Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Dog has more effect than Saturn

Today I was reading a very funny thread on slashdot.org about horoscopes. Someone quoted Carl Sagan where he was saying how ridiculous the idea of astrology was:

"'The idea behind horoscopes is that the way the planets were aligned when you were born affects you. The only way this could actually be true is if it was their respective pulls of gravity against your body while being born.' Then he pointed out that the gravitational pull of the obstetrician that delivered you far outweighed that of any celestial body."

Here was the response to this quote:

"There was a related incident on NPR a couple of years ago. Someone claimed that, if you have a large dog, its gravitation pull on you is more that the pull of Saturn at its closest approach. Someone else questioned this. So someone else looked up the numbers in an astronomical reference book and did the calculations.
As I recall, they assumed a 50-pound (20-kg) dog. It turned out that at about 3 or 4 meters the dog has the same gravitational pull as Saturn at its closest approach to Earth. If the dog is closer, it's pull is greater that Saturn's. And if you're touching, even a small dog has a greater pull than Saturn.
I also recall thinking that a large dog that's very close when you're born might very well have a greater effect on your life than Saturn. But this is not due to its gravitaional pull.
Ain't physics wonderful?"

And then in reply to the response:

"What you sayin' bout my momma?!"

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