today’s physics seminar

Oh, now who hasn’t wanted to do this ?!

~ vid ~

Sure, gravity is trying to kill us 24/7,
but there’s no reason not to have a little fun with it while we wait.

(What? No, I don’t think there’s any word for “crazy” in Japanese, but there appear to be dozens of words for “fun.”)


  1. Buzz
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 6:52 pm |

    “kuru kuru pa”

  2. PunkyD
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 7:16 pm |

    hahahaha! Those silly Japanese folk. I love their enthusiasm. “Ki-chi-gai”….means crazy….

  3. Posted March 8, 2013 at 7:18 pm |

    ^^Buzz would know. Me, I am having a bit of trouble wrapping my mind around the Bigger, Heavier, traverse farther….. But then I had problems with ballistics/ gravity too…..

    Would a Sumo win the Olympic Ski Jump?

    Come on, it’s valid….. Silly, but valid.

  4. Posted March 8, 2013 at 7:49 pm |

    We all wanted to try it.


  5. LostLiberty
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 8:41 pm |

    That was fun! :)

  6. Freddie Sykes
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 9:15 pm |

    Gravity is not trying to kill us… it is keeping us alive. Without gravity, the atmosphere would float away leaving us really short of breath.

    Next let us now contemplate what the world would be like if water was not among the few compounds that decreases in density at its freezing point. Ice would sink and cover the bottoms of lakes and oceans, smoothing the marine floor for most if not all of the year. Boy, would that screw up the food chain, not to mention evolution.

    I have no complaints about how the world works.

  7. Professor Hale
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 9:22 pm |

    The US Army had to blow up the Olympic ski jump outside of Serajevo because just putting it off limits couldn’t keep the troops away from it.

  8. JoeBandMember™
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 10:18 pm |

    Ain’t had so much fun since Kwang got kerosene mixed up with vinegar when making Kim-Chee.

  9. DougM (ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ)
    Posted March 8, 2013 at 10:53 pm |

    Freddie (6)
    Nope, not advocating outlawin’ gravity … just advocatin’ gravity safety and awareness. I still have scars from encountering various gravity storms as a kid.

    Your comment about the unique and fortuitous behavior of water density near its freezing point is excellent. If it didn’t behave that way, almost all of Earth’s water would be ice, since as the upper layer froze, it would sink and never see enough sunlight to remelt. Every Winter, more would sink until the oceans and lakes were entirely ice, only a thin surface film melting in Summer.

  10. Posted March 8, 2013 at 10:58 pm |

    I was all set to say how crazy those Japanese are but as soon as the video started I was hooked.

    BTW I was pulling for the truck tire the whole time.

  11. SondraK, Queen of my domain
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 12:07 am |

    ^ I was pulling for the little guy:)

    I think I laughed the back ground chatter the most.

  12. Colonel Jerry USMC
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 7:12 am |

    “BACA” is also Jap for crazy……………

  13. Murphy(AZ)
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 7:23 am |

    Two points this morning after watching the video: how far would that last tire have gone if the ramp wasn’t “made in Japan,” and what’s with the shiny white lab coat, the pristine white gloves, and the shoes that look like he just walked 500 miles down a dirt road.

  14. Buzz
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 7:45 am |

    “baka” is more stupid than crazy.

    “Baka gaijin” is a common phrase one might hear…

  15. jlw
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 8:24 am |

    @14 buzz i had two japanese-american room mates in college. i think baka gaijin means “my wise and wonderful room mate.”

    well, they said…

  16. Zipser
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 8:30 am |

    well that’s 12 minutes and 28 seconds I’ll never get back (yeah, I watched it twice) :-)

  17. geezerette
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 8:44 am |

    The Mr. was a Ski Jumper and has friends who were Olympians. (Was and were are the code words.) Who by the way are in Finland now for the ski meets there. I would say a bit crazy but no where near stupid. We have a ski jumping meet here in our town every year with competition from around the world. Once you get it you can’t wait to get back up the scaffold do it again and advance to the bigger jumps working you way to Ski flying. The record jump is over 800feet. Beautiful to watch.

  18. SondraK, Queen of my domain
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 9:32 am |

    “Ching chong ching chong ski jump ching chong…”

  19. Buzz
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 1:50 pm |

    Headmissy, are you channeling Rosie?

  20. Colonel Jerry USMC
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 2:10 pm |

    “Baca San” was used by all the bar hostesses in Iwakuni, Japan, when my squadron was stationed there. It meant, “Mr. Crazy” in Jap slang, and they considered it funny. Gaijin was not used that much, but we knew it meant “foreigner”, which meant, “Smelly Big round eyed barbarian who bombed the shit out of us in WWII!” (…but when we paid the ridiculous yen rate for a night with a Josan it meant, “I think I rove you Joe!”…………

  21. Posted March 9, 2013 at 2:39 pm |

    Colonel, Sir… With all due respect, love and affection…… Dien Cai Dau. ;)

  22. PeggyU
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 2:47 pm |

    The father of one of my childhood friends had somehow managed to snag a few of these big electrical cable spools. I’m not sure how he did it, but he opened up the ends of the spools. Or maybe the ones he had just came that way? We would crawl inside and brace our legs against the inside wall of the spool while another kid would push it around. One day, we took a spool on a short roll to a nearby empty lot that had a bit of a slope to it. It was too much fun! Fortunately, this was in Nebraska, so no potential for gathering up too much speed, and nobody got killed. I wish I could find one of these for our kids.

  23. SteveHGraham
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 3:06 pm |

    This is the kind of thing that makes physicists look stupid, because they don’t think about things like rolling resistance and drag.

  24. Posted March 9, 2013 at 4:19 pm |

    So how long until they find s crew of idiots who’ll ride inside the tires?

  25. geezerette
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 5:23 pm |

    It’s bad enough on two slats of wood ^^^ but in the tire?

  26. Maria Edi
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 5:33 pm |

    Hahaha, the speaker was sooo serious … But japanese people seem to be very funny, they always show up with some of these nonsense …

  27. Posted March 9, 2013 at 6:35 pm |

    We lived on a bit of a hill when we were kids. Dad was an Arizona Ranger, and access to all sorts of off limits places, including the huge copper mines. One Friday he brought home an inner tube from one of those two story high Dump Trucks. We filled it up, three of us 12 year olds wedged ourselves in, and he started us rolling…… We went 400 yards to the end of the street, through the construction fence of the new I19, bounced over the highway under construction and ended in the desert when we hit a Palo Verde tree. We all somehow survived. I think to this day that the Sar’Major was disappointed. ;)

  28. Lord of the Fleas
    Posted March 9, 2013 at 10:00 pm |

    Now I just know I’m not the only one here old enough to remember Eddie the Eagle.

    (Which Olympics was that? Not that I care ….)

  29. LostLiberty
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 7:01 am |

    Was that the fellow who’s helmet kept coming off after he left the ramp?
    That is one of those memories that sticks around from when I was a sprout…..ABC’s “Wild World of Sports” as my dad called it, is another one.

  30. LostLiberty
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 7:28 am |

    Once had a CO who’s last name was BACA, wasn’t a well liked man. Apparently, BACA also means cow in tagalog.

    We called him Crazy Cow.

  31. geezerette
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 9:24 am |

    Because of the Mr.s involvement in ski jumping to do remember Eddy The Eagle Edwards.He was a down hill skier that took up ski jumping just to be in the olympics because he didn’t make the down hill team. Being the only British ski jumper he was able to compete in the ’88 olympics. He was played it up all the way to the bank.

  32. Thunderbottom
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 10:25 am |

    “We can lick gravity, but sometimes the paperwork is overwhelming.” – Wernher von Braun. Hell, filling out the environmental impact statements alone would give one a serious case of carpal tunnel syndrome.
    #29, LostLiberty: yeah, I remember the ski jump accident in the intros to and closings of ABC’s “Wide World of Sports” – “The thrill of victory, the agony of defeat”. Always made me wince when I’d watch it.

  33. geezerette
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 10:44 am |

    The year was 1970 he was a ski flyer from Slovenia jumping at Obersdorf (than west Germany) Germany. All he got was a concussion. The Mr.s head is full of ski jumping trivia.

  34. ZZMike
    Posted March 10, 2013 at 5:11 pm |

    Freddie Sykes: Gravity: not just the air would float away (meaning no more volleyballs), but we would float away, too. If we and the atmosphere went at the same rate, it probably wouldn’t be too bad.

    Water and ice: coincidence? I think not. More like evidence of careful planning.

    The Japanese also have another odd pastime: driving cars mostly sideways, called drifting

  35. DougM (ΜΟΛΩΝ ΛΑΒΕ)
    Posted March 11, 2013 at 7:53 am |

    Steve (23)
    Introductory-physics teachers, perhaps. First thing they’ll say is something like: assuming a frictionless surface, incompressible rubber, a flat-earth gravity field, and a vacuum …
    Real physicists would include all this plus relativistic effects. Of course, the calculations get really, really complicated.
    Most folks would run a bunch of experiments and plot the results in a table.
    Engineers would run some simpler-than-a-theoretical-physicist-would calculations, making some simplifying assumptions for practicality’s sake. PLUUUS, they would calculate the inertial effects on the ramp and build one strong enough for the worst-case tire they intended to use.
    YouTube is full of people who dont’ do the engineering.

    SG (24)
    Yeah, my first thought, exactly.

    Maria Edi (26)
    Yeah, my second thought, exactly.

    Back in high school, I made a ski-scooter out of a piece of old wooden ski that didn’t survive a makeshift jump at Caberfae near Cadillac, MI.
    (That ankle still aches, sometimes.)

  36. Posted March 11, 2013 at 10:27 am |

    That was cool. I lol’d when the truck tire smashed the ramp.

    *searches memory bank… I think the Japanese word for crazy is Kichigai but I was there in 1964.