Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Breaking the Laws

A couple of days ago I got a text from my mother, asking me when I'd be home because she'd quite like to call me. I said I was home now, which was true, and was asked why I wasn't answering my land-line.

This struck me as odd. The main reason I hadn't answered my land-line was because it hadn't rung, and I never answer phones which aren't ringing. Actually, it's relatively common for me to fail to answer phones which are, but on this occasion that opportunity hadn't even arisen.

I told my mother that it hadn't rung, that I'd check to make sure it was working, and that she should probably be able to call in about ten minutes. A quick inspection of the phone led me to believe that it was out of battery, but at this point I noticed something rather odd. Every other phone I've used has always plugged into a power socket, or into a charger which in turn plugged into a power socket. There was space for standard batteries, but a screwdriver was required to take the cap off and replace them, and I couldn't be bothered to look for one. I called my mother back on my mobile, and thought no more about it until the next day.

When the next day came, Harry wanted to make a call, and found that he could not. I suggested replacing the batteries, and he went to get a screwdriver. When the cap was removed, it turned out that there had never been any batteries in the phone, and that furthermore, while there was space for them, inserting them would be fruitless. There was no terminals.

I should point out that the phone was working perfectly with no obvious source of power for several weeks prior to this.

Now I am extremely concerned. It seems that the laws of physics are either a lie, or occasionally suspended for cheap electronic equipment. This leads me to worry about my degree - what if my subject of choice is all wrong? What if it's founded on mistakes, which can be proved invalid by a phone that cost less than £10?

I always suspected that if the laws of physics went wrong, it would be something to do with me.

I'm off now, going to go see if I can defy gravity, or build a perpetual motion machine.


  1. Two words: Schrodingers' Batteries. oh wait, and terminals. OK I exceeded the word count, quiet you.

    Since they existed, they could power the telephone, hence the phone worked fine. Then the batteries (which remember DID exist) ran out of juice, which is why it stopped working.
    Then you just had to go and open it, didn't cha? The Terminals and dud batts are now in a state of non-existence since they are not there to exist.
    Now you just need a new phone.
    Science: it works bitches!

  2. Surely using the phone would draw power from the batteries which would count as an observation?
    Shall we just ignore that? ;-)

  3. Adam McKeitch3:20 pm

    uuuuh OH LOOK WHAT'S THAT?


  4. Read your geeky post, so thought I'd offer the geeky opinion that power can be provided up the twisted pair, as long as the phone doesnt have a giant color screen.

    At home when i was wee- up in the wilds of scotalnd, the numerous powercuts in winter storms prove this to be true.

    Enjoying your twitter- actually just enjoying twitter illegally much :-d

  5. Ahhhh, well cheers for the explanation, good to know my degree won't be worthless!