Look, there is only so much one can say about this wretched political situation we are in. It is now after Labor Day and I am in full freak out mode, so rather than obsess about today’s polls I will take a moment to write something about two nonpolitical matters that have puzzled me for many years. I invite all the help I can get from those of you who have specialist scientific knowledge that I lack.
The first of these matters is clouds. Back in the day when we all took airplanes, all of us had the experience of flying through discrete layers of clouds – two or even three – at different levels above the ground. I can recall, as every passenger can, looking down 25,000 feet at a layer of clouds and then, as one descends toward landing, going through that layer of clouds back into clear air and then into another layer of clouds and perhaps even into a third layer before landing. My question is this: why do clouds form in discrete layers in this way? I have only the vaguest notion of what a cloud is – a lot of water droplets, I guess – but no idea at all of why these clouds form at one elevation rather than another and at several discrete elevations in the same area. Does anybody know the answer?
The second thing that has always puzzled me is friction and I think I may have actually mentioned this before. What is friction? Why do my clothes slide onto my body easily when I am completely dry and yet catch and stick when I am wet? I’m sure there must be a simple answer to this question but I am utterly mystified by friction. Anybody?
And then of course there is Joe Biden’s poor showing in the polls with Hispanic voters, but I said I wasn’t going to talk about politics so let that go.