The Gravity Of Ignorance

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I believe the Earth is round or at least spherical, so I’m not a flat-earther. Though I think if you get to the end of Far Rockaway, you might fall off the planet. But I digress.

Whenever I want to get people screaming at me, I show them how dumb I am. They start off patiently trying to tell me why people in the Southern Hemisphere aren’t upside down.  If the world is shaped like a basketball and they’re on the bottom, shouldn’t they be upside down? Gravity keeps them glued to their Earth but they’re upside down, right? They start telling me it’s relative and in space, north doesn’t mean up, and south doesn’t mean down.

As my face looks more and more befuddled, their face turns redder and redder. They look like they might hit me when I wonder aloud how the water from the oceans doesn’t just spill out. Is gravity that strong?

They try telling me the Earth turns. Yeah, I get that. It turns sideways. And speaking of sideways, I still think people at the equator are standing sideways. They’re perpendicular people. With all that gravity, I don’t how they stand. They should really be pulled to the Earth and would be better off just lying on their side.

When I say this with a straight face, I put myself in danger. Educated people start looking around for weapons to hit me with. They’re smart people but not smart enough to get me to understand, they’d rather just hit me.

I went to a story on the NASA website and the first sentence said, “in space there is no up or down.” So, let me ask. If I’m on the moon and I look at the earth, it looks round. With a super-duper telescope I would prove that nobody is walking upright. Except for those standing at the north pole. My educated friends give up and tell me to watch a science show.

Which I do. But I get distracted because it’s so damn dark so damn early and I check online to find out when sunset is in New York. It’s 4:29 p.m. and I see that sunrise occurred at 7:04 a.m. I wonder what it’s like down South a bit and see that Charleston, South Carolina has its sunset at 5:13 p.m., just about 45 minutes later. I get that the further you move westward in a time zone, the later things happen. But science gets me again. I figure that since Charleston’s sunset is 5:13, they must have a later sunrise. Right? No!  Sunrise there is 7:07.  Just three minutes later than here.

They have 40 more minutes of sunlight than we do. Don’t check my math, that’s for another column. It seems that Earth's orbit and tilt factor in and blah, blah, blah. Don’t get me started on tilting. 

Anyway, no surprise, we’re in the dark more than others; me more than most. And moral of the story—if you want to get mad, try to explain science to me.

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