Episode #763

September 16, 2023

We are always in a state of freefall.


Walking and running is the act of continually falling and catching one’s self.
When walking we shift our body mass to the leading foot, falling forward. The leading foot catches our fall allowing us to pivot and swing the trailing foot forward.
And so it goes, falling forward onto the right, then left, then right foot again and again.

Running exaggerates the walking fall. Higher speed, greater impact requires better balance and spontaneity, but it is falling all the same. 

We fall horizontally in our machines. Without brakes or surface inclines there is nothing but road and atmospheric drag to slow down or stop a car in motion.

In my neighborhood the speed limit is 25 MPH. I routinely set my cruise control to 25. The streets where I live are on rolling hills. As I navigate an incline the car drops to 22, the cruise control accelerates back up to 25. When I go down hill the speedometer increases to 30 as my car is falling down the hill. Because cruise control only has access to transmission braking, it cannot overcome the extreme momentum of gravity. I must use my brakes, then the Resume button to continue my cruise.

Dynamic Radar Cruise Control on my RAV4 senses the cars in front of me and uses acceleration, transmission gearing and braking to follow at a safe distance. This ability to use the brakes allows the system to counter momentum.

The Earth spins in the same way that humans run.
The Earth is constantly being pulled (is falling) toward the sun.
The Earth’s orbit around the sun creates centripetal force, flinging it away from the Sun. 
The tangent of the two forces create a rotational torque and the Earth spins at 1000 miles per hour.

It is 3000 miles coast to coast in the United States.
There is a 3 hour difference between Los Angeles and New York.
3000 miles per 3 hours = 1000 miles per hour.

The momentum of the Earth’s orbit causes the planet to be constantly flying away from the Sun. The gravitational force of the Sun hauls the Earth back onto its orbital track. This is a constant tug of war between the two celestial bodies.
The result is the Earth falling around the Sun at 67,000 miles per hour.

More proof?
584 million miles (Earth’s orbital distance) divided by 8760 hours per year = 67,000 miles per hour.

Is that the total speed that we are falling?

Consider that our solar system is falling around the center of the Milky Way Galaxy. Its orbital speed can be calculated at 514,000 miles per hour.

It takes the solar system about 240 million years to revolve around the Milky Way center. To put it in perspective, every minute our solar system falls 8,300 miles through Space.

Finally, and probably not finally, the Universe is expanding (falling away from its center) at 163,000 miles per hour.

Let’s add it all up:
When you are standing still on the surface of the Earth you are:

Spinning 1000 mph + rotating around the Sun 67,000 mph + rotating around the galactic center 514,000 mph + the galaxy moving away from the center of the universe 163,000 mph = 745,000 miles per hour.
Every second we fall 207 miles.

All flying is falling, whether it is an airplane, a planet, or a solar system.
Douglas Adams describes flying quite well in “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.”

“There is an art, it says, or rather, a knack to flying.
The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.”

People ask if I am afraid of falling 120 miles per hour while in skydiving freefall.
I tell them, “No, I make sure that I miss the ground.”


“Skydivers Know Why Birds Sing” by Ricki T Thues is now available on Amazon.
It is a Love story of Rick and Paula Thues and their 35 years of Skydiving.

Click HERE to buy the paperback or Kindle ebook at Amazon.

Follow Ricki T Thues on Amazon HERE.

“Technically Human” by Ricki T Thues, the iMentor, is available on Amazon.
It is a compilation of selected episodes from this bLog which tell the story of Humanity through the eyes of the iMentor.

Click HERE to buy the paperback or Kindle ebook at Amazon.
The ebook version of “Technically Human” is also available on Kobo. Click HERE.
For you Barnes and Noble Nook readers it is available for Nook. Click HERE.
The “Technically Human” ebook is also available on Apple Books . Click HERE.




  1. susie stockholm September 16, 2023
  2. Victor Spindler September 16, 2023
  3. Danielle L BARLOW September 19, 2023

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