By Jack Blanchard
One of the simpler facets of Dr. Einstein's Theory of Relativity
concerns this hypothetical situation as I understand it:
Two busses are parked side by side at a bus stop (Bus "A" and Bus "B"). Bus A begins to move. It is impossible at this point for the passengers aboard either vehicle to tell which one is moving. If one seems to go forward, the other seems to back up. You have to spot a stationary object (Point of Perspective) like a lamp post or a building and then you're suddenly oriented. I've found that this principle applies to many cases in daily life.
A hippy walks up to a bus stop, sits down on the empty bench and begins smoking his transfer. A fellow in a cowboy suit, whose motorcycle broke down, approaches from the other direction and sits on the other side of the bench. They look at each other. (Here's where Einstein's theory comes into play.) It is impossible at this point for either party to know which one is nuts. Each one suspects the other. They need a "Point of Perspective." A square.
From out of nowhere, now, appears a crewcut gentleman in horn rims and
"Wash and Wear." He sits in the middle of the bench, his transistor
radio playing Lawrence Welk, as he chews a Chlorette, reads T.V. Guide,
and shines his oxfords on the back of his pant legs. This is the inert
object needed for our experiment.
They all regard each other darkly. Each one is absolutely certain that the other two are nuts.
The square takes out his nail clippers and snips the hippy's bead string. While the cowboy is laughing heartily at this, the square turns around and with both hands on the brim of the cowboy's ten gallon hat, forces it down to his shoulders.
With a muffled oath the cowboy grabs and holds the square while the hippy beats him on the head with his "PEACE" sign. ("What," you may ask, "does this have to do with Einstein's Theory?" Patience, my children! Scientific knowledge does not come easily.)
As the hippy enthusiastically swings his sign, he slips on the broken beads and grasps the other two for balance. The three begin turning as one, on a sea of ball bearing beads. This gets a rousing hand from the newly gathered by-standers who think it's the June Taylor Dancers.
Our subjects roll helplessly into the roadway and are promptly run over by Bus "A". This, students, proves that Bus "B" is the one that was not moving, thereby restoring your faith in science.
Knowledge is power.
Copyright © March 13, 1969 by Jack Blanchard. All rights reserved.
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