Day 100: Shrivel Drivel

The first stop of the day was Ballycroy National Park, an expanse of mountains and boglands in County Mayo that is home to a variety of rare plant and animal species. Its visitor center offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. The group did several hikes in the park before heading west to County Sligo.

William Butler Yeats was born in Dublin, but his parents were from County Sligo, and he often spent summers there with relatives. Some of his poems are set in the area. Laetitia and her group visited Merville, where the Yeats grandparents lived. They ended the day in Curry, primarily because an American physics professor who was on the tour had had a student from there and wanted to see the town. Some members of Laetitia’s group were skeptical about having a nerd in the group, but when they went to a pub in Curry and had a few drinks, he became the life of the party.

One of his best stories concerned his student from Curry. In a segment on relativistic physics, his class studied the Lorentz contraction, the phenomenon of a decrease in length seen by an observer in objects that move relative to the observer. The student scheduled an appointment, but instead of wanting to discuss the usual grade issues, he was concerned that his male member would shrink (as perceived by his paramour) if he made love too fast. He seemed relieved when he learned that the contraction was only significant at relative velocities near the speed of light. It provided the limerick of the day.

‘Twas a source of significant worry
For a young physics student from Curry
Would the Lorenz contraction
Mar his satisfaction
Each time he made love in a hurry?