My wife regularly contends that while my abstract inapplicable research is pursued entirely for self-gratitude, her chosen field leads to practical, human-benefiting innovation. Economists, you see, are motivated by results that are “cool” but useless, while engineers (clearly not motivated by coolness) pursue practicality.

A counter-example:

fluid mechanics wine glass

The glass tank is a purported marvel of fluid mechanics:

when the amount in the glass decreases, a constant amount is poured from the tank into the glass. never overflowing from the glass because of air pressure and water pressure.

That’s all well and good, but what happens when I swirl this monstrosity?