Physics For Adolescent Males

on Thursday, November 13, 2008

Okay, I admit to being a big fan of Shakira and her mesmerizing hips. I blame this on my physics teacher back in school. In trying to explain the concept of simple harmonic motion to us impressionable youngsters, he used the example of the sway of a woman's hips. For you cold scientific types, the swing of a pendulum is a more commonly quoted example of simple harmonic motion or SHM. I guess that he thought that young adolescent males who have probably never seen a grandfather clock would have very little interest in pendulums. Swinging pendulums versus swinging hips - no contest, he probably thought.

So if you catch me looking at swaying hips, I am merely studying physics or so I try to tell my wife. Even as I write this the following words from the song "Girl from Ipanema" comes to mind;

"Tall and tan and young and lovely,
the Girl from Ipanema goes walking and,
when she passes, each time she passes,
I go ......aaaaaaaahhh."

Anyway SHM or Shakira's Hip Movements is the extreme example of Simple Harmonic Motion or SHM. For your introduction to physics, I have included two videos. The first is Shakira, herself performing during the 2006 World Cup (Soccer) and the second is a video of a bunch of Shakira wanna-be's and some of them aren't half bad and some of them are real funny.

The real thing.

The imitations.


VioletSky said...

hmm, having taken one, belly dancing course, I would not describe this as a 'simple' motion!

MedStudentWife said...

*lol*... and in answer unexpectedly to Violetsky..after years of traditional belly dance, to actually dance/choreograph to one of Shakira's song...she is the mistress of SHM !!!

I totally understand your prof pedagogical approach.


Molly said...

Hmmm... Yes. I see why you'd have such an academic interest! And this would indeed wake up those adolescent males taking a nap in physics class.....That Mo Collins is a hoot!

Dr.John said...

Boy that's not the way my physics teacher taught it.

Ruth W. said...

If I tried that, I'm sure I would pull my back out!!!

Looks like fun though.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I am sure that it isn't easy. But the really good talents take something difficult and make it look easy. As for me, my belly dances too but not in an attractive way. Sigh.

We were very difficult students. He had to take extreme measures to keep our attention. In some cses, electric shock was applied but that is another story.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

strangely though, physics still was not a favorite of mine. What can I say? There was no .......chemistry?

dr. john,
Perhaps it should have been the way he taught it! :)

please don't try this at home. It was carried out by trained professionals and strange, extremely limber people. :)

tsduff said...

I can't vouch for you - alas I'm a girl. I have loved the "Girl from Impanema" since I was a child listening to it and trying to reproduce it from my accordian record on my own accordian... I still love it although it has been awhile since I've listened to or played it. Beyond that... (ha ha, swing of a pendulum or simple harmonic motion... HA HA HA HA what a crock! Good try though my little squirrelly friend. ;D

tsduff said...

ps: I just watched both videos... quite entertaining! Makes a person want to get up and shake it :D

squirrelmama said...

LGS, you are not only insightful and clever, you are downright HIP!!

Jo said...


I notice in your profile that you are a scientist, and this is all purely in the interests of science, of course.

I love the music!

Marja said...

My daughter has exam in physics tomorrow I must show her that video
It would help would it
I am back in town again squirrel so you can drive me nuts

MedStudentWife said...

okay - now I want to know about the electrical shocks!!!

I won't tell you what we used to do in grade 5, other than it involved a hand-cranked generator, a light bulb and the discovery that if you put a left finger and a right finger on the 2 posts and had someone crank til the light bulb lit up.....

It was even more fun when we took the light bulb out. I used to always win the "who can stay connected the longest" competition.

Wonder if that is why my hair is curly.....

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

"what a crock?" Well, that's what I think of quantum physics!

Why, thank you!

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Well, not just in the interest of science.....there's some artistic beauty there too!

Hope your daughter did well in her exams. Welcome back. I shall consider it my duty to drivre you nuts.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Something similar! We would stand in a circle with someone holding a lead to a spark plug if I recall (memory not so clear probably due to brain damage from shock therapy) and someone else would crank up the dynamo and we would all get a jolt that we could feel in our joints.

meggie said...

Hmmm, I think the hippy hippy shake is much more difficult than it looks. The pendulum will never fail!

Eastcoastdweller said...

It's a primate thing, this human male fascination with well-shaped, attention-getting female hips.

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

I can't do the hippy hippy shake myself .......although my beer belly does dance but that is really not appropriate youtube material.

It is innocent scientific interest and specifically interest in physics! That's my story and I am sticking with it!

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