Gravity Unplugged – The Special Theory of Relativity

In this blog, attached are three stanzas of a long, multi-stanza poem of mine as one of a series on classical physics subjects. It is titled “Gravity Unplugged” and is essentially a tutorial on the classical Newtonian formulation of gravity.

Newton pendulumThese three stanzas begin an explanation of the Special Theory of Relativity, essential to the understanding of classical gravity formulated by Newton, hundreds of years ago, the theory of which turned classical physics upside down and launched us on the understanding of science in our modern world.

Gravity Unplugged
by John Maling

Newton abolished absolute space
When he saw that events in a moving frame
Obeyed the same laws as when those events
Occurred in places of stationary fame.

In today’s speed-of-sound world,
Playing catch on a smooth airline flight
Is no different than fielding a ball
At the family’s old (and beloved) homesite.

Einstein did away with absolute time,
By using constant-speed light to show
That the time interval between events
Depends upon the following “know:”

Any questions, so far? More to come!

To be continued

#Teaching, #Learning and Revisiting the Oral Tradition

Here is an effective technique for introducing verbal dialog into the teaching-learning experience – taking it to a level beyond what might be considered standard or “normal” in today’s educational practices.

Teaching-Learning-and-Revisiting-the-Oral-Tradition-by-John-MalingThe importance of verbal-monologue in higher learning is again and again proven by the continuing academic tradition of the oral exam and oral defense of thesis. History gives strong support for the role of the oral tradition in teaching and learning, The oral tradition in passing knowledge from generation to generation reaches back into the dim past of human history, before language was written, before texts and manuscripts even existed. The great cultures and civilizations of the ancient world mastered the written word, but the vast majority of the peoples of those times were illiterate and depended upon the verbal-oral tradition for communication and preservation of ideas.

I have survived several oral examinations in subjects necessary in the earning of a Ph.D. in physics, and as a teacher of science, physics and engineering, and chairman of a science and engineering department, oral presentation was a professional necessity and tradition. Nothing fixes knowledge of a subject better than the threat a three to five day regimen of lectures on that subject to dozens of students, month after month and year after year. But those students were in the main engaged in a relatively passive form on learning – listening, taking notes and for some occasional questions of the lecturer. Dialog between professor-teacher and student can be difficult. I have witnessed a forceful and, in my opinion, counterproductive refusals by one of my faculty to entertain questions until the end of his lecture.

Share your thoughts below. What experiences have you had in the classroom with verbal dialogue and discussions?

Writing Outside of Your Computer

Writing Outside of Your Computer

Writing outside of your computer …

meaning that you do it with your hand via a favorite pencil or pen … and the heart leads. pencil write

There’s much to be said for stepping away from electronics. Connect your brain with the flow and rhythm of your hand, your arm. Let your imagination guide you.  It’s easy to glare at a computer screen. And get stuck. Get unstuck; kickstart your creative juices by doing this exercise: write with pen or pencil.

Consider starting your writing with the beginning of a sentence or a phrase that you glance at when you open a book–any book–and just see what ends up on the page in front of you. Then tweak it … whether you can use it or toss it doesn’t matter. You are warmed up.

Many a writing coach, a muse, will encourage you to step away from your routine of writing and do it differently. The result just may bring a spring into what follows.

 

John2005John Maling is an Editor and Indexer. He’s the authu.or of the multi-award winning book, Have Your Ever Held a Mountain? His website is EditingByJohn.com and email EditingByJohn@aol.com.

When, and When Not, to Use Abbreviations in Writing

Authors are always looking for shortcuts and quick tips. Here’s two that you can use immediately:abreviations

1    Always spell out the name of a state or countries; don’t use abbreviations. E.g., CO should be Colorado; Can should be Canada, Eur should be Europe, SC should be South Carolina. (An exception would be DC for District of Columbia.)

Ditto with companies and associations. You may know what they stand for, but your reader may not.
 

2     Mix your sentences lengths up. Long sentences are, well, long. The reader gets lost and either starts over oparagraph4

starts readabilityskipping. Don’t get caught up in paragraph perpetuity. Today’s reader needs visual breaks. Think short paragraphs in your writing. You want the reader to feel comfortable as he or she reads your amazing copy.

 

John2005John Maling is an Editor and Indexer. He’s the author of the multi-award winning book, Have Your Ever Held a Mountain? His website is EditingByJohn.com and email EditingByJohn@aol.com.

Who’s In Charge Here Anyway? Part III

Click here to read Part I

Click here to read Part II

As shared in my previous post, I wrote a fourteen-verse poem about the collective indifference our species has for our natural world. In Part I, you had the opportunity to read the poem in full. For future posts, I will continue to take 2-3 verses of my poem at a time to share my thoughts and viewpoints being expressed in that part of the poem.

Let’s continue with the third and fourth verses:

sewage from the sewer pollutes a lakeHow fortunate that the river’s there,
Disposal now requires no care.
Just run a pipe down from the sewer;
The more the people, the fish the fewer.

And so what if they’re fish in there.
All they do is swim and stare.
And do they share our concern’s import?
They’re not really the caring sort.

Maling’s Missives:

Earth moving is now an art form, technologically speaking. Move or remove a mountain; dam or change the course of a river; reroute a rail line or widen a highway. No problem. Any Right of Way can be handled. Eminent Domain solves any and all problems. Progress and profit are key — the really important concepts for a growing culture, civilization and society.

Your Missives:
What do you feel are important concepts for a growing culture, civilization and society?

Outline your thoughts in a comment below.

 

John2005John Maling is an Editor and Indexer. He’s the author of the multi-award winning book, Have Your Ever Held a Mountain? His website is EditingByJohn.com and email EditingByJohn@aol.com.

Who’s In Charge Here Anyway? Part II

Click here to read Part I

As shared in my previous post, I wrote a fourteen-verse poem about the collective indifference our species has for our natural world. In Part I, you had the opportunity to read the poem in full. For future posts, I will be taking 2-3 verses of my poem at a time to share my thoughts and viewpoints being expressed in that part of the poem.

Let’s start with the first two verses:

Squirrel with a nut | Mailing's Missive about the environmentHow dare that tree to grow that way.
How dare the wind to make it sway.
It might bend and then might crack,
And then might fall and break my back.

What makes that squirrel think he’s free
To take my nuts away from me.
And those birds there in my garden,
Peck my fruit and beg no pardon.

Maling’s Missives:

Pollution is with us and has been since the dawn of time, wherever humans have congregated. But now, with world numbers beyond belief and toxic waste a world-wide issue, indifference now can means literally the difference between disease and health, life and death. The difference depends upon the degree of indifference. The human anthill contains a frightening—deadly—force for change.

Your Missives

What meaning do the first two verses hold for you?
Do you feel these two verses only apply in referring to pollution?

Express yourself and comment below.

 

John2005John Maling is an Editor and Indexer. He’s the author of the multi-award winning book, Have Your Ever Held a Mountain? His website is EditingByJohn.com and email EditingByJohn@aol.com.

Who’s In Charge Here, Anyway?

This fourteen-verse poem is a modest and, too simple, understated complaint about the collective indifference our species has for our natural world. Sure, the media and literature is filled with homage to that world, but statistically speaking, our culture, our civilization, is paring away at it, to make room and as insurance against any inconvenience that may endanger our lives or our individual and corporate fortunes. Many more verses are needed to express properly the complaint.

In following posts, I will be taking 2-3 verses at a time to share my thoughts and viewpoints being expressed in that part of the poem.

Express your thoughts and reactions to this poem in a comment below.

Earth being dropped in the trash | Maling's Missives on the environment being affected by pollution

How dare that tree to grow that way.
How date the wind to make it sway.
It might bend and then might crack,
And then might fall and break my back.

What makes that squirrel think he’s free
To take my nuts away from me.
And those birds there in my garden,
Peck my fruit and beg no pardon.

How fortunate that the river’s there,
Disposal now requires no care.
Just run a pipe down from the sewer;
The more the people, the fish the fewer.

And so what if they’re fish in there,
All they do is swim and stare.
And do they share our concern’s import?
They’re not really the caring sort.

Take this stream down by the city.
Fill it in and make it pretty.
When its waters rush on down,
I might by chance fall in and drown.

See that pleasant grassy hill.
Slice it up and make some fill.
Spread the fill on a marshy spot,
And build a box-store parking lot.

What? A wild life sanctuary?
Dear fellow, we need a cemetery,
Or a larger city garbage dump,
Or, better, a sewage disposal sump.

That redwood grew a thousand odd
Just to give me and my friends a job.
So bring in the saws and bring in the axes,
Those bloody trees don’t pay any taxes.

Send a road right through that park.
We’ll show them how man makes his mark.
An animal preserve you say is there?
Just keep in mind: we-do-not-share!

Drill right there, a likely spot
For natural gas which is now quite hot.
Of forest preserves, we have enough;
Pro environs folk, we’ll call their bluff.

Endangered species? My logs are needed.
So strip the lands bare, all acres are deeded.
Our species is dominant; we do as we wish.
Bring on the loggers, this is just their dish.

Arctic wildlife, there’s none to be seen.
A white expanse, windswept and clean.
Just the site for a drill rig hole.
Six more months of oil’s our goal.

An ancient treasure from light from our sun
Feeding ancient forests; an amazing life’s run.
Two hundred million years in the making
And now, here for us, just for the taking.

Don’t rob us all of our God-given right
To irrevocably harvest all wild things in site.
It’s an ownership issue; it’s now My World!
My real estate flag floats high and unfurled.

====================================

Related Articles / Presentations:

TED Talk:
Pavan Sukhdev: Put a value on nature!

The Kink in the Human Brain: Why Are Humans OK with Destroying the Planet?

Top 10 Ways Man Is Destroying the Environment

 

John2005John Maling is an Editor and Indexer. He’s the author of the multi-award winning book, Have Your Ever Held a Mountain? His website is EditingByJohn.com and email EditingByJohn@aol.com.