07 October, 2006

Life: Not today, my boy. :-)

In a subtle attempt to gain Alpha-male status, my son left me a physics problem that he could not solve.

He is taking AP Physics as a senior in high school, so it's college freshman level stuff. This problem required that I discover the coefficient of dynamic fiction if a 5 kg block falling straight down could drag a 10 kg block 1 m in 1.2 seconds. The best part, of course, is that the problem had stumped my lad.

Why let a little 25 year hiatus slow me down?

I had to go all the way back to page 13 to get one formula I needed, and I had to review the example problems about 5 times each, but that's not the point. The point is that I not only solved it, I solved it with book rigour. :-) I confessed to him that it took me the better part of an hour, and that I made 2 false starts (for which the errant paperwork was somehow lost) but he still had ample opportunity to call me nasty names.

And THAT is what a father lives for. :-)


Milly said...

;-} I so couldn't do that. I was asked to help with a math problem today. It was more artsy. I told them to draw it up and break it down. I’m not sure that they got it. It’s so cool that they let the kids today jet ahead when they can. Good job Cowboy!

DugALug said...


Rock on! Dad!

Man I miss problems like that. H.S. physics is such a dirty trick. When you are taught calculus, a lot of those equations that we had to memorize just fall out of the math. I remember sitting in College and getting really mad:ecause I wasted my brain cells because they didn't teach physics in conjuntion with calculus... those stinkers!

God Bless

Karen said...

YES! You go, CP!!
hey..how are you all with the new beta thingie? Should I switch now, or wait til I'm forced??

Milly said...

I’m not ready to switch yet. They are still buggy from what I gathered. So I’ll wait a bit longer. Hopefully they’ll fix all the major problems before they make all of us go to it.

codepoke said...

Yeah, Milly.

They are way ahead of where I was at their age. :-(

codepoke said...

Exactly, Doug,

I keep telling my son that the stuff he's doing now with sequences is good, but it's going to get way better. I showed him the process of successive approximations to infinity to estimating the area under a function. I would show him the calculus behind it, but it's been a little too long, I'm afraid.

codepoke said...


I'm with Milly. It's too early for me. Early adopters feel all the pain, and I am in this for the writing, not the computer stuff.

As soon as it's painless, I'm in.

codepoke said...

... and there's no path back if you don't like it. Once you switch, you have to get a new identity and you can never go back.

Karen said...

I bow to your experience....why they gotta fix stuff if it ain't broke?

codepoke said...

Can't quite go there, now. :-)

The USPS wasn't broke when they invented email, or so I've heard. And the smoke signals were still working before that. :-D

I can wait until they get it right, and then I'm sure it will all have been worth the effort.

codepoke said...


For any still checking on this, KB is using the beta. Drop him a line, and I'm sure he'll tell whether it's worth the upgrade.