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This would be something to give the observer a clear
perception and comparison of different speeds.
The exhibit would be titled "How Fast Is It?" You'd be
directed to look at a demarcated, reflective strip about a
quarter mile long outside the window. You'd have a
panel with a series of
buttons of with pictures of various
fast things on them.
When you pushed for instance, the drag racer button, it
would activate a very bright light or laser pointed at one
end of the strip and move it to the other end of the strip
at the speed of a drag racer, about 300 mph. This would
let you actually perceive this speed as something other
than a number.
The next button might be a bullet or a supersonic jet and
the light would flash along the strip at 700+ mph.
The order of buttons might be, "Fastest man, fastest
animal, land sea and air, fastest car, fastest manned jet
and fastest spacecraft. Then perhaps for the fastest
speed, the speed of light, you'd have a model Earth and
Moon at each end of the quarter mile and move the light
dot such that it gives a perception of the speed of light
at that distance.
How to jump out of an airplane without a parachute
[doctorremulac3, Jun 23 2012]
What happens when you drop a heavy and light object at the same time
Fast forward to 1:28 [doctorremulac3, Dec 24 2012]
||Anything faster than about 200mph would simply appear as
a streak unless you were standing a ways off.
||I have seen a similar thing at Sci-tech. They had a wall with sequential images of the sprinter Kathy Freeman which lit up with the appropriate timing for her real world sprint times. You could run 'against' her if you wished. (She's bloody quick, by the way).
||There was also a recent exhibition of "how many" in Australia, using
grains of rice for various stats. "Here are the casualties of World War
I... one grain per person." I didn't see it, but apparently it was quite
||[+] Maybe it could also include hills and valleys to show the speed decrease or increase with the terrain.
||This would be of immense benefit if it involved cats, and there was a busy 6-lane highway at the end of the "run".
||(+) The speed of sound through different substances would be cool.
||For the deluxe model, you could make the
reflective strip pretty tall, say six feet or so. Then
you could project actual pictures of the object
you're representing. A movie of the chetah
running, a marlin swimming or a moving still shot
of the the Apollo
space capsule for instance.
||I think the space capsule would traverse the
quarter mile in about 1/25th of a second but you
might be able to perceive it as something more
than a flash. Even if it was just a flash you'd get
the idea and be impressed. With the movie screen
version you could also watch a race between
different things. Place your bets and push the
chetah, the marlin and the peregrine falcon
button at the same time.
||By the way, the falcon is going horizontal, not in a
dive so it's a fair fight. I always thought the
"fastest animal" title being given to an
animal in a dead dive was kind of cheating. If
that's how we're
judging it I can go two hundred miles per hour
without even breaking a sweat.
||You'd be in a sweat [doc]
||LOL, hadn't thought of it that way. Yea, guess I
||We will pay five dollars cash to watch you do it, [doc].
||Tell you what, I might do it for $5 (Pay per view)
Jump out of an airplane at 10,000 feet with no
parachute into a suitably deep body of water. I'll
use the idea I posted previously. (See link)
||I figured out how to do it, You have an armored
suit that will keep you from being torn apart by
the force of the water. Ok, but here's the counter-
intuitive part. The suit would be weighted, about
600 pounds should do it.
||It's the quick deceleration that kills you. A
weighted suit would extend your deceleration
time enough for you to survive. Instead of going
from 200 mph to 0 mph in ten feet (and getting
dead in the process) you'd go from 200 to 0 in 60
or 70 feet. Of course you'd be 70 feet under water
and you'd have to get that suit off pretty quickly
because it's going to the bottom of the bay with
you in it or not. But that's part of the fun. There
would be a minute or so after I hit the water
where it wouldn't be known if I made it or not
until I surface victorious, fist pumping in the air.
(Or float up face down, or don't come up at all)
There would be a short commercial break after I
hit (Did me make it? Stay tuned, we'll be back to
see right after this message from our sponsor!)
and I'd charge about 2
million bucks for that slot.
||Like I said in the original post, a very short job
with immediate retirement one way or another.
||(Note to my life insurance provider: Just kidding.
I'm not jumping out of any planes with or without
a parachute. The above post was for dubious
entertainment value only.)
||10,000 feet of altitude gives 30,000 joules per kg of potential energy.
||200 mph gives 4,000 joules per kg of kinetic energy.
||Clearly, then, you will fall much faster wearing a mass suit than otherwise, and you will hit the water much faster than 200 mph.
||Interestingly, according to Horrible Histories, the inventor of the parachute made exactly the same mistake; he forgot to include the mass of the parachute itself in his calculations, and died as a result.
||The mass would only be triggered just before hitting the water.
||Science can certainly be dangerous. (See link)