The Ichabod School of Thought

Eldon Harding

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on Friday, October 10, 1958.

Interesting to note the irony while reading this article…for man did in fact make it into space and just over a decade after this article walked on the moon (1969.)

Several students were overheard discussing weighty problems in the Memorial Union.

Mr. A. (we will designate these students a A, B, and C to avoid incrimination) was heart to say: My instructor told me that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, and that if I drop a golf  ball, the earth would come up to meet the ball with the same force that the ball is going down to meet the earth.

Mr. B: In that case, we had better warn the war department of this matter, because the logical conclusion to this is that anyone who might have launched into space could never make it if he had any golf balls on his person, as logically the earth would follow the golf balls with an equal and opposite reaction.

Mr. C: OH, that quite correct! Furthermore, they couldn’t get anyone into space anyway.

Mr. B: Why?

Mr. C: Because it’s a well known fact that man requires air to breath. It is also a well known fact that in space there is no air. Therefore, this argument defeats itself, because there can be no air in space.

Mr. A: Well, too, further evidence that this nation shouldn’t spend any more money on space projects, is brought to us by the ancient philosopher Heraclitus. He said that motion was impossible, because if we’re to try to go to the moon, we would first have to go half way, then half of the other half way, then half of the remaining half-way, and so on, and we never would get there.

Mr. B: In that case, how did Columbus discover America if he could only go half-way?

Mr. C: Well, he wasn’t such a smart guy anyway!

Mr. A: Why’s that?

Mr. C: Because any D— fool that sailed west from Europe would be bound to hit America.

Mr. B: True! He really would have accomplished a truly great feat if had sailed west and MISSED America!

Mr. A: Well at least Columbus thought the earth was round!

Mr. C: Ah so. But Modern science tells us that the earth isn’t really round at all, because there is a 20-mile bulge around the equator due to the rotation of the earth.

Mr. B: Well, going by that hypothesis, the ancients weren’t so silly when they thought the earth was flat! It the earth continues to rotate for a few more years, the bulge will get bigger and bigger and finally become FLAT!

Mr. C: Well, then why don’t these big-wheel scientists just wait awhile to get into space. When the earth becomes flat, they can just sail off the edge and drop in.

Mr. A: But that brings up another problem. If the earth becomes perfectly flat all the water will flow into space. Then we’ll have to go into space for our water.

Mr. B: Then we’ll surely die of thirst, because we have just proved that man can’t possible get into space.

Mr. C: AH, but a flat earth would certainly un-complicate some things. At least we’d know how far we’d have to dig to find how far down down is.

Mr. A: Gentlemen, I move that we start a society for the good of the human race. “The Society Pledge to Stop the Rotation of the Earth.”

Mr. B: So moved!

Mr. C: The ayes have it!