Newton’s Theory of Moving Cars
The other day, as I was driving to work, I came upon an elderly gentleman trying to push his car out of the middle of the street. My sometimes inconvenient desire to help others kicked into place as I pulled my huge van over to the side of the road, slithered out of the driver’s seat, plopped to the ground, and ran to assist him. He was pushing on one side holding the steering wheel, and I grabbed onto the trunk and pushed. Knowing what I do about Newton’s Law of Motion, I knew that an object in motion continues in motion, so pushing it was not difficult. Even if I’d nudged it with my finger, it would have kept moving unless it ran into something to stop it. What amazed me, however, was that out of the large number of cars that had stopped, and no one else got out to help.
Of course, I am sure they were transfixed in their seats, mesmerized, thinking “Look at that old man and that lovely, blonde middle-aged woman with the shapely body pushing that huge, 2000 pound car out of the road! What an amazing sight!” Alas, I hesitate to print what I really thought they were thinking. If they did not remember Newton’s Law of Motion, I am sure they were annoyed at having to stop, although they might have been a little impressed that we two, slightly over the hill people were moving this car ourselves.
As his car came to a stop by the side of the road, allowing traffic to flow once again, the gentleman thanked me. I walked over to my huge van, shimmied up into the driver’s seat, and drove away. Thank goodness I remembered good ole’ Newton from Science class, or I may not have been so eager to stop and help!
Link to my book The Apple Tree: Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities and Remaining Sane
Link to the Readers Digest review of my book: http://www.rd.com/recommends/what-to-read-after-a-hurricane/