Grandma is affraid of the end of the world

Yes. She does. Here is how it goes.

My grandma payed us a visit and actually ( really ) asked mom if she could stay the night over because she heard at the news that because of the moon the dam from Bicaz ( a close-by location ) will collapse and flood her home with the entire region. Since we are uphill and away from the danger of "the great flood" she thought she could stay here. She actually brought her meds. She is seriously afraid.

Seems familiar? I heard you guys have Fox News up there and now I am starting to understand what you guys go through.

We shouldn't let this go unnoticed right? So here I go.

After some laughs I started my research and gathered data on the moon/earth from WolframAlpha. Took my pen&paper and my basketball ball and set up an experiment.

From my calculation, if my basketball ( 25cm dimeter ) was Earth then my pingpong ( 3.3 cm after the math ) could be a good aproximation of the moon. As we all know, now, the moon is at its perigee ( it is the closest to Earth ) and everybody freaked out. I then got into a conversation and explained why what she heard was rubbish.

I put the "moon" in her hands and I held the "earth" and I asked her what is the distance, at that scale, that the moon is from earth. She represented about half a meter ( from intuition ). After my calculations, at that scale, the moon would have been about 150 meters far away and I pointed to a stop sign out the window.

She, including my brother, were a little surprised. Despite all that, she kept on saying that what she heard was true because scientists ( non existent ones for sure, considering the media here in Romania ) have looked it over. Well I looked over it and the moon at the basketball scale has been moved from an average of 150m to 140m ( because the moon is at its perigee ) and there is nothing to worry. Just a 7% change in distance and a minor one in gravity.

After further discussions I found out she thinks that the sun/moon caused what happened in Japan. I explained how the plate tectonics move. She still thinks that an eclipse and sun spots are literary 'disaster causers'.

She still wants to sleep over...

Views: 60

Comment by Scarlette Blues on March 18, 2011 at 12:56pm
You gotta love old people. :)
Comment by Heather Spoonheim on March 18, 2011 at 1:03pm
Make her some hot cocoa and put her to bed.  My grandfather thought that some 'strange looking dust' on his car was 'radiation' from the Chernobyl disaster.
Comment by Heather Spoonheim on March 18, 2011 at 4:00pm
I believe that Dec 21, 2012 will be the LONGEST night of that thar winter!  That is my prediction.  Thank you, I'm here all week.
Comment by Loop Johnny on March 19, 2011 at 5:40am
@Radu Thx for correcting. I think I forgot to convert cm into km and radius to diameter.


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