Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Pope Frances, a seagull and the laws of gravity

Snowflakes today but more of that in a minute because I happened to be watching a bit of the news while eating some food, I know, not like the old days, but once things warm up I will eat back in the dinning room as normal. Anyway I noticed that there is a new Pope and although I got it right saying it would be a South American Pope, my money was on the Brazilian chap Pele (I think) I thought Pope Pele sounded OK. As it happens the Pope has now called himself Pope Francis, because his real name is Mario which would have lead to all sorts of problems with computer games. It would be hugely confusing to have a Pope Mario the Pope, and Mario Pope the popular computer game (available at all good online stores shortly), I will say one thing for the new Pope he smiled at least twice when he appeared in front of the masses so that’s a good start, although I did not understand a single word he said so it is just as well the dog speaks Latin. However I am sure the dog was lying when he said that the new Pope said all dogs must get fresh bones everyday to chew or else.

I mentioned snowflakes didn't I, and I don’t want to linger on the weather but they were floating down gently from the sky during the science lesson and this lead to a discussion about gravity. You see if you drop a feather and a seagull in a vacuum at the same time they will both hit the ground at the same time despite the fact a seagull is many times heavier than a feather. If you do this experiment in air dropping them off the school roof as we did the seagull will fly away and ruin a really good experiment, so we used a goat and sure enough the goat hit the ground before the feather, it is to do with the density of the air and density of the goat.

However the teacher says that the accepted science is that gravity has the same effect on all objects and is a constant, so all objects will hit the ground at the same time regardless of weight where there is no atmosphere is in fact not true. What he says is there is a small but exponential time delay caused by inertia, so say the moon and a feather dropped at the same time would result in the feather hitting the earth before the moon did. As it happens this is an easy experiment to test because if you drop a feather it will definitely hit the Earth before the moon does, I tried the experiment with the moon and a seagull but am still waiting to record the outcome. The dog is interfering with my experiment because he has put sardines on the lawn which as far as I can tell will contaminate my results, I bet that Isaac Newton’s, mum never went and made apple pies with his apple experiment.

AH mum has said IDIOT, you see when you are at the culling (sorry cutting)  edge of science people say you are mad……..

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1. I'm still trying to determine Rob Z, how one would 'drop' the moon. It's pretty big and I'm not sure if one could get a proper grip on it in order to drop it.

And those must have been some kind of Cigars those Pope Finders were smoking, judging by all that black smoke. :)

1. All that smoke is not very Eco so they get told off if they spend to long deciding who should be Pope.

As for the moon the experiment went wrong because the moon spins round the earth. If we could stop it then it would fall at the same rate as a seagull and a goat. I think I need to do the gratify experiment with the moon and an albatross as both rotate the Earth.

2. Sorry I mean gravity . . . . stupid spell checker.

2. Is it possible to "drop" a balloon full of helium? because it would always float UP wouldn't it?
my head hurts a bit now.

1. Well in theory not in a vacuum, but in the other hand it might explain the moon; it is is in fact a large helium balloon