Another Scicom classic, this time from Hawking’s 2007 A Grave History of Levity (p. 80). Consider it my small contribution to tiding you over (and annoying your denialist housemates) in these days of self- and other-isolation.
Everybody knows the joke: time flies like an arrow, but fruit tends to fly like a banana—or parabola, in mathspeak—smoothly arcing through the air to return ineluctably to the ground from which you plucked it.
But it wasn’t until the 17th century, when one fell on the head of an ambitious English physicist, that we began to understand the science behind the pun. […] It would be hard to overstate the gravity of the discovery made that day by a man whose name you may have already guessed, particularly if you’ve read The Da Vinci Code.
© Pengwing Books, with permission