Celestial Mechanics

Celestial Mechanics

Last night, Daffodil became very concerned.

Daffodil: “Papa, if the Earth spins, do people end up standing upside down?”

Me: “Yes.”

Me: “Also, no.”

So, I drew her a picture. After disclaimers regarding scale (“If the earth was really the size I’ve drawn it on the paper, you couldn’t see people on it at all”), and whether or not there are really poles at the North and South Poles (there are not), and how big the sun is relative to the earth (“It wouldn’t fit on the paper at all”) and how far the sun really is from the earth (“Well, it’s 93 million miles away, and I can’t remember the diameter of the earth, but I think if the earth was this size, then the sun would be somewhere in Florida.” “What’s Florida?”), we got down to brass tacks.

As you can see in the header illustration, people on the other side of the world are indeed standing upside down. They just don’t know it. So, if we’re standing right side up in the daytime, we must stand upside down at night. Simple, really.

Rightside up

Today Daffodil drew the picture below. The discerning eye will identify three people standing on the earth and being rained on from all directions. The man on the lower left, I am told, has “grabbed the thunder” and been electrocuted three times.

The Man Who Grabbed The Thunder