I'm A Tech Writer Thanks To This Calvin And Hobbes Comic Strip

I wasn't supposed to be here today. Growing up, I was obsessed with dinosaurs and dreamed of becoming a paleontologist — the thought of sifting through heaps of stone and soil was far more enticing than fighting fires or learning Ninjutsu, my two fallback careers. But then Calvin's dad went and blew my mind.

"How is that possible? Is it even possible," I asked myself. And my parents. And my teachers. But nobody could produce a sufficient explanation as to how two concentric circles could travel two distances in the same time, at the same speed — at least, not in a way that a second-grader could understand. And, this being 1989, I couldn't Google it. Drastic measures — and sacrificial electronics — would be necessary.

My father's old Kenwood LP player had sat, practically unused, in its hutch in the dining room for as long as I could remember. In my mind at least, that totally designated it fair game for disassembly in the name of science. I dutifully collected the tools I would need — a ball peen hammer, flat and Phillips screwdrivers, hack saw, and slip-jaw wrench — from the tool box, set the turntable on the dining room table, and went to town stripping away components in search of their wax-spinning secrets.

I made it through all of two exterior screws and the needle holder before my parents interrupted the operation. I couldn't sit for three days afterward, and I am still banned from even touching the stereo cabinet in my parents' house 23 years later. But that seminal investigation changed the course of my life. I no longer cared for piecing together the remains of ancient animals like a macabre jigsaw puzzle. I wanted to discover how the modern world worked — how a menagerie of gears, drives, pulleys, and speakers could reproduce Led Zeppelin's Houses of the Holy or how the LP came in to existence in the first place. It was all so fascinating and perpetually new.

So thank you Bill Watterson, for helping me discover the beauty of looking to the future rather than digging through the past (even though I still secretly want to be a ninja).


Comments

    Umm... I hate to devalue your childhood, but the answer isn't really that complex
    Like... It's really easy.
    (I know that you already know the answer, but I'm going to explain it anyway; which took less than a minute)

    If you think of each grove on the record as a single point at the corresponding radius, we can calculate the distance each dot has to travel on its own cirumfrence, and the speed that it would have to maintain to achieve the same rpm.

    Even without actual numbers we can easily show why it is possible; and rather simple.

    Although the story of technological fascination was quite nice too.

      I know that you already know the answer, but I'm going to explain it anyway

      For the love of god why

        Because it is important to me that a believe that I figured out in one minute what someone else obsessed over. I'm just that guy.

          He was in grade two when he was obsessing over it,

            I think Jimmy likes feeling superior to seven year olds.

    That wasn't an explanation that a 2nd grade child could understand, in fact, I'm terrible at math and still googled a better answer than yours. So if you're going to take the time to explain something, do away with your assumptions of what is easy first, then start typing.

    "Because it is important to me that a believe that I figured out in one minute what someone else obsessed over" as a child.

    Bra-vo. *Golf-clap*

    Do you honestly think a 7yr ok'd could understand that? Adults explained it to him, just not simply enough!!

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