Crush and the paper A sizes…

But first…
Dulltown, UK: Today’s colours are: raptor russet, floppy fawn, bellicose blue, gremlin green, snogging sage, and that sort of indefinable pale cream colour of that old piece of skirting board in the bathroom.

Oh, it’s a PDF!… I, er… What are PDFs?… Oh, yes I remember now…
Anyway, I got one of those this morning from Veronica Crush, writer from the glory days of the Hull Surrealist League, now living in New York with tall tree surgeon and heir to a multimillion dollar fortune Monty Tick. It turned out to be one of her ‘stories’ for me to share with the world on these pages:

Knobby Coop always liked to extrapolate.
Back at school he would sit in science class as if in a trance, staring unblinking into the far distance, pondering on the possible extent of almost everything that was mentioned in the lesson.
At first he was so thrilled when he was shown how the extrapolated straight line graph of heat loss cuts the horizontal axis at minus 273 degrees Celsius, the place where everything is stiller than still, and all things stop jiggling – but later when he realised that that was it in terms of coldness, he felt a sudden frustration that there was nowhere else to go in that direction – he decided not to change his name to Zero Kelvin after all.
Extrapolating up the other end of the temperature scale suggested itself and he was intrigued for a while, but of course all that warmth would eventually fizzle out in the heat death of the universe, which was for Knobby, and everyone else, sort of depressing – and it was really a bit of a cosmic let-down…
He hated dictionaries, even the great big fat ones like that famous Oxford one – it was just A to Z, there was nothing to grab hold of and extrapolate in there, it was pretty well all cut and dried. Mathematics attracted him for a while, but that black art, though intricate in the middle was unpleasantly truncated at one end by zero and at the other by annoying infinities of various kinds – anyway Coop was surprisingly bad at algebra.
In the 1970s Britain joined the European Common Market and there was a whiff in the air of things Metric, and as a result Imperial began to shuffle its feet in a nervous manner. All this didn’t matter much to Knobby, but when those ‘A’ sizes of paper started to appear, elbowing out the wonderfully named; foolscap, demy, royal, pinched post, double elephant, etc. he wasn’t at first very interested, but when he realised the cleverness of the design of the ‘A’ size he was utterly gripped. He gasped in awe when he folded his first sheet of A4 in two and produced something called A5, which had the exact same proportions as its mother sheet. He smiled and then giggled as he folded again and made a a baby A6… He felt a tingle of something stirring – this was right up his street! Here in his hand, was beauty!…
It was just two years later when he published his first physics paper in that prestigious journal Nature. He had sweated over it and had struggled heroically with the maths, but it was received to great acclaim all around the world – and there were rumours of a possible Nobel Prize.
What Knobby had done was prove an indisputable connection between the A paper sizes and the Planck length. (PL) He extrapolated down from the smallest available A paper size (generally considered to be A8, or A9) by folding and folding, and increasing the A number well past the size of a pea, to a grain of rice, to something the width of a human hair, and down to, well… Eventually he was regularly and dexterously bending large molecules in two and giving them an A number.
From there he went off to CERN and started on folding uranium atoms, then iron, and ending up partially bending a hydrogen nucleus – that of course produced what he calls an A33 ‘sheet’. Coop is currently working on an envelope to put it in, which will be named the C33 ‘self-seal’.
When interviewed by the BBC last Tuesday in the CERN staff canteen he hinted that his next project will be the A-folding of spacetime itself…

Veronica Crush 2017.

About Dave Whatt

Grumpy old surrealist artist, musician, postcard maker, bluesman, theatre set designer, and debonair man-about-town. My favourite tools are the plectrum and the pencil...
This entry was posted in brain, colours, humour, story, surrealism, thinking, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Crush and the paper A sizes…

  1. Dana Doran says:

    oh, you had to go there! I’m sure your Planck length ruler is waiting to take a measurement of that C33 self sealer?

  2. Dana Doran says:

    oh wait, discussed this over a breakfast of fried jambon and eggs…….. C = h f
    It gave me a headache!

  3. Sharon Mann says:

    Well,I’m throughly confused (haha) but always love your prose Dave.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s