physics

Newton’s law of inertia states that if a body is at rest or moving in a straight line, it will continue to stay at rest or move in its straight line until it is acted upon by an external, unbalanced force.

Essentially: things tend to continue doing what they’re already doing until something interferes.

A car in motion will continue in motion until; brakes are applied; air resistance and friction with the road bring it to a gradual standstill; or it collides with something.

Like cars hurtling down the freeway, our lives are in a state of inertia too. We are so engrained in our habits, our little rattles and splutters, that until something stuns us into change, we usually don’t.

The tiles in your bathroom are exactly the same temperature as your bathmat.

But it don’t feel that way.

Physics 101 taught us that when things feel hot or cold, it’s not their actual temperatures we’re meassuing. We only feel temperature of things in relation to ourselves.

When you first dive into a pool on a warm day, it feels freezing at first because your body was acclimatised to the heat outside.

But as your skin cools to an equilibrium temperature with the water, the water seems to get warmer.

In reality, you jumping in barely changes the temperature of the pool water at all.

But the variance in temperature between your skin and the water has reduced greatly as your body has cooled.

Hopping back to bathroom tiles, the second factor we need to understand when thinking about temperature exchange is the conductivity of different things.

When you walk into your bathroom in the morning, you dart over the tiles and onto the bathmat not because it’s warmer, but because it takes a lot longer to exchange it’s temperature with yours.

Before you enter the room they are exactly the same temperature, and each share the exact same variance in temperature with the sole of your foot.

The difference is that your tiles are far more conductive. They equalise temperature with your feet much quicker than the bathmat.

The tiles have a higher capacity for receiving and exchanging heat. The tiles are more sensitive to the incoming heat transferred through your foot. They experience your heat more intensely, and you experience a more intebse feeling of cold.

In a similar way, some people are more sensitive to certain inputs that others.

This conductivity is not necessarily a weakness. Even if at times it’s inconvenient.

Tiles and bathmats each serve their purpose.

Don’t judge a book by it’s conductivity.