Defying Newton’s Universal Law of Gravitation


Shortly before we got married, we bought a brand new home in Panama City.  I always wanted a house instead of an apartment.  I also wanted to live outside the city where vegetation was plentiful and the singing of the birds could frequently be heard.  Serendipitously, we found what we were looking for in a neighborhood appropriately dubbed, “El Bosque” (The Forest).

We made the decision without much hesitation and plunged in.  No regrets.  That was way back in 1980—thirty-four years ago.  A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then.  El Bosque is slowly, but surely being gobbled up the moving city.  Two years ago, seven towers were built at the entrance of our neighborhood.  Our view to open spaces has been interrupted, there are more and more cars parked on the streets, and for the first time, we are beginning to have traffic jams inside the neighborhood.  We have lot our innocence.  But I guess that was going to happen sooner or later as population increases and people have to move outwards.

Now let’s get to the point.  In 1980 the only wires we had on the street posts of the neighborhood were those installed by the power company to provide us with electricity.  Then the telephone companies started to place their wires to provide us with land line phones.  That was well and good.  Who doesn’t need electricity or a telephone at home?  This was before the cellphone stormed into our lives.  But that’s a story for another day.

Several years later, the TV cable companies started to install their cables on the same posts to provide paid television service.  Other companies also used the same posts to install their cables and wires as competition intensified and new players came along in search of a juicy market and a fast buck.

Now were are saturated with such a heavy load of cables and wires, that the posts are beginning to feel the pinch.  That got the attention of our dear friend Newton, who was fully aware that apples fall downward, not upwards or sideways.  Some of the posts are on the brink of collapsing. When this happens, we will have no electricity, no paid television and no phones—except of course the ubiquitous cellphones mentioned earlier.  I can live without a land line phone or paid TV, but I can not live without power.  Living in the dark is not a happy experience.

Every time we have a temporary blackout, the first thing that comes to my mind is that a post fell down and we will have a dark home for several days.  That has not happened yet, but the laws of gravity are still trying to pull the posts down.  It’s only a matter of time.  We are waiting for the other shoe to fall down.  And fall down it will.  Sir Isaac Newton told us so.

Below are a couple of pictures of a leaning post at the entrance of El Bosque which depicts a post fighting with the universal law of gravitation.  Take a look at a potential hazard bound to happen.

Snapshot of a leaning street post at the entrance of the neighborhood of El Bosque. Notice the inclination of the post pulled down by the weight of the wires and cables. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Snapshot of a close up picture of the street post defying the laws of gravity at El Bosque, the neighborhood where we have lived for the past 34 years. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

Elektra Noreste (the power company) are you listening?  If  I’m out of your radar screen within the next few days, you can easily infer what happened. “Elementary my dear Watson.”  Remember, you heard about it here, first. Good Day.

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2 thoughts on “Defying Newton’s Universal Law of Gravitation”

  1. Those wires are heavy, no doubt. And if those electrical wires break when poles come down, they’re also a deadly hazard, especially if a storm has left water around.

    I lose my cable, and hence my computer, from time to time, when someone is digging and cuts through the cable. Still, that’s an inconvenience that lasts only a few hours at the outside – quite different from your situation. I’m lucky to be in a neighborhood with buried cables. I paid that no attention when I moved in. Now? After a couple of hurricanes? I’m thrilled!

  2. If the perils of serious harm is so evident, why doesn’t anybody from the power company adopts corrective actions ASAP? We have called them on several occasions about this problem, but as of today, nothing has been done. I’m afraid they’re waiting to confirm if Sir Isaac Newston’s theory still stands. 🙂

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