November 02, 2006

Other Side of the Street Theorem

My friend brought to my attention a very interesting phenomenon, right here in our nation's capital. I call it the Bus Clumping Phenomenon. It goes like this.

a. Have you ever noticed that there are sometimes 2, 3, or sometimes 4 commuter buses in a row in the morning? I always thought that there was someone at the bus headquarters who screwed up the dispatch schedule.

b. But it turns out that the reason for this bus clumping is that the first bus has a lot of people to pick up in the morning. And thus, with all the little old ladies trembling their way up the stairs, the bus is slowed down and takes a long time to finish its usual route.

c. The second bus has fewer passengers to pick up along the way (since the first bus picked them up). Consequently, this second bus is much faster on its route.

d. It soon catches up to the overloaded first bus and, voila! A bus clump has formed.


Inspired by this rather astute observation, I present you my very own equation. I have noticed that -when I am waiting for a bus in the morning freezing my buns off- the buses on the other side of the street come much more frequently than the buses on MY side of the street. I swear this is true. I call it the Other Side of the Street Theorem. I haven't quite figured out how it happens yet, but I'll certainly think about it when I'm waiting at the bus stop tomorrow morning.

3 comments:

Victoria said...

Sweet pea, please don't complain. I can out-bus you and out-cold you any day of the week!

Victoria said...

PS: That yellow thing fascinates me. How you get any work done with those things in your drawers is beyond me!

Congogirl said...

That happens here, too. Also, the buses get filled up so if they don't occasionally clump, or the people are too Puritan to clump inside the bus to fit more people, students will miss class.