Saturday, June 8, 2013

Why I don't cut hair and Newton's 3rd law...

What do gardening and hair have in common? Well, let me tell you.
You start out with a head of hair or perhaps a bush that is a bit overgrown and think we'll give this a nice little trim. Everything is going well and the blamo! The little branch to thin out wasn't a little branch and now there's a big hole. Or perhaps you think it was a nice level cut, but when you stand back it's more crooked that a politician. In gardening I just say whoops. Maybe I'll do better next time. However, if my barber ever said "Whoops, maybe I'll do better next time. That will be $15" things would be different.
I know, I know. The skeptic out there is saying, "why don't you just slow down and do it right instead of the other way?" Well, hmmm. Ya. sure, sure. Then I just sigh, frown a bit and reply. Next question.
He smirks back and lets loose another broadside. "Don't you watch you tube videos on pruning or read books on it? Lets go look in that there library of yours. I bet Cass Turnbull and Cisco have quite a bit to say on the subject." Once again I wince a bit and shuffle my feet. I can't let this harangue go by undefended. "Do you remember when you were potty trained. (now we've got him) No, you don't, but I sure how you have been by now. Did you wet your bed ever? Well, pruning properly is a lot like that. If you make a mistake and wet your bed, you don't throw up your hands and always wear diapers, you try again the next night. If you make a bush look more like some unearthly blob than the nice rounded hedge you were looking for, you don't give up and let it take over. When it grows out you try again. If at first you don't succeed; try, try again." Or in my case, try, try, try, try, try, again and again and again.
So, for all of you amateurs out there. Read, watch, listen and be patient. You'll get it, and when you do, come show me how  ;)

Newton's 3rd Law
Lex III: Actioni contrariam semper et æqualem esse reactionem: sive corporum duorum actiones in se mutuo semper esse æquales et in partes contrarias dirigi.
Law III: To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction: or the forces of two bodies on each other are always equal and are directed in opposite directions.

A more direct translation than the one just given above is:

LAW III: To every action there is always opposed an equal reaction: or the mutual actions of two bodies upon each other are always equal, and directed to contrary parts. — Whatever draws or presses another is as much drawn or pressed by that other. If you press a stone with your finger, the finger is also pressed by the stone. If a horse draws a stone tied to a rope, the horse (if I may so say) will be equally drawn back towards the stone: for the distended rope, by the same endeavour to relax or unbend itself, will draw the horse as much towards the stone, as it does the stone towards the horse, and will obstruct the progress of the one as much as it advances that of the other. If a body impinges upon another, and by its force changes the motion of the other, that body also (because of the equality of the mutual pressure) will undergo an equal change, in its own motion, toward the contrary part. The changes made by these actions are equal, not in the velocities but in the motions of the bodies; that is to say, if the bodies are not hindered by any other impediments. For, as the motions are equally changed, the changes of the velocities made toward contrary parts are reciprocally proportional to the bodies. This law takes place also in attractions, as will be proved in the next scholium.

To show that this blog is about more than gardening, I have left in the entire paragraph. However, the part that concerns me is the highlighted area. I did not know that Newton was an avid gardener, but the third law is proof. For every action there is an opposite and equal reaction. 
1) I (by proxy) cleaned out this area and planted nice pretty things.
2) The weeds reacted by growing even faster than before.
3) I pull out the weeds.
4) They grow back.
If that is not an opposite and equal reaction, I don't know what one is. Even more disturbing is the fact that I have brought in things that wouldn't be growing there if I had not transplanted them. In response, the weeds got together and came up with a weed plus - or perhaps some evolved alien species. There are some pictures below of these mega weeds. I could be wrong, but I don't remember seeing this guy around here before. I had a good talk with him before I pulled him up roots, leaves, trunk and all. "Look here," I says, "there ain't room for the two of yous guys in that there flower bed. Look here, now, one of yous is goin' to hafta leave... and this here rock rose ain't goin' no where."
He didn't seem convinced, but we'll see. 
If you know this desperado, and he happens to have a weakness, please pass it along. It seems to like to break right at the root when you pull it out, so you have to dig it up or it behaves like a dandelion and pops up twice as big.

Well, I hope you all had a good weekend and remember. If the flowers don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy!

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