Everyday things vaguely to do with physics: 1 — bags

(Skip to the bottom for the bit after the intro)

Hello. In the course of a day we encounter lots of little tasks that need doing, observations of things which are so trifling they barely merit the word ‘observation’, and so on. This is pretty broad (!!), but hopefully what I mean will become more obvious soon. It occurred to me that lots of these things have often very very basic (and sometimes less basic but still interesting) physics behind them. Not cutting edge physics by any means, and sometimes barely even physics, just a sort of physics-leaning bit of common sense.

I’m sort of talking about the reason why the sky is blue but much more mundane. Perhaps a pretty good example is my post about how to stop the cable from 9-volt adaptors from breaking by distributing the stress around a larger region of the cable (here).

So I’m going to write posts about these things whenever they occur to me, just for somewhere to put them. Here’s the first one:


When I go shopping and get asked if I need help with packing, I manfully decline. But until I clocked this one I actually did need help, just to open the stupid bags. I’d seen people lick their fingers and then seem to have no difficulty doing it, so I imitated them but still couldn’t manage it. Where was I going wrong? I was just licking one finger. If the other one’s still dry and slippery (like mine usually are), the two faces of the bag just move together, sliding over the dry finger and not coming apart. So now I lick both my fingers and the bag doesn’t stand a chance. Erm.

There’s no way to really end a post like this……………. HAPPY BAG OPENING FOLKS!!

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