Oct 8, 2007

Standing an Egg on Equinox

Continuing a theme from the last post of playing MythBusters using science. When I was a little kid, my schoolteachers would tell me about the equinox - it is one of 2 days of the year where the day and night are the same length. It also is the 2 days where the earth's axis is perpendicular to the sun. To demonstrate how this is special, they wave their hands about the sun's affect on gravity and tell me that on this day and this day alone, I can stand a raw egg on it's end!

Even better, as a good science experiment should be, the teacher either demonstrates with their own egg or hand me one and have me try. After alot of patience, it works. The egg stands on it's end. Science is proven, the egg experiment proves that the sun is doing somehing hand wavey with gravity.

Teacher, I'm sorry but you missed a step. If you happen to try to stand on one foot on the equinox and succeed, that doesn't necessarily mean you can only stand on one foor on that day out of the year. Turns out that you can stand an egg on end any friggin time. Really. Try it NOW. Don't trust me, do your own experiment. The trick is you need a little patience. On non-eqiunox days, you don't believe it can be done, so you don't try very hard. On equinox days you will fidget with this egg for god-knows how long until it stands, dammit! There are things called blind studies that would fix this confounding variable in your experiment, if you are still not convinced.

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