force

Guys, you’re not summoning Charlie Charlie, you’re summoning Isaac Newton

(Isaac Newton - Godfrey Kneller)
Actually, you’re not even summoning him…

Overnight, my social media has become full of this “Charlie Charlie Challenge”. There are vines and facebook videos of people balancing pencils on top of each other and then dropping their camera as they run screaming, out of the room. Some people say “Charlie” is then haunting their house, causing doors to slam or pictures to fall off the wall.

Apparently, it is an old Mexican tradition that will summon the ghost of young Charlie, if you draw a grid with the words “yes” and “no” in each cell, then balance a pencil on top of another in a cross pattern

(Photo via donthavetobebrave​)

and chant, usually with your friend, “Charlie Charlie Are You Here”, it will summon Charlie, who will spin the pencil to a “yes” or “no”, and from there on you can ask him any yes or no question.

Of course, the pencil can land on “No” but the mere fact that it moved is sometimes enough to scare people into believing that he is there.

(NatalieHolmqvist on vine.com)

Now, I want you to get two pencils out. Don’t worry, there will be no demon summoning happening here. First of all, look at the sides of the pencil. Pretty smooth huh? This means that when rubbing against each other there is little friction. They’re also pretty light, very good qualities for an object to move “by itself” (the smaller the mass, the less force required to make it move)


But why do the pencils move at all?

Again, there is no ghost or demon behind this, just simple Physics. Our friend Isaac Newton, from the top of this post, is behind describing the laws of motion. The first law states this:

When viewed in an inertial reference frame, an object either remains at rest or continues to move at a constant velocity, unless acted upon by an external force

In plain speak, an object will stay still until some force is applied, and will keep moving until another force stops it. In the case of the pencils, which are precariously balanced on top of each other, the force is the chant itself. There is nothing supernatural or special about this force other than the fact that you are basically blowing the pencil to move. 

Place the pencils in the “charlie” setup (note the pivot point where the pencils cross) and say “Ha. Ha. Ha.” Nothing special about that chant, but they still moved right? Did you ever wonder why a Mexican ghost would be called “Charlie Charlie”? It’s because saying the word “Charlie” creates more of a force of wind out of your mouth than, say, “Miguel” (I’m guessing the reason it wasn’t something like Jose is because some people in the world don’t know how to pronounce it) 

If you were to leave the pencils like that and not say anything at all, a breeze from an open window or the air from a fan/aircon could potentially make it move without you even noticing. 


If there’s no spirit, why is my house haunted?

It’s not. Correlation is not causation. The problem is, now that you’ve done this spooky supernatural ritual, you are now in a suggestible state and hyper aware of anything happening around you and blaming a “spirit” is the first thing in your mind. Had you not done the ritual, you’d probably dismiss the slamming door as a breeze, or the picture falling down as a sign that whatever was holding it up has weakened. There is also the possibility of you unconsciously causing things that could be seen as supernatural, like how the Ouija board - from which this was derived - is often just ideomotor action of the participants. 

Why did the Earth start spinning?

Our Solar System formed about 4.6 billion years ago when a huge cloud of gas and dust started to collapse under its own gravity. 

As the cloud collapsed, it started to spin. Some of the material within this cloud gathered into swirling eddies and eventually formed into planets. As the planets formed, they kept this spinning motion. This is similar to what you see when skaters pull in their arms and spin faster. As material gathered in more closely to form a planet, like Earth, the material spun faster. 

Why does the Earth still Spin?

To put it bluntly, the earth is still spinning because there are no forces acting to make it stop spinning! This is known as Inertia - an inherent law of nature.

Inertia is the tendency of an object to remain in motion unless and until acted upon by an unbalanced force.

( Source : http://coolcosmos.ipac.caltech.edu/ask/59-Why-does-Earth-spin-)

Force Of Nature lyrics by Bea Miller

I don’t know why, but my hands are shaking
I can see you coming and I stand awaiting
Yeah, I get tongue tied in the conversation
It’s an f’d up, sad, sick situation


I tried to tie my heart down, board up all the windows
Oh, but it’s too late now, I let you get too close
I know I should take cover, hide inside these four walls
But baby I surrender it all


Because you’re a force of nature
Now look what you’ve done
I can taste the danger, but I don’t wanna run
So pull me to the ground and I won’t put up a fight
I’m a caution taker, but baby you’re a force of nature
Oh (2x)


I feel your lips move in and they take me under
You know just what to do and make me want ya
And I know i’ll be broken when it’s over
Oh, but I can’t help but move closer
I tried to tie my heart down, board up all the windows
Oh, but it’s too late now, I let you get so close


Cause you’re a force of nature, look at what you’ve done
I can taste the danger, but I don’t wanna run
So pull me to the ground and I won’t put up a fight
Im a caution taker but baby you’re a force of nature

Oh (x3)

I don’t care if I survive
So crash into me one more time
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

Cause you’re a force of nature, but look what you’ve done
I can taste the danger, but I don’t wanna run
So pull me to the groung and I won’t put up a fight
Im a caution taker, but baby you’re a force of nature

Oh (x2)
But baby you’re a force of nature
Oh
But baby you’re a force of nature
Oh
But baby you’re a force of nature

10

Throwback Thursday: What is the Strong Force?

“[T]he strong force is what holds every atomic nucleus together; without it, we’d simply be a lifeless sea of fundamental particles, too repulsive to hold together in any meaningful fashion, and incapable of building any elements other than hydrogen in the entire Universe.

No stars would ever shine, no complex molecules would ever form, and there would never be a rocky planet anywhere in the Universe: just clumps of gas and great, empty voids.”

If you’ve ever been confused by why protons inside atomic nuclei don’t push each other apart, this clears everything up!