The stories of Dr. Bombonico's LOONEY LAWS of Physics are always a balanced mixture (often explosive...) of the “exact” laws of physics and the “impossible” laws of animated cartoons, to stimulate the imagination of the children rather than focusing immediately on their rational minds, using situations, facts and ideas from science and technology.
The following are a few examples…
- Gravity: jump up and you always come down. Something pulls you back to the ground. Something that Newton discovered 350 years ago, and that still today sometimes gets physicists from all over the world talking. Afraid of falling? No problem, Sam Bombonico and Isaac Newton are there to catch you! But I wouldn’t have too much faith… (see the detailed storyboard).
- Illuminating light: no, don’t ask Sam Bombonico what light is… even if he does write formulas from morning till night, and is sure he knows heaps of things, well, light is a big problem, believe it or not. So? Without light we can’t see, our eyes devour light, we’re afraid of the dark! Our professor will try to do something about it: explain to us how light behaves in a whole host of different situations, all... illuminating!
- Boiling hot atoms: afraid of atomic energy? Of radiation? Maybe, but do you know what it is? Ever heard of fission and fusion? Sophie in her university laboratory will tell us something about it all, and so we’re already at a good point: it’s a shame that someone (darn you, Maximus Paradowski…) still thinks that atoms (but what are they?) are only used to cause trouble… Bombonico has tooth ache and gets an X-ray done (nothing serious this time, the tooth is fine) and thanks to the X-ray the dentist knows how and where to intervene.
- Noisy noises: if you could be quiet just for once (the comment to the chatterbox Meg and her pest of a brother Nilo who are playing in the park is not just a chance remark...) as well as appreciating a bit of peace and quiet, professor Bombonico could explain how sound waves are actually fantastic dances of molecules through the air. They’re like the “ola” of the fans in a football stadium. And once they enter your ears, they get up to all... sounds!
- Whoa, we’re flying: not the excited cry of someone on a fairground ride but the “whoa” of someone on a plane that isn’t behaving as it should, maybe shuddering through turbulence. But can we trust these flying machines? There are few doubts that they stay up in the air, but how do they do it? Birds flap their wings but planes keep them still. How is it ever possible? Which of the two manage the best? There is a guided tour around the BISC space centre and Mr. Paradowski manages to invent the most ridiculous questions. But will there also be answers? Bombonico, help!
- An electrifying episode: electricity comes out of a plug socket. Have you ever seen it? Felt it, dear me, you may well have. A truly electrifying experience. But what passes though the wires? Or better, does something actually travel through them? Where does the electric current hide when the switch is turned off? Who convinces it to come out of those little holes and do its job? Our turtle Anselma could certainly tell us something about her little unfortunate incident...
- Order, order! Professor Bombonico has a secret dream: just like the film Mary Poppins, he wants to sort out the disaster in his laboratory and basement simply by clicking his fingers. His fingers are raw but his laboratory is still in a mess, or rather, getting worse day by day. Just think that when a little ball stops bouncing on the floor, this happens for the same reason that your room – on its own and without your mum shouting – doesn’t tidy itself up. Think we’re joking? We’re not.
- Mirror, mirror on the wall… Professor Bombonico doesn’t spend that much time in front of the mirror because he’s not the handsomest of men (even though Sophie thinks quite the opposite and tries to show him in a thousand different ways…). However, when he walks in front of one, other than scaring himself a little, he stops and… reflects! How come you can see yourself in a mirror? And not satisfied, he starts to ask himself other questions: why does a lens enlarge things? How can I see the stars that are so far away through a telescope? Questions that will carry him far away…
Some unexpected spectra: In an ancient wing of the library a spectral atmosphere reigns when Bombonico looks at the light emanating from a lamp through a paper weight that has the form of a prism. Indeed, scientists (from Newton onwards), call the coloured beams that can be seen in these experiments, “spectra”. What, actually, are they? Sam is thrilled to discover that they are used to develop medicines and to detect poisons in the air and gets straight to work.