14. September 2005 · Comments Off on Stupid MythBusters · Categories: That's Entertainment!

So closely after last Sunday, I am a bit uncomfortable about questions of terminal velocity. But anyway, on today’s rerun of Mythbusters, they are addressing the urban myth of a penny, dropped from the Empire State Building killing a person on the street.

Well, it seems that the terminal velocity of a randomly dropped penny is about 65 mph – not enough to kill someone, but perhaps enough to hurt, like a good slingshot pop.

But they don’t address the case of a penny, rolled down a chute. and exiting at the top of the Empire State Building, so, as it falls, it is spinning about an axis parallel to the Earth’s surface. This is a WHOLE ‘nother matter.

Update – More stupid MythBusters: Currently, they are poised to run-off a Hot Wheels car against a Dodge Viper at Lake Tahoe. Well, this is a rerun which I already saw. And it is so idiotic. They came up with an “unproven” result, because the Hot Wheels car kept jumping of the track.

But we already know the answer: A gravity powered vehicle, less mechanical and aerodynamic losses, will accelerate at .5g down a 100% grade (we’re talking off-roader stuff here, folks). And we know, from various road tests’ G-G graphs, that the Viper has forward acceleration well in excess of .5g. So, why are we even fucking with this?

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