Critical Section

Gravity Inversion

Monday,  08/11/03  09:10 PM

Today I was riding my bike, when suddenly I got this weird feeling.  About gravity.

studying gravity?
Einstein biking

When you're riding a bike, gravity is your constant companion.  Every change in incline is apparent.  Frictional changes in the road surface are apparent.  (Bike riders often ride on the white lines bordering the road because they're smoother.)  Temperature changes in the air are apparent.  Everything matters, and the thing that matters most is gravity, and your angle relative to it.

So I'm riding along, and suddenly I imagine that I am motionless.  My bike is pushing the earth underneath me.  The harder I ride, the harder my tires push against the road glued onto the earth, and the faster it moves underneath me.  I start a climb and the earth presses harder on my tires, and gets heavier (harder to move).  I crest the hill and the earth falls away slightly, and lightens (becomes easier to move).  I lean to the right, and the earth spins counterclockwise beneath me.  I straighten, and it stops spinning. 

Very odd.

And then I imagine gravity, not as an attractive force from below, but as a repulsion from above!  It is pressing me away, into the earth.  As I go uphill the force becomes stronger, pushing me into the street.  My tires resist and my legs spin the earth beneath me.  As I go downhill the force weakens, and I'm freed a little from the pressure.  I reach a steep decent and gravity shoves me downward - whee! - and the earth slides easily along under my bike, tires spinning, legs resting.  I begin another climb and suddenly I am pressed back into the street, the earth groans and resists the puny efforts of my tires to push it along. 

Very cool.  All physicists should ride bikes.

this date in:
About Me

Greatest Hits
Correlation vs. Causality
The Tyranny of Email
Unnatural Selection
On Blame
Try, or Try Not
Books and Wine
Emergent Properties
God and Beauty
Moving Mount Fuji
The Nest
Rock 'n Roll
IQ and Populations
Are You a Bright?
Adding Value
The Joy of Craftsmanship
The Emperor's New Code
Toy Story
The Return of the King
Religion vs IQ
In the Wet
solving bongard problems
visiting Titan
unintelligent design
the nuclear option
estimating in meatspace
second gear
On the Persistence of Bad Design...
Texas chili cookoff
almost famous design and stochastic debugging
may I take your order?
universal healthcare
triple double
New Yorker covers
Death Rider! (da da dum)
how did I get here (Mt.Whitney)?
the Law of Significance
Holiday Inn
Daniel Jacoby's photographs
the first bird
Gödel Escher Bach: Birthday Cantatatata
Father's Day (in pictures)
your cat for my car
Jobsnotes of note
world population map
no joy in Baker
vote smart
exact nonsense
introducing eyesFinder
to space
where are the desktop apps?
still the first bird
electoral fail
progress ratches
2020 explained