Talk:2539: Flinch

Explain xkcd: It's 'cause you're dumb.
Revision as of 10:57, 9 November 2021 by (talk)
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A follow-up joke: "Psychologist: I don't trust you not to give it a push." Who, me? (talk) 02:13, 9 November 2021 (UTC)

A sudden wind guest wouldn't add much momentum to a smooth, small object like a bowling ball in one swing. Even given minimal friction losses (air resistance and the chain's internal friction) I very much doubt it would speed it up enough to cause much of an impact. Also, unless Cueball has very bad luck or precognitive powers, he's unlikely to have set up the experiment perfectly in line with the next unexpected gust of wind, meaning any velocity vector change is likely to make the bowling ball miss the target scientist or engineer, not hit harder. Nitpicking (talk) 04:26, 9 November 2021 (UTC)

I disagree with the explanation's contention that the way Cueball is holding the ball means the experiment is being performed incorrectly. I think it's pretty clear he's not saying it will be released from exactly where he's holding it, since it's obviously not in front of any of their faces, and it's not yet above the mark on the floor. Esogalt (talk) 07:44, 9 November 2021 (UTC)

Ditto. Although I have in mind a way in which a (passive) string support could be arranged so that upon the outward swing it unwraps a ting little bit and returns upon a marginally lower/significantly more face-ward back swing (same K+P energy totals at all points), even starting with a taught string. Or of course an active support that moves on command, but that'd be definite cheating-with-intent as opposed to an 'accident'.
"Not hung up correctly" might also mean that the hook suddenly comes loose on the way back, in which case the ball would fly into your face, wouldn't it? -- 10:57, 9 November 2021 (UTC)
(I also imagine Randall saw the original, if not the Youtube parody, of your US Science-Explaining-Guy doing this for real. The Youtube parody had a cartoony 'face smash' edited in as the result as a (faux-?) bite back at the scientific rationalism. If I could remember the guy's name I'd have looked for video links to potentially insert, but all I'm getting is the likes of Brian Cox doing it (successfully), on a quick and broad search.) 10:05, 9 November 2021 (UTC)