Scientific History: The Invention of Gravity

(Draft for a children’s TV programme)

Hello ChildrenHello Children. This is Hermit, the Taoist Dragonfly, with your daily dose of scientific history. And our topic today is: GRAVITY. (Hermit clicks on a notebook, and a picture of planet earth appears on the tv screen.)

As you can see, the planet we live on is round. Now, dear children, how can this be? Haven’t we – no, you, hehe – all tried to stand on a soccerball some time, and found out that it is nearly impossible? Now, children, the answer is this: until eight thousand years ago (more or less), our ancestors were all staying on plants. These were buried deep into planet earth, as you can still see today, and our ancestors had to hold fast to them with at least one hand. With their other hand they could catch flies, bugs, and pick some leaves from their habitats.  Or, like me, they were sucking grass ‘n leaves when they didn’t fly. Of course, that wasn’t scientific. It was very inefficient and unhealthy, and most of our ancestors didn’t last for more than one summer. Besides, countless ancestors lost contact with their plants and accidentally went into outer space.

Fortunately, the Chinese invented science. Eight thousand years ago (more or less), Taoist monks invented gravity. They also invented some things before, like doing things – while holding on to trees with one hand – that could make babies like you (but also make a lot of fun while avoiding making babies), but we will come to that later. Much later. When it has become a suitable topic for little buggers like you. Anyway, Chinese Taoist monks invented gravity.

Now we can all choose if we want to cling to trees and flowers, or if we want to walk mother earth, thanks to the Chinese. From the kindness of their hearts, they have never switched gravity off – not even when some hooligans pissed on their sacred olympic flame. But make sure that you never overstep the unknown limit of their patience (or if you do, make sure that you have one of your hands firmly on a tree).

Planes are an example of how to switch gravity off locally. The Chinese also invented planes. They allow people like you to fly.

Unfortunately, any science can sometimes be abused by evil cults. Falun Gong Falun Gong Grannyis such an evil cult. It is OK for dragonflies to fly, but Falun Gong even makes old commie grandmothers fly! Sometimes, these grannies lose orientation and fly into tunnel supports. Thanks to Chinese science, they often survive this abuse. When they survive, they get hospitalised, old cadres come to pay a visit to their sickbeds, cry with them and make them repent. Be very careful when people who claim that they are “scientific” tell you to fly! Don’t fly unless you are a dragonfly! And don’t try to stand on a soccerball because a stranger tells you to! It could be a bad uncle from the evil cult! Only try to stand on a soccerball if you feel like it!

OK, dear children. That much for today. Got to fly now.

11 Responses to “Scientific History: The Invention of Gravity”

  1. You should take the persecution of Falun Gong more serious. It is no topic for jokes.


  2. @ nowede: I do take persecution serious, and I don’t think that there are fair trials for Falun Gong practitioners in China. But I don’t see that as a problem of Falun Gong practitioners in particular, but of anyone who is denied his or her essential rights. I can’t say if the Chinese government’s ban on Falun Gong is justified or not. But the way practitioners are treated is definitely not in accordance with human rights.
    I’m not thinking of myself as a cartoonist, not at all. But the worse a situation, the better it is for satire. David Low took the Nazi-Soviet pact against Poland seriously too, didn’t he?


  3. That means that you accuse the accused, when unsure. That is not the human rights which you demand yourself.


  4. “I can’t say if the Chinese government’s ban on Falun Gong is justified or not.”


  5. I’m not accusing the accused. But honestly, I don’t defend Falun Gong as an organisation. Not because I believe that it is an “evil cult”, but because I’m not well informed about it. What I believe in is that every individual has a right to decent standards of human rights (administrative sentences have nothing to do with human rights), and the Chinese state must explain what would warrant an arrest, if it wants us to understand its stance against Falun Gong.
    My uneducated theory is that both the Communist Party and Falun Gong are secret societies, and that this is why the Communist Party is much more afraid of Falun Gong, than of people with a transparent approach like the one most dissidents we know have chosen. The reaction of the Chinese state to Falun Gong looks hysterical to me – but that is probably the logical result of a secretive government system.
    Crackdowns are no good solution here. More transparency would be.


  6. To elevate science is engrained deep in the virtious hearts of the Party. In the venerated tradition of the old ancient emperors. After they invented agriculture, Qin Shihuang, the great uniter of China, explored gravity himself. Who are imperialists like the Wright brothers? Of course, there were some losses among Qin’s confucian employees. But where would China be without his hard and selfless endeavours to bring the sages closer to earth, and even more to anchor them underneath the earth? Where would we be without these great civilisational works?


  7. Le soleil c’est moi.



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