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0620: "Wings"

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:02 am UTC
by glasnt
Image
Link: http://xkcd.com/620/

Alt: Please do not try any of this and die or get arrested.



~~~~~~~

HI JOEE!

Black Hat guy is awesome.

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:03 am UTC
by You, sir, name?
I wanna try it. But I don't want to die or get arrested, though. I may also need frictionless pulleys and mass-less rope. Damn, I can't seem to buy these ideal mechanical components anywhere! Don't they manufacture them anymore?!

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:04 am UTC
by rho421
Hi glanst?

I totally predicted the last panel...

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:04 am UTC
by ryan
I was expecting the ferret with wings. But BHG is always a good thing :)
Also, panel 4 = awesome.

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:04 am UTC
by Alsadius
I'm in! All someone needs to do is build me a teleporter, a space heater, and a gas mask.

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:05 am UTC
by joee
glasnt wrote:HI JOEE!

Black Hat guy is awesome.

HI GLASNT

BHG is super awesome. And that looks like fun

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:06 am UTC
by Josephine
A couple hundred cubic miles of oxygen and a match and Titan's atmosphere goes bye bye.

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:09 am UTC
by xnick
I wonder... Is this based on a true history? (Not the Icarus part, but the experiment)

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:11 am UTC
by skine
I believe the line is "Randall, get out of my head!"

Last semester I took Sculpture I, and for our first project (wearable art) I made full-sized wings (approx. 8 ft wingspan) and a fustanella out of nothing but plastic bags, roofing tar and a couple wire coat-hangers in order to compare the story of Icarus and Daedalus to global warming.

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:16 am UTC
by Felona
rho421 wrote:I totally predicted the last panel...

I can only hope this is a joke.

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:17 am UTC
by ixxi
Isn't that only one problem? Considered separately, using hot glue on the wing joints is not a problem and having friends into greek mythology is also not a problem. well, maybe the latter is a problem. ok, it is 2 problems after all.

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:18 am UTC
by Eternal Density
The ending cracked me up :D About time! Great to see a BHG cameo. I could see it coming when I got to the greek mythology line :D
The alt-text was rather serious though :(

HI GLASNT and JOEE, but seriously, what's with that?

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:22 am UTC
by Seven
With friends like Black Hat Guy, who needs enemies? 8)

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:29 am UTC
by ryannayr417
Hooray for a modern day Daedalus!

First person to claim this is Icarus gets stabbed in the face. Daedalus came up with the wing idea, his son Icarus was the retard that tempted fate and drowned. Well, I suppose either would be appropriate here as the guy did get his wings melted.... Hmm, it ain't easy being an elitist.

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:33 am UTC
by NotTechSupport
His rope is far too long! If it goes from the ground, up to the bridge, back to the ground then there would be slack when he tries to fly! The bricks are already on the ground; they're not supporting his weight at all!

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:34 am UTC
by alethiophile
Heh. This is great.

Hey, first page! And it's been half an hour since the comic went up! Low-traffic night?

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:34 am UTC
by knight427
Obviously the bricks need to be suspended off the ground before flapping his wings for this to work. The beginning height of the bricks would then be the maximum attainable altitude (once he get that high, the bricks will touch the ground and no longer providing 91% of the lift). So this can be done with relative safety by limiting the starting height of the bricks.

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:44 am UTC
by bobmarksdale
He'd only fall at .88 m/s/s so it wouldn't hurt *that* bad unless he pulled the bricks almost all the way up to the pulley to start with so he could fly really high, which seems silly for a 1st try experiment.

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:47 am UTC
by Storm
I found this comic fits nicely into my 'List of fantastic (but possibly dangerous) ideas from xkcd' BHG & Greek mythology win :).
In the calculations is the mass of the rope included in the total mass up till the first/second pully or the entire length?

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:55 am UTC
by 10nitro
Yes, in that shot the rope is to long, however, can we assume that that was *before* they hoisted the bricks up?

Anyway, my main comment is that I'd imagine it is difficult to `fly' vertically. I'd imagine the best way would be to fly in as wide circles as possible. Wait, that's what it looks like he's doing, nevermind.

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 4:57 am UTC
by Cielmerlion
IS there really any possibility that anyone that reads this wont want to try it? I just wish puerto rico had bigger bridges.

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:01 am UTC
by kelvinc
bobmarksdale wrote:He'd only fall at .88 m/s/s so it wouldn't hurt *that* bad unless he pulled the bricks almost all the way up to the pulley to start with so he could fly really high, which seems silly for a 1st try experiment.

I'm not sure at what temperature does hot glue soften enough for wings to disintegrate, but given that it appears to melt at 127 degrees centigrade, I think falling is the least of his problems.

The story of Daedalus and Icarus: just an awesome excuse for your friends to give you second-degree burns.

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:04 am UTC
by cqli
The problem might not be heat, but cold.

According to Henry Petroski, modern accident reconstruction investigators have determined the altitude that Icarus must have been at and the temperature would have been very cold. Beeswax would be so hard that brittle failure (cracking) would be the most likely cause of feather loss.

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:08 am UTC
by DSDM
Good thing he didn't try running a labyrinth. His Greek mythology friends would need to make a Minotaur to make it authentic, and bestiality is illegal. At least in most states, I think.

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:10 am UTC
by mochafairy
i'm surprised this hasn't been added to the Icarus or Daedalus wiki pages under references in modern work or whatever the section is called.

wikipedia, i'm sorry for the mass flood of people who are now editing in all xkcd references. I am not responsible.

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:16 am UTC
by Platypodes
cqli wrote:The problem might not be heat, but cold.

According to Henry Petroski, modern accident reconstruction investigators have determined the altitude that Icarus must have been at and the temperature would have been very cold. Beeswax would be so hard that brittle failure (cracking) would be the most likely cause of feather loss.

Wait, what?

I understand how a person flying too high would have been more likely to have trouble with cold from the altitude than heat from proximity to the sun. But how on earth could they have determined a particular altitude? Did I miss the word-problem part of the myth, where it states the direction, speed, and duration of his flight?

Edit:
DSDM wrote:Good thing he didn't try running a labyrinth. His Greek mythology friends would need to make a Minotaur to make it authentic, and bestiality is illegal. At least in most states, I think.

Well, they could have made it by genetic engineering instead of copulation... It would probably be a more successful approach anyhow. But either way, they'd have to wait for it to grow up; a cute li'l baby Minotaur just wouldn't do the job.

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:16 am UTC
by RobotGymnast
Anybody feel like explaining the math to me?

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:20 am UTC
by Sucram
What one needs to do this effectively is a modified "auto-belay". Otherwise as soon as he flaps his wings the effect the bricks are having on him will change.
Ok..more to the point.. it won't be consistant like atmospheric pressure and gravity. With the autobelay, one simply adjusts the settings and hey presto it pulls 91% of your mass regardless of how high you are or if you're flapping. When you flap, you'll go up, you can glide and you can fall...but more slowly.

Feel free to contradict my hypothesis.
Or to supply me with your skill in adjusting auto-belays...I have the device but not the brains.

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:27 am UTC
by Omegaton
Wow, that looks like it'd be a ton of fun... The flying part, not the falling.

You know what, just get Mythbusters to build it and try it, I'm sure they'd be all for that.

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:37 am UTC
by SummerGlauFan
Platypodes wrote:
DSDM wrote:Good thing he didn't try running a labyrinth. His Greek mythology friends would need to make a Minotaur to make it authentic, and bestiality is illegal. At least in most states, I think.

Well, they could have made it by genetic engineering instead of copulation... It would probably be a more successful approach anyhow. But either way, they'd have to wait for it to grow up; a cute li'l baby Minotaur just wouldn't do the job.


What, you don't keep a couple of Minotaur around, just in case?

Anyway, I really did laugh hard at this comic, well done.

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:43 am UTC
by You, sir, name?
Platypodes wrote:Well, they could have made it by genetic engineering instead of copulation... It would probably be a more successful approach anyhow. But either way, they'd have to wait for it to grow up; a cute li'l baby Minotaur just wouldn't do the job.


Couldn't one just decapitate a man and a bull and stitch them back together in the wrong order? I don't think anyone has tried that as of late, and previous attempts probably failed because they didn't have immunosuppressants. Either way, you don't need it to live all that long. Just long enough for a photo op.

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:43 am UTC
by knight427
Sucram wrote:What one needs to do this effectively is a modified "auto-belay". Otherwise as soon as he flaps his wings the effect the bricks are having on him will change.
Ok..more to the point.. it won't be consistant like atmospheric pressure and gravity. With the autobelay, one simply adjusts the settings and hey presto it pulls 91% of your mass regardless of how high you are or if you're flapping. When you flap, you'll go up, you can glide and you can fall...but more slowly.

Feel free to contradict my hypothesis.
Or to supply me with your skill in adjusting auto-belays...I have the device but not the brains.


No, the bricks will pull him with the same force regardless of whether he is flapping his wings. There may be some jerkiness from the rope stretching, maybe.

After Googling “auto belay”, I don’t think it would work. It needs to be anchored to the ground in place of the suspended bricks and adjusted to provide the right resistance, which will allow it act the same as the bricks when he is falling (slowing his decent). But the belay does not provide any pulling force (as far as I know) so it would not allow him to get airborne in the first place.

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:46 am UTC
by Omegaton
You, sir, name? wrote:
Platypodes wrote:Well, they could have made it by genetic engineering instead of copulation... It would probably be a more successful approach anyhow. But either way, they'd have to wait for it to grow up; a cute li'l baby Minotaur just wouldn't do the job.


Couldn't one just decapitate a man and a bull and stitch them back together in the wrong order? I don't think anyone has tried that as of late, and previous attempts probably failed because they didn't have immunosuppressants. Either way, you don't need it to live all that long. Just long enough for a photo op.

I've heard that the Nazi's tried something like that. Not that word of mouth is the most reliable thing ever.

And yes, Godwin's Law strikes again...

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:47 am UTC
by capncanuck
rho421 wrote:Hi glanst?

I totally predicted the last panel...


Image

Who could it be?
This panel who I did see
Can you help me guess this mystery?

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:48 am UTC
by Squid Tamer
I want to try this with the bricks at 95% or so, and no wings. Why fly when you can jump?

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:50 am UTC
by knight427
Omegaton wrote:
And yes, Godwin's Law strikes again...


Actually Godwin’s Law does not apply when you are literally referencing Nazis. It occurs when you compare another poster to Hitler/Nazis to discredit and insult them. At least that's how I understand it.

Squid Tamer wrote:I want to try this with the bricks at 95% or so, and no wings. Why fly when you can jump?


1) Flying is cooler.
2) You don't get to use your hot glue gun.
3) If you jump too high, the bricks smash into the ground and fall apart, leaving you with no counterweight to slow your decent.

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 5:57 am UTC
by Sucram
knight427 wrote:
Sucram wrote:What one needs to do this effectively is a modified "auto-belay". Otherwise as soon as he flaps his wings the effect the bricks are having on him will change.
Ok..more to the point.. it won't be consistant like atmospheric pressure and gravity. With the autobelay, one simply adjusts the settings and hey presto it pulls 91% of your mass regardless of how high you are or if you're flapping. When you flap, you'll go up, you can glide and you can fall...but more slowly.

Feel free to contradict my hypothesis.
Or to supply me with your skill in adjusting auto-belays...I have the device but not the brains.


No, the bricks will pull him with the same force regardless of whether he is flapping his wings. There may be some jerkiness from the rope stretching, maybe.

After Googling “auto belay”, I don’t think it would work. It needs to be anchored to the ground in place of the suspended bricks and adjusted to provide the right resistance, which will allow it act the same as the bricks when he is falling (slowing his decent). But the belay does not provide any pulling force (as far as I know) so it would not allow him to get airborne in the first place.


I was actually reffering to top mounted autobelays. They're very much like seatbelts. But more fun. And the inconsistancy I was reffering to with the bricks wasn't so much the force as when the bricks hit the ground cause you've gone too high. Top mounted auto belay gives you alot of freedom.

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:01 am UTC
by neurodan
I just want to know how to parse the alt-text...

Where do I put the parentheses??

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:02 am UTC
by knight427
Sucram wrote:
I was actually reffering to top mounted autobelays. They're very much like seatbelts. But more fun. And the inconsistancy I was reffering to with the bricks wasn't so much the force as when the bricks hit the ground cause you've gone too high. Top mounted auto belay gives you alot of freedom.


I see what you mean about the bricks bumping the ground if you are at max altitude. But there is still the problem of the belay not pulling up (only proving resistance on the way down). At least I assume that is how they work, otherwise it kind of spoils the challenge of climbing, no?

Re: "Wings" Discussion

Posted: Fri Aug 07, 2009 6:11 am UTC
by TunezNZ
ahaa the cheese burnt me...