Sir Isaac Newton And The Cat Flap A Red-letter Day In The History Of Working From

Computers-and-Technology Famous throughout the world as a pre-eminent physicist, mathematician, astronomer, alchemist, natural philosopher and theologian, Sir Isaac Newton has exerted more influence on the development of modern physics than Einstein and made a greater contribution to the welfare of humanity than Jesus. So says Wikipedia, so it must be true. It is a lesser-known fact that he also deserves an honourable mention for his role in improving the lot of the humble Home Worker. One fateful day in the late 17th century, whilst on the brink of demonstrating the Generalised Binomial Theorem by means of the Approximation of the Roots of a Function (sounds a bit technical to you and me, but just an average morning’s work in the Newton household) Newton became distracted by the antics of his cat. Desperate to get out of the house to answer an urgent call of Nature, Puss was clawing frantically at the door, and had set up a prolonged and noisy bout of miaowing and caterwauling. Finally, even the most high-minded brain could stand it no longer, and science took a back seat for 5 minutes while the genius abandoned his scientific endeavours to get up from his desk and let the cat out. There followed a ten-minute interlude of perfect peace and quiet; just long enough for Sir Isaac to return to his train of thought and remember where he had got to before he was so rudely interrupted. Then Grimalkin, having successfully completed his crucial mission, decided to come back inside. He returned to the door-step and set up such an ear-splitting lamentation as would raise the dead from their graves. Three minutes of this appalling racket was sufficient to distract even Sir Isaac from the depths of his philosophising, and so, once again, the course of scientific and metaphysical enlightenment was put on hold while the cat was let back in. So it went on for the rest of the day, until even our long-suffering hero had had enough, laid down his quill pen in an abrupt, nay angry manner, and went to kick the poor innocent creature. Just as his noble foot was poised to administer the cruel blow, it happened: Sir Isaac Newton had an idea! This sort of thing was always happening to him at unexpected moments. We all know about the apple falling from the tree and inspiring him to discover gravity. What most people don’t know is that this was just one in a long line of brilliant ideas instigated by common-or-garden incidents. Let’s face it, a lesser mortal would just have eaten the ruddy apple, or given the poor old cat a jolly good kicking, but Sir Isaac was a veritable one-man ideas factory, and couldn’t help himself. So what was his great idea and contribution to humanity? That’s right: the cat-flap! What a boon, both to mankind and to the feline race. No more irritating mewling noises, no more annoying interruptions. At last, freedom for the Home Worker to concentrate on his studies in perfect peace and tranquillity. And as for the cat, no more uncomfortable bursting bladder. Thanks to the simple but utterly brilliant notion of taking a hand saw and cutting a small, cat-sized hole in the door, the philosopher is forever free to concentrate on the most complex of theses, and the domestic cat is saved the constant humiliation of having to ask permission from its master to perform the most basic and essential of functions. It is no coincidence that Newton’s finest achievements were made in the years immediately following this historic event. So it is no exaggeration to conjecture that, were it not for the invention of the lowly cat flap, we would still be labouring under the misapprehension that the Sun travels around the Earth, and that the Moon is made of green cheese. The cat flap has certainly made my working life, largely spent in a home shared with (among others) two cats, more peaceful and productive. To be strictly scientific about it (which would please old Sir Isaac) I offer you the following equation: – 500,000 (estimated number of home-workers in the UK) x 6 (the average number of times per day that a normal cat requires to be let in or out of the house) x 1 (the average number of cats owned by the typical home worker) x 10 (the average time in minutes wasted in letting cat in or out) / 60 x 30 (the average number of days in a month) = 15,000,000 (the number of lost man-hours per month in the UK) With more and more people choosing to work from home, that is a heck of a lot of man-hours! So the cat flap is a considerably more useful invention than say, the type-writer, the personal computer or the Internet. I would even go as far as to say that for me, it is a greater time-saving device than my trusty SaaS system. What a godsend for all of us. The only unfortunate part of the story is that, in his enthusiasm, Sir Isaac cut two separate holes in his back door, a big one for the cat and a smaller one for the kittens. His house was always a bit draughty from then onwards. Thank goodness he didn’t own a Great Dane. Which goes to show that no one is perfect, not even the greatest genius of his age. About the Author: 相关的主题文章: