Posted by: sharethewhine | January 25, 2010

Physics and Phun

I never thought I would miss my MRI textbook from last semester. In hindsight, I have a much greater appreciation for Dr. Bushong’s metaphoric examples and bad jokes. My new MRI textbook is much more focused on the mathematical side of physics, which is definitely NOT my strong suit. Instead of stating “the apple is red’, as Dr. Bushong would have done, the new book will be along the lines of: If photosynthesis can be stated by the formula p= f(x)/q where x= the apple and also x= qy/(pi)2 then when we combine the two formulas, we can state that…..

By the end of the page, I have lost track of the apple entirely and no longer care about the colour. I don’t want to know how the apple came to be red! Let’s face it, I won’t understand half of the math anyway, so stop wasting pages. I find I am sifting through a lot of blah, blah, blah to get to the concept being stated. One entire chapter of the new text is one long, 3-page mathematical proof. To add salt to the wound, one of my assignment questions asks me to describe the relationship between the different factors. I still don’t know if I am expected to summarize the proof in words (good luck with that) or if just spitting out the final equation will suffice.

I miss Dr. Bushong’s awful jokes, too. For example, he would constantly refer to the outer shell of an MR unit as “decorative plastic housing”. When describing the drastic effects of a quench, he described the dangerous gases leaking out of the MR unit and also stated that personnel and patients needed to evacuate immediately “because both gases can displace oxygen and cause asphyxiation. Then, as you lay dying, your voice will sound like that of Donald Duck.” Hee, hee. Twisted, but damn funny! I also enjoyed his description of imaginary numbers. He explained that the terms “real” and “imaginary” are just imaginative names used by mathematicians and could “be called anything: parts A and B, left and right, Brenda and Fred.” One illustration was pointing out that while the ideal configuration for an MR coil would be through the patient, obviously that isn’t ideal for the actual patient. The drawing showed a mustachioed, woe-begotten cartoon version of Dr. Bushong with the coil sticking out of his abdomen. Awesome.

Well, this math isn’t going to solve itself, so I will get back at it. TTFN



  1. oh now that does sound like the best text ever. I would miss it too. If it is any consolation, I have been in statistical/numerical hell with work lately.

    Don’t worry, just keep thinking it is all temporary.

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