March 31, 2005

Life's little mysteries

Brad Collette asks me about what facts there are that I can't explain, the things that nudge my mind, inconvenient truths, whatever.

1. When I get on the train in Lund I am in the last car. The station in Malmoe is one-way, so the train has to switch directions to drive out again, meaning I am in the first car after Malmoe. But then sometimes when I get to the station in Copenhagen (Noerreport or North Gate) I am in the last car again!! I just don't get it. These train conductors are like street hustlers hiding peas beneath walnut shells. I suspect that they are somehow able to stage a diversion (at Svaagertorp station? Oerestad?), and then connect a new wagon on the front of the train and remove one from the back. But how do I get proof?

2. The book I am reading is never in the place I thought I put it.

3. Our son Anders is one and a half and can shriek like a steam whistle. When he does that it is simply impossible to think-- all higher functions cease instantly. And I become willing to do simply anthing to get him to stop making that noise. I understand that I am reinforcing the behaviour, but what would you do? Isn't it worth picking up the toy he threw on the floor or giving him another piece of apple or avacado? And how do I get him to stop kicking me in the stomach when I am changing his diaper?

4. With regards to global warming, while the surface temperature has increased, the temperature of the tropopause has increased too which is not completely in line with simple radiative transfer theory. This has lead some critics to say that climate scientists don't know what they are talking about. But I suspect, and I'm not alone in thinking this, that what is going on is that the increased surface temperature has lead to an increase of transport of tropospheric air into the stratosphere (through the tropopause), thus warming the tropopause.


At March 31, 2005 1:44 PM , Blogger Tim said...

That train thing is spooky. There was a great quote a few years ago in the New York Times on Father's day. A famous writer (Thoreau? Whitman? Twain? ) - I can't remember now - complaining how the noise of children interrupted every thought. Great. Now my mission for the day is to dig up that quote.


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