what if rain came down all at once and not in tiny raindrops
I’m imagining thousands of people being pushed violently to the ground by a single sheet of water. It’s fucking hilarious.
this is the most beautiful image I have ever visualized
I just reverse-inhaled coke
I actually know what would happen. And it’s terrifying and amazing…
…” The water plows into the ground, but the bedrock is unyielding. The pressure forces the water sideways, creating a supersonic omnidirectional jet that destroys everything in its path.
The wall of water expands outward kilometer by kilometer, ripping up trees, houses, and topsoil as it goes. The house, porch, and old-timers are obliterated in an instant. Everything within a few kilometers is completely destroyed, leaving a pool of mud down to bedrock. The splash continues outward, demolishing all structures out to distances of 20 or 30 kilometers. At this distance, areas shielded by mountains or ridges are protected, and the flood begins to flow along natural valleys and waterways.
From the alt text of a recent XKCD:
"Feynman recounted another good one upperclassmen would use on freshmen physics students: When you look at words in a mirror, how come they’re reversed left to right but not top to bottom? What’s special about the horizontal axis?"
Took me a minute of existential-crisis style wondering, but I figured it out and then felt dumb afterwards.
Good one Feynman.
It’s what happens when you discover something verifiably, irrefutably true - which has no use whatsoever. Well, at least at the point of discovery. Pure science has a tendency to become Applied Science in the long run.
So in reading this article by the internet-famous author of webcomic xkcd I came up to a point where it points out that unit cancellation is weird. This is illustrated with the example of fuel economy. It is expressed as miles (or kilometers) per gallon (or litre). Which means it’s distance over distance cubed. So the actual unit of fuel efficiency is distance squared. It’s an area.
At first this doesn’t make any sense, why would MPG be an area? Here’s where the magic happens:
Ok, so what’s the physical interpretation of that number? Is there one?
It turns out there is! If you took all the gas you burned on a trip and stretched it out into a thin tube along your route, 0.1 square millimeters would be the cross-sectional area of that tube.
I now have a visual model of what fuel efficiency means. Imagine all automobiles dragging behind them a chord of varying thickness…
Like a modern sedan on the highway with a thin thread you can barely see.
A moped with an invisible spidersilk strand blowing in the wind.
A Hummer dragging behind it a mooring line…
Then there’s some real fuel-hogs, like rockets. I don’t think there’s ropes as thick as what they’d be trailing - but they have to go vertically and that’s some bad fuel economy. At least until they reach escape velocity.
This is all apropos of absolutely nothing, but I really have no other outlet for weird things I find by myself at work.
Pure science, folks.
If you’ve ever enjoyed an XKCD comic, or any other webcomic, or just feel like wasting a bunch of time exploring, or want to stare in disbelief at this thing going on and on and on and on…