I pondered posting that question on my Facebook page, to see what kinds of reasons my friends might come up with. But knowing that some of those friends are jokesters, I imagined a lot of the answers might be some form of “Gravity, duh.”
So not having the usual opportunity to look for a book about the subject since I was on vacation from the library, I turned to my laptop. I pulled up www.google.com and typed in “apples falling off tree” and Google added “before ripe.” I clicked on that since a taste test clearly revealed to me that the apples were still dry and green-tasting.
It turns out that my apples are falling off the tree due to water stress. Apple trees need lots of water to keep their fruit juicy, so when they go long stretches without water, they’ll drop rotten apples to preserve the healthier ones and the tree itself.
While I on was on my computer, I typed in “apple gravity” just to see what results would come up. Most referred to Newton and posed the question of whether an apple really did fall on his head, prompting him to discover gravity.
I chose www.history.com, as this website seemed the most likely to be accurate. Their article states that Newton did ponder why an apple fell straight to the ground, as opposed to sideways or upwards, but there is no indication that the apple actually hit him on the head. So there’s no real “a-ha!” moment, which saddens me because I like thinking of Newton sitting under the tree, getting bonked on the head by an apple, and brilliantly discovering the law of gravity!
Apples and Newton aside, I love the fact that you can use the Google search engine to look up just about anything. You just have to be willing—and informed enough—to seek out the most likely site to offer factual information. I think the days of “I saw it on the internet, it must be true” are over, as we’ve all become a bit more savvy about how the internet actually works.
If you’re not sure which website to visit, call your local library and ask for some advice. We can help you sort through the information that’s out there.
I’m not narrow-minded enough to think Google is the only resource you can use from your computer; there are several major search engines available that will return the same results. Apple (haha, pun intended!) users can just ask Siri, and Amazon Tap users can ask Alexa; I am still “old-fashioned” enough to grab my laptop and “ask” Google. Actually, I prefer seeking the information the truly old-fashioned way, by finding a book to answer all my questions. I’m looking up books now on the computer (www.evergreen.lib.in.us ), placing a hold, and looking forward to checking them out at my local library. (How to grow orchard fruits : a practical gardening guide for great results, with step-by-step techniques and 150 colour photographs / Richard Bird and Kate Whiteman.) Then I can really take my time, look at the pictures, read what to do, and get my apples taken care of properly.
Maybe then I’ll just go sit under the apple tree. Who knows what might happen?