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A Cliff Diving Fact

Image result for self magazine september 2016

I'm about to disclose to you a cliff diving fact I learned in a magazine recently, and then explain why it stuck in my head. SInce it is unlikely that any reader of this blog gives a damn about cliff diving, this may seem odd but, hey, it's my blog.

To pad this out a bit, I'll start with the sourcing. The following fact comes from the Sept. 2016 issue of SELF magazine. SELF is a woman's health periodical, which includes some celebratory pieces on distaff athletes, and I encountered this issue while sitting in a waiting room with a dearth of other worthwhile material. Moving on.....

Here's the fact. If a cliff is 30 meters above the water, then a diver will hit the surface of the water at 50 miles an hour. 

I haven't done the computation to check it out. On this planet, IIRC, an object in freefall due to gravity moves toward the center of the earth at an accelerating pace, velocity increasing at 9.8 meters per second per second.

So: what struck me as worth a blog post about the above?

The italicized fact above begins with a metric system measurement, but concludes with an English system measurement: the velocity on impact is given in miles, not kilometers, per hour.  That presumably caters to the primary audience for the magazine in the US, where MPH is the ubiquitous way of thinking about speed. Still, it required that somebody along the way did an extra step in converting from one system to the other, AND both numbers -- both the height of the cliff and the speed at impact -- came out as nice round numbers, two digits the second of which is a zero.

Seems to me a very convenient cliff diving fact.

Also, the article was not clear on whether the sponsors of competitive cliff diving events look for 30 meter cliffs specifically, or if that's a rough average, or what.

That's enough obsessing about a factoid for today.


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