Phrench Phried Physics

Recently, I was in attendance at a business meeting with several colleagues. The meeting proceeded apace, until just shortly after we had ordered lunch. The events that followed gave rise to a flurry of research and experimentation, and ultimately this paper. I discovered that simply by placing my order, I had unwittingly stumbled onto the frontier of a new science.

This phenomenon, though frequently encountered, appears to have been either completely forgotten or willingly ignored since the beginning of the history of the scientific method. I am unable to determine which condition is most appropriate since I have been entirely unsuccessful at uncovering any previous research regarding this particular

What exactly is this uncharted discipline? This heretofore unrecorded phenomenon? It is the physics of french fries. Or as this paper is officially titled: “Observation and Partial Analysis of the Variable Disappearance Rate of Deep Fried Potato Slices.” And in layman’s terms, “Why is it that the number of fries I get to eat is never equivalent to a complete order?”

Following are just three of the several experiments I have conducted.

I) I was seated with two companions. As a control measure, I have absolutely no idea what either of them had ordered. My order was a Monte Cristo sandwich and french fries. Shortly after our food was delivered, I excused myself to retrieve some important papers from my store. (We were in a restaurant at the mall where my store was located.) On my return, I immediately noticed that the volume of the french fries on my plate was considerably reduced from what it had been originally.

Curious, but not yet alarmed, I inquired of the waitress as to the weight of an order of fries before serving. She, looking at me as if I had lost my mind, indicated that she had absolutely no idea (especially since there is no record of any prior research into this subject) what I was asking, but helpfully suggested that I ask the cook, who was sure to know. This astute piece of advice turned out to be the crux of this entire investigation, and the clue that ultimately led to my conclusions.

From interrogating the cook, I determined that the original weight was two ounces. Ignoring the strident protests of the waitress, the thoroughly interrogated cook, and the manager, I hurriedly scooped up the remaining potatoes and dumped them onto the scale. There was only a single ounce! Half of the original volume had disappeared, giving rise to the formula:

where ‘x’ is the volume of fries I was able to eat, ‘y’ is the original volume of fries on the order, ‘t’ is the amount of time I was gone, and ‘n’, the number of companions at the table.

II) The second experiment, initially, was identical: the same companions, the same orders, the same waitress, and exactly the same amount of fries on the order. (Yes, I asked.) This time, however, before leaving the table, I doused the items in question quite thoroughly with ketchup, thus introducing a random number, K, into the equation. Not only did the number of fries that disappeared increase, so too, did the rate of disappearance. Thus:

III) Not wanting to jump to any hasty conclusions, the next day I conducted yet a third experiment and drastically altered the parameters to point up any flaws in my still young hypothesis. This time, I eliminated my companions—I mean I didn’t invite them to lunch, not that I actually eliminated them—I eliminated my disappearance from the table, and I eliminated the Monte Cristo. This time the results were absolutely astounding! The number and weight of fries on the order equaled the number and weight of the fries I ate!

I ordered a second batch and again added the random number k. Once again,

Two possible theories readily suggest themselves from these experiments:

  1. A Monte Cristo either produces or attracts a black hole that devours only french fries;
  2. A Monte Cristo secretes, or exudes antimatter particles that reach out like fingers to annihilate the physical substance of french fried potatoes.

Obviously, much more research into this burgeoning science will be required before any definite conclusions can be reached, and tons of government money will be required to do this research. However, I believe a word of caution is in order here. We do not know yet that these black holes or antimatter particles confine themselves to the destruction of only french fries. The first step, and probably the most expensive, is going to be in determining what other substances are at risk. Please send your contributions to the Phrench Phried Physics Research Center in Glendale, AZ so that we may continue this important work.


This legal disclaimer and warning label is required by the FDA, the FCC, the IRS, the Surgeon General, the ATF, DOT, FBI, OSHA, NASA, the local PTA, and the OMB.

Please observe all known and implied safety measures when conducting your own experiments in this area. Remember, new sciences can be dangerous to the unwary experimenter.

Computer Crash


This is an article on a topic that has interested me for forty years. All that science fiction I read as a kid still coursing through my veins, I guess. Article: Space Elevators

It is a great piece. Although, in reading through initially, the cynic in me is hoping that the computer software system would be written by somebody other than Microsoft. Or Macintosh, for that matter. It would really suck to get 50,000km outbound and have the operating system lock up, then have to wait for days until an A+ MCSE professional could be "brought in" to fix the problem. And then the really nasty little voice in my head whispers… "Yeah, kinda lends a whole new meaning to the phrase ‘computer crash’, don’t it?"

God Sends Me Email

From time to time (every couple of hours it seems) I receive an email threatening to provide a blessing or a miracle, or the thing my heart most desires. It has to be God sending me email—who else would know what my heart most desires? You see, that desire changes on occasion. First thing in the morning, what I desire most is a cup of black coffee. Or three. At dinner time, that desire is to make it through dinner without some idiot calling me, trying to give me a weekend at a Sedona resort. Or sell me aluminum siding. I live in Phoenix, Arizona. Houses here are made from cement blocks, or covered in stucco. Not aluminum siding. This whole city is a resort. If I could afford it, I could golf 365 days a year, and swim for over 200. And if I head up north to Sedona, I most definitely am not going to sit through some 90 minute time share presentation.

According to these multifarious emails, it seems I will receive this magnanimous bounty from God if I will only read and forward said email to at least seven people. Or everybody I know. Or everybody I know who could use cheering up, or a hug. Or simply the sheer joy of receiving an email from me… well, not from me exactly. Forwarded by me.

I’m sure you know the ones I’m talking about. The subject is always the same: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd: Fwd:, followed by a list of 400 names (all but one or two you won’t recognize) and their email addresses, and who they forwarded it to. And because God read’s all emails sent—or forwarded—by anyone, some of these people feel guilty about sending, or forwarding just another bit of fluff without personalizing it, so below their name, and their email address and who they sent it to and when, you find bits and pieces of failed attempts at keeping in contact. Phrases like "thinking of you", or "thought you might enjoy this", or "miss you", or "reminds me of the time…".

In this way consciences are assuaged, hearts are healed and we have kept in touch. Through email. And we shall be blessed because God reads all our email. He must have a total of 10 or 12 pieces by now—four thousand times each, so far today—and therefore he knows the promises of his blessings contained within each one. That is of course unless God does what I do… DELETE anything that contains Fwd: more than once in the subject line.

If you truly want to receive God’s blessing for you and your family, and your seven favorite friends, and their families, and each of their seven favorite friends, and each of the families of those friends of the families of your seven favorite friends, you must immediately forward a link to this page to everyone you know, and everyone they know and everyone you will have known by some future date. If you don’t, God will know, and he will see to it that your fingers rot and fall off.

Send in the Clones

Well, the government did it to us, the American Public, once again. This is a perfect example of unnecessary, inordinate, and unwanted government intervention; in short, an invasion of privacy commensurate to tyranny. Far worse than something as trivial as mandatory seatbelt or insurance laws, or even the ridiculous no smoking craze that has swept the country, this latest executive order from the office of the president will have grave, far reaching consequences for us and our children and their children and…  Poised on the brink of greatness, teetering on the edge of a financial bonanza, the likes of which have never been conceived, the President has squelched all hope and relegated us to vainly trying to pass balanced budget amendments for the country, and sentenced the general public to continuing to live pay check to pay check with the simple scrawling of his signature.

Science has presented us with the opportunity to once and for all anhilate the national debt, and quite possibly make a handsome profit to boot, while simultaneously advancing the scope of the human species beyond any imagination. Sure, we’ve had the technology to clone reptiles or simple cells in an egg for years, but those things obviously never held much financial potential. If they did, then we would have all been made rich already from the proceeds of selling frog legs and grade A, extra large eggs to the restaurants and grocery stores around the world.

Now, the brilliant scientists of this country have presented us the opportunity to clone mammals (man is a mammal for those of you who might
have been wondering) with the successful cloning of both sheep and monkeys. If we can clone a monkey, the animal science calls our closest relative,
how far off can the successful cloning of a human being be?

Though I admit sheep probably have more market value than monkeys, just imagine the potential amount of income that could be generated from cloning humans. Staggering, isn’t it? The cloning business alone could produce enough cash flow to guarantee that every man, woman and child in America would never want for anything again. We could truly be what we’ve always claimed to be: the richest nation in the world.

We’re not simply talking material things either, but cold, hard cash. By keeping this technology to ourselves and selling the final product, we could solve all of the world’s problems. If we cloned the scientists working on this project, I am certain there would be such an enormous influx of genius to the human population that no problem, no disease, no shortcoming could stand before us. I wonder just how much might a third world country be willing to pay for such a ready solution?