Sunday, April 27, 2008

Weak Biorhythms Or Just Heavy Gravity Days


Ever wonder why on some days things go less well than on others?
We've all had them - those days when, unaccountably, we stumble over our own feet, days when our strength deserts us, days when molehills swell into mountains, days when we drop things.

There are many theories purporting to explain such days, but only one which explains them well.

Forget what you've read about biorhythms. Discard the superstitions about gremlins. Trash such nonsense as humidity, barometric pressure, or phases of the moon.

What we're talking about, folks, is gravity. That mysterious tug all objects possess; the affinity of apples for earth made famous by Sir Isaac Newton.

According to Newton's law of gravitation, any two particles of matter in the universe attract each other with a force varying directly as the product of their masses and inversely as the square of the distance between them. The larger the mass, the greater the pull; the further the distance between objects, the less the pull.

It's hard to imagine what life must have been like before Newton came along and enlightened the world to the extent that he did. Folks everywhere must have been wary of apples, expecting them now and then to fly upward or sideways rather than fall down. Once Sir Isaac got things sorted out, people could relax a little, and avoid the undersides of fruit trees.

But mysteries remained. From the time of Newton's major publication in 1687, nearly three more centuries passed before the late novelist Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., published his findings about gravitational force. Newton, said he, had failed to notice one tremendously important point: the gravitational force varies from day to day.

Now, thanks to Vonnegut, we are able to make sense of a whole raft of vexations that puzzled our forebears. Once we understand that the force of gravity is not the same each day, all kinds of things begin to fall into place.

Remember when you last stubbed your toe or bit the edge of your tongue? That, friends, happened on a Heavy Gravity Day. Or when you dropped your cup of coffee in your lap, or failed to toss the crumpled Kleenex all the way to the wastebasket? Another HGD.

Men: do you see now why, on occasion, your belly hangs over your belt? Why the shot you took at that duck last fall was so low? Why you couldn't beat out that infield hit in the softball game?

Ladies: do you understand, finally, why some days it seems your foundation-wear provides insufficient support? Why the cake failed to rise? Why last Tuesday the vacuum cleaner seemed made of cement?

Heavy Gravity Days. Days when the flowers droop and the car gets poor mileage and everything seems so damned difficult.

And, conversely, Light Gravity Days, when there's a spring in your step and a buoyancy in your heart, days when things leap to hand and the grass grows two inches overnight.

Isn't it wonderful, knowing?

Copyright 2007 by Craig Nagel

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