## What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

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Eutychus
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### What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

500 MPH
If winds reached 500 mph, would it pick up a human?

Grey Flynn, age 7, Stoneham, MA

Is this what-if designed mostly to attract our attention to Asteroid 4942 Munroe?
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rhomboidal
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

4942: The Year We Make Contact -- maybe the asteroid will wipe out us brainy primates and give bobcats just the evolutionary opening they've been waiting for.

Finarfin
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

404 on the second picture. I´m the only one?

sotanaht
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

Finarfin wrote:404 on the second picture. I´m the only one?

Typo on the URL, he put a T on the end of it.

YttriumOx
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

I know it's passé to complain about units, but for those of us who have no instinctive feeling for these mile per hour measurements:
• Question: 500mph = ~800kph
• Wind tunnel video: 457mph = ~735.5kph
• Hurricanes: 200 - 250mph = ~320 - ~400kph
• Mt St Helens: 700mph = ~1125kph
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

YttriumOx wrote:I know it's passé to complain about units, but for those of us who have no instinctive feeling for these mile per hour measurements:

Google is a good tool for translating units, but getting it to do so can be a challenge.

"500 mph in normal units" doesn't work
"500 mph in civilized units" doesn't work either.
It's one of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I have an independent mind, you are an eccentric, he is round the twist
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Xenomortis
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

Silly continentals.

PM 2Ring
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

Diadem wrote:"500 mph in normal units" doesn't work
"500 mph in civilized units" doesn't work either.

But
500 mph in km/h
does work. So does
500 mph
but it gives the answer in m/s. And neither of my searches work if you quote them. I suspect that quotes cause the search engine to bypass the calculator.

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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

PM 2Ring wrote:
Diadem wrote:"500 mph in normal units" doesn't work
"500 mph in civilized units" doesn't work either.

But
500 mph in km/h
does work. So does
500 mph
but it gives the answer in m/s. And neither of my searches work if you quote them. I suspect that quotes cause the search engine to bypass the calculator.

I was joking, of course.

But on a serious note. Being able to ask "X in metric" (and yes, without the quotation marks, of course) would be useful, because it's not always obvious quantity an unknown unit is even referring to. Likewise I suppose "X in imperial" would be useful to have for Americans. It's a shame google doesn't support that.
It's one of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I have an independent mind, you are an eccentric, he is round the twist
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Eternal Density
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

What if the Syfy channel got hold of this image?

Direct to TV Movie: HYPERDINADO. Enough Said!
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PM 2Ring
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

PM 2Ring wrote:
Diadem wrote:"500 mph in normal units" doesn't work
"500 mph in civilized units" doesn't work either.

But
500 mph in km/h
does work. So does
500 mph
but it gives the answer in m/s. And neither of my searches work if you quote them. I suspect that quotes cause the search engine to bypass the calculator.

I was joking, of course.

Understood. I also tried "500 mph in sane units" (without the quotes).

Diadem wrote:But on a serious note. Being able to ask "X in metric" (and yes, without the quotation marks, of course) would be useful, because it's not always obvious quantity an unknown unit is even referring to. Likewise I suppose "X in imperial" would be useful to have for Americans. It's a shame google doesn't support that.

Agreed, although we really need three terms, since several American units are not equal to the Imperial units formerly used in British Commonwealth countries, notably several of the units of volume (especially the gallon), as well as the ton.

MrT2
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

People are being chucked about by the winds, with one killed already, near one badly designed building in Leeds (UK, though I'd be surprised if anyone elsewhere named their settlement after that dark place):
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-leeds-24364159

I've not done anything related to fluid dynamics, but I'm assuming the problem is the association of the taller building splitting the wind, with the side building then deflecting the wind onto the road, rather than the usual winds you'd get around the base of a (typically square cross-section) tall building.

cellocgw
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

PM 2Ring wrote:Understood. I also tried "500 mph in sane units" (without the quotes).

You've got an extra whitespace in the middle of the word after "mph"

Besides, the official preferred unit of speed is furlongs/fortnight.
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gmalivuk
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

One thing I love about this one is that he seems to have graded his language quite a bit, in response to the fact that the asker is only 7 years old.

PM 2Ring wrote:
Diadem wrote:"500 mph in normal units" doesn't work
"500 mph in civilized units" doesn't work either.

But
500 mph in km/h
does work. So does
500 mph
but it gives the answer in m/s. And neither of my searches work if you quote them. I suspect that quotes cause the search engine to bypass the calculator.

I was joking, of course.

But on a serious note. Being able to ask "X in metric" (and yes, without the quotation marks, of course) would be useful, because it's not always obvious quantity an unknown unit is even referring to. Likewise I suppose "X in imperial" would be useful to have for Americans. It's a shame google doesn't support that.
Putting in 500 mph gives you the result in m/s, without even requiring "in metric" on your lazy part.
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stickler
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

It would be fun to to get a giant version of one of those air vortex cannons, mount it on a building and send passers by flying (into a pile of soft toys).

Or stick it on top of a Truck and use it instead of the US Army's pain ray.

Xenomortis
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

mph to m/s is easy though; dividing by 2* is trivial. 1.5** requires a whole extra step.

*9/4 is pretty close to the conversion factor for converting from mph to m/s - 2 is a quick approximation
**It's closer to 1.6 than 2 is to 9/4

richP
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

Wait, Randall used to work at a place that spent every day doing the "let's try more..." part of the what-ifs. And he left that job to draw stick figures? Something is wrong with this man.

Himself
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

The wind leaning chart given would not work for a tornado, as wind in a tornado has a significant vertical component to them, though it would still probably work in a hurricane. Wind becomes so much more interesting when it isn't just horizontal.
In regard to the original question, I believe it has been calculated that a tornado with 90 mph (145 km/h) winds could pick someone up.
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cellocgw
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

Himself wrote:In regard to the original question, I believe it has been calculated that a tornado with 90 mph (145 km/h) winds could pick someone up.

I'm guessing that's a windspeed which can lift an unattached body? As all kite-fliers know, having a tether line lets you get a kite airborne with almost no wind, as opposed to a reasonably strong gale required to keep a free kite aloft.
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airdrik
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

what-if wrote:I'm working on figuring out a way to make this happen.

Please don't. I like this planet (as tempting as it may be to wipe out humanity and start over; most people aren't that bad).
Or at least if you do send the asteroid hurtling towards earth; make sure you have sufficient lasers (or other anti-earth-shattering-asteroid defense mechanism) to divert the catastrophe.

If you really wanted to observe a hypercane, why not figure out to make it on Mars, Venus, or Jupiter (or one of the moons that has an atmosphere)? But leave our planet alone, please.

Sincerely,
A concerned citizen of the planet Earth.

BunsenH
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

But what wind speed would be needed to pick up a lot of sharks?

just brew it!
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

The company I work for does wind blast testing of some of the stuff we build. On some of the failed tests, we never found all of the pieces!

Himself
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

cellocgw wrote:
Himself wrote:In regard to the original question, I believe it has been calculated that a tornado with 90 mph (145 km/h) winds could pick someone up.

I'm guessing that's a windspeed which can lift an unattached body? As all kite-fliers know, having a tether line lets you get a kite airborne with almost no wind, as opposed to a reasonably strong gale required to keep a free kite aloft.

Yes, also, things work rather differently when a significant portion of the wind velocity is upward. Under those conditions 90 mph can pick up a person and 125 mph can toss a car a short distance. I have not flown a kite since I was a little kid, so I'm not sure how the dynamics of a tethered body work.
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keithl
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

YttriumOx wrote:I know it's passé to complain about units, but for those of us who have no instinctive feeling for these mile per hour measurements:
• Question: 500mph = ~800kph
• Wind tunnel video: 457mph = ~735.5kph
• Hurricanes: 200 - 250mph = ~320 - ~400kph
• Mt St Helens: 700mph = ~1125kph

Such quaint anthropocentric "units". Nobody else in the galaxy uses them. If you don't want to get laughed out of the Galactic Union, try:
• Question: 500mph ≅ 0.75μc
• Wind tunnel video: 457mph ≅ 0.68μc
• Hurricanes: 200 to 250mph ≅ 0.30 to 0.37μc
• Mt St Helens: 700mph ≅ 1.04μc
And just for completeness:
• Relativistic baseball: 600,000,000mph ≅ 0.9c
• Continental drift: 5n mph ≅ 8ac
• Warp factor 8: 343,000,000,000mph ≅ 512c
I could redo the whole list in warp factor ( 1 mph ≅ 1.14 mWF = (v/c) ), but there are as many conversion formulas as there are Star Trek episodes ...

rmsgrey
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

keithl wrote:I could redo the whole list in warp factor ( 1 mph ≅ 1.14 mWF = (v/c) ), but there are as many conversion formulas as there are Star Trek episodes ...

I'm sure they must have used consistent figures across two or more episodes at least once, if only by chance...

JunkBox
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

You don't need 300 mile per hour winds to completely reorganize your face. Jeremy Clarkson of Top Gear fame got that same cheeks-flapping-in-the-wind look while driving an Ariel Atom - I think that test run peaked somewhere around 70-80 MPH.

The Mythbusters (and Top Gear!) have borrowed jumbo jets to blow things around, so that's probably the closest we'll ever get to that kind of wind.

Unless I indulge on bean soup...

gmalivuk
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

keithl wrote:
YttriumOx wrote:I know it's passé to complain about units, but for those of us who have no instinctive feeling for these mile per hour measurements:
• Question: 500mph = ~800kph
• Wind tunnel video: 457mph = ~735.5kph
• Hurricanes: 200 - 250mph = ~320 - ~400kph
• Mt St Helens: 700mph = ~1125kph

Such quaint anthropocentric "units". Nobody else in the galaxy uses them. If you don't want to get laughed out of the Galactic Union, try:
• Question: 500mph ≅ 0.75μc
• Wind tunnel video: 457mph ≅ 0.68μc
• Hurricanes: 200 to 250mph ≅ 0.30 to 0.37μc
• Mt St Helens: 700mph ≅ 1.04μc
And just for completeness:
• Relativistic baseball: 600,000,000mph ≅ 0.9c
• Continental drift: 5n mph ≅ 8ac
• Warp factor 8: 343,000,000,000mph ≅ 512c
I could redo the whole list in warp factor ( 1 mph ≅ 1.14 mWF = (v/c) ), but there are as many conversion formulas as there are Star Trek episodes ...
What's all this decimal crap?
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Demki
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

I need help: could you explain the second to last sentence for me?
"Instead, worry about is the thing that created the 500 mph winds"

gmalivuk
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

Remove the "is".
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
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N_8_
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

YttriumOx wrote:I know it's passé to complain about units, but for those of us who have no instinctive feeling for these mile per hour measurements:

Google is a good tool for translating units, but getting it to do so can be a challenge.

"500 mph in normal units" doesn't work
"500 mph in civilized units" doesn't work either.

"500 mph in furlongs per fortnight" works just fine. 1,344,000 by the way.

Edit:
cellocgw wrote:Besides, the official preferred unit of speed is furlongs/fortnight.

Last edited by N_8_ on Tue Oct 08, 2013 8:15 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

keithl
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

gmalivuk wrote:
keithl wrote:
• Question: 500mph ≅ 0.75μc
...
• Warp factor 8: 343,000,000,000mph ≅ 512c
... 1 mph ≅ 1.14 mWF = (v/c) ), ...
What's all this decimal crap?
...moving pictures of lesbian sex by pretending they are made out of numbers.

My abject apologies to the Archduke. I could have used the binary equivalents, but since there are not binary fractional equivalents to kibi mebi gibi tebi etc, There would be many zeros in the numbers.

Worse yet, since the cube root converting miles per hour to a fraction of a warp factor produces an infinitely long non-repeating fraction, it would (if you searched long enough) contain bit sequences equivalent to moving pictures of lesbian sex. Also child porn, which could get us all in trouble.

gmalivuk
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

keithl wrote:since the cube root converting miles per hour to a fraction of a warp factor produces an infinitely long non-repeating fraction, it would (if you searched long enough) contain bit sequences equivalent to moving pictures of lesbian sex. Also child porn, which could get us all in trouble.
0.1101001000100001000001... is an infinitely long non-repeating expansion, and yet it will never contain such bit sequences.
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rmsgrey
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

gmalivuk wrote:
keithl wrote:since the cube root converting miles per hour to a fraction of a warp factor produces an infinitely long non-repeating fraction, it would (if you searched long enough) contain bit sequences equivalent to moving pictures of lesbian sex. Also child porn, which could get us all in trouble.
0.1101001000100001000001... is an infinitely long non-repeating expansion, and yet it will never contain such bit sequences.

gmalivuk
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

Sure, but for any given encoding, there are irrational numbers whose expansions never contain the "right" sequences of bits, because infinitely many numbers are not normal.
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keithl
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

gmalivuk wrote:
keithl wrote:since the cube root converting miles per hour to a fraction of a warp factor produces an infinitely long non-repeating fraction, it would (if you searched long enough) contain bit sequences equivalent to moving pictures of lesbian sex. Also child porn, which could get us all in trouble.
0.1101001000100001000001... is an infinitely long non-repeating expansion, and yet it will never contain such bit sequences.
Ah, the Archduke is testing our pervo-mathematical knowledge.

That number sequence is very titillating. As this tenured university mathematician observed:
For filth (I'm glad to say) is in the mind of the beholder. When correctly viewed, anything is lewd.
- Lehrer, T. A. (1965). Smut. That Was the Year That Was, Side 1(track 5)

The pair of 1's don't really do it for me, and the hetero couple next to them are boring, but I find the twin 0s next to them particularly arousing, and the 1 and three 0's next to them, well! It's getting a little steamy in here.

Edit: And we should be Really Really careful how we interpret those three little dots after the last 1. Looking at those the wrong way could result in prison time.
Last edited by keithl on Wed Oct 09, 2013 3:07 am UTC, edited 5 times in total.

junx
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

lol Dictionary of Numbers

Tornadoes can reach 300 mph [≈ Wind speed of a powerful tornado.]

Djehutynakht
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

I knew that asteroid Munroe was making its way into this What-If. I knew it!

obarey
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

The test video reminded me of the naked skydiving woman. Funny flappies.

kugo2006
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

gmalivuk wrote:Remove the "is".

Agreed. Specifically the last one on the page.

Philbert
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### Re: What-if 0066: "500 MPH"

Does NASA actually print the name on each asteroid?