Posts Tagged "physics"

Gravity. Working 24/7 to Bring You Down.

Dear Kid,

Gravity. Going Down. DearKidLoveMom.comGravity is a great thing.

It’s what keeps your feet on the ground while your head’s in the clouds. It keeps the food on your plate rather than flying up your nose. It returns footballs to the ground after field goals. And occasionally it causes humans to fall. Not that anyone you’re related to would ever do that.

Gravity keeps the planets orbiting around the sun, and keeps the moon from floating off to visit Pluto.

Gravity from the sun and moon cause tides, although time and the tide won’t wait.

Gravity is busy.

Gravity used to keep a low profile. It went about its heavy duty business without bothering anyone. Then Sir Isaac Newton forgot to bring a snack with him, and – poof – Gravity went from anonymity to celebrity science project in the time it takes an apple to fall. Then Albert (as in Einstein) got in the act and Gravity went to college.

Gravity is not a pacifist. In fact, Gravity has been in the weapons business since the beginning of time. Think dropping a big rock on something to turn it into dinner. Think catapults and trebuchets. Think bombs dropped from airplanes. Think receiving a punch and kissing the pavement.

Gravity has a part time job as an environmentalist, using its power to help create hydroelectricity and causing rivers to flow downhill. It causes trees to fall in the forest whether or not anyone is there to listen.

Gravity is something of a minimalist. Every day, Gravity does its best to squish you down. Fortunately, you are made of springs and strings and you bounce back every night while you sleep. Some of us do a little less bouncing and just keep shrinking a little. While Gravity isn’t in favor of height, it is in favor of weight, standing behind me on the scale and pushing down a little extra every morning.

Gravity is all about fairness. Gravity never lets up on one person’s backpack while helping out someone else. Gravity never gives you a boost on the way up the stairs. Then again, you can count on Gravity to keep your furniture where it belongs.

Gravity is nothing if not consistent.

But if Gravity, or anything else, brings you down, we’re here to pick you back up.

Love, Mom

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Kayaking, Physics, and Lots of Rain

Kayaking on the Ohio RiverDear Kid,

The kayak was first created in the arctic by the Inuit people. This explains why kayaking is most popular in warm climates and in the summer.

You may have thought that kayaking is fun (it is) and fairly straightforward: get in and paddle. Turns out you are much mistaken, my young padawan. You need equipment, a river or other water body, and a healthy helping of Newton’s 1st and 2nd Laws. And some torque. You definitely need torque. There is a website that explains all this in detail and even suggests that to become a better kayaker you should enroll in a physics class. (The Physics of Kayaking if you are interested.)

Kayaking became a part of the Olympics in 1936, although it’s not obvious whether the kayakers take physics as part of their training.

In other news, the rain continues. And continues The sump pump is running full on  and Dad is fretting over the accumulation of water. Many of the plants are growing water wings and requesting swimming lessons. Rain is making the front page of the newspaper on a regular basis (which I suppose is good in that it means that there aren’t that many other interesting catastrophes in the world). And I can’t use gardening as an excuse not to do housework because “gardening” right now probably involves scuba gear and a lot of mud.

Sorry your kayak trip got rained out.

Love, Mom

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