Sunday, January 4, 2009

Entropy at the Epiphany

I always feel an overwhelming sadness when the Christmas decorations are dismantled and the tree is put out with the rest of the seasonal litter. It might be that the family is once again dispersed; it could be that the bubble we have lived in, full of good will to all, is burst. It could be the thought of work tomorrow.
My wife noticed, amidst these thoughts and deeds, that the second law of thermodynamics reared its inevitable head in a big way. Basically, the Second Law states that entropy (chaos - but in a scientific way) tends to increase. She noticed this increase of entropy in the fairy lights that won't fit back into their box, the pine cones that will no longer occupy a single carrier bag and the Nativity set that clearly did not ever fit into anything at all.
However, the best example of entropy increase was claimed by the Christmas tree itself. Having shed very few needles from mid-December to a few hours ago, it now appears to have hopped around the house depositing its leaves everywhere. We only carried it from the living room to the front door. Needles are now in every room of the house.
I never liked Thermodynamics much at University either.

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