In an article about a space/time experiment NASA did, there is this:

Time and space, according to Einstein’s theories of relativity, are woven together, forming a four-dimensional fabric called “space-time.” The mass of Earth dimples this fabric, much like a heavy person sitting in the middle of a trampoline. Gravity, says Einstein, is simply the motion of objects following the curvaceous lines of the dimple.
bolding by me

Really?  Really?  There’s not 1000 other ways you could have stated that without invoking fat stigmatization?  Because, I don’t know what trampolines the author of the article have been looking at, but they tend to “dimple” even when a normal weight person — or even, you know, an athlete get on them.  That’s part of the way they work:  the elasticity gives whenever any stress is put on it.  A person just standing (or sitting) still, and it just “dimples”.  A person walking and it pushes back a little.  A person jumps, and it pushes back a lot.

Ya’d think I wouldn’t have to explain this to somebody writing an article about a NASA experiment.


2 Responses

  1. Is heavy automatically equivalent to fat? Perhaps the author did have a muscular athlete in mind – after all muscle weighs more than fat. In any case, and perhaps I’m not sufficiently sensitive, my fat ass didn’t have a problem with that line.

  2. Well, if XKCD can get it right …

    Massive object.

    Heavy is usually associated with fat in a negative way. So if the author had a muscular athlete in mind, he’d probably have said, ‘much like a weight builder sitting in the center of a trampoline’.

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