Monday, May 17, 2010

Project Gorilla

A recent episode from "The Big Bang Theory", which airs on Zee Cafe, took me back to when I was 14 and fumbling with the concept of electrolytic cells in Standard 8 Physics. I had approached my Father for enlightenment. And the journey was strangely similar to the one in the episode..

Scene: The apartment.

Sheldon: (Scribbling) Research journal, entry one. I’m about to embark on one of the great challenges of my scientific career, teaching Penny physics. I’m calling it Project Gorilla.
Penny: Hey, Sheldon.
Sheldon: Come in. Take a seat. (Scribbles - Subject has arrived. I’ve extended a friendly casual greeting.)
Penny: Ready to get started?
Sheldon: One moment. (Scribbles - Subject appears well-rested and enthusiastic. Apparently, ignorance is bliss.) All right, let us begin. Where’s your notebook?
Penny: Um, I don’t have one.
Sheldon: How are you going to take notes without a notebook?
Penny: I have to take notes?
Sheldon: How else are you gonna study for the tests?
Penny: There’s gonna be a test?
Sheldon: Tests. Here. It’s college-ruled. I hope that’s not too intimidating.
Penny: Thank you.
Sheldon: You’re welcome. Now, Introduction to Physics. What is physics? Physics comes from the ancient Greek word physika. It’s at this point that you’ll want to start taking notes. Physika means the science of natural things. And it is there, in ancient Greece, that our story begins.
Penny: Ancient Greece?
Sheldon: Hush. If you have questions, raise your hand. It’s a warm summer evening, circa 600 BC, you’ve finished your shopping at the local market, or agora, and you look up at the night sky. There you notice some of the stars seem to move, so you name them planetes, or wanderer. Yes, Penny?
Penny: Um, does this have anything to do with Leonard’s work?
Sheldon: This is the beginning of a twenty six hundred year journey we’re going to take together from the ancient Greeks through Isaac Newton to Niels Bohr to Erwin Schrodinger to the Dutch researchers that Leonard is currently ripping off.
Penny: Twenty six hundred years?
Sheldon: Yeah, give or take. As I was saying, it’s a warm summer evening in ancient Greece… Yes, Penny?
Penny: I have to go to the bathroom.
Sheldon: Can’t you hold it?
Penny: Not for twenty six hundred years.
Sheldon: (Scribbles) Project Gorilla, entry two. I am exhausted.

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