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Old 03-31-2001, 08:12 AM   #1
efoo
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Join Date: Jul 1999
Cool gran turismo strikes again...

So, one of my friends from my college days is now a high school teacher, and she invited me to speak to her freshman physics class on Friday and tell them how physics is used in the real world.

I showed up and tried to do my best to bring up examples of how physics is used in everyday hobbies, like basketball, fishing, CD players, etc. etc. But I also brought my helmet with me, and I got lots of questions about that. I went through an explanation of how helmets help protect you in crashes, why safety belts work, etc. - the kids were fairly attentive so far.

The funny part is: I did bring a picture of my RS to show the kids. The first two periods, no one could figure out what it was. Someone even asked me if it was a Nissan Skyline, LOL. But in the third and fourth periods, the scene looked like this:

"What kind of car do you drive?"
"It's a Subaru Impreza"
"Oh. My mom has a Subaru. It's a big station wagon."
"Yup, my car is a smaller version of that car with a more powerful engine."
"Do you have a picture?"
"Sure, here you go."

[ stunned silence... ]

"HEY! HE'S GOT THE GRAN TURISMO CAR!! YOU GOTTA CHECK THIS OUT!! DO YOU HAVE IT PARKED OUTSIDE?!?! CAN WE SEE?!? PLEASE!!?!"

"darn. Sorry, but I brought my other car today. It's just a little green station wagon."

"AWWWWW! CAN YOU COME BACK SOME OTHER TIME AND BRING THAT CAR WITH YOU?!?"

"okay okay! next time."

It was a really funny sight. But I certainly had the kids' attention after that, that's for sure. Even the girls in the class were paying attention, which is great because I was concerned that I would only end up connecting with the guys and leave the girls out of the discussion. Talking about safety belts and all-wheel-drive and safety stuff did keep the girls interested though. I also talked about SUVs and why they roll over, so they could all relate to that.

All in all, I hope they learned something. I certainly had a good time.

Anyways, just thought I'd share this. Have a good time at the meet!

-Edwin


[This message has been edited by efoo (edited March 31, 2001).]
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Old 03-31-2001, 08:21 AM   #2
dirk.gecko
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What do you do for a living? That you get invited to talk about physics, I mean?

Which I think is kinda cool, BTW.

Awesome story

dirk
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Old 03-31-2001, 08:42 AM   #3
efoo
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dirk - I'm a Principal Engineer for a small startup now, but prior to that I was a Research Scientist for Compaq Computer Corp. for a couple of years after getting out of college.

I mostly deal with computer stuff at work, but I tinker with a lot of hardware and misc. stuff both at work and at home, so you pick up a lot of random useless trivia facts along the way. I'm the type of guy you want on your team for a game of Trivial Pursuit when it comes to science/technology questions. I like to know answers to stuff like "why is the sky blue" or "why is storing CDs upside down actually worse than putting them right side up?" or "why are manhole covers round?"

The Skyline is the Japanese equivalent to an American muscle car like the Pontiac Firebird. Not all that pretty, but it's what's under the hood that counts. The older R32 and R33 versions were cleaner looking though, so if I had one, I'd choose one of those instead of the current R34 bodystyle.

And yeah, the less SUVs on the road, the better. I think I managed to convince at least one girl to change her dream first car from a Toyota RAV4 to something else. That alone would make the whole trip worth it IMHO.

-Edwin
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Old 03-31-2001, 05:20 PM   #4
paultg
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So why are manholes round?

Edwin, I have your defi stuff and your vice grips at my apartment nice and safe.

I think I am going to autocross tomorrow, so let me know when you want to come and get it.

Paul G.
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Old 03-31-2001, 05:23 PM   #5
STi Boy
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equivelent to a firebird??...not all that good looking??..rrrriiiiggghhhhttt...skyline is like the king of jap cars...u cant even compared a skyline to a firebird...more like to a viper...but i'll take a skyline over a viper any day
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Old 03-31-2001, 05:52 PM   #6
efoo
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Paul - I'll give you a call tomorrow evening to stop by and get them. Thanks for picking them up for me.

FYI, manhole covers are round so that the covers can't fall through the holes. Any other shape (like say, a square or triangle), and you'd be able to angle the cover in such a way that it could fall in.

STi Boy - hey, we've got different tastes. Got a problem with that? I personally do not like the Skyline styling all that much. And the Viper looks like a big Nike athletic shoe! All it needs is a big "swoosh".

Now, a current-gen Lotus Esprit Turbo, on the the hand.... That is one of the most beautiful cars I've seen. I must get my hands on one of those one day. "It is a moral imperative!" - my favorite quote from Real Genius.

<img src=http://www.lotuscars.co.uk/media/esprit_v8_black_web.jpg>
<img src=http://www.fantasycars.com/Lotus_Esprit/esprit7.jpg>


[This message has been edited by efoo (edited March 31, 2001).]
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Old 03-31-2001, 05:58 PM   #7
Fitz
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Manholes are round because no matter how you tilt/angle/drop them, the diameter of the cover and the diameter of the hole are always the same. This means that you can't physically drop them down into the hole. On the other hand, take those square sewer grates... and if you pick them up, place them on end, and then line them up so that one of the four sides is diagonal across the corners of the hole in the ground, you can drop them down. Try the same thing with a circle, and there are no corners (hor hypotenuse) to do this with. Sure, my verbiage sucks, but how far off base am I Edwin?

Fitz
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Old 03-31-2001, 06:00 PM   #8
Fitz
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sonofabitch.. he beat me to it again.....

Fitz
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Old 03-31-2001, 09:34 PM   #9
Boom
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like theres a choice BLUE

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It was a good try Fitz!!!!
LOL
Steve 99 White RS
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Old 03-31-2001, 10:16 PM   #10
jjp
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Manhole covers are round because manholes are round ; a better question might be why are manholes round?

Besides they make square manhole covers.
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