[CQ-Contest] Relativity made relatively simple

The Tolberts jtolbert at gremlan.org
Sun Apr 1 22:04:52 EDT 2001

1-April 2001

With apologies to Dr. Nit Wit.

Many years ago Wayne Newton was sitting under an apple tree and was struck
on the head by a falling fig. The gravity of this situation later led Alfred
Einstein to doubt that nothing was relative. He began to relate how gravity
affected fig newtons. He theorized that if he could get a pound of cookies
going at the speed of light, their weight would increase to infinity, thus
reducing to near zero the cost per pound. Of course, he didn't realize what
would happen when fig newtons hit the grocery stores at that speed. Al set
up a relativity lab to perfect his theory, equipped with such unusual and
complex items as an infinity chamber, space benders and lots of high-speed
watches. He soon noted that the hands of the watches ran slower as they
approached the speed of light. He was never able to prove it since they were
difficult to catch. However he observed the speeding watches always returned
to earth due to gravity, leading him to the conclusion that space is curved
and is closely related to time and gravity. Before he could get this complex
theory down on paper, he was distracted by a shapely young secretary. Up
until then, he had only defined bodies by three dimensions. It only took old
Al a glance to realize that time also affects a body. This he called the
fourth dimension and vowed he would work it into his complex theory of
relativity. He was aware all good theories contain complex mathematical
formulas and since fig newtons were already patented, he came up with a
unique formula to avoid patent infringement, E=MC². Simply stated, this
merely calculates the energy (E) it takes to clean up the mess (M) after
cookies collide at the speed of light (C²). Al established a project in
Manhattan to study fusion and fashion but due to the war moved to Oak Ridge
and redirected his efforts from New York fashion to Tennessee fission. On a
Sunday afternoon fission trip, Einstein and other longhaired scientists
reasoned that if they could get enough (E) cookies traveling at the speed of
light (C²) the resulting mess (M) may win the war. The rest, as they say, is

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