Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Learning point

You really do learn something everyday, don't you? And today's step towards enlightenment provides a scientific explanation for why a good hairbrush punches above its weight in the disciplinary sphere.
Physics was a real problem for me at school. Or put it another way, I was a real problem for my physics teacher (sorry Mr Hindmarch).
But since I discovered The Big Bang Theory I have been trying to understand what makes the universe tick, so today's insight was especially pleasurable. I stumbled across it while wasting a little work time in Tumblr-land at a blog called Who's Sorry Now, where Spanked2Tears appears to be mostly concerned with the interface between male bottoms and hairbrushes (in female hands) - but I guess the physics is much the same.
A blog visitor asks: "Why a hairbrush, does it have anything to do with it just being available? Doesn't look like its going to hurt actually."
And Spanked2Tears answers: "My personal take on it, is that the bristles act as delayed mass. In other words they continue to decelerate after the wood has stopped."

I was a bit puzzled at this point. Delayed mass? If only Mr Hindmarch had held my attention (or been more persuasive in demanding it). But S2T goes on to add: "Extending the duration of the impact. If you have ever seen a shot hammer it’s the same theory. The hollow head of the hammer contains small, loose lead balls. They land a moment after the head of the hammer does and cause the blow to generate far more energy than a regular hammer of the same weight..."
So, it's as simple as that - bristles extend duration of impact. I feel I now need to buy two identical hairbrushes, take the bristles off one and then get SO involved in some citizen science. 
How would it work? A dozen with one brush on one butt cheek and a dozen on the other with the other brush, then rate redness?
Spanked2Tears does end on a point that's more about psychology than physics, saying: "I think that the allure of the hairbrush is that it is such a common domestic item." And all that delaying of mass aside, that for me is what makes a good old-fashioned hairbrush THE number one implement for TTWD.
It's an object that is so fearfully stingy, but at the same time is so sweetly innocent. It can sit around the house, or the handbag, and mean nothing to the majority, but everything to those of us in the know.

Monday, 20 May 2013

Wartime romance

What did (or do) your parents get up to when they were in the first flush of romance? For most of us I think it's something that we'd rather not give too much thought to, isn't it?
Reading your parents' love letters must be quite an experience, especially when they were written in wartime. Putting them on the web for everyone to see is really, really brave.
Let me back track a little. Last night I was using a page from Thursday's copy of The Times when I was doing some painting. Reading as I worked I came across a thorough startle. 
The heading said 'Ripping wartime romance with a happy ending', but a quote was picked out in bold and it was that which caught my eye. It said: "Darling one, it's just as well you aren't here as you would probably have to spank me hard — but what a heavenly spanking!"
It was a story about a daughter who had put all her mum and dad's wartime letters on a site called With Love from Graz. He was a soldier, she was a nurse and they served in different places, so there were regular letters from one to the other. 
The story is here, but The Times has a paywall. But it turns out that it started out closer to home to me in the South Wales Echo, which you can read for free - it's here.
The daughter says the letters "can be a bit like reading Shades of Grey..." Which made me think about how I'd feel if it were my parents - and about what my kids would discover about me if they ever stumbled on some of the stuff I've written.
I do like the site, but looking around I can't see much more in the way of grey shades. You can read about the "heavenly spanking" in a letter dated May 12, 1946.
I'm not sure why Katie thought she deserved the hard spanking. Possibly it was just because she was beging a bit negative and letting her stiff upper lip sag a little.  

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Measured behaviour

My little crush of the moment is cold, steely and scarily strong. He's also rather exacting and seems intent on keeping me on the straight and narrow...
OK, I'm overdoing things here but I'm at that stage in a relationship where you're all over-excited and gushy. Finding such a great new-to-me corruptible - our little metal ruler - is quite something. I was out the other day buying some art supplies for youngest daughter when I came across it in amongst the paints and crayons  and the light bulb in my head pinged on.
When I'm judged to be in need of some attitude adjustment SO says 'got fetch me something' and I'm expected to select the implement that will be used on my bot. So, yesterday when we reached that stage I trotted off to find... the ruler.
In the past I've played with wooden rulers (for school scenarios) and been distinctly underwhelmed. Too light - no umph whatsoever.
Metal is quite a different sensation - and I'm hooked on it. I know lots of people prefer the extreme end of TTWD, but I'm pretty middle-of-the-road and don't like anything too heavy.
And the ruler is just right, lots of sting and heat, but not the deep muscle pain that SO's usual weapon of choice (the clothes brush) imparts. It left me feeling so exquisitely hot back there that I thought I'd melt.
I'm now struggling to suppress the urge to brat too much because I'm itching for seconds. I'm also thinking that I need to visit the DIY store; would they perhaps stock a bigger, meaner steel ruler mark 2?