Hey, Wake UP!
If, coming to consciousness, you notice you feel no weight, do not ask yourself if you are dead. You are alive, although, it could be that you will not be, very soon.
Here's what to do: Take an object from your pocket - a coin, keys, a pencil, whatever - and hold it in front of your head at arm's length. Let go of it, pulling your hand and arm away. If the obect lingers in its place, in front of you, seemingly weightless, that makes the two of you, observer and observed, apparently floating in space. Probably not, though.
It is, much more likely both the object and you are falling.
Scientific observation suggests that you and the object are hurtling through space/time toward Mother Gravity at exactly the same speed, one one Newton's Laws of Universal Gravity.
Look for, locate and pull the ripcord, please. Then read on.
How many people of your own species can you name with interest enough enough in Gravity or its spin-offs to examine each facet deeply and render precepts? Newton (Sir Isaac of Britain) certainly was burning with such curiosity, personal tests and observations and, from these, certainty enough of his theories to be respected for them among his peers. And reviled; that's the way.
He published his theories on the subject. He had a catalog of subjects. He had a lot of Laws. Not just for the Star Trek Gen, either. He had rules even practitioners of Zen can appreciate and heed: Rules Of Motion, itself.
NEWTON'S LAWS OF MOTION ARE YOUR LAWS...
Law-1: Often called "the law of inertia," it states that an object at rest will remain at rest unless acted on by an unbalanced force. An object in motion continues in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.
Law-2: Acceleration is produced when a force acts on a mass. The greater the mass the greater the amount of force needed.
Law-3: For every action there is an equal and opposite re-action.
Each one is worth a thousand koans.
Motion itself implies a dualistic point of view, a Here and a There, a From and To, between which to travel. These simple two or more points of matter can easily take a visionary's leap from mankind with its sticks and stones to entire universes with their individual planets and their respective orbit math or magnetics. Sir Isaac was all over it, unifying that vision by helping the one he was explaining it to understand.
NEWTON'S LAWS OF GRAVITY BELONG TO YOU...
The simple look at Newton's law of universal gravitation states that any two objects in the Universe exert gravitational attraction on each other, with the force having a universal form.
Slightly less simple: What's true for two is true for all. Thus: every point mass in the universe attracts every other point mass with a force that is directly proportional to the product of their masses and inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them.
All of Newton's insights, which offered a unified description of gravity as a geometric property of space and time, or spacetime, and in particular expanded on the plausibility and further exploration of the curvature of spacetime, melded with Einstein's thoroughly envisioned Relativity Theory and they're still pulling the most delicious things out of the oven.
That should be a good thing, right? No such thang.
And we know it. At best, we get a good thing and a bad thing. So we, who with such bright-eyed enthusiasm, built or contributed or helped invent the wonderful New Thing, now make The Strictest Of Rules about using it, lest it be misused.
Those two Giant Steps In Perception, Einstein and Newton, led to today's extended practices of Theoretical and Experimental Physics, Vacuum Systems Sciences, Electron-Ion Optics, Particle Beams, and Surface Physics, just naming a few. These "What If Sciences," and the Pandora Inventory of all their important local through astrophysical implications is now all part of our mutual Quantum Experiment. It was inevitable.
Part of our ongoing evolution turns out to be: we'll have to remain on the lookout for the bad as well as the good. We can't sleep through this.
THIS JUST IN:
They only recently found out that the chemical they were selling you as a Good Thing to keep ticks and fleas off your dog and cat (tetrachlorvinphos and propoxur) had residue levels so high that the pets weren't all that were at risk. Those chemicals also pose a risk of cancer and damage to the neurological system of children -- up to 1,000 times higher than the EPA's acceptable levels.
Children are particularly at risk from these pesticides because their neurological and metabolic systems are still developing. They are also more likely than adults to put their hands in their mouths after petting an animal, and so are more likely to ingest the hazardous residues.
FROGS AS CANARIES IN THE COAL MINE...
Recently a circular has been issued in my community outlining how another pet chemical - a different one entirely - has been responsible for all our missing frogs. That man-made family of chemicals is fatal to a whole slew of aquatic life, from the most miniscule up to fish and frogs. They just found out.
Wouldn't it be comforting to think all these different experiments were being shared with each other? Mixing spices and chemicals can have a tasty or decidedly ugly effect. And there are those with a taste for ugly. Their minds dwell in continually ugly places.
Accidents breed in environments of secrecy. Confusing labels can jeopardize the health of your pet, but safer flea and tick control methods are available. Full disclosure prevents free fall. Remain alert.
In the meantime, flash a smile and tell Sir Isaac when you see him that regular combing, bathing and vacuuming can reduce and control fleas. All pesticides should be used with caution and, only if he must, choose a safer treatment and avoid the most toxic chemicals.