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
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.