Everyone Is Jumping Off the Brooklyn Bridge

Friday, October 06, 2006

Blinded With Science: The gravitational force of a pancreas


At the risk of making this seem like a regular feature (I would run out of material waaay too quickly), I just have to comment on the new Weird Al song "Pancreas".

"Pancreas", from Straight Outta Lynwood, is a parody of the style of Brian Wilson and, to a lesser extent, The Beach Boys in general.  Listening to the song I think I can pick out parts that mimic the style of "Vegetables", "Roll Plymouth Rock", "God Only Knows", and "Wouldn't It Be Nice"... but that's not really the point, which I'm getting farther and farther away from.

The following brilliant line (or stanza, rather) comes from the song, hiding in the middle of many interesting facts about the pancreas itself:

My pancreas attracts every other pancreas in the universe
With a force (with a force) (with a force) proportional
To the product of their masses
And inversely (Oooh ooh-ooh ooh) proportional
To the distance between them

Disturbing, yet basically true.  All objects follow the same laws of gravity, meaning that they are guided by Newton's basic law of gravity, as described above.  (Technically, general relativity overrode this rule, but let's wait 'til we have a grand unified theory to nitpick that.)  Your pancreas is indeed attracted to Weird Al's pancreas in the manner that he described.

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