Out goes the bad air (Encore)

Dearest reader (but I digress),
If I may be frank, I would much rather you call me Ishmael. The point is, after being promulgated last week, the post “Out goes the bad air” suddenly disappeared from my official record. Pffffft, so to speak. It’s gone and I don’t know who got it and hated it, didn’t get it and hated it anyway, got it and read it and have no memory of it at all, got it and are now waiting to hear from their lawyer.

My sincerest apologies if you have already read “Out goes the bad air” (unless you liked it and don’t mind reading it again, in which case you are very special.)

I am now re-posting the piece, knowing this may inconvenience or confuse you, presuming you are still alive. If not, what a pleasure it has been to be one of my followers.

My regularly unscheduled post will resume, as usual, whenever it does. Let’s say “Soon.” Don’t get that one confused with this one. Just don’t.

Ishmael A. Hint,


Out goes the bad air

Just for the hell of it, I’ve decided to make fun of the laws of thermodynamics.

It’s my civic duty, after all, to follow our leaders’ example and mock anything I don’t understand. Which, in my case, means a lot of mocking.
Thermodynamics, as you may know, comes down to one very basic and cold reality: No thermo, no dynamics. No collusion. No Russians. No golden showers. No special counsel. No collusion.

But, good news: There are only four Laws of Thermodynamics – much easier to grasp, say, than the 10 commandments (with all those killjoy coveting rules) although not nearly as simple as the Two Laws of Breathing: 1. In goes the good air; 2. Out goes the bad air.

The fun begins when you realize the First law of Thermodynamics is not called the first law. It’s called the Zeroth Law. You see, the day after laws One and Two and Three were added to the Hollywood Walk of Fame, one of those silly physicistic dreamers came up with what should have been the Fourth law of Thermodynamics.

But this new law was so thermoistically dynamic, it created an immediate worldwide Hoohah – unheard of since the introduction of The Law of Perpetual Transmutation of Energy (LOPTOE, aka The Big Toe.)

Far too important to rank as Law Number Four, the phyzzies skipped it ahead to the front of the line.


My thoughts exactly. You can’t just cut ahead of someone or some law without causing outrage. Thus the shouts of “Hey, I was here first, you big zero” and “I’m never first, even when I’m first.”

So, the phyzzies, being very adept at adeption transmutation, renamed it the Zero law, because duh, zero comes before one. You would then have Laws Zero, 1,2 and 3.

But how many people would follow the rule of law if the law was called Zero? Uh, that would be Zero.

So they cleverly added a th, making it sound a lot like fourth or fifth or 166th and they called it Zeroth, as in squadooshth. That made the old first law of Thermo-D the second law, although it’s still called the first law. Cute. The second law, which is now the third law, is still known on the street as “The Deuce.” The old third law should be the fourth law — I hope you’re following this — but it isn’t because there is no fourth law even though there are four laws of thermodynamics. So much for the precision of science. And these are the people who want us to believe the earth is round?

Do we need so many laws? We already have the moral laws, the universal laws, the laws of motion, the laws of robotics, the laws of fashion, the laws of the jungle (which are the laws of fashion). There are Newton’s laws (My fave: Watch your head.) Nebuchadnezzer’s First law: Two z’s please. Siddhartha had only three laws, the most important being “Don’t forget the other two.”

So, let’s get down to it. What are the four laws of thermodynamics?

Zeroth Law: If objects A and B are in thermal equilibrium with object C, then A and B are also in thermal equilibrium with each other. Sha-boom! Which is also the definition of a three-dog night.

1st Law: The total amount of energy in the universe is constant; energy cannot be created or destroyed — but it can be sanded and shellacked and given as house-warming gifts.

2nd Law: This covers the irreversibility of natural processes and their tendency ( aka “the baked bean factor” ) to lead towards spatial homogeneity. Anyone subjected to the natural process in close quarters, understands the irreversibility thing. Once it’s out, it’s out. The best you can do is quickly slap your hand over your head (the universal sign for “Don’t look at me”). Spatial homogeneity has to do with moving as quickly as possible to a larger room or empty football field, without dropping your hand from your head.

3rd Law: The entropy of a perfect crystal approaches zero at 0k (Not to be confused with OK or Hunky Dory). Now, in order for motion to stop we have to hit the brakes (thermodynamically speaking) and reach absolute zero. Sometimes, though, you are approached by an absolute zero and told “Stop that right now or I’m telling.”

©Patrick A. McGuire and A Hint of Light 2013-2018, all rights reserved.

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3 Responses to Out goes the bad air (Encore)

  1. Yahooey says:

    Thank you Ishmael for the enlightenment.


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