Did a Grade-Schooler Just Drop an F-Bomb?

Did a Grade-Schooler Just Drop an F-Bomb?

So I’m watching this Rube Goldberg contraption. It’s the shizzle. It rifles through Newton’s wastebasket, looking for new Laws of Motion after the first three aren’t enough to get the job done. It uses hydraulics, and electromotive force, and combustion, and every darn thing they can lay their hands on in the modern snouthouse. If it’s available at the mall, it’s integrated into the action. The hammer blow to turn on the power strip and start the fan is inspired.

Then, after 6 full minutes of glorious time wasting, you introduce some sort of porcine progeny, a water balloon, and what sounds to my ear like an off-camera F-bomb, followed by a mumbled punchline that spoils the joke.

Rube Goldberg machines are fun to watch, but they’re also kind of useful learning tools. You can teach children that objects at rest stay at rest, and objects in motion stay in motion in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. They could see inertia in action, if you will. You could demonstrate the difference between contact forces and distance forces like gravity or magnetism or something. Hint at the mysteries of acceleration.

And of course, you could show the little fellow the granddaddy of all of Newton’s laws: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. You could have smacked him on the ear when he swore. You missed your big chance to teach him something useful.

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