[Tiger Woods] is busy, hasn't got a lot of time, but wants to catch up on what's happening in physics...
December 4, 2009 7:02 AM   Subscribe

At least something good for someone has come out of the whole Tiger Woods brouhaha. Photos of Woods' wrecked SUV reveal a copy of Get a Grip on Physics on the floor of the Escalade's back seat.

This has been enough to send the book, a 1999 overview of modern physics for the intelligent layman, now out of print, rocketing up Amazon's sales charts. Author John Gribbin is a bit bemused, but does manage to come up with a previously unknown, quantum physics-related Tiger Woods joke.
posted by Naberius (60 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
 
The Tiger Woods story is getting people to dip into physics.

Physics got me to dip into the Tiger Woods fiasco.
posted by DU at 7:07 AM on December 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


It may also be improving people's vocabulary. "Transgressions" topped Google Trends for searches from the USA.
posted by bap98189 at 7:11 AM on December 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Ah yes. We physicists don't like to brag about it, but a solid foundation in quantum mechanics is all you'll need to win the Masters. I'd do it myself if I wasn't so busy.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 7:12 AM on December 4, 2009 [9 favorites]


96 of 102 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, December 2, 2009
By A. Mckenzie - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)
This book is great, but I wouldn't recommend keeping it in your car. It is so good that it might distract you, causing you to mysteriously run into fire hydrants and trees.

posted by Burhanistan at 7:13 AM on December 4, 2009 [14 favorites]


Guy is married to a Swedish model that looks like an idealized characture of a sex goddess out of a Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual or something, and he still wants more. This does not give me hope for men.
posted by KokuRyu at 7:19 AM on December 4, 2009 [10 favorites]


Tiger is currently learning more about friction than he expected, amirite?
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:29 AM on December 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Conversation I just had with work friend who is pretty familiar with Metafilter:

Me: Oh, there's finally a Tiger Woods post on Metafilter.

WF: I wonder why there hasn't been one sooner.

Me: Because we're better than that on Metafilter.

WF: You're not better than that on Metafilter.
posted by marxchivist at 7:35 AM on December 4, 2009 [21 favorites]


MetaFilter: We're just slower than that.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 7:39 AM on December 4, 2009 [8 favorites]


Hmmm. It's Yay! Science! posts like this that make me hate Science! just a little bit. Which is bit of a pain as I have to rely on gravity and a whole bunch of electricity & mechanics to get me down 10 floors in a few minutes.
posted by i_cola at 7:44 AM on December 4, 2009


Used to be in the flush days that publishers would maintain stables of unstable celebrities who'd agree to flagrantly toss around before the paparazzi a copy of a book to be pushed during a hair-shaving episode or a coke-pants arrest (in return for a quietly paid fee, of course). —Nowadays, as with so much else in book publicity, the author's expected to do it on their own dime and time. I congratulate John Gribbin on his initiative.

Christ but this is depressing on so many levels.
posted by kipmanley at 7:45 AM on December 4, 2009


I thought we were just shying away from joining in on media freakouts after Balloon Boy? I mean, we were THIS CLOSE to starting a Team Metafilter project to attempt to deliver young Falcon food, books, and greeting cards via homemade UAVs.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:46 AM on December 4, 2009


Guy is married to a Swedish model that looks like an idealized characture of a sex goddess out of a Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual or something, and he still wants more. This does not give me hope for men.

I don't think that's a fair statement. For one, it takes two people to cheat. For two, ugly people cheat all the time too, they just don't make the papers.

Woods was practically raised from birth to do nothing but be a star golf player. Recall what we now know about Andre Agassi. I'm not condoning his infidelity, but I wouldn't be surprised at all if his philandering is a symptom of other problems.
posted by device55 at 7:49 AM on December 4, 2009 [3 favorites]


We had to wait for the cool science tie-in before recognizing the Tiger Woods kerfuffle - it's how we roll.
posted by exogenous at 8:00 AM on December 4, 2009 [5 favorites]


I believe he had the Selfish Gene in the glovebox.
posted by Elmore at 8:01 AM on December 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Guy is married to a Swedish model that looks like an idealized characture of a sex goddess out of a Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual or something, and he still wants more. This does not give me hope for men.

Perhaps it proves the point that you need more than money and looks to have a real relationship?
posted by blue_beetle at 8:05 AM on December 4, 2009


Guy is married to a Swedish model that looks like an idealized characture of a sex goddess out of a Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual or something, and he still wants more. This does not give me hope for men.

This statement assumes that his only motivation for his relationship with his wife is sexual, and that his only motivation for cheating could be sexual. That does not give me hope for your view of men.
posted by LooseFilter at 8:06 AM on December 4, 2009 [11 favorites]


Just popping in to say I love me some John Gribbin. His In Search of Schrodinger's Cat read like a suspense novel with the two slit experiment being the jaw dropping climax. At least it did for me, who didn't already know much about physics.
posted by cimbrog at 8:09 AM on December 4, 2009


Guy is married to a Swedish model that looks like an idealized characture of a sex goddess out of a Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual or something, and he still wants more

Perfect-looking is not a synonym for perfect.
posted by smackfu at 8:11 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


More like Cheetah Woods, right?!!?
posted by inigo2 at 8:26 AM on December 4, 2009 [6 favorites]


It takes physics books to bring the tabloid stories to Metafilter.

We're nerdy like that.
posted by Theta States at 8:28 AM on December 4, 2009


What's this nonsense about "cheating," anyway? I'm not really following it, but last I heard, he made some mumbling apology about his "transgressions," and people extrapolated, right?

Maybe his home is a vegetarian household, and he was sneaking a cheeseburger at 2am?
Maybe he has a secret smoking habit and was sneaking off to get a pack at the 7-Eleven?
Maybe he knows better than to talk about Fight Club?

We can't really know, and assuming it's "cheating" is also to assume that there were "rules" in place that prevented what he was doing. Too often people assume that their expectations in a relationship are the same as others, when that might not really be the case. For all we really know, his wife's rules might just be, "I won't ask, you don't tell, don't bring anything home, and don't crash the SUV."

On that last bit, he transgressed, and he is sorry.
posted by explosion at 8:38 AM on December 4, 2009 [4 favorites]




Every golf pro has a copy of Get a Grip on Physics within arm's reach. It's the secret manual for improving one's golf swing.
posted by Partial Panel at 8:49 AM on December 4, 2009


Physics got me to dip into the Tiger Woods fiasco.

I'm happy to have kept enough distance from this story as to be entirely unaware of what is being dipped, or where.
posted by troybob at 8:52 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


This explains everything! The mysterious mad dash at 2:45 a.m. The immediate crash into the hydrant. The golf club wielding wife. The innuendo and apology. It's all part of a book promotion for an out-of-print physics primer. Do you think that a book that ranks 200,000 on the Amazon best seller list just happened to be on the floor of Tiger Wood's car? Come on people! Brand placement is everything these days. Makes more sense to me than anything else out there in the tabloids.

Nike is probably kicking itself for not thinking of this.
posted by birdwatcher at 9:02 AM on December 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Guy is married to a Swedish model that looks like an idealized characture of a sex goddess out of a Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual or something, and he still wants more. This does not give me hope for men.
Until people started responding to this, I thought 'wants more' meant also wants to know something about physics.
posted by Killick at 9:09 AM on December 4, 2009 [8 favorites]


Let us not forget the Greek goddess Tiger is involved with.

Nike is seen with wings in most statues and paintings, to remind people that victory is fleeting.

characture caricature (from "exaggerate", not "character")
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 9:30 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Seriously, why do people give a shit about this Tiger Woods whatever crap?
posted by m0nm0n at 9:43 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wait, what do we know about Andre Agassi?
posted by anazgnos at 9:43 AM on December 4, 2009


Seriously, why do people give a shit about this Tiger Woods whatever crap?

Because people take pleasure in seeing the "perfect" athlete having real problems just like them.
posted by smackfu at 9:44 AM on December 4, 2009


Every golf pro has a copy of Get a Grip on Physics within arm's reach. It's the secret manual for improving one's golf swing.

That was my thought exactly. I love this, though! I've never been a Woods fan. I'm more of a Rocco Mediate fan, myself. But this totally makes me like Tiger a tiny bit (something all those video games, charity events, and credit card commercials could never do). So perhaps this was a ploy to lure in all those nerds unmoved by conspicuous consumption and bling.
posted by bluefly at 9:58 AM on December 4, 2009


Guy is married to a Swedish model that looks like an idealized characture of a sex goddess out of a Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual or something, and he still wants more

Maybe he was looking for someone who wouldn't beat the shit out of him with a golf club?
posted by Justinian at 10:01 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


Seriously, why do people give a shit about this Tiger Woods whatever crap?

conformity: Action or behavior in correspondence with socially accepted standards, conventions, rules, or laws

people in slavery have their own mental integrity and their own mechanisms for surviving. Some may actually like different aspects of their life, perhaps the security or their understanding of the order of things. When you disrupt this order, suddenly everything is confused
posted by larry_darrell at 10:02 AM on December 4, 2009


Seriously, why do people give a shit about this Tiger Woods whatever crap?

Are you shitting me? A normally anodyne superstar athlete has his face damaged by his Swedish-model girlfriend, who then charges after his SUV to deliver a coup de grâce with a motherfucking golf club? Because this nominally anodyne superstar athlete has been carrying on like a total dog?

I can only conclude that you are a troll or an alien, unsuccessfully trying to pass as human. People generally like good drama, to some extent or another. This here is good drama.
posted by everichon at 10:08 AM on December 4, 2009 [4 favorites]


I'm not seeing how Woods is "anodyne"...
posted by Burhanistan at 10:12 AM on December 4, 2009


If only Elin Woods had replaced her divot, none of this would have gotten this far.
posted by Danf at 10:13 AM on December 4, 2009


A normally anodyne superstar athlete has his face damaged by his Swedish-model girlfriend,

That would be his wife and mother of his two children, the oldest being 2 and the youngest being about 10 months old.
posted by anniecat at 10:14 AM on December 4, 2009


Get a Grip on Physics' spike in sales kind of validates the millions in endorsement deals Woods gets.

Now if only I thought there were any chance any of these people would actually finish the book. (Disclosure: I still haven't read the copy of Gribbin's In Search of Schrödinger's Cat that I got for a nickel at a library sale.)
posted by Zed at 10:16 AM on December 4, 2009 [1 favorite]


That would be his wife and mother of his two children, the oldest being 2 and the youngest being about 10 months old.

Don't go asking me to read beyond the sub-headlines. I am so busy!
posted by everichon at 10:19 AM on December 4, 2009


That would be his wife and mother of his two children, the oldest being 2 and the youngest being about 10 months old.

You forgot "And spousal abuser who has used her status to avoid charges for beating the shit out of her partner", or is that one of those things that's only bad when famous men do it?
posted by rodgerd at 10:45 AM on December 4, 2009


spousal abuser who has used her status to avoid charges for beating the shit out of her partner.. and then extort 60 mil to keep her mouth shut.
posted by CynicalKnight at 12:12 PM on December 4, 2009


I dunno about "extort". I bet an "offer" of 60 million won't be enough to keep her and her kids in that fishbowl for another year.
And the "offer" may be less about Elin and more about the publicity being worth half a billion to the right sponsors. Nike might resurrect "Just do it."
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 12:36 PM on December 4, 2009



Guy is married to a Swedish model that looks like an idealized characture of a sex goddess out of a Dungeons and Dragons Monster Manual or something, and he still wants more. This does not give me hope for men.

I don't care how hot the SO is. You get tired of it. You can carry on and scream and stamp your feet all you want. Men want NP. It's biological. It's a basic human condition. Any normal man who can easily attract women who says otherwise is either lying. And if he is not lying, then he has been shamed into- or socially conditioned into saying he prefers to be monogamous.
posted by Zambrano at 1:09 PM on December 4, 2009


Men want NP.

So in this case, P ≠ NP?
posted by tommasz at 1:20 PM on December 4, 2009 [10 favorites]


I don't care how hot the SO is. You get tired of it. You can carry on and scream and stamp your feet all you want. Men want NP. It's biological. It's a basic human condition. Any normal man who can easily attract women who says otherwise is either lying. And if he is not lying, then he has been shamed into- or socially conditioned into saying he prefers to be monogamous.

False Consensus Effect
posted by mpbx at 1:23 PM on December 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


Took you long enough to show up and drop some dumb generalization about sexuality, Zambrano.
posted by Burhanistan at 1:28 PM on December 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's probably a good thing you don't have you're name in your profile, I'm sure the ladies must just flock to you with that attitude. [hamburger]
posted by edgeways at 1:29 PM on December 4, 2009


damnit, not "-'re"
posted by edgeways at 1:29 PM on December 4, 2009


Yay! Is it "make unverifiable generalizations" time again? Is this where I claim that men cheat because they confuse physical intimacy with emotional intimacy?
posted by muddgirl at 1:37 PM on December 4, 2009


Men want NP.
Dear AkMeFi: How can I get my wife to be more interested/accepting of nondeterminism?
posted by hattifattener at 1:44 PM on December 4, 2009 [10 favorites]


I think men cheat because they are compelled to by psi-based parasitic alien lifeforms that use infidelity to propagate themselves.


Not original, can't remember the name of the piece
posted by Salvor Hardin at 1:45 PM on December 4, 2009


That sounds like a variation of the plot of Decoys.
posted by exogenous at 2:12 PM on December 4, 2009


I think men (and women) cheat because they are missing something in a relationship. Even in healthy relationships, people cheat. If at the very least, they miss the adventure that they crave, they cheat.

I personally would cheat if I had hot girls hitting on me all the time, like a billionaire celebrity does.
posted by subaruwrx at 2:20 PM on December 4, 2009


A normally anodyne superstar athlete has his face damaged by his Swedish-model girlfriend

You'd think the aluminum oxide shell would have protected his face from scratches.
posted by dirigibleman at 2:25 PM on December 4, 2009 [2 favorites]


That sounds like a variation of the plot of Decoys.

I just figured it out (with the lovely cygnet's help) - it was the short story "Hostess" by Asimov.
posted by Salvor Hardin at 2:32 PM on December 4, 2009


>I can only conclude that you are a troll or an alien, unsuccessfully trying to pass as human. People generally like good drama, to some extent or another. This here is good drama.

Hey now, I was just as interested as anyone in Balloon Boy. But this Tiger Woods thing...forgive me for not being surprised by a sports superstar getting some strange. So he wrecked his car and made some vague apologetic statement -- so what? This is important enough to warrant the fervor people seem to have for more details? Who cares?

As always, The Daily Show says it best.
posted by m0nm0n at 3:48 PM on December 4, 2009


characture/strikethrough --> caricature (from "exaggerate", not "character")

Yeah, this spelling mistake was bugging me all day
posted by KokuRyu at 6:16 PM on December 4, 2009


I dunno about "extort". I bet an "offer" of 60 million won't be enough to keep her and her kids in that fishbowl for another year.
And the "offer" may be less about Elin and more about the publicity being worth half a billion to the right sponsors. Nike might resurrect "Just do it."


Which makes both Tiger and Elin basically high-priced prostitutes. He just has a more marketable skill to "sell." The women Tiger was cheating with were cheap dates, comparatively.
posted by fuse theorem at 6:20 PM on December 4, 2009


What I do not understand is how all the women I have seen (the extent is those thumbnails on the google news page, N = 4) are all blonde. I would expect if Tiger Zambrano had his choice of the entire female population of planet earth he would prefer to rotate: one brunette, one red, one African, one Asian, and so on from the great NP smorgasboard of life.

Does this generalize to his behavior as well? Does he only get off in one position?

I remember a similar impression with Clinton's women. The ones I saw (again, just Monica and Gennifer and Paula) were all big hair brunettes with heavy makeup. There doesn't seem to be a lot of imagination in these big guys' reptile brains.
posted by bukvich at 10:04 AM on December 6, 2009


dead thread...but as someone who has no idea what is going on with this story, and with no interest to find out, i thought it was pretty funny to come across a headline that Woods and his whomever had 'Ambien-fueled' sex. How exciting is your sex life when you look forward to crazy nights of sleeping--literally--with someone else.
posted by troybob at 2:07 PM on December 7, 2009


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