Exclusive to OpEdNews:
Sci Tech

Elevators, Einstein, & Etiquette

By (about the author)     Permalink       (Page 1 of 1 pages)
Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags Add to My Group(s)

View Ratings | Rate It


- Advertisement -
Elevators, Einstein, & Etiquette

OK, now here's the game rules:

(1.) everyone should be evenly distributed in the elevator (no clumping!)

(2.) everyone should face the doors (NEVER face the back of the elevator)

(3.) minimal talking (jabberers are collectively frowned at -- albeit usually indirectly)

Now just where do these game rules come from? Who made them up? No one ever writes them down, but we all know and (usually) obey them. But why CAN'T all of us stand on one side of a large elevator and why do we always have to "face front"?

The talking thing makes some sense, but the first two are completely arbitrary. Try walking into an elevator and face one of the side walls (much less the back wall) and see what happens. Rapid body shifting will take place, that's what will happen, and people we regard you as a worrisome nut case.

Another annoying thing about elevators are those jerks who try to get on before anyone else gets off. You know what I'm talking about. Sometimes they come in such a herd that you don't get to get off at all. That makes your day, doesn't it?

Now here's something that will make my gender mad at me, but haven't you noticed that's it's nearly always a man who controls the elevator buttons? It's kind of like the person who typically possesses the TV monitor -- which apparently is "man thing".

The coolest thing about elevators is when you're in one in a very tall building which is shooting up to the 40th floor like a bullet, because then you get to "feel" the equivalence Einstein saw between gravity and acceleration. If you absolutely couldn't get outside the elevator to see what was happening, you wouldn't know if that "pull down" was coming from acceleration or gravity, ergo equivalence.

Of course something similar happens in, say, a train which is not accelerating, decelerating, or turning, i.e., an inertial system which meets those conditions. The problem how can you tell if such a system is moving or not?

Let's say in this idealized world, all such systems are inertial systems (i.e., not speeding up, slowing down, or turning).

OK, now here's the catch. If you're in system A, are you moving or not? Well in this inertial reality, all you can do is look out the window and compare yourself to system B (which is exactly what they are doing to you!). So who's moving and who's stationary? Here again, Einstein's plot thickens with his intuition that "it's all relative". IF the distance is changing between system A and B, then each can say the other system is stationary, but they are moving (or visa versa).

For awhile hold outs to this problem were the heliocentric sun, the geocentric earth, and the "fixed stars", but none of those illusions worked. The last hold out was the luminiferous ether which was supposed to be the stuff that vibrated in light waves. In short, something like air to sound waves.

But, alas, no ether was found, so all inertial motion turned out to be relative.

This fact has further consequences, but Lord knows I've regressed enough from elevators, so thanks for listening (but I should warn you that if you try to push your way into an elevator that I'm trying to get out of, I intend to be the irresistible force which moves your (allegedly) immovable object.

W. Christopher Epler
- Advertisement -


A liberal American, PhD mathematician, bipedal Earthling.

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon

Go To Commenting

The views expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Follow Me on Twitter

Contact Author Contact Editor View Authors' Articles
Related Topic(s): ; ; , Add Tags
- Advertisement -

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

An avalanche of documentation that 9/11 was an "inside job" tip of an iceberg of monstrous, historical evil.

The Daddy Bush Connection with JFK's Assassination? Please check out these links.

Sarah Palin or Ann Coulter?

We are a slob species with glorious potential for transcendence.

The 6,000 year old 'Have' and 'Have Not' War is now in our face

Obama's EPA appointment will supremely define his place in human history.


The time limit for entering new comments on this article has expired.

This limit can be removed. Our paid membership program is designed to give you many benefits, such as removing this time limit. To learn more, please click here.

Comments: Expand   Shrink   Hide  
1 people are discussing this page, with 1 comments
To view all comments:
Expand Comments
(Or you can set your preferences to show all comments, always)

men drive elevators. THey drive better. And not o... by Rob Kall on Saturday, Nov 25, 2006 at 5:08:24 PM