Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Rumor has it...

...that the 9th pitch drop in the infamous Pitch Drop Experiment is going to fall sometime soon. (Rumor source)

This rumor has all the same rank and foul-smelling truth as the endless false prophets who continually predict and re-predict 1) the end of the world, 2) a major stock market crash (worldwide or otherwise), and 3) the outcome of sporting events: if you say it long enough and often enough, the day will eventually come when by luck, your prediction is right. Not that the soothsayers were right, just that their "prediction" finally came true - very big difference.

Now it is possible with the Pitch Drop Experiment to distance oneself from these previous examples a good amount. For starters, we know that the pitch drop will fall at some point. Further, given the time intervals between previous drops falling, things are looking probable that 2013 will finally be the year in which the the drop will fall. What potentially makes this drop unique is that someone might actually observe it. (There is a webcam on the experiment so have a look-see. You might be lucky enough to see the big event.)

The 8th drop fell when the video recording equipment wasn't recording as it should have been. Fortunately, no one has actually concocted a conspiracy theory to suggest that a secret cabal of rheologists are running this "experiment" to fool the public for financial gain. But just look at the facts! Rheologists have a secret ancient password - "Panta Rei" - combined with an ancient chronometer:

They use secret symbols such as η* and Ψ2. They speak of "cortational models", "codeformational models", and take the name of the Lord in vain with their "Christoffel symbols". They have annual meetings in small towns that no self-respecting technical group would meet in (such as Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2002 and Lubbuck, Texas in 2005) so as to avoid the scrutiny of the public eye. If rheology is such an all-encompassing field, then how come no school in the world offers a degree in it? It's a cult I tell you! Black magic! Beware! The next drop that falls is the work of the devil, what with the black pitch being as dark as his soul. Watch if you must, but you will see nothing. The rheologists will once again strike and ensure that nothing is seen so that people continue to put faith into their lies of solids flowing like liquids.

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