Tuesday, 18 January 2011

It must be true, I read it in my diary

I'd intended to waste the afternoon, but the new diary kept flapping its pages at me.  So I took on the annual task of transcribing the birthdays of relatives and friends from 2010 to 2011.  Thankfully, this time none of them had to be converted from red to black (this happens when someone has died during the year).

It's not a very exciting task, to be honest, so it's easy to get distracted.  The diaries I use (yes, they still take the form of hardback paper-based books, rather than any of this new-fangled technology) contain a little homily, squib or trivial pursuit for each day of the year.  Last year, it was 'trivia Q&A', the As being printed upside down below the Qs, just to make it hard for you.  Here are a couple, plucked at random from the mists of time:  'how many dominoes in a standard set?' and 'which temperature has the same value in centigrade and Fahrenheit?'  No, I'm not going to tell you.

This year, it seems to be 'little-known facts'.  I think I'd put 'facts' in 'quotes', because the entry for Thursday 27 January asserts that 'you are slightly taller in the morning than in the evening due to gravity'.  Hmm.

I know that a few scientifically-orientated people occasionally read this blog, so I'm tempted to hand this one over to them.  But I can't help speculating.  Assuming that the diary is assuming that I spend the night lying down and the day standing up (dubious territory, this), how do they know what whatever measuring instrument was used to conduct the experiment has been up to during the night, or day?  Eh?  Naturally, Collins diaries don't cite sources or peer review data, and I can't be arsed to google it.  But I do remember somebody drunkenly asserting something similar at a dinner party some months ago, and me patiently explaining that the effects of Special Relativity only apply at near-light velocities, and by definition can't be measured, at least according to quantum mechanics ...

Anybody want another diary date?

1 comment:

  1. It's due to all the b*****s who grind you down during the day ;)