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Spherical turkeys

  1. Sep 24, 2003 #1
    A turkey crosses the road at such and such a speed and blah blah... if the turkey has a radius of... calculate....

    The turkey's a flippin' sphere...

    Now, i'm hardly complaing, i happen to prefer shperical turkeys as opposed to the funny shaped ones with the feathers that stand out in the middle of the road on the way to school (gotta love Nh) especially when it comes to the math stuff, but, it seems silly to bother calling a sphere a turkey. Do kids need to have turkey's in a problem in order to understand?

    what i'm really asking i guess is about physics textbooks. I'm a math person, so to me, things are straighforward for the most part and a sphere is just a sphere even if it gobbles. Why do textbooks need to have little stories about dick and jane... er... Jaun and Chang Lo, (since it needs to be politically correct too,) instead of more straighforwardness? has physics always been that way? and, who write this stuff?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 25, 2003 #2

    jimmy p

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    ive wondered this too....

    Hey, finally someone who understands!! I take both maths and physics at A-Level but in UK physics is the one that is more science based. A particle is dropped from such and such a height, a particle uniformly accelerates, where as other subjects butter up the questions.

    However i noticed that this does happen less in A-Level then in GCSE where, as u mentioned above 'Sanjeev and Ashley do experiments' or a doohicky and 'Lauren and Ngama Potangi are investigating'. There is a lot more of that in maths at both subject levels than in the science.

    I think the reason this is done is to give the questions a more personal feel, where instead of reading the cold hard writing of the question, u could think what Ashley would do in that situation. I dont know, but it seems likely that the masses need something to relate to otherwise they get brain-freeze
  4. Sep 25, 2003 #3
    yeah, i know what you mean. but i've just realized i have a problem. See, i'm not a big 'work' type of person, as in, i don't really do it. And so far i've only been doing my homework 'in theory' in other words, reading the problems having a good laugh, then paying attention when we go over the stuff in class. Just sat down for the first time to actually do the work on my own... and figures, i can't even traslate the giberish. Maybe it's my short attention span or something, but i can't read past jenny and her friends, or the clown about to run over a banana peel. I'm having some serious trouble with all the weird word problems and things. Perhaps i'll just buckle down and scratch my way through, but a little adivice from any of yall'd be nice too.
  5. Sep 25, 2003 #4
    after a lecture on the spherical turkey example in thermodynamics, I asked my lecturer how long I should cook my chicken for. He recommended 20 mins + 20 mins per pound, as per Nigella.
  6. Sep 28, 2003 #5

    jimmy p

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    Sorry no help...i think

    Lol i had problems in my first year of college i took the same route u are, living the high life and concentrating when it came to exams. The best advice i could give would be to just go for it, get yourself involved with the subjuect, eg answering loads of questions and getting to enjoy the subject on a greater level. I really enjoy physics and even if i dont understand it i make the most of it and smile dumbly but pretend to know what im doing lol
  7. Sep 30, 2003 #6
    I teach Physics and always set problems in 'the real world' or in 'Physics world'. In 'Physics world', everything is spherical, (or a dimensionles point), frictionless, or perfectly flat and smooth and can easily be moved an infinite distance when needed (in, of course, zero time!)

    As for learning the subject, you MUST practise doing problems and questions. A forum like this is great for getting a feel for the subject, but when it comes to exams you need to ...... answer questions!

    I'm no expert (degree in Materials, not in Physics) but just by getting an interest in something, it is surprising what you can teach yourself!:smile:
  8. Oct 1, 2003 #7

    jimmy p

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    Yeah your right, look at einstein for example, he failed all his exams but he took an interest in physics while being a painter or something at taught himself it, and is recognised as one of the greatest physicists ever! maybe i should do that...
  9. Oct 1, 2003 #8


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    This is about as wrong about Einstein's school and career as it could be. He surely ticked off his instructors with his attitude, but he got his undergraduate degree and Ph. D. honestly. Because his instructors despised him they wouldn't recommend him for an academic job, so he got a job as a patent clerk. It was Adloph Hitler who was the painter.
  10. Oct 5, 2003 #9

    jimmy p

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    Oh well, looks like my physics teacher got it wrong again...anyway, that explains my point further, im so ignorant i can mix up a famous physicist with an German Dictator (yes yes even i know he was Austrian), but just watch out for my name in the future as the greatest physicist in the world MUHAHAHAHAHA!!! of course i wont be telling u my name....

    DOH its jimmy p, garn foiled again...dumbass!
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