Alton Webteam: June 2018
The story that Sir Isaac Newton (1642-1727) thought up his theory of gravitational attraction after watching an apple fall to the ground from a tree in his orchard may or may not be true, but it is certainly true that nobody seems to have thought that an explanation of that event was necessary at all. Everything fell down if not propped up or supported, that was common sense. This did not stop people from using gravity for their own purposes.
The Romans and quite independently, the Chinese, made use of gravity to build arches and bridges; and waterwheels depend on water flowing under the influence of gravity to grind corn. On a much bigger scale, dams are still being built across rivers to form lakes from which water flows through turbines generating electricity.
A British charity, appropriately named 'Practical Action' devotes its knowledge and engineering skills to design and build solutions to problems of daily living in poorer countries where the terrain and the lack of resources make Hi Tech solutions unworkable.
Such a country is Nepal, well known for its mountains and lack of resources. Moving goods and people is a labour intensive matter. Wire ropeways, pulleys and other small items can be obtained from India, but the work can be carried out by local craftsmen trained by the charity representative. Wire cages are attached to the cables so that as one descends the other comes up with the goods. The motive power is gravity itself as the descending cage is loaded with lumps of rock. Everyone in the village including the children, plays a part in the scheme and collects rocks, large and small, to add to the pile near the ropeway loading platform. As for sustainability, the Himalaya mountain range is not likely to disappear in the near future.
popular recent storiesAlso in the news
It was great to welcome lots of children, parents and grandparents to the first Messy Church of 2020 on Jan. 4th.After table games as people arrived we played two group games which burnt off plenty of energy. We then acted out the story of Mary & Joseph taking Jesus as a baby to the Temple to give thanks for his life. Old Simeon and Anna were so excited to see him! We then imagined what it was...
Messy Church Style Christingle ServiceOn Christmas Eve at 4pm the church began to fill with children, parents and grandparents as we began our Christingle Service.After singing some carols, lighting the advent candles and hearing the Christmas story we all moved to gather around tables to make our own Christingle using an orange, sweets, raisins, ribbons and candles. In no time...
The CAMEO Christmas Tea Afternoon began with a quiz, requiring members to work together to answer a range of general knowledge questions. After all that brain activity they were able to relax and enjoy some musical entertainment. Terri White very kindly brought along three of her pupils who played for us — the first public performance for all three of them! We sang along to some familiar carols...