11 September 2005

Bernoulli's Principle: Theory and Practice

Bernoulli's Principle basically states that whenever a fluid is flowing, the speed of the flow is faster whenever the width of the conduit is narrow. And the speed is slower whenever the width is wider. That is why you see the river bank where the narrow portions have a sandy appearance while the wider portions have a rocky appearance. It is an application of Bernoulli's Principle.

It also applies in a number of other situations.

Including the toilet.

But what happens when the fluid of the toilet is carrying solid material, and that soild material happens to be too big for the conduit?

DING DING DING!!! You got it! Bernoulli's Principle will cease, and instead, you have your fluid static and stop moving.

That is the state of our second floor toilet right now. And it annoys be because it is the second time this has happened. And on both cases, it is not my fault, but my roommate's.

The first time it has happened was last week, I believe Saturday, or Sunday. I was out, and when I came back, the toilet was weird, it looked weird, because the water level was so low, unusually low. I flushed it, or rather, tried to flush it, and then, there I saw it, the water kept going high and high that I thought it would overflow, but thankfully it didn't.

I knocked on my roommate's door and asked if he knew about it, but he passively said that he did not use it. Ok. First time, just let it go. We didn't have a plunger at that time, so I knocked on the next door, and borrowed a plunger. After a few pumps, it was solved.

Yesterday, which was again, a Saturday, when I came back home, I saw the same problem again. This time, there is no denying that it was my roommate's fault, because when I came back, he was still in the bathroom, and the door was open and I asked what's wrong. There again. The failure of Bernoulli's Principle. So he said that he would buy a plunger now.

After a few hours, I saw the plunger that he bought. Oh no, it was so low-quality. The rubber was not stable enough that it would reverse its shape every time I pump it, and it just made the water splash all over. Horrible.

So the problem is still here. He already submitted a work-order to the apartment complex and hopefully they will come soon.

So for the meantime, we are using the first floor toilet but I don't prefer that because the bathtub is upstairs. Whenever I do my daily rituals, which is always in the morning, before I shower for school, I do it in one set. It is like a factory line. Brush my teeth - shave - sit on the toilet - shower. Easy as that. But now I have to brush my teeth and shave upstairs, then go downstairs to sit on the toilet, then go upstairs again to shower. Grrr.

I am partly blaming this on my roommate's diet. I have a good imagination, so I can just imagine what his by-products are. He feeds on instant noodles, microwave dishes, take-out and delivery food. His diet is not so varied (I can see that, we share the same refrigerator, and most of its contents are mine, and he never cooks.), so given the fact that he doesn't have a lot of fiber intake, he might be, well, constipated.

I'm stopping this rude behavior. Sorry but I just had to rant it out. It reminds me of our trip to Athens, where the travel books expicitly warned not to flush tissue paper in the toilet bowls. The Athenian sewer system is so narrow that even a small piece of tissue paper can clog it.

Speaking of Athens, I've posted a few pictures of our trip last May. Mind you, the pictures are not so dramatic. They're just simple, but intended to capture memories.

This was me on the foot of the Acropolis. It was around eight in the morning and the sun was already blazing high. After that we climbed the hill to reach the Parthenon and the Erechtheum, where the Caryatid statues are located.

This is me directly in front of the Western side of the Parthenon. It is the side that is the most intact. Other sides were damaged in historical events.

After viewing the Acropolis, we climbed the Areopagus, which is a difficult climb. It is a hill that is made of marble, so the footmarks of all the tourists that have climbed it made the steps slippery. It is best avoided during wet periods. You can see the two most important women in my life, my mother, in black, and my sister, in green. Overlooking the hill is the city of Athens.

This is picture of the Temple of Olympian Zeus, which is near the Zappeio Gardens. It is simply amazing to watch this. I could take hours just gazing at those Corinthian columns, if the weather permits, that is.

Finally, this is a sunset picture I took. We went to the shore nearest to the city, that is, Saronic Gulf. That is the Meditteranean Sea in front of us. I took this picture around 8:00 pm. It wasn't really that dark yet, I just focused on the sun, and let the camera do the rest.

So there, I hope you enjoyed my pictures. Again, I am jumping in the bandwagon of bloggers who post pictures, but what's the harm in doing so? Everybody's doing it so why can't we?


  1. I'm reminded of the toilet back in our ancestral house in Batangas. Sa katagalan na siguro ng panahon at during those days mga bakal ang padaanan tungo sa deposito lagi ring clog. I don't know kung noong nasa Pilipinas ka nakakapunta ka ng probinsiya uso rin doon yong tinatawag na Antipolo yong bang walang flush and diretso talaga sa hukay.
    Para ka sigurong na timewarp pag napapunta ka sa mga historical places sa Greece. Parthenon, Acropolis, Temple of Zeus nababasa ko lang yan sa History book samantalang ikaw masasabi mong I walk the path kung saan naglakad sina Aristotle, Plato at Socrates pati na yong mga ancient heroes and warriors of Greece. Ok namang magpost ng pics kasi may mga bagay na hindi mo madedescribe ng salita lamang. Tulad ng kagandahang ng isang lugal walang salita o katagang maaring makapaglarawan nito.

  2. Toilet na walang flush at diretso sa hukay? I saw that. Nag-fieldwork ako sa Cuyo, Palawan noon, at ganun ang toilet ng host family namin! Interesting piece of architecture!

  3. Yes, that's the thought we had when we were there. Yung mga nababasa namin sa history books nabisita na. Unbelievable. We never thought we would actually see the thing.

  4. Dude those pictures rock, I can't wait to go :0), I hate dealing with toilets! Bernoulli needs to die, lol. I worked at a camp two summers ago and I had to do that a few times, eww.

  5. Wow, those photos are just awesome!

  6. nadis-cover na rin pala ni atoy itong site mo. preho kaming taga nz ni atoy. liw, ka-aliw yung toilet story mo. laki naman nang ebs ng ka room-mate mo. curious lang ako, ano bang gender niya?

  7. Ka Uro,

    Lalaki rin siya, medyo may katabaan, isang Hapones na sampung taon ang tanda sa akin.

  8. Oops, sorry Jeremiah, we were talking in Tagalog. Ka Uro and Atoy are some of my fellow countrymen.

    By the way, Bernoulli is alive again and running in my toilet as of this morning.

  9. Very funny, your story today!
    Even in Germany we know such Bernoulli problems too... :-)
    But I wanted to tell you that the photos are interesting. Your sister seem to be older than you?
    Keep on posting your photos!

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  11. Those are really great pictures.

    When we lived in Athens, we used toilet paper out the wazoo with no problems. Noone warned us about the sewage problems! But American toilets are not the best. They will clog in the best of times (but usually after dad has been in the bathroom awhile!). In three years, I've yet to see a Greek toilet clog!

  12. wow those are really cool pic.s. it makes me want to travel. what places have you been to in your life other than the US, Athens, Rome, and Vienna?

  13. Susanne,

    No, my sister is younger than me by three years. But if you think she is older, I'm glad. But I don't think that will be the case after I finish grad school, I'll definitely age, I can feel it now.


    Perhaps Lonely Planet is lying then. Well, I'll take an advice from the expert resident.


    Well, my travel history goes like this.
    1982-born in Manila
    1985-1987: Denver, CO
    1988: back to Manila
    1988-1989: Honolulu, HI
    1989: back to Manila
    1995-2000: Osaka, Japan
    2000-2001: Guam, Pacific Island
    2001: back to Manila
    2005: Austria, Italy, and Greece (five weeks total)
    2005: Taiwan (I presented a paper in a conference)
    2005-present: Buffalo, NY
    Future (tentatively July 2006): Leipzig, Germany and Copenhagen, Denmark (I am preparing a paper for a conference in Leipzig, then I'll ride a train to Vienna to see my folks, then we'll fly to Copenhagen for vacation, that is, if time and finances permitting).


  14. WOW that is soo cool what place did you like the most. I know it is a hard question to answer but if you have more than one that is fine.

  15. You will come next year to Germany? Perhaps there will be a possibility to meet you in Leipzig or in Würzburg... or in ...?
    I am not completely sure if I still will be in Würzburg next year - perhaps I have to move in another city for working there.