“Think as I think,” said a man, “or you are abominably wicked; you are a toad.” And after I thought of it, I said, “I will, then, be a toad.” ― Stephen Crane
I love Montauk (always have and it is way better than the pretentious Hamptons), but it is not the sort of destination you think of getting to by freight train.
That was funny, in a stupid dumbass sort of way.
What was the idiot part? It looked like a lot of fun. As a kid I couldn't understand why jumping out of train can hurt. Because once you jump free of the train then it's just you in the air like jumping from a building, boink, you land on your feet like normal, and that' it. The train speeds away from you. It no longer has anything to do with you being free from it.My dad goes, "Because of forward moment. Your body is hurled forward." And I'm all, so what. That doesn't count. I could not visualize that. You run straight out of the boxcar perpendicular to the train. Choose your landing area carefully. I just couldn't get it through my thick head there are three forces work, forward momentum, sideways projection, and gravity. And that's why people roll in the direction of the train and break their legs and all the rest. It seems so easy to a dumb little kid. And even if I did then I'd still be left wondering what just happened. And if you insist forward momentum does count, then run through the boxcar in the backward direction to counteract forward momentum, whatever that is. To end up the same thing as going straight out. "That would be worse!" "Why?" "I'd be like hitting a wall. You'd break your ankles. You'd be pushed backward by momentum flinging you forward, backward to you now, while peddling your legs forward.""What?" I just couldn't see it. Like jumping in an elevator right before it crashes. Why doesn't that work? Physics is weirdly counterintuitive.You just have to break a few legs and learn the hard way. Even then I'm not sure it would sink in. I puzzled over this for years. Imagining jumping out of a truck on the highway. How to pull it off and stick the landing like a gymnast. I finally just gave up thinking about it. Best to keep safe without ever knowing. Breaking bones really hurts. And weirdly sprains hurt even worse.
Chip, he called himself an idiot (but I was amused by his adventures). The dumbass part was riding the subway and running into the post at the end (but that was funny too). Dangerous as hell, but funny.
Here's how to think it. I think. Visualize yourself throwing a ball out of a boxcar imagining it going straight out to hit a target. But it goes out and forward instead because you're going forward when you threw it and that must be calculated to hit the target. I think. But it still doesn't make sense in the visualization.
Imagine riding in a spaceship at the speed of light. Then you turn on the headlights. What happens?I'll tell you what, once I finish binge watching Star Trek - you know that first episode is pretty hideous. But what was worse was that Jeffrey Hunter died a couple of years later as a result of injuries he received in an on-set explosion. Not good.
Maybe try to think of yourself, not in motion, but suspended from a long rope tied off high above you. Below your dangling feet only inches away the train is speeding along. If you let go of the rope would you imagine that you would just hop lightly down? Its only a few inches after all. No, you would visualize your feet hitting the surface of the speeding train and your upper body flipping backwards. Same thing when you jump from a moving train, but the force throws you forward.
A few years ago, a girl in Longmont tried this and she lost both her legs.
You want to see a good action movie check out "Emperor of the North" with Ernie Borgnine and Lee Marvin. Everything you need to know about hopping a train.
Used to do the same thing when I was a kid.
If I jumped from a bridge onto a moving train then I go from nothing to high speed in an instant and that will clearly not work.But if I throw a rock out of my hand from inside a moving boxcar then it's not part of me or the boxcar the instant it leaves my hand. It doesn't matter that I'm speeding forward when I throw it. It's in its own space then. My forward momentum is not part of the rock anymore. Same thing if I jump.But that's wrong, because PHYSICS! My original forward IS part of the calculation. And that just does not compute. In my mind. If I shot a gun, same thing. I realize I'm wrong, but I'm accepting it on faith. My brain will simply does not accept it. And If I were a professor tasked with explaining this, I'd just shrug and go, "fuck if I know." I have the words for it, I have the explanation, but not the intuition.It has to do with the moment the object, a ball, rock, bullet, or my own body, changing from the space in the train to it's own independent space. If I jumped straight up inside a boxcar so accurately I land in my original footprints, then do that same thing inside a speeding boxcar does the train underneath me? It should. Don't you think? I have my own space independent of the boxcar, even though I'm inside it, once my feet leave the floor. Again, I think I'm wrong because ... reasons. Can you tell that I hurt myself a lot on the playground? I'm quite stupid and a real danger to myself. Same as this guy in the video. I bet he gets hurt a lot. But that's life, learning through pain.
Chip there is a cool video showing an old physics classic which dates back hundreds of years. The old physics experiment was the one where you take a heavy ball and a feather from a tall building and if you let go of each one at the same time, which object will hit the ground first?This video shows what those same two objects do when there is air resistance and when there isn't and even though you do the math for both think you might know how these objects will behave but to actually see it is still jaw dropping and cool.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E43-CfukEgsNow I am not a fan of Brian Cox. I think he's a pretentious little british douche, but the video is pretty good.
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