Monday, May 10, 2010

This Is Why We Need To Keep Newspapers Around

I have been a newspaper junkie for much of my life.

Even very young, five, six-years-old, I would race up to my grandfather's corner store, and read the paper before school, going back-to-front, having to scope out, first, how my favorite sports team made out the night before.

There was so much stuff to be wondered by.

Aside from the hard news, and the Op-Ed Pages, newspapers are necessary for something much, much more;

Filler articles, and the local answer man, or advice giver.

These items are gold and a really good item makes trekking through the paper a most satisfying experience.

Today's 'The Boston Globe' has such an item.

It comes from the "Ask Dr. Knowledge" column (who is actually, a local Physics professor);

Why is drinking a milkshake through a straw harder than a soft drink?

Q - If I order a soft drink at a fast-food restaurant, I can drink it with a thin straw or a wide straw, with little difficulty either way. When it comes to a milkshake though, I can’t get anything at all through the narrow straw. Why?

A - The first thing to notice about the milkshake is that it’s viscous, which is the scientific way of saying that it’s sticky. Water is somewhat viscous, too, but much less so.


If you can just manage to suck up a milkshake through the wide straw, however, you would need 16 times the suction to get it up the narrower one at the same rate.
There is more detail Dr. Knowledge provides the benighted milkshake drinker, so check that out.

What marveled me was that there was someone out there, so stumped, so fraught with anxiety, so lost over the complexity of straws, parched, maybe jonesin' for a milkshake, and perpetually stymied by those darn straws, the straw being Lucy-and-the-football, that they wrote (perhaps emailed) the local newspapers' "Dr. Knowledge" in a quest to have their life reunited with the tasty ice-cream, milk and syrup libation.

And, I have to wonder, if, in the Doc's answer, the part about needing "16 times the suction", if he was, slyly, telling the questioner that, you gotta really suck, both, to drink the milkshake, and, to send in a question like that.

This is why we need to keep newspapers around.

Bonus Links

Michael Sokolove: What’s a Big City Without a Newspaper?

Will Bunch: Apple's tablet will NOT save journalism

Danny Sullivan: Google CEO Eric Schmidt On Newspapers & Journalism

Clay Shirky: Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable

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