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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Astronomy Lesson

Do Not Let Your Wife Catch You at This
Lately the days have been getting shorter.  Of course, scientifically speaking, this is actually an illusion caused by the movement of the earth around the sun; the days aren't really getting shorter, they're just getting wider.  Curious-minded people may ask, why does this happen?  And who cares?

In the spring time, the days get longer and longer.  This also happens certain Monday afternoons, if you've ever noticed.  But anyway, the days get longer and longer until they're as long as they're going to get and everyone is a puddle of melted goo on the sidewalk.  Then they start getting shorter again, and I, for one, say thank goodness.

To understand how this works, set a lamp in the middle of the room and begin slowly walking around it.  That's orbiting.  Then, as you walk, turn in a circle.  That's rotation.  You'll need to pick up the speed a little because the earth rotates at about a thousand miles an hour.  And yet it takes a whole day to rotate just one time.  Don't ask me to explain this, some things you just have to figure out for yourself.  Now as you're walking around the lamp - running, actually - and turning in circles, lean inward.  Fell over, didn't you.  That's called gravity, and it's just one of the many wonderful things we're learning about today.  But get up and start again.  You can't expect to learn anything if you just lie there.

Now you're running circles around the room, as you spin around, and don't forget to lean to one side.  I forgot to mention, that when you're on one side of the lamp, you should lean in, and lean out on the other side.  But that shouldn't be too hard to remember.  And watch out for the dog.

If your wife comes in and catches you doing this, don't mention my name.

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