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Author Topic: What If: Baseball thrown @ 90% of the speed of light  (Read 1059 times)

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Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

What If: Baseball thrown @ 90% of the speed of light
« on: July 11, 2012, 04:18:17 PM »
http://what-if.xkcd.com/1/

Interesting outcome. Batter considered hit by ball, take a base..

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Re: What If: Baseball thrown @ 90% of the speed of light
« Reply #1 on: July 11, 2012, 05:41:49 PM »
And no one was around to hear me squeal with laughter.


Oh crap, the window's open.

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: What If: Baseball thrown @ 90% of the speed of light
« Reply #2 on: July 11, 2012, 06:05:51 PM »
I think the people coming into class were wondering why I was laughing hysterically.

Offline Shjade

Re: What If: Baseball thrown @ 90% of the speed of light
« Reply #3 on: July 11, 2012, 06:25:36 PM »
I feel like I'm missing the joke if it's causing that much of a reaction in you two. >.>

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: What If: Baseball thrown @ 90% of the speed of light
« Reply #4 on: July 11, 2012, 06:44:28 PM »
I feel like I'm missing the joke if it's causing that much of a reaction in you two. >.>

Did you read the link?

Offline Shjade

Re: What If: Baseball thrown @ 90% of the speed of light
« Reply #5 on: July 11, 2012, 06:59:34 PM »
Yeah. It was interesting, and the punchline is amusing (though you do sorta spoil it by having posted it here in the thread first), but aside from that...do I just not know enough about physics to find fusion hilarious?

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Re: What If: Baseball thrown @ 90% of the speed of light
« Reply #6 on: July 11, 2012, 07:44:39 PM »
Einstein first started coming up with the theories of relativity by asking the question 'What if I was on a train traveling at the speed of light?' and many of the thought problems involving relativistic speeds use 'suppose X was traveling at some obscenely near-light speed' as a starting point.  All of them disregard the effect of such a fast object on the environment it's in (like designing a supersonic jet without accounting for the shockwave, or flying one and not anticipating the 'boom'.  That's what I find funny - the 'batter walks' is just a bit of icing on the top.

Offline Will

Re: What If: Baseball thrown @ 90% of the speed of light
« Reply #7 on: July 11, 2012, 09:01:09 PM »
Pretty typical xkcd humor, I would say?  I chuckled.

Offline Shjade

Re: What If: Baseball thrown @ 90% of the speed of light
« Reply #8 on: July 11, 2012, 09:42:15 PM »
All of them disregard the effect of such a fast object on the environment it's in (like designing a supersonic jet without accounting for the shockwave, or flying one and not anticipating the 'boom'.

See, I knew it was a physics injoke I was missing. Thanks for 'splaining, Oni. ;p

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Re: What If: Baseball thrown @ 90% of the speed of light
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2012, 10:00:16 PM »
Most of XKCD is in-jokes of some flavor or other.  :-)

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: What If: Baseball thrown @ 90% of the speed of light
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2012, 10:06:07 PM »
Most of XKCD is in-jokes of some flavor or other.  :-)

Like the one the author did of a check to his cable company for a fraction of a cent. He did this HUGE ornate formula my friend the nuclear engineer had to explain to me.

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Re: What If: Baseball thrown @ 90% of the speed of light
« Reply #11 on: July 11, 2012, 10:16:06 PM »
Like the one the author did of a check to his cable company for a fraction of a cent. He did this HUGE ornate formula my friend the nuclear engineer had to explain to me.

Infinite converging series can be a bitch.   *nods*

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: What If: Baseball thrown @ 90% of the speed of light
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2012, 10:25:32 PM »


In case anyone is wondering what I was talking.

And here is the story behind it..
http://xkcd.com/verizon/
« Last Edit: July 11, 2012, 10:29:03 PM by Callie Del Noire »

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Re: What If: Baseball thrown @ 90% of the speed of light
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2012, 10:41:39 PM »
And for those who want the math:

The first freaky bit is e = -1   (Euler's Identity)
The next freaky bit is the sum 1/2+1/4+1/8+1/16.... and equals 1, cancelling out the first freaky bit.  (Zeno's Paradox)

Which just leaves the 0.002 dollars (or 2 tenths of a cent) that Verizon insisted that he owed.

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: What If: Baseball thrown @ 90% of the speed of light
« Reply #14 on: July 11, 2012, 11:00:29 PM »
And for those who want the math:

The first freaky bit is e = -1   (Euler's Identity)
The next freaky bit is the sum 1/2+1/4+1/8+1/16.... and equals 1, cancelling out the first freaky bit.  (Zeno's Paradox)

Which just leaves the 0.002 dollars (or 2 tenths of a cent) that Verizon insisted that he owed.

You.. m'lady.. are a Math GODDESS.

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Re: What If: Baseball thrown @ 90% of the speed of light
« Reply #15 on: July 11, 2012, 11:00:41 PM »
See, by that time I would have sent a check for $0.01 and asked for change.

Offline Callie Del NoireTopic starter

Re: What If: Baseball thrown @ 90% of the speed of light
« Reply #16 on: July 11, 2012, 11:07:53 PM »
See, by that time I would have sent a check for $0.01 and asked for change.

I had a 5 cent check from the folks that did the on base phone and cable when I was in San Diego. I kept getting checks for that amount for YEARS.. but I'd shred them. (After the antics it took to get them turn off my service while I was deployed.. up to and including having the command send the base's head JAG officer over with the copy of orders for me and the 30 other sailors they tried to screw out of money). FOR YEARS. Knowing the cost of printing and mailing was more than what they owed me.

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Re: What If: Baseball thrown @ 90% of the speed of light
« Reply #17 on: July 11, 2012, 11:10:44 PM »
Yep!

Reminds me of the man who started using the postage paid envelopes to send things to the junk mail people.  He sent old telephone books, bricks, boxes of rocks, old dishes, flower pots, broken tools.  He pretty much cleaned out his garage.