Merry Newtonmas!

For the secular world, December 25th may mean a few things. For Americans, it’s the anniversary of Washington crossing the Delaware, a pivotal moment in the Revolutionary War. But a popular celebration and antidote to the season is Sir Isaac Newton’s birthday, December 25, 1642. Isaac Newton—physicist, mathematician, astronomer, inventor of the cat door—was one of the most influential scientists in known history. We happen to like him a bunch. I mean, like, dude—he explained gravity.

And so, we denizens of the Lab wish you a very Merry Newtonmas season and hope that it’s full of beauty, laughter, warmth and love. We raise a glass of mulled wine to your health and we hope to see you here in the coming year.

Cheers, dears!

(click to embiggen)

Gravity

{sung to “Jingle Bells”}

by Alvin Lee, Wakefield High School, Arlington VA, 1982

A comet hit the earth;
It makes a giant force.
Now, isn’t that so nice?
What made it come here thus?
What made it hit the earth?
The answer’s very clear my friend.
It fills you up with mirth.

O-o-o-o-oh!
Gravity, gravity,
Keeps us on the ground.
An apple fell on Newton’s head,
What goes up comes down.

O-o-o-o-oh
Gravity, gravity,
Mass times nine point eight
Remember travel very fast
If earth you must escape.

Walk around the earth.
If gravity weren’t here
You’d float away in space.
Call it what you want,
Call it any name.
This force is sure a heavy weight.
Attraction is its game.

O-o-o-o-oh!
Gravity, gravity,
Keeps us on the ground.
An apple fell on Newton’s head,
What goes up comes down.

O-o-o-o-oh
Gravity, gravity,
Mass times nine point eight
Remember travel very fast
If earth you must escape.

{Alternate Beginning}
When something hits the earth,
You’ll notice in a trice,
It makes a great big bang,
Now isn’t that so nice?
So what makes things fall down?
What makes them go ker-plop?
The answer’s in this song, my friend,
We’ll sing it ’till we drop.