The emails we have received from those who have read our last column have been many, inquisitive, and for the most part congratulatory.
“Ingenious!” writes a historian of science at Harvard University, adding, “Myles na Gopaleen stands in the long line of outside-the-box thinkers extending from Copernicus and Galileo, through Newton, then Darwin and Mendel, continuing with Edison and Ford, to Abrikosov, Ginzburg, and Leggett.”
“Just between the two of us,” writes an anonymous person from Oslo, “you’re a shoo-in for a 2005 Nobel.” (Translation mine.)
“To hell with you and MJTT!” writes a major stockholder in General Motors.
“I can’t wait for the details!” writes a UCLA professor of engineering who lives in the high desert 80 miles from Los Angeles.
These responses are typical.
The smattering of complaints from the automobile industry deserves an answer. Put simply, we suggest that that industry retool itself and put in a reasonable bid for the engineering feats that lie ahead.
As for the details, many astute readers were quick to notice that the same subway train we at MJTT envision runs downhill both ways. How can this be? Have we been misreading Sir Isaac Newton all these centuries?
In answer, recall that Sir Isaac lived in a simpler world. The horse had not yet been replaced by the auto. Pollution in those days consisted of the dung that lay strewn in the streets of London. Were he alive today, Newton’s attention would have been drawn, not to the descending Winesap, but to the common traffic jam. What we have dubbed the Myles Junior Principle (MJP) would now be called the Ike Newton Principle (INP).
In short, we have no doubt but that Newton would have combined the notion of gravity with that of the piston.
Recall that in my previous column, I spoke of the common see-saw. I mentioned the analogy between that device and the imagined subway system. Now, I ask the reader and irate commuter to imagine a pair of vertical pistons, one on each end of the system. Powered perhaps by ocean waves, or windmill farms, these pistons would move up and down simultaneously (i.e., Pa, on one end of the system, would be moving up, Pb down.), thus drawing the subway train in direction X in the morning and in direction Y in the afternoon.
N.B. Could any of my cosmopolitan readers recommend a five-star hotel in Oslo?