1170: "Bridge"

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The Synologist
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1170: "Bridge"

Postby The Synologist » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:17 am UTC

Image

Alt-text: "And it says a lot about you that when your friends jump off a bridge en masse, your first thought is apparently 'my friends are all foolish and I won't be like them' and not 'are my friends ok?'"

Whenever I heard this I always imagined that everyone was being mind controlled or something, and in that scenario, yeah, I'd probably be right there along with all of them.

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rhomboidal
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby rhomboidal » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:19 am UTC

If it all involves some latest craze of extreme burning-bridge bungee-jumping, then I'm just getting new friends.

(The same applies for cliff-jumping.)

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Quicksilver » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:20 am UTC

I've always wondered why parents think you're more inclined to listen to them then your friends, we relate to them more than most of us ever will to our parents. Most of my friends were reckless, but they'd never jump off a cliff.

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby pbrown280 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:29 am UTC

I am immune to this problem since I have no friends

Great Justice
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Great Justice » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:47 am UTC

Parents/teachers use the same but opposite (of bridge) argument to get kids to comply and do or try things they want them to do. "Look, your sisters are eating their vegetables."
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ike
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby ike » Wed Feb 06, 2013 5:58 am UTC

For some reason I swear that I've seen almost the same script elsewhere recently.

also, people frequently use the same ("but different") argument in politics..... Europe has gun control, everyone else has universal health care, Norway has high taxes, etc, etc....

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Djehutynakht
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Djehutynakht » Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:00 am UTC

So long as it works, meh.

Now.. it depends. How big is this bridge?

My parents, aunts, uncles, grandparents and tons of my ancestors jumped off bridges all the time in their youth (some still do).

Granted, these bridges weren't very high up and there was often cool, refreshing water below for them to land in. And they did this repeately for hours at a time.


All in all this is a very subjective statement.

I've gone on day trips with my extended family solely for the purpose of jumping off a bridge together.

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby nowhereman » Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:42 am UTC

This has been the best reply I have ever read for anything my parents used to tell me. It is so good, and so damn obvious, that frankly I am depressed that I have not thought about it before. Good job Randall, Good job.
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Sjö » Wed Feb 06, 2013 6:46 am UTC

Much the same goes for ”If everybody [did yucky thing in public] would you do it too?” to which the answer is “If everybody does it that means it’s socially accepted, perhaps even socially required. So yes, I would do it and you would probably too, and no one would think it was weird.”
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Steve the Pocket » Wed Feb 06, 2013 7:42 am UTC

"Imagine reading this on CNN: 'Many fled their vehicles and jumped from the bridge. Those who stayed behind...'"

Well, if this is separate from the scenario mentioned in panel two where the bridge is on fire, there's the possibility that the jumpers are just panicked. People jumped off the roof of the Twin Towers too, and while 9/11 didn't have many survivors, I can guarantee that those people weren't among them.

Quicksilver wrote:I've always wondered why parents think you're more inclined to listen to them then your friends, we relate to them more than most of us ever will to our parents. Most of my friends were reckless, but they'd never jump off a cliff.

That's a very good point. Your friends might be the best role models, but your parents just accused them of being dumb enough to jump off a cliff to their deaths for no reason. Not exactly helping your case, there, Mom!
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Klear
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Klear » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:27 am UTC

I was walking with my friends across Prague one day, drunk, any my friends jumped off a bridge. I didn't.

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby herbys » Wed Feb 06, 2013 8:59 am UTC

My first and only comic so far consisted on mamma lemming admonishing her confused lemming boy with "if all your friends jump off a cliff, will you follow them?". Drawn in a "far side" style.

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keithl
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby keithl » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:18 am UTC

herbys wrote:My first and only comic so far consisted on mamma lemming admonishing her confused lemming boy with "if all your friends jump off a cliff, will you follow them?"


Lemmings do not "jump off cliffs". People, on the other hand, do insane stuff in groups. For example, making war, or showing their children Disney films.

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Castamir
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Castamir » Wed Feb 06, 2013 9:33 am UTC

One big issue: where do you think collapsing bridges go?

You're far more likely to survive if you run towards one of ends of the bridge instead of going down. Not to mention that you don't know that the bridge is going to blow.

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Lukeonia1 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:12 am UTC

"'Sup?"
"Homestar, that is not cool."
"Yes it is. Strong Bad said so."
"Well if Strong Bad told you to jump off a bri--"
"YES."

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Nevermore » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:49 am UTC

Great Justice wrote:Parents/teachers use the same but opposite (of bridge) argument to get kids to comply and do or try things they want them to do. "Look, your sisters are eating their vegetables."


I also discovered at a very young age that using logic to show your parents were wrong OR that they were not being consistent resulted in being told off with far more fury than before. It was therefore far better to stand there, let them say what they wanted to say then go ahead and (not) do whatever it was anyway. I think if I had had it explained to me in a cause/effect scenario i'd of listened far more.

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Klear
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Klear » Wed Feb 06, 2013 10:54 am UTC

herbys wrote:My first and only comic so far consisted on mamma lemming admonishing her confused lemming boy with "if all your friends jump off a cliff, will you follow them?". Drawn in a "far side" style.


Aww... You should have gone with: "Well, if all your friends didn't jump off a cliff, would you not jump as well?"

Lukeonia1 wrote:"'Sup?"
"Homestar, that is not cool."
"Yes it is. Strong Bad said so."
"Well if Strong Bad told you to jump off a bri--"
"YES."


I was just about to post this. I love that scene.

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Vroomfundel » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:32 pm UTC

Nevermore wrote:
Great Justice wrote:Parents/teachers use the same but opposite (of bridge) argument to get kids to comply and do or try things they want them to do. "Look, your sisters are eating their vegetables."


I also discovered at a very young age that using logic to show your parents were wrong OR that they were not being consistent resulted in being told off with far more fury than before. It was therefore far better to stand there, let them say what they wanted to say then go ahead and (not) do whatever it was anyway. I think if I had had it explained to me in a cause/effect scenario i'd of listened far more.



Yeah, I get offended remembering the cheap stunts they used on me to force me into compliance - they only work because you develop respect for authority soon after birth and rarely have the nerves and courage to reply with logic/witticisms under this kind of pressure. In the culture I was raised in they often tell kids "don't reply to adults" and the only thing you can earn with contradicting adults, even (and especially) if logic is on your side, is a harsher penalty.
My parents are fairly intelligent, and also had the experience of having already raised two kids, so they didn't abuse this too much - but in school it's a totally different story. There everyone expects unquestionable obedience, from teachers to cleaning staff - and they all resort to this nonsense all the time; the latter - more often, but the shittier specimens of the former as well.

My favourite witty rebuttal to those is from Catch-22:
- But what if everyone else did that?
- Then I'd be a damn fool if I don't
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby TimXCampbell » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:47 pm UTC

I probably would not jump off the bridge. For various reasons I was brought up to not go with the average flow. This isn't something to boast about; it's just the way I was conditioned.

Most people are conditioned to go with the average flow, though. It's amazing how strong this tendency is. For just a peek at this phenomenon, check out this article on Wikipedia about the Asch Conformity Experiments.

On a somewhat related note, I assume everybody who is a fan of xkcd has at least a passing knowledge of the Milgram experiment.

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Castamir wrote:One big issue: where do you think collapsing bridges go?

That's a very good point! I recall reading about a bridge that collapsed during construction — I forget which one — and one thing stuck in my mind about the article. It said that the survivors were the ones who rode it down. I wonder if a large mass of steel hitting the water will stop instantly or will decelerate more gradually than that. I know water is normally incompressible but ... an entire bridge? Maybe some physics buffs could figure out just how fast the bridge would decelerate to zero.

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby pkcommando » Wed Feb 06, 2013 12:55 pm UTC

Vroomfundel wrote:
Nevermore wrote:
Great Justice wrote:Parents/teachers use the same but opposite (of bridge) argument to get kids to comply and do or try things they want them to do. "Look, your sisters are eating their vegetables."


I also discovered at a very young age that using logic to show your parents were wrong OR that they were not being consistent resulted in being told off with far more fury than before. It was therefore far better to stand there, let them say what they wanted to say then go ahead and (not) do whatever it was anyway. I think if I had had it explained to me in a cause/effect scenario i'd of listened far more.



Yeah, I get offended remembering the cheap stunts they used on me to force me into compliance - they only work because you develop respect for authority soon after birth and rarely have the nerves and courage to reply with logic/witticisms under this kind of pressure. In the culture I was raised in they often tell kids "don't reply to adults" and the only thing you can earn with contradicting adults, even (and especially) if logic is on your side, is a harsher penalty.

I remember a 4th grade teacher who intentionally got something wrong in class. She berated us for several minutes for not standing up to her and correcting when she was wrong. A few weeks later she (unintentionally) got something wrong and the guy who stood up to her got detention. Not for the initial act of correcting her, but for the fact that when she berated him for correcting her, he pointed out that she had clearly told us that it was our responsibility to correct her when she was wrong.

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Dave » Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:06 pm UTC

keithl wrote:Lemmings do not "jump off cliffs".


I've a 1991 Amiga game that begs to differ!

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:21 pm UTC

Dave wrote:
keithl wrote:Lemmings do not "jump off cliffs".


I've a 1991 Amiga game that begs to differ!


But they didn't jump off the cliffs until Lemmings 2 in 1993...

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby luchelibre » Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:37 pm UTC

You guys are such a drag on my faith in humanity.

Anyway, here in Tennessee, people would jump off bridges all the time, often in groups, into the river below it. This was crazy-stupid because the river depth could not be judged accurately and boulders and trees were everywhere. Yet, these folks did it anyway. It wasn't until after several injuries, deaths, and a permanent police presence at these bridges that the practice stopped.

To answer Randall's question: It is vastly more likely that your friends have gone crazy rather than the bridge being on fire, because your friends don't require fire to jump off a bridge.

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Introbulus » Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:42 pm UTC

Okay, this one kind of bothers me.

Because this saying is meant to be about an individual you shouldn't trust, rather than a group, to denote that they are not always going to make wise choices.

Also, if you use intubation equipment and knock it out, you CAN make a horse drink water.

I think the real moral here is that we should not base our philosophy solely on poorly-constructed metaphors that do not account for all situations and that have been stretched beyond their means to produce proper visual representations of life lessons.
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby orthogon » Wed Feb 06, 2013 1:51 pm UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:People jumped off the roof of the Twin Towers too, and while 9/11 didn't have many survivors, I can guarantee that those people weren't among them.


Not from the roof, no, but there was Pasquale Buzzelli, who it appears is generally accepted (i.e. even by snopes.com) to have survived falling from the 22nd floor. The programme I saw attributed his miraculous survival to the enormous upwards windspeeds around the collapsing tower, which could have held him aloft, and the protection afforded by the staircase core he was in at the time. This latter point supports the Castamir-Campbell theory that you're better riding the structure down than jumping off it.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Shay Guy » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:10 pm UTC

I never got the impression the idiom was about a scenario where they all jumped at the same time.

I mean, it's a metaphor for other reckless and ill-considered childhood or adolescent behavior. That suggests it's talking about a thrill-seeking craze using equipment of questionable safety that might not have gotten anyone killed yet, but involves serious risk to life and limb.

pkcommando wrote:I remember a 4th grade teacher who intentionally got something wrong in class. She berated us for several minutes for not standing up to her and correcting when she was wrong. A few weeks later she (unintentionally) got something wrong and the guy who stood up to her got detention. Not for the initial act of correcting her, but for the fact that when she berated him for correcting her, he pointed out that she had clearly told us that it was our responsibility to correct her when she was wrong.


It took me until college to figure out the right way to do this, not having had teachers who gave me any incentive against doing it the wrong way (my luck, I suppose): Frame it as a question, in terms of your own difficulty making sense of it. "Wait, are you sure that's right?" "Wait, I thought it was such-and-such." "Wait, didn't it say earlier that it was so-and-so?" One of my best moments was in my Automata class, when a professor presented a CFG that was supposed to produce all binary strings with exactly twice as many zeroes as ones, and I asked how to produce a particular string in that language that I'd figured out it couldn't produce. I left the rest to him. (The best part of this method is that if you're the one making a mistake, you don't make an ass of yourself -- you're doing exactly what a student should be doing.)

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby CorranH » Wed Feb 06, 2013 2:14 pm UTC

I once jumped off of a bridge, because all my friends were doing it. Turned out to be super fun.
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby orthogon » Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:12 pm UTC

TimXCampbell wrote:I wonder if a large mass of steel hitting the water will stop instantly or will decelerate more gradually than that. I know water is normally incompressible but ... an entire bridge? Maybe some physics buffs could figure out just how fast the bridge would decelerate to zero.


In think the force will depend mainly on the speed and the frontal area, so the more mass per square metre hitting the water, the slower it will decelerate. So from this point of view you are much better off standing on a huge lump of steel and tarmac when you hit the water. Not that the water isn't being compressed significantly; the force needs to be applied to the water to "move it out of the way". One reason is that because it's incompressible, pushing the water down in one place means the same amount of water needs to be lifted (against gravity) somewhere else. There are also dynamic effects: the water has to be accelerated, and viscosity might come into play too. I don't know what the relative importance of these effects is, but rumour has it the force is proportional to some power of the speed between 1 and 2.

Maybe we could do a vegetarian version of "Steak Drop" where we try to steam some broccoli by dropping it into water from a great height?
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:39 pm UTC

[quote="Nevermore"
I also discovered at a very young age that using logic to show your parents were wrong OR that they were not being consistent resulted in being told off with far more fury than before. It was therefore far better to stand there, let them say what they wanted to say then go ahead and (not) do whatever it was anyway. I think if I had had it explained to me in a cause/effect scenario i'd of listened far more.[/quote]

Just means you had really crappy parents. I see lots of therapy in your future :P .
I have plenty of things my parents did to bitch about, but can't ever recall them failing to listen to rational discourse.
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby OtherRob » Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:40 pm UTC

pkcommando wrote:I remember a 4th grade teacher who intentionally got something wrong in class. She berated us for several minutes for not standing up to her and correcting when she was wrong. A few weeks later she (unintentionally) got something wrong and the guy who stood up to her got detention. Not for the initial act of correcting her, but for the fact that when she berated him for correcting her, he pointed out that she had clearly told us that it was our responsibility to correct her when she was wrong.


In Dune, Stilgar says something like this to Jessica: "To save one from a mistake is to give the gift of paradise." (I don't know if Stilgar's quote is actually from something in the real world.) This has always stuck with me. It is clear that your 4th grade teacher does not agree. Too bad. And too bad that more people dont' feel this way.

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Max™ » Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:43 pm UTC

pbrown280 wrote:I am immune to this problem since I have no friends

That's interesting, I'm immune to this problem since I can fly... I mean, I assume I can, I've never had to actually do it, but you never know til you try, right?
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:48 pm UTC

Steve the Pocket wrote:. People jumped off the roof of the Twin Towers too, and while 9/11 didn't have many survivors, I can guarantee that those people weren't among them.


Warning: raw nerve response alert!
You really ought to learn a little before posting ignorant crap like that. The people who jumped had a raging fire at their back and no exit either up or down (not that helicopters were able to reach many on the roof anyway, due to wind and smoke). They made an incredibly difficult decision to jump, ending their life in an instant of impact, rather than suffer potentially minutes' worth of pain while burning to death.
Your argument form is essentially the same as "if you don't buy a lottery ticket, you can't win." True but useless and misleading.

BTW, one good thing resulted from the mass suicide jumps on 9/11: someone on the ground was dying or dead, and a douchebag priest decided to spend his time administering last rites (rather than, say, helping pull live people away from the danger zone, or getting out of the way of first responders), and another jumper landed right on him. No more priest.
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby TimXCampbell » Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:48 pm UTC

orthogon wrote:Maybe we could do a vegetarian version of "Steak Drop" where we try to steam some broccoli by dropping it into water from a great height?

I'm pretty sure that if you get broccoli up to hypersonic speed it will simply turn into green mist. And that's why they don't build fighter jets out of vegetables.

Introbulus wrote:... we should not base our philosophy solely on poorly-constructed metaphors that do not account for all situations and that have been stretched beyond their means to produce proper visual representations of life lessons.

Quite so. But that's not exactly the kind of motto I'd put on a T-Shirt.
Last edited by TimXCampbell on Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:55 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby taemyr » Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:49 pm UTC

TimXCampbell wrote:I wonder if a large mass of steel hitting the water will stop instantly or will decelerate more gradually than that. I know water is normally incompressible but ... an entire bridge? Maybe some physics buffs could figure out just how fast the bridge would decelerate to zero.


I am not a physic buff, but my guess would be that the bridge would travel about 8 times its thickness. Assuming a tensity of steel at 8000 kg/m3.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impact_depth

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby cellocgw » Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:49 pm UTC

OtherRob wrote:
pkcommando wrote:I remember a 4th grade teacher who intentionally got something wrong in class. She berated us for several minutes for not standing up to her and correcting when she was wrong. A few weeks later she (unintentionally) got something wrong and the guy who stood up to her got detention. Not for the initial act of correcting her, but for the fact that when she berated him for correcting her, he pointed out that she had clearly told us that it was our responsibility to correct her when she was wrong.


In Dune, Stilgar says something like this to Jessica: "To save one from a mistake is to give the gift of paradise." (I don't know if Stilgar's quote is actually from something in the real world.) This has always stuck with me. It is clear that your 4th grade teacher does not agree. Too bad. And too bad that more people dont' feel this way.



Yep : http://xkcd.com/803/
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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Jackpot777 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:50 pm UTC

ike wrote:also, people frequently use the same ("but different") argument in politics..... Europe has gun control, everyone else has universal health care, Norway has high taxes, etc, etc....


...and has lower number of gun crimes by a country mile, longer lifespan and less incidents of infant mortality (all for lower costs), Norway was ranked as the happiest country in the world (USA? Not in the top three) which indicates you get what you pay for, etc., etc....

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby orthogon » Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:55 pm UTC

TimXCampbell wrote:
orthogon wrote:Maybe we could do a vegetarian version of "Steak Drop" where we try to steam some broccoli by dropping it into water from a great height?

I'm pretty sure that if you get broccoli up to hypersonic speed it will simply turn into green mist. And that's why they don't build fighter jets out of vegetables.

Quite right, it was a ludicrous suggestion. Obviously you want to use asparagus: it's much more streamlined.
xtifr wrote:... and orthogon merely sounds undecided.

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby Wnderer » Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:56 pm UTC

The correct response was "No, your friends are not level-headed. Your friends are TEENAGERS; the reason they put hot pepper smell in model glue and banned lawn darts and buckyballs."

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby TimXCampbell » Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:58 pm UTC

taemyr wrote:... my guess would be that the bridge would travel about 8 times its thickness. Assuming a tensity of steel at 8000 kg/m3.

Well, I'm assuming that the structure of the bridge is critical. A suspension bridge would tend to pancake into the water, but a bridge with trusses underneath the roadbed would tend to slice into the water. The deeper the truss the more gentle the deceleration.

Thus, if you're on a bridge and it starts falling, whip out your cell-phone and call the engineer to ask him about the design.

Wnderer wrote:... TEENAGERS [are] the reason they put hot pepper smell in model glue ...

Do they seriously do that with model glue these days? If so, that's nuts, since there's no shortage of substances that can be huffed. (I'm not an expert, but I learned a lot from the Primus song “Lacquerhead.”)
Last edited by TimXCampbell on Wed Feb 06, 2013 4:03 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: 1170: "Bridge"

Postby butch81385 » Wed Feb 06, 2013 3:59 pm UTC

There are reports coming in that a man wearing a black hat was seen leaving the bridge shortly before the fire.


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