KEN GRABOWSKI: Isaac Newton mixed science and life in his third law of motion


Anyone who has retained an inquisitive nature of life remembers some of the many interesting things our science teachers taught us in high school and college back then.

While most of what they taught us went to the heart of scientific theory, there were other things that many of us with an inquisitive nature saw social correlation later in life. We could see where some of their scientific theories fit perfectly into our daily life.

One example is Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Motion which states that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Boy, if there was ever something that was true in most aspects of everyday life as well as science today, it is Newton’s law of motion.

Think about it folks. Almost everything we do in the world today has consequences and an equal and opposite reaction of some sort. Comment on any social media topic in today’s world and there’s a 100% chance that someone will react and disagree with what you just said.

Social media was not developed during Newton’s lifetime, but it puts into practice his “equal opposing action and reaction” in every sense of the word. You just have to look at people’s statements and the reactions that come back to them.

Doubt me? I’m sure at this very second someone somewhere disagrees with that simple statement from the above paragraph because that’s life today. If there is one thing that people can okay today is that most people disagree on much in the world.

And when it comes to politics, no matter which party makes a statement on any subject imaginable, you can bet that the shutdown there will be a rebuttal statement issued by the opposition. What’s even funnier is that it got so bad that sometimes it’s members of the same party who disagree with each other on an issue.

Just watch the State of the Union speeches as the President barely stops speaking and the opposing party’s response is broadcast on TV, refuting just about everything that has just been said. Action and reaction once again.

What got me thinking about all this was a story recently published in the News Advocate about an expected increase in the cost of living of 6.2% for Social Security recipients. The increase was a “measure” taken because of the current cost of inflation.

Some might look at that and say, “Wow, that’s a nice increase,” but with that action or that increase if you will, the reaction is opposite and equal.

Before the ink on that newsprint barely dried, direct mail was sent to people like me who arrived two days later saying the monthly cost of my Medicare Part D prescription plan and some of the co-payments were increasing.

The government gives and the government takes back. Their reasoning has to be that there will be no way to miss out on what we never actually get, so there won’t be so many complaints about it.

Kind of like the old way of doing “Now you see me, now you don’t see me anymore”, but rather a case of action and reaction at work.

The other “reaction” that will be guaranteed will be in the form of increased costs for Medicare itself. Usually, this turns what looks like an increase in the cost of living into a “washout” in terms of what the Social Security recipient will actually receive in their checks.

This is again the action and the reaction and the way of the world today.

Similar to the Social Security scenario when people hear the news of the rise in real estate values ​​that we have recently seen happen. Nothing makes people smile more than hearing the news that their home and property are valued at a higher standard.

Only the smile starts to fade with the “reaction” part of this photo the next time their property taxes arrive in the mailbox with a premium rate that matches the rise in value. Another positive action countered by a not-so-positive reaction equals that.

But the opposite action and reaction is present in all phases of our daily life, including the simple herb in our gardens. We all love to see the rain levels providing enough humidity to keep our gardens thick and green and until the reality of the reaction causes it to grow so fast that we have to cut it several times a week.

Someone recently spoke about another action and reaction caused by the upcoming season change. They mentioned that it would be nice to see the end of the hot temperatures mean that their electricity bills would go down due to the decrease in demand for running the air conditioner and fans. However, they were quick to point out that the reaction to this action would be the need to quickly light the oven, which would increase the gas bill.

Sometimes old Isaac just won’t let you win.

Likewise, it is also difficult to turn on a television without seeing an advertisement for a prescription drug that will cure something that is causing you pain. Seems like a great action to take to fix the issue until you hear the possible reactions it might cause and then wonder if it’s worth it.

Most people will agree that the weather last summer was amazing with lots of hot sunny days. It kind of makes you wonder if Mother Nature follows Newton’s third law of motion? If she does, we better buckle up for some dark and very cold and snowy days in the not-so-distant future.

Hopefully that won’t happen anytime soon or long after I saw you again on Monday.

Ken Grabowski is the retired Associate Editor of the Manistee News Advocate who has spent over 36 years in the newspaper industry.


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