jack: (Default)
As I passed Aunt Vera's, I wandered up to the open garage to see how she was doing. A week ago, she had borrowed mum's bar billiard's table. Mum had said it would be good for her to give the mad science a rest occasionally and try a different hobby. I was excited to see what she'd turned it into.

As I peered into the garage, she was indeed tinkering madly with the billiard table. Four steam funnels rose from the corners, and a dense web of different wires wended between them almost creating a wall round the table a meter above it. At the head of the table, dozens of different dials had been wedged onto a narrow wooden board, several resting at awkward angles suspended by the wires and pipes plugged into them.

I must have made a noise, as she suddenly spun around, labcoat and goggles swirling about her. "Ah, Sarah! What perfect timing. I have a lot to show you."

"Uh. My parents are going to be cross if I'm late for dinner agian. And I was going to call Carol later."

"Pish!" she exclaimed. "Pish-tosh! "This is Educational, and they will appreciated you being educated,"

"But I am being educated," I protested. "I have homework and everything. Homework I need to get done, if I'm going to call Carol before 10."

"Pish!" she said again. "Is Carol going to show you how quantum mechanics works?"

"Well, I don't expect so-" I began.

"Well then!" she announced with finality. "You need me to do it. No niece of mine is going to go to university with a piddling A-level knowledge of quantum mechanics."

"But, Aunt Vera, they don't teach quantum mechanics at A-Level. Not even in physics. And I'm studying Biology, and Economics and Japanese, and..."

"PRECISELY MY POINT", she yelled, a foot from my ear. "You would swan off to university with no knowledge of physics, the very forces which stop you falling through the ground. Did I tell you about my adventure of the intangibility harness and the Earth's crust?"

"Aunt Vera", I shouted, and winced as I realised how loud I was screaming. But she stopped, a bit put out, and I continued. "I'm not a physicist." She looked heartbroken, and I tried to school myself not to fall for it. "But I'd love to see what you've--"

"Excellent," she crowed, and dragged me up to the table. Wires festooned the edges, and at the top where the score used to be, a bank of complicated dials and levels waited.
I toyed with the idea of a comic fantasy style explanation of what I'd learned about relativity. Unfortunately, I really loved how the byplay turned out, but the actual explanation didn't work well. There's a lot more, but it's mixed "fun arguing" and "didactic bad explanations".