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Ben Benoy
2001-Dec-10, 02:21 AM
Hrm.. haven't been around for a while. Been doing school things and killing my spare time at the Straight Dope. Ah.. the internet. But anyway, here's a little Bad Physics I found while reading Catch-22 a few weeks ago. (It's at the beginning of chapter 17, entitled The Soldier in White)

People didn't stick their heads into ovens with the gas on, jump in front of subway trains or come plummeting like dead weights out of hotel windows with a whoosh!, accelerating at the rate of sixteen feet per second per second to land with a plop! on the sidewalk and die disgustingly there in public like ab alpaca sack full of hairy strawberry ice cream, bleeding, pink toes awry.

Now, this seemed strange to me. Why 16 feet per second per second? Maybe because the equation for the position of a body has a coefficient of 1/2 on the acceleration term? Anyway, thought I'd share. And thought I'd share the whole thing because it's just one of those days... /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Ben Benoy

Hale_Bopp
2001-Dec-10, 02:46 AM
Hmmm...that is strange. The acceleration is 32 feet/second^2. The equation for distance as function of time (assuming 0 initial velocity) is d = .5gt^2, so .5g is 16 ft/s^2. But that is .5g, not g so there does seem to be confusion there and you have pinpointed a likely source. Don't know what Heller's science background is /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Rob

Mr. X
2001-Dec-10, 03:45 AM
I don't know feet, foot, inches, yards, miles or what have you so that's it for me! /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_biggrin.gif

Kaptain K
2001-Dec-10, 09:48 AM
32.2ft/sec/sec = approx. 9.8 m/s/s

Wiley
2001-Dec-10, 03:29 PM
Hmmm...

Maybe things fell slower back in WWII. This would jive with young earth creationism.

/phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Jim
2001-Dec-10, 06:40 PM
There was something similar on CSI a couple of weeks ago. While investigating the death of a worker who fell from an upper floor, the CSI chief said, "Let's see, terminal velocity is 9.8 meters per second per second, so he must have taken less than five seconds to fall."

Of course, he could have been going for the pun.

jkmccrann
2005-Oct-30, 04:59 PM
Hrm.. haven't been around for a while. Been doing school things and killing my spare time at the Straight Dope. Ah.. the internet. But anyway, here's a little Bad Physics I found while reading Catch-22 a few weeks ago. (It's at the beginning of chapter 17, entitled The Soldier in White)

Now, this seemed strange to me. Why 16 feet per second per second? Maybe because the equation for the position of a body has a coefficient of 1/2 on the acceleration term? Anyway, thought I'd share. And thought I'd share the whole thing because it's just one of those days... /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_smile.gif

Ben Benoy

Maybe Heller was indulging in some sort of "Intelligent Design" of his story ???

NanC
2005-Nov-01, 12:01 AM
Funny that two of the responses include religious material even when the first post did not mention anything about religion. This issue must be very personally intense for both of you. I hope you find peace.

hhEb09'1
2005-Nov-01, 05:46 PM
This issue must be very personally intense for both of you. Knowing one of them, I think he thinks it's just personally hilarious :)

publiusr
2005-Nov-02, 08:56 PM
Hmmm...

Maybe things fell slower back in WWII. This would jive with young earth creationism.

That was back when everything was black & white.
;)

nomuse
2005-Nov-06, 12:53 PM
That was back when everything was black & white.
;)

http://www.geocities.com/CollegePark/6174/jokes/calvin-hobbes-science.htm

(second set of dialog)

Jakenorrish
2005-Nov-09, 12:02 PM
The only thing that's for certain is that it is one hell of a funny/ thought provoking/ compassionate read...!