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April 21, 2014

Andrew Silow-Carroll: Passoverkill? Suggestions to make next year's seders even more culturally sensitive

Sara Israelsen Hartley: Seeking the Divine: An ancient connection in a new context

Christine M. Flowers: Priest's execution in Syria should be call to action

Courtnie Erickson: How to help kids accept the poor decisions of others

Lizette Borreli: A Glass Of Milk A Day Keeps Knee Arthritis At Bay

Lizette Borreli: 5 Health Conditions Your Breath Knows Before You Do

The Kosher Gourmet by Betty Rosbottom Coconut Walnut Bars' golden brown morsels are a beautifully balanced delectable delight

April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review July 9, 2007 / 23 Tamuz, 5767

Great moments in science

By Dave Barry


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Settle back, because today I'm going to tell you the dramatic true story of what happened when some Japanese researchers decided to re-create the historic discovery of the law of gravity:


As you recall, this discovery occurred in an English orchard in 1666, when, according to legend, Isaac Newton, the brilliant mathematician, fell out of a tree and landed on an apple. No, hold it. Upon reviewing the videotape, I see that in fact the apple fell out of the tree and landed on Newton. Had this occurred today, of course, Newton would have simply put on a foam neck brace and sued everybody within a radius of 125 miles. But those were primitive times, and Newton was forced to settle for discovering the law of gravity, which states: "A dropped object will fall with an acceleration of 32 feet per second, and if it is your wallet, it will make every effort to land in a public toilet."


Later on, Newton also invented calculus, which is defined as "the branch of mathematics that is so scary it causes everybody to stop studying mathematics." That's the whole point of calculus. At colleges and universities, on the first day of calculus class, the professors go to the board and write huge, incomprehensible "equations" that they make up right on the spot, knowing that this will cause all the students to drop the course and never return to the mathematics building again.


This frees the professors to spend the rest of the semester playing cards and regaling one another with hilarious stories about the "mathematical symbols" they've invented over the years. ("Remember the time Professor Hinkwattle drew a 'cosine derivative' that was actually a picture of a squid?")


Yes, Newton made many contributions to science, but gravity was definitely his biggest. That's why a group of Japanese researchers decided, as an international goodwill project, to re-create the original discovery, using an apple tree that was descended from the original Newton tree.


I found out about this project thanks to an alert reader named Harley Ferguson, who sent me a story about it from an English-language Japanese newspaper called The Daily Yomiuri. The article states that in August 1996, researchers at the Construction Ministry's Public Works Research Institute in Arai, Japan, received a sapling descended from the original Newton tree. This sapling, according to the story, came from the U.S. Commerce Department's National Institute of Standards and Technology, or NIST, which is in charge of weights and measures (so if your pants don't fit the way they used to, this is the agency to complain to).


I was curious as to why a U.S. government agency would be providing Newton saplings, so I called NIST and spoke with the official archivist, whose name is Karma A. Beal. She sent me a bunch of information, which I will attempt to summarize here:


The original Newton tree — for simplicity's sake, let's call it "Bob" — died in 1814. But before Bob went to the Big Orchard in the Sky, cuttings were taken, and over the years these cuttings became trees, and cuttings were taken from those, and so now there are genetically identical offspring — let's call them "Boblets" — all over the world.


One Boblet lives at the NIST facility in Gaithersburg, Md. It produces apples, but not many; the information Karma Beal sent me refers to the tree as (I am not making any of this up) "a very shy fruiter." The story gets a little murky at this point, but apparently the sapling sent to Japan for the historic re-creation of Newton's discovery was grown from a seed from one of the NIST Boblet apples.


This is significant because if the sapling came from a seed, as opposed to a cutting, it is probably not a pure Bob descendant. As the NIST documentation states, "the original flower was almost certainly pollinated by some other tree." (Trees are total sluts this way.)


But let's not be picky. The important thing is that the Japanese researchers had a sapling that was in some way connected to the original historic Bob. According to The Daily Yomiuri, their plan was to videotape the exact moment when the very first apple fell.


The sapling was planted, and eventually it produced a single apple. The researchers set up a video camera. All was in readiness as, day by day, the apple grew riper and riper, getting closer and closer to the big moment. And then, finally, it happened: A local resident, who knew nothing about any of this, wandered by, saw the apple, and ate it.


So the researchers never did get to videotape the apple falling in a historic manner, although the article states that, "they did get scenes of the man munching on the apple." The man is quoted as saying, "It just tasted really bad."


But this does not mean the project was a waste of time. Often, in science, so-called "failures" produce the greatest discoveries. And this project resulted in a discovery whose value to humanity cannot be overemphasized. I refer, of course, to the fact that "Shy Fruiter and the Saplings" would be a great name for a rock band.

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Previously:

This won't hurt a bit
One giant leap for frogkind
My visit to Nether-Netherland
Smile and say cheese
Shooting carps in Wisconsin
The perfect storm
Stickup in aisle 3
Please don't feed the tourists
Land of the Frozen Earwax
The birth of wail
Honk if you're married and can't cope with anger
Rabbit ears get poor reception
Percentage of frogs in food jumps
Night of the living roach
Mr. Language Person: Some words of wisdomality
Mind your P's and Q's and teas
Loose lips sink sequels
NOW WE'RE COOKIN'!
The right to Bear clubs
Science: It's just not fair
Road warrior specials
Where's the beef? (Low fat)
There is nothing like a male (guys)
MOTIVATE! THEN FAIL! NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
Rooting for the midgets of the Midway
Revolt of the rodents
He can drive any truck named ‘Tonka’
All bets are off
How do you spell S-A-T?
Sour grapes and mud
Pro golf: A game of non-stop boredom
Guard-dog vigilance is nothing to sniff at
Warm and fuzzy Cold War memories
The funny side of ‘Beowulf’
HOLY HEAT WAVE, BATMAN!
Abs-olute madness
Beware of brainy bugs
I'm in a sorry state
The frog plague: The inside story
If she had a hammer….
Keeping an eye on crime
Camping and Lewis and Clark
When in Iowa, don't forget to duck
Junior takes the wheel
Growing old with Dave
Sites for sore eyes
Beware of sheep droppings
Ireland, land of bad Elvis
Mr. Peabrain's misadventures
When they're out to get you, keep cool
Mothers of invention
Kill 'em with kindness



© 2006, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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