Discovering Balance


I have recently really taken a liking to rock-stacking (thanks Jesse!). This particular type of stack is called a canter-lever, I believe. You put enough weight on one end of a rock (in this case the 2nd rock from the bottom) so that you can put weight out on an extended platform. Basically compensating for the forces. It’s totally physics, so I got excited & proceeded to make one wherever I had the chance (& the time). 

 What’s the point? Hmm… well I enjoy it not only for the challenge, but I really get to listen. Just try it — balance something… anything…. like this salt shaker. You can sprinkle salt so that it has some friction. When balancing, you want 3 points of contact. With 1, it will fall any way it desires. With 2, it will teeter-totter. With 3, you’ve got a better chance with success. 

There comes a point when it’s almost balanced, that’s when you really have to listen to what it’s saying, where its leaning, where its center of gravity is, how much force it needs, etc.

Or a soda can half way full, tilt it so it rests on that ridge near the bottom. Experiment with how full or empty the can can (haha!) be.

Or a figure-4 deadfall trap that you need to be able to set if you’re lost and/or staying in the wilderness and want to eat something besides edible plants. You set the mechanism up so that the animal nibbles on the “bait-stick” which is the horizontal one, with one end resting freely under that weight/log (which is called a dead-fall). When it falls, the result should be death. So when it touches the bait with it’s snout, it trips the horizontal stick from off of that vertical stick, which releases the diagonal stick, which releases the dead-fall. This all has to be quick or you’re likely to just injure the animal. So practice first! Careful with your household pets…



I guess what I’m saying is that these kind of activities help me to discover balance.


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