Today’s Physics Puzzler

OK, physics nerds, here’s your chance for glory. I tossed an empty fun-size Milky Way wrapper on the floor, but instead it stuck to a book on a nearby shelf. It is hanging there purely by the power of static electricity, not because it’s got sticky chocolate residue on it:

How long will it stay there? I want no excuses about not knowing what the weather is like or how much the wrapper weighs or precisely what kind of paper the publisher used for the book jacket for Quicksilver. I just want educated guesses on this question that’s of critical importance to ordinary citizens. What do you say?

My brother weaseled out by claiming it was “really more of an engineering question.” I hope I can expect better from my readers.


Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

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