Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Lady Science

Lady Science

‘If you put your thumb over the hole and lift it, we can walk the radiator to the patio and empty it’ said Neil-the-plumber.

‘With this?’ I said, giving Neil the thumbs up.

‘Mmm’ he nodded. Obviously happy that I knew where my thumb was.

You might want to try using the thumb on the other hand to plug the radiator’
‘Ah – I see, so my ‘lifting-hand’ is free’.

Neil looked puzzled – I don’t think he’d heard the ‘right-hand’ referred to as a ‘lifting-hand’ before.

‘Erm...? Yes, with your ‘lifting-hand’. Ok, are we ready now’

Yes, thumb was in place, lifting-hand was poised, I was ready to put my back into it, and I was determined to lift the radiator from the wall.

‘On three... one...two...three.. lift....... lift.........are you lifting now Vikki?’
Blimey these radiators were heavy. I was lifting, but nothing was happening.
‘URRRGGGGhhhhh’ Nope. Nothing doing.

‘Okay. You tried, but I think we can say lifting radiators isn’t for you.’
‘You can remove your thumb now’.

Martin-the-plasterer put down his trowel and helped Neil to effortlessly lift the radiator to the garden.

I like having workmen in. The chat is always good. Always quite ‘boy-sey’. It brings out another side of me. A kind of girl-of-the-world, knowledgeable side.

Earlier on, I’d impressed Neil with my ‘vortex theory’; the importance of having all radiators steaming away on full at all times, in order to give equi-distance heating around the house. I’d explained that if you turned a rad off upstairs, then the cold air upstairs would suck all the hot from downstairs. Thereby negating any perceived ‘saving’ of having the upstairs rads off, or turned down.

Neil, a man with an intricate knowledge of heating replied; ‘just tell him you want it hot in the house and to stop turning off the rads upstairs.’

As Neil and Martin expertly removed the remainder of the radiators and emptied them outside I found myself saying; ‘That’s a lot of water in there’.

‘Uh huh’ replied Neil.
‘Funny – I thought there was only 2 pints in the system in total – that’s what I was told’
‘Two pints?’ Neil laughed, ‘now there you go again with your lady science’.

Excuse me, but I have an ‘o’ level in physics. I was also one of Mr Philips favourite students, and that had nothing to do with bringing him a bottle of red wine at the end of our second term. I was good at physics. Okay, I’ll admit I was hopeless at the other two sciences; Chemistry and Biology, but if you asked me to split an atom, I’d have a good go with a prism and a cone. And I can still recite to this day the speed of light; 185,000 miles per second. I think. But don’t quote me, just in case........

According to Anthony Zimmerman Jones (an intelligent sounding chap) ‘Physics is a systematic study of the natural world, a discipline that attempts to quantify reality through a precise application of observation coupled with logic and reason.’
I’d show them a ‘science-lady’ for real.

‘Cup of tea? Bacon sandwich anyone?’
‘Now you’re talking sense’.
First I put fluid dynamics in action and filled the kettle. I then employed Newton’s three law’s of motion. Moving from an inert state (my favourite state), I accelerated across the floor and plugged the kettle in.
I then employed full force and cut through the bread. A crusty old loaf, it employed equal force acting back, necessitating some elbow grease. Moving on to thermodynamics, I put the frying pan on the stove and whacked up the heat. (Regular readers of the blog may uncross their fingers at this point as I rarely burn bacon.) I let good old thermodynamics do its stuff and transfer heat, via various energy changes within the physical system of the frying pan. Assessing the density of the bacon at regular intervals, I flipped it and crisped it up a treat.
A hot knife through butter, some HP sauce and black pepper and logic and reason are coupled; observe – a cup of tea and the perfect bacon sandwich. Served, thanks to Lady Science.

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