Category Archives: Satire

No Stopping Perpetual Motion

I wear a lot of hats. Most of the time I just look silly in them. One of my disguises is Professor Scientiphik, the world’s most awesome Science Brain. I’d call myself “The Science Guy,” but Bill Nye already beat me to it.

Recently I received an email from Jalisco Wombat III. It seems the good Mr. Wombat has a plan to make us both very rich.

Dear Professor Scientiphik:

Jalisco Wombat IIIWhat would you say if I told you I have a million dollar idea involving perpetual motion?

Thanks,
Jalisco Wombat III

Dear Mr. Wombat:

Tell me more.

Professor Scientiphik

Dear Professor Scientiphik:

A body in motion tends to stay in motion, right? Newton was trying to tell us something. The secret is hiding in plain sight. I mean, after all, he had to hide it or the Inquisition would have had him looking like Pinhead from that Hellraiser movie. That was a day’s entertainment to the Inquisitors. But I digress. The secret is in that gadget with the steel balls that Newton invented. You know, the one where you hit four balls with the outside ball and the energy is transferred to the farthest ball, and back again so they never stop moving? Are you getting the picture?

Jalisco Wombat III

Dear Mr. Wombat:

NewtonLeeanne

Newton’s Cradle by Leeanne Middleton

You mean one of these? It’s called Newton’s Cradle. Although it’s quite amazing, it’s not a perpetual motion machine. After a minute or two the balls stop moving.
Respectfully,
Professor Scientiphik


Dear Professor Scientiphik:

Of course the balls stop. I knew that. That’s where you come in. You see, if you can get those balls to keep moving, we can make millions of dollars. What do you suppose could keep those balls in a state of perpetual excitation?  You do want to make millions of dollars, right?

Jalisco Wombat III

Dear Mr. Wombat:

Of course I want to make millions of dollars. As to keeping balls in a state of perpetual excitation, that’s a delicate subject. After all, I just barely know you.

Professor Scientiphik

Dear Professor Scientiphik:

Please take this seriously. Millions of dollars are at stake!

Jalisco Wombat III

Dear Mr. Wombat:

Okay. I’ve given some serious thought to your question. Here is the answer.

Bardot

Excitedly,
Professor Scientiphik

Dear Professor Scientiphik:

Now you’re starting to annoy me. I could take my million dollar idea to someone else.

Jalisco Wombat III

Dear Mr. Wombat:

Sorry about that. My mother used to always ask me, “Can’t you take anything seriously?” To which I would always make a very cliche clucking sound and shake my head thoughtfully. Then she’d say, “You hear that sound? That’s a screw loose in your head.”

Nostalgically,
Professor Scientiphik

Dear Professor Scientiphik:

Do you want to hear it or not?

Jalisco Wombat III

Dear Mr. Wombat:

Hear what?

Professor Scientiphik

Dear Professor Scientiphik:

My million dollar idea. Do you want to hear it?

Jalisco Wombat III

Dear Mr. Wombat:

Actually, I can’t hear it unless you call me on the phone, but since I’m not about to give you my telephone number, I guess I won’t be able to hear you. Do you have a balcony? You could stand out on the balcony and scream really loud. Better yet, you could go to the top of the highest mountain and shout your idea. If the wind is right I might just hear something.

Professor Scientiphik

Dear Professor Scientifik:

Don’t be a smartass. Nobody loves a smartass. But okay, here’s my idea. I’m only sharing it with you because I can’t do this myself. I need the mighty mind powers of a super scientist like yourself. Here’s the deal. You get those balls to remain in a state of perpetual excitation. Then we harvest the energy. We’ll give free energy to the world, and it will make us rich!

Jalisco Wombat III

Dear Mr. Wombat:

If we’re going to just give the world free energy, how will that make us rich? Don’t we have to sell it to make any money?

Perplexedly,
Professor Scientiphik

Dear Professor Scientiphik:

You do have a valid point. Giving away free energy is not a very lucrative endeavor. We need to sell something. I’ve got it! A magazine subscription. Subscribe to Free Energy Magazine for just $100 a year, and we’ll provide you with free energy to meet all your needs. Or we invent a new kind of TV set that we can just beam the free energy to, and everyone who buys the set for the low price of $3,999 can get free energy for as long as the TV set continues operating. Yes, that’s what we’ll do, and we’ll broadcast our own science show, Professor Scientiphik, that will make Bill Nye the Science Guy look like grade school stuff.

So what do you think, Professor Scientiphik? Can you keep those balls humming along?

Jalisco Wombat III

Dear Mr. Wombat:

What a brilliant idea. I can’t wait to get it started. My twelve-year-old nephew has donated $11 to get the ball (or balls) rolling. I have solved the problem of free energy through perpetual motion. You are a genius! I couldn’t have done this without you.

The solution is below.

Gratefully,
Professor Scientiphik
NewtonLeeanne2Head