Thought for the month

“Contradiction is not a sign of falsity, nor the lack of contradiction the sign of truth.” Blaise Pascal, French mathematician and physicist (1623 – 62).

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Gnome's Law?

Isaac Newton published his famous Principia in 1687 in which he postulated the inverse square law of universal gravitation. Rumour has it that Newton was inspired by a falling apple. The eminent scientist was clearly forced into thinking about Malus domestica because Baehr and Maresch of Dresden did not produce the first ceramic gnomes until 1841, with the first garden gnomes not introduced into the UK until 1847. Promoted by a German scales manufacturer, a garden gnome called Kern is currently travelling the world being weighed at numerous points on the earth as a route to illustrate the impact of the earth not being a perfect sphere of uniform density. You can track Kern's progress and see his weigh loss/gain here. So far he has weighed the most, a chunky 309.82 grammes, at the Amundsen-Scott Research Station in Antarctica.

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