A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.


A Rose, A Bathtub & Sir Isaac Newton's Third Law Of Motion
Wednesday, May 02, 2007

I am not sure that learning how to diagram a sentence ever led to me seeing the light or to apply it to everyday living.

But I can safely say that there are two pieces of knowledge learned at school that I have been able to apply in a practical and useful manner. Both have some connection to water and to Sir Isaac Newton. Every couple of years I have to drain my fishpond. This used to be a messy job until I remembered that if I put a hose in the pond and sucked on the end and placed the hose in a lower part of the garden, the pool would drain by itself thanks to gravity. If I drained the pond on my rose bed I found that the pond water, rich in organic silt, gave me bigger and more plentiuful roses in May and June.

For years I have known how gravity affects the human body. Never more so than now when at age 64 I look at myself in the mirror. This means that I have known to never photograph a woman on her back as gravity pulls down and makes her look fat. But I accidentally learned that there was a happy exception and that you could place a woman on her back, as long as she was in a tub of water. This is a prime example that confirms Newton's Third Law of Motion that states formally:

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction.

Water in a tube gently pushes back (counteracting gravity) on a woman's body lifting any part of her body that just might sag!

Since I have been of late writing about roses here we have a photograph of Rose (I have long forgotten her last name) showing how Newton's Third Law works. As for Rose blowing into the water both Newton and competitor Huygens would have argued about the wave-particle duality.


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