Bubbling up from the past

I don’t recall how it came up.  Something my coworker said about her teenager needing large sums of money to stay entertained.  However it came up, I related this:

Back in the day when I was a teen — you couldn’t go uphill to school both ways because gravity and inclined surfaces hadn’t been invented yet —

Ed and I patnered around a bit.  We were mathematics students of amazing caliber, so we were naturally imressed with the possibilities of a practical demonstration of calculus that we ran across, and got a couple of bottles of the stuff for our edification.

Sadly, the weather was a bit blowy, and bubbles drift rather quickly to their soapy end in a breeze.  We decided that we’d be better off studying our noble state’s history by visiting the capital building. Inside was the rotunda, rising a majestic 106 feet over a bronze seal several feet in diameter.  Sun streamed through the high windows, striking the seal and making a very pretty picture.  Broadening, seeing all this history, which we did from the mezzanine.

At which point math and history took a back seat to physics, to wit:  that seal had to be gathering a lot of heat, which would radiate, warming the air and causing it to rise in a marked fashion up the cylinder of the rotunda.  As high as we were, we could probably blow bubbles that would drift to the center and rise.

With the thought, the deed.  Bubbles were blown, and the results were far beyond expectations.  Since the central seal was the source of heat in a upright cylinder of fluid (air), the heated air soaring up cooled as it was pushed to its peak, reached the top, and was thrust aside by warmer air from below, forcing it back down to the heat source.  The upshot is that as the bubbles were blown, instead of a gradual drift to the center there was a mighty sweeping of bubbles downward, then suddenly inward and up, where they rocketed four stories up.  Some of the more enduring bubbles even managed a part of the return trip.  The streams of light from the rotunda made them irridesce in a lovely way.  We were not merely demonstrating elegantly what physics and fluid dynamics teachers go on about, we were creating art, fergossakes.  And we continue to create it.

Right up until the security guards escorted us out, confiscating our bubbles.  Gestapo have no souls to quicken, obviously.

So that was the story I told.  It passed a pleasant few minutes that might have been spoiled by working, and that was that.

This morning I came to work and found a lovely bottle of bubbles on my desk.  I’ve been blowing bubbles over the hexicles (our cube farm is made of six sided cells) in between actual work related tasks.

Crossposted from Epinepherine & Sophistry