Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

I love the Internet. Full of brilliant people asking brilliant questions, and brilliant people giving the most amazing answers. On Reddit, user Chalkup asked, “If you could compress a lifetime worth of farts into a single fart, how far would the thrust propel you into the air? (if at all)” The answer (courtesy of Brisco_County_III), as it turns out:

Estimated total volume of farts per day: Call it around a cup, or 250mL since I’m doing the math metric.
Estimated duration of the fart we’re compressing this into: Around two seconds. That’s actually a damn long fart, if we assumed it were shorter you’d get more energy out of it. Estimated size of asshole: We’ll call it 1cm radius.

So let’s start with 40 years’ worth of farts, for the sake of simplicity. That’s 3650 liters of fart (or about 1000 gallons), or 3.65 cubic meters.

So we’re going to jam that lifetime of farts into 2 seconds. Now, I’m going by volume here, not by energy; if I were going by energy, this would be a lot more boring, because it doesn’t add up anywhere near as spectacularly. Regardless, let’s treat this as a rocket problem, where the only major factor is how fast the reaction mass (your fart) is leaving, rather than any resistance of the air to passage of the fart, nothing fancy.

Now, you need to get all of that gas out of your asshole in two seconds, through a 2cm-diameter hole. This is the same as figuring out how long a column of air of 2cm diameter would have to be to contain 3650 liters. That circle has an area of pi cm2, which converts to 0.000314 square meters. You need to get 3.65 cubic meters through that hole in 2 seconds. So… you see where I’m going with this? That gas is going to be shooting out of you real, REAL fast. How fast?

That column of air would have to be 11,618 meters long, which means that it would have to be traveling at 5.8 kilometers per second .

Aside from blowing your asshole apart like a hot dog with an air compressor nozzle stuffed in it, this is a lot of energy. We’ll assume your asshole can take it. This means the total impulse it will transfer to you as it leaves is fucking big. Let’s say you weight 100kg, because it takes a big man for a big fart. How much does this transfer to you? Well, 4.5kg of air, moving at 5.8km/s, will transfer 26,000 Newton-seconds of impulse to you, which divided by your weight…

You will be traveling at 130 meters per second after this fart, or about 300 miles per hour.

How high does that get you? About 1300m in the air. Long story short? Assuming you’re talking about volume, that fart would shoot you a fucking mile into the air.

(Header image from Reddit user gary_mthafkn_oak)

[Source: Reddit.com]


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Do you know your lightning varieties? No? Check out this handy chart that describes the various types of lightning that can occur. So if you get hit by one, you can describe it to the police when you file for “assault”.

[Link: Wired – In the Strike Zone]

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Do I really need to elaborate any further? Kim Graham has constructed a set of bionic horse legs. Cool? Insane? Or just plain WTF? You decide.

[Link: URLesque – She’s Got Hooves]

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InventorSpot blog have an article that details a new bit of functional technology in the form of a watch that you wear on your fingernail and lights up when pressed. Bad news is that the watch hasn’t officially been released to market yet, but I’m hoping it shows up really soon.

The miniature watch is translucent, and designed to fit the average fingernail. The display of the watch includes the time, date and AM/PM indictor which appears in clear format until lit up. This strange watch for your fingernail becomes even trendier at nighttime, as each design lights up in a different color when the tip of the fingernail watch is pressed.[…]Wearable gadget fanatics and the fashion forward can consider wearing a tiny watch on every fingernail, with each watch programmed to a different time zone around the world.

Now that is seriously awesome! I want one!

[Link: InventorSpot – World’s smallest watch for your finger nail]

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A friend and I decided to try a little social experiment. How many people, when driving by, look upwards? We didn’t exactly keep records (which would have made it a little more scientific), but here was the setup. We stood on a balcony above a reasonably busy road for roughly five minutes (this was roughly how long it took for aforementioned friend to finish his smoke break). In traffic terms, we’d see perhaps 2 to 3 cars every 5 to 6 seconds, so it wasn’t too hectic, and we were able to observe. We decided to test the hypothesis that people mainly don’t look upward or around them while they’re in their cars, and to do this, we simply waved at the cars going by.

Result: We repeated the experiment twice, and with roughly similar results. The first time, we got two return waves in the entire duration, and the second time we got about 5 return waves. Mind you, The waves back skew the results, because we DID get a few looks of “what the hell are you two on about?” and two definite “frak you” looks.

Of the return waves, it seems that we got the best results from people in delivery trucks, most likely because the trucks afford them better views outwards. Women were also more friendly than guys and likely to wave back, but I suspect that the results might reverse themselves were a woman to join us. Mostly however, we were firmly ignored.

So what, ultimately, does this little experiment show us? Either that most people who drive by are unfriendly pricks, or that most people are keeping their eyes firmly on the road ahead. Which is either good, or bad, depending on how you look at the results.

So, if you were in the car passing by, and two random strangers are standing on the balcony waving at everyone, would you wave back?

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What colour is your noise?

Which of following is not a noise?

a) White noise

b) Pink noise

c) Red noise

d) Brown noise

e) Blue noise

f) Purple noise

g) Whitey noise

No cheating by going to wikipedia for the answer.

Yes, this is a trick question. Answers in comment please 🙂

If you write “noise” frequently enough in one post, it starts to look funny … very un-noise like. crazy word.

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Boston Globe has a fun-looking article about how to hallucinate without the benefit of drugs. One of methods suggested is to tune a radio to static and then tape two halves of a ping pong ball to your eyes, thus depriving your body of sensation. Within minutes you should see…well…someone try it and tell us! What sort of insanity does your brain come up with?

[Link: Boston Globe – Hack Your Brain]

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