## Monday, November 3, 2014

### Amazing Facts About the Human Body

The Jump to Light Speed Is a Real Killer - Han Solo talks about making the "jump to light speed." If the Millenium Falcon is somehow jumping to light speed, it implies a nearly instantaneous acceleration. The Falcon might be traveling along at 50 miles per hour, and then suddenly it's traveling at 186,000 miles per second. Let BMW try to beat that acceleration! It's no problem for Han to accelerate the Falcon from zero to 60 miles per hour in five seconds. Inertia will push him slightly back in his seat. But accelerating from zero to 186,000 miles per second in five seconds will push Han back so forcefully that he'll become a splat on that fine vinyl upholstery. The speed of light is so fast, that to accelerate to it safely would take months! We measure acceleration in g's, with one g equal to the acceleration caused by Earth's gravity—the acceleration of falling objects on Earth. The reason we measure acceleration in terms of gravity is because the two have the same effect. The gravitational force on an object is equivalent to the inertial force on an object undergoing a comparable acceleration. Just as gravity pushes you down against the Earth, inertia pushes you back against your seat. READ MORE

What wind speed will blow someone off his/her feet? - I'm sure you folks at the observatory have a good feel for this! My guess is the variables are: -- Person's weight including gear -- The ground surface, especially whether smooth or slick -- Whether the wind comes in a sudden gust -- (Related to the gust factor) Whether the person is braced and/or balanced on their feet READ MORE

100 Interesting Facts About the Human Body - The human body is an incredibly complex and intricate system, one that still baffles doctors and researchers on a regular basis despite thousands of years of medical knowledge. As a result, it shouldn’t be any surprise that even body parts and functions we deal with every day have bizarre or unexpected facts and explanations behind them. From sneezes to fingernail growth, here are 100 weird, wacky, and interesting facts about the human body. READ MORE

How the 105-mph Fastball Tests the Limits of the Human Body - A Triple-A pitcher shocked the baseball world with a pitch clocked at an insanely fast 105 mph. Here's why we won't see pitchers throw it much faster than this—ever. READ MORE

What Are the Limits of Human Survival? - One hears epic accounts of people surviving bullets to the brain, 10-story free falls or months stranded at sea. But put a human anywhere in the known universe except for the thin shell of space that extends a couple of miles above or below sea level on Earth, and we perish within minutes. As strong and resilient as the human body seems in some situations, considered in the context of the cosmos as a whole, it's unnervingly fragile. READ MORE

Landing in Water From Great Heights - Describe what will happen to the human body, when a person jumps from a commercial airplane without a parachute and lands in the ocean. Let us say they are 20 feet above the ocean. Is it true that landing in ocean water at this speed is like landing on cement? My students actually believe that a person could survive a jump from a commercial plane flying over the ocean. I would like some scientific answer. READ MORE