Law of Binding Energy

Law of Binding Energy

This may sound a bit over the top, but our pipe community is held together by some equivalent of the law of binding energy. So sayeth Dr. Pundit. Harrumph!

Simply put, the law says the universe is held together by binding energy. Seen another way, the law explains in a blackboard full of Einsteinian math the energy it takes to separate us from the universe. Or something.

Now, without getting too overwrought in the physics or chemistry of binding energy, let’s just say we are a bound community of pipe-loving groups. It would require a great deal of energy to separate us from our hobby.

The Pundit has not run off the rails yet. See, our energy is connected through a community of pipes and tobacco, a village of individuals who enjoy just sitting around pontificating and puffing our beloved pipes.

That’s binding and energetic. You get it if you have ever participated in a pipe club gathering.

There is not enough energy to scramble one atom of our togetherness. That’s our law of binding energy.

This short lecture is a windy opening to what is today’s reality in the pipe world, and our daily lives.

Pay attention, class. There will be a pop quiz at the end of this discourse.

Of late we have seen tectonic shifts in the “old normal.”

The good old days, so it seems to the Pundit, have been pummeled by powerful events: the Covid pandemic virus and its many mutations of tragedy; supply chain choke holds; massive cargo ships becoming lodged in narrow river lanes like toy boats in a ditch; the Great Resignation spreading like a virus; a disastrous war in Ukraine and the threat of even more violence.

Ok, the Pundit gets it. Enough of gloom and doom.

Back to the original thought of our law of binding energy. It is similar to the law of supply and demand for pipe smokers.

In simplest terms, when all other economic factors remain constant, the law of supply says that if prices go up, supply generally rises.

But if supply remains constant, and prices continue to rise, demand generally drops.

For us pipe smokers, supply and demand have been somewhat steady during these upside-down years.

We have access to sufficient supply and, mostly, prices have not resulted in a bank shot off the charts. We pipe puffers have our own law of supply and demand, similar to our law of biding energy.

Now, for the promised pop quiz.

Pay attention, for another lecture of sorts is in order after this.

Pop question: how do supply and demand affect pipe smokers?

You in the back: “More supply means we have fewer pipes.”

Wow, you weren’t paying attention.

Ok, one more. You in the front row with your hand half raised: “We have too many pipes on cargo ships.”

You fail, too.

Correct answer: The Law of Supply and Demand may affect other segments of society, but not so much the pipes and tobacco community. There are too many of us in the demand side. No matter the prices.

There, you have it. Now on to more important matters.

Why do we celebrate Independence Day?

If your answer is because some yokels in Boston tossed tea in an ocean, or it’s because we fly flags and blast fireworks into the night skies, one might want to dig a little deeper.

Ok, so why do we celebrate?

You there in the corner half asleep.

“To celebrate independence from some king, or something.”

Well, yes, but I was looking for a more profound answer.

Such as, from whom did we snatch independence from the jaws of colonialism?

In a more perfect union, the Fourth of July is the day the original thirteen colonies signed the Declaration of Independence, giving birth to a new America, and unbuckling itself from the nutjob King George III and Great Britain.

America is 246 years young this July 4th.

Ok, that was a little harsh about the royal nutjob. King Georgie suffered from insanity in spurts.

History records that many of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, as well as those who penned the document, were tobacco farmers.

This founding fathers’ fact, dear friends, gives pipe smokers bragging rights!

So, the heart of all this is that after we’ve fired off that bucket full of fireworks to celebrate our precious independence, we can savor the notion that pipe smoking in America is not only patriotic but also historic.

It’s that binding energy continuum thing.

Tobacco formed the first cash crop of the British colonies. Think Jamestown and John Rolfe, the guy who married Pocahontas and was big in early Virginia politics.

He also enjoyed tobacco and planted a crop of West Indies seeds, allegedly, in Jamestown in 1612.

And on the money side, by the time of the runup to the American Revolution, just about all of the Southern Founding Fathers owed their wealth to the sale of tobacco.

And to be historically correct, not all of them smoked tobacco. But tobacco smoking was common among the Founders, particularly using churchwarden-long clay pipes in the inns.

See, many of the Founding Fathers (a tasty aromatic blend from Cornell & Diehl, just sayin’), were also pipe smokers.

The author of the Declaration, Thomas Jefferson, was a tobacco farmer who puffed a pipe for a brief time.

Benjamin Franklin was likewise a short-time pipe smoker while helping to edit the famous freedom document.

We can forgive ol’ Benjy because floating a kite near lightning with a lit pipe might not have been a promising idea.

Founders John Adams and James Madison, also tobacco farmers, knew a good pipe blend when they smoked one.

By the way, Dolley Madison, wife of the fourth U.S. President, smoked a pipe and allegedly cigars as well.

And now, dear friends, I hope by the time you read this epistle, you have had or will have a binding energy type Fourth.

Finally, a message from our first U.S. President, George Washington: Observe good faith and justice toward all nations. Cultivate peace and harmony with all.

In the fun of Fourth of July, take time to remember our history and puff, maybe, one of Peterson’s beautiful PSB Deluxe System pipes. Photo by Fred Brown

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