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Everything posted by running_dry

  1. Here's something I just stumbled upon a few minutes ago. Its Olympus Mons, Mars' largest mountain. Olympus Mons is also the largest volcano in the solar system and the 2nd tallest mountain in the solar system (behind the Rheasilvia peak on the asteroid 4 Vesta). Olympus Mons is a shield volcano and was formed the same way that the Hawaiian islands were, by lava flows hardening and building up over hundreds of millions of years. The difference is that while the Hawaiian chain was formed by Earths crust moving over a hot spot in the mantle, Mars does not have mobile tectonic plates so the hotspo
  2. This is the followup to my last post about climbing Giant Mountain. You may have notice that I only talked about the energy I expended climbing the mountain. If you're thinking "Couldn't he have just doubled the energy going up to get total energy", you're wrong and need to: 1) read this 2) stop acting like you know me. The main problem was that, as I mentioned in the last post, the trail became increasingly snowy and icy as we neared the summit. Actually it was like starting in New York in October, climbing through NY in December and then ending up in Alaska at the summit. That wasn't so bad
  3. Yesterday I climbed Giant Mountain, one of the 46 Adirondack High Peaks. With a summit elevation of 4,627 feet (1,410 m) Giant is the 12th tallest of the high peaks and with an elevation change of 3000 ft in 3 miles it's also on of the steepest. The journey began at the car near the trail head where I was deciding on footwear. The 2 options were hiking boots (0.92 kg a pair) of Nike frees (.42 kg a pair). The boots would be heavier and require more work to ascend the mountain, but would provide better traction and keep my feet dry. The frees would require less energy but likely slip on everyth
  4. So in my last post I promised to follow up by talking about why humans can run so far, but I'm putting that off for a little bit. So I was just sitting here, daydreaming about everything I've done this XC season, and I suddenly realized how long it's been since the last time I went out and did my first true love: longboarding. I got into longboarding in 5th or 6th grade, I can't really remember, and its not an understatement to say that it has been a focal point of my life; but I haven't touched a board since August in fear of hurting myself and not being able to run (which I now realize wa
  5. Cheetahs are basically the supercars of the animal kingdom. They have a top speed of 75 miles per hour and a 0 to 60 time of 3 seconds, faster than a vast majority of production sports cars. A light and aerodynamic bone structure reduces drag forces to the absolute minimum, a long tail provides balance while sprinting and counter-forces while turning which allows for extreme agility, and flat paws provide better traction than most cats. A light weight of 125 pounds on average allow the cheetahs powerful muscles do the minimum amount of work (since work=displacement*force) and thus energy is co
  6. There's one thing that has always bugged me about the sport of cross country: the proximity of the start line to the finish line. Nine times out of ten I would estimate that the positions at which I start and finish a 5000 meter race are within 400 meters of one another. Now obviosly i understand that its a 5k race, not a 400, but it makes me seem very slow. With my (rather quick) personal best time of 15 minutes, 21 seconds (921 seconds) my average velocity (speed=distance/time) over a 5km distance is a respectable 5.42 m/s. However my actual velocity (dispacement/time, estimated that the sta
  7. So in case nobody noticed, a few days ago the temperature dropped from levels typical of mid-June to somewhere off the charts that I would estimate to be pretty darn close to absolute zero. Actually, the temperature is now just slightly below the average for the season, but why did it get really cold really fast? To start, I'm sure the jet stream had something to do with it, pushing cold arctic air into upstate NY, and pushing out the warmer tropical air we had been experiencing. But more importantly, its now late October and it gets cold around this time every year. But why is that? First of
  8. There is one thing that can strike fear into the heart of any cross country runner: hills. Hilly courses are often hated because going uphill is hard, however for a long time I have been telling myself that what goes up must come down, and running downhill is ridiculously easy. The best example of this that I can think of is the Bowdoin Park course in Poughkeepsie, NY. This is widely regarded as one of the hardest XC courses in the state. It's a 5 km course that winds its way up and then down a large hill. The very top of the hill is exactly the half way mark of the course so there's 2.5 km on
  9. As a competitive runner, there is nothing more annoying than being passed at the very end of a race, and nothing more satisfying than doing the passing. The final surge of speed before the finish line is commonly referred to as a "kick" and runners who can consistently run the last 100 to 200 meters of a race in a convincingly Usain Bolt-like fashion are known as having "a kick". Getting passed by someone while they are "kicking" faster than you is called being "outkicked" Unfortunately I'm not fast when it comes to raw speed and therefore don't have much of a kick. As a result, I have been ou
  10. I was always confused by exactly how those worked, I never realized that the air being blown out the little holes was just to reduce the pressure around the ring and therefore get air to flow through the middle
  11. I'm totally with you on the negligible resistance, its just so boring and inapplicable to the world in which we live.
  12. As for the obscure reference to hardware stores, you would have had to been in Physics B last year and even then you might not get it. And to answer that question, if the table was perfectly level you could set an object on the table with no inertia shouldn't move. And any frictionless surface would no doubt be useful in other applications than just holding things.
  13. So I'll get straight to the point. There has been a lot of talk about insanity and it being crucial to the decisions of all of us to take Physics C, and I think there's some truth to that. I too may be a little insane for taking this class but I think that most people think that I'm completely crazy because I genuinely love running (I don't think that makes me crazy though). Sadly that's most of my life but in my free time I try to do some more exciting things like skiing and longboarding as much as possible. With that said, expect a lot of future blog posts on the physics of running and gravi
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