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186,000 miles per second. It's not just a good idea, it's the law. (a brief meditation on natural law.)

 by John MacBeath Watkins I used to have a poster that said, '186,000 miles per second. It's not just a good idea, it's the law.' That is, in old-fashioned imperial measurements, roughly the speed limit of light. It can be made to go slower in some media, but not faster. At the time the poster came out, America had adopted a national highway speed limit of 55 miles per hour to save fuel during an oil crisis, and the poster was a play on the motto chosen to gain acceptance for the law. The speed of light is an example of the sort of thing we usually regard as a law of nature -- a law that can't be broken, because it is physically impossible to do so. T.S. Eliot, in Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats , may have told us that McCavity could do so... McCavity, McCavity, there's no one like McCavity He's broken every human law, he breaks the law of gravity ...but outside of fiction and poetry, it is impossible, as far as has been so far determined, to break t

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