Friday, June 24, 2011

Why the Earth is Round

Have you ever thought about why the world is round instead of some other shape, like flat or square? I hadn’t really given it much thought, but I found a very strong spherical magnet the other day. It had some metal filings on it. The magnet was about the size of a ball bearing. How do you get metal filings off a round magnet? I tried wiping them off with my finger and then with a tissue, but I succeeded only in pushing them around to the other side.

It made me think. Isn’t that what happens at a much larger scale with our world? There are things that try to wipe us out, like storms or famine or extreme heat or cold. Flood and fires come, but what do we do? We stay here affixed to our planet, but we might move around to a safer location. The shape of our planet keeps us from being wiped off into space.

I did eventually solve my problem. It turns out that the magnetic bonds of the molecules in Scotch tape are stronger than the magnet I found. By rolling the magnet across the tape, I was able to remove the metal and the magnet was clean once more. Fortunately, we don’t have a big piece of tape in the sky that can remove us from our planet.