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THE Lowly Peon

Debunking Einstein's Theory of Relativity 
06 April 2011, 11:36am

A friend of mine, perhaps known to you as one of my "milk tea girls", is getting married soon. To a guy that may or may not be smarter than Einstein.

I went to the milk tea stand to give her my guitar before I leave for the states, as she just recently started playing and it's absolutely not worth taking across the ocean. Her fiance was there, and was very interested in talking to me. After the standard "what do you do" conversation, he clearly saw the conversation as an opportunity to ask an expert a question he and his friends had been discussing.

"You've taken a plane from America to China and back, so you should know. Which is faster: flying east from China to America, or west from America to China?" Well, in that field, I am an expert. And this is a very easy question. It's faster to go east.

"No," he told me. "I think you're wrong." He then explained to me that because the Earth rotates as it does, flying west is faster. I explained to him that this weird thing called "the atmosphere" (imagine quote fingers) affects the speed of "airplanes" (also in finger quotes). We argued about that for a while, and how the wind generally blows from the west, until he got excited talking geek stuff (?) and asked me the big question.

Somehow, he communicated his question about relativity. That's right. Einstein's theory.

And then he told me bluntly that he thought it was wrong.

It was pretty bizarre having a conversation like this using unbelievably simple terms (called Peter Dialect). And after I convinced myself that maybe he wasn't the longest 10m pole moving 90% the speed of light into the shed, I steered the conversation to simpler topics and then gave him my email address, which he tried to convince me wouldn't work because he uses a @yahoo.com address, not a @gmail.com one.

It was fun.

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