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The Physics of Procrastination

Leon Sandcastle


All week long I, Leon Sandcastle have been thinking "what will I post my first blog about?" I wondered if I could make it as interesting as some of the others I've already seen and for that I would need a unique, new, fantastical question--yes, fantastical. I still have not finally found my question but I think energy is a much more fun topic than thinking philosophically about physics and definitely not reading about it! That's probably the worst way to think and learn about such a complicated subject so I thought "talk about life." So here goes.

How many of us students, teachers, athletes, people wait until the last possible minute to do what we know should be done? A LOT. We wait until the very last second to clean before our parents get home, the very last instant to get dressed and walk out the house in the morning and definitely the very last milisecond to finish assignments for school. I believe it all goes back to the Newtonian law of physics: Inertia! We wait because one, there's no force acting on us immediately and two, we haven't started! Static friction, the force acting against an object right before it begins to move is greater than kinetic friction: when it's moving. Static and kinetic friction are invisible and intangible but they do exist! For example, as the end of the year nears--thank you--spring break takes hold of us and stops us completely in our tracks though it only lasts so long, sadly. We return to school and begin to recieve homework. Chemistry, music, english, trigonometry, extra credit, HISTORY, languages blah blah blah and physics. In one day we recieve, say, seven assignments due on Friday. Every day the pile grows beneath us but due to the force of static friction, it's hard to start! Wednesday rolls around and we have TWENTY-ONE assignments to complete if we haven't beat the static friction yet, piled beneath us. But this is where the going gets good.

That pile grows beneath us increasing our potential energy as a rock's lifted over the edge of a slide and we finally have enough force, mainly supplied by the fear of a terrible grade approaching to accelerate us past the coarse and strong static friction down into the much easier going kinetic friction and translating our potential energy into kinetic energy by attacking the Sysiphean plight of homework, falling to the bottom, finishing our assignments and blog posts, following the law of Inertia until hitting our beds on the last day of school for rest. See, physics is realer than just real. It's megaphysical.



The Great Leon (Daniel) Sandcastle

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