Pauline Spacing Out to Newton (Sketch)

Pauline Sketch

I’m trying to do one pencil sketch per week, whether or not I’m feeling inspired. I was in the back yard with my daughter. It was mid afternoon, and there was beautiful view of the waxing gibbous moon – three more days until a full moon. One of my dogs, Pauline, was staring into space just in front of me. Not at the moon.

Pauline Spacing Out

Newtonian Procrastination

Before choosing Pauline as the subject for my weekly pencil sketch, and with the perfect view of the moon, I decided to tell my daughter about Isaac Newton’s “apple incident” and his subsequent “cannonball experiment.” The same physical laws that cause an apple to fall also describe how a cannonball could (under certain conditions) achieve orbital speed, and why the moon doesn’t fall from the sky. (Spoiler: Because the moon is always falling from the sky.)

Newton's Cannon Balls
Newton’s Cannonballs

And Newton’s insight, I said, began as he was in his backyard near an apple tree, on a lovely day such as this, with the moon in view.

Newton warmed up my pencil. My daughter had heard enough about Newton and gravity. She asked, “Why don’t you draw Pauline?”

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