|Jinny has been very ill and is currently undergoing rehabilitation in a Bangor facility so she will not be writing her article for awhile. She is making excellent progress and hopes to be able to return to writing her column in the near future... Adele.
I love science. I have to confess that I didn't always love science. When I was in high school I was not crazy about science and math, probably because I actually had to work for an 'A' in those classes. I didn't have a science/math brain and I had some difficulty locking-on to the information without a struggle. In my defense, and the defense of all others who experienced similar trouble in school, the teachers were half of the problem. Math and science teachers are notoriously intolerant of those who just don't get it right out of the gate. They teach their subjects as if everything should be immediately obvious because it is so ridiculously simple. No doubt it was for them; that would be why they became math and science teachers. I found myself frequently wondering if they found English grammar as ridiculously simple.
As I have grown older, my intellectual curiosity has continued to evolve, and one of the results of that evolutionary process is that I have come to love math and science. I don't feel that I am qualified to call myself a science nerd, but I do consider myself to be a rabid science fan. I am a fan of math and science the way that people can be fans of a sport. Fans are people who can't do something, but love the thing and those who can do it anyway. I get two science magazines every month that I read from cover to cover. I read books about scientific theories and discoveries. I pay close attention to science news and watch science programs on TV. I know that names of many mathematicians and physicists and what they have achieved in their careers. Of course, no one makes any posters or bubble gum cards of physicists so I don't have their images hanging on my walls. I wouldn't do that anyway so it is all good.
Given my state of fandom, the news that the huge nuclear accelerator that has been under construction between Switzerland and Germany for the past decade is about to be fired up, has me all excited. The job of this accelerator is to fire sub-atomic and sub-sub-atomic particles as enormous speeds so that they can bombard other particles and scientists all over the world can see what happens. This is a gross simplification, of course, but you get the idea. One of the things they plan to do is fire off a bunch of particles, which include at least one graviton particle, at some mind-boggling speed to see if the same amount of particles that were at the starting line end up at the finish line. The point of this exercise is to see if the graviton particle disappears at some point between the start and finish, because if it does, it is an indication of parallel dimensions and the graviton's ability to move between them. I possess only the most rudimentary understanding of the process, but I do know that if the graviton is able to move between dimensions it goes a long way to proving the viability of the Super String Theory of the Universe. For a science fan this is big time happenings; the big championship game of physics, and I'm not ashamed to say that I am waiting with intense anticipation for the event.
My enthusiasm is not just because I am a science fan. If that little graviton can move into another dimension will help to prove a trans-dimensional theory that I have had for a long time. I call it the Trans-dimensional Theory of Socks. I have long suspected that the washing machine is a portal to other dimensions and that individual socks are able to use that portal to travel to other dimensions where they either stay forever, or just as often, return to this dimension at some unpredictable future time. Having formed this theory, I decided to test it by using those little plastic rings with teeth to put matching socks together before putting them in the wash, hoping that it would trap them in this dimension. It worked up to a point but just as I was considering publishing my findings, a single sock managed to detach itself from it's mate and disappear. There I was, with a single unmatched sock and back to the drawing board. Scientific research and experimentation can be so frustrating.
I have a similar theory regarding the possibility of dimensional portals in the refrigerator that is yet to be tested. It involves leftovers, which frequently disappear when you go to look for them and reappear later where they should have been in the first place. Sometimes they go missing for a long time and return to this dimension all green, moldy, and smelling really bad. It may be possible that alternate dimensions do not have refrigeration.
As I await the word on the traveling gravitons, I am considering forming a science fan club. We could organize scientific debates and have tailgate parties where we discuss what is happening to the particles in the burgers as they sizzle on the grill. We could assign colors to the various unifying theories and get ourselves t-shirts and hats that say things like, "Go String Theory!" or "Chemists do it with Compound Molecules". We can meet in restaurants and bars and wave our giant "We're #1" foam fingers at each other. I kind of like the String Theory and I want our color to be blue. I have no scientific reason for choosing blue, I just like it. I'm sure I can make up some complex equation to back myself up if I have to. That's the neat thing about being a fan, you can be completely without talent and still have an opinion.