Tip of the week

The ground is particularly good at equal and opposite reactions, but we usually don’t need Newton to tell us that.

Perhaps more important are Newton’s other laws of motion. If you are sitting on the roof with your legs hanging over the gutter and you use your arms to push off so that you clear the gutter, the force of your push acts on your shoulders, above your center of gravity. This creates the necessary forward motion to get you clear of the gutter, but also can create a slight forward rotation. While air does have mass, it is awfully hard to act upon it while you are traveling through it. Unfortunately, the closest matter with suitable qualities for use in changing this undesired motion is the ground. At this point your velocity will indeed change, but it is less likely to be in a manner to your liking.

You can avoid all of these problems by remembering this very simple rule: regardless of your age or the size of your home, it’s never a good idea to jump off of the roof.