It's hard to say who was more surprised - me or the teacher. Nevertheless, he picked his jaw up from the floor and called upon me. I'm pretty sure the entire room was struck silent when I gave the correct answer. To this day I have no idea how I knew the answer, or if my teacher ever recovered from the shock. Alas, this was the one and only time that anything positive happened during a physics lesson for me.

Such is life, eh?

Well I'm pretty sure I've rambled enough for one day, and I definitely didn't say anything that remotely did any justice to the topic of nuclear physics, but I don't think that I was meant to, so it's all good.

See you tomorrow, when I'll be talking about pickles. No, seriously - I will.


  1. I love your rambles which is precisely why I requested such a topic as this, and you have delivered spectacularly!

    And holy cow, I never took Physics, having given up halfway through chemistry, I am impressed by your brief , shining moment of comprehension.

  2. Haha! Awesome. I chose chemistry as my obligatory science. I couldn't turn the lime water cloudy, and the teacher called me an alien. I really should have another go. (And take me to your leader).