Answer: When Spider-Man reeled Gwen back to the top of the bridge, he was shocked to discover she was dead, says James Kakalios in "The Physics of Superheroes." "She was dead before your webbing reached her!" the Goblin taunted. "A fall from that height would kill anyone before they struck the ground!"
But if this were true, how do paratroopers and sky divers survive? To determine the web forces acting on Gwen, assume she had fallen about 300 feet, speeding up due to gravity to nearly 95 mph. Once snagged by Spidey's webbing, she quickly goes from 95 to 0 mph. Though the webbing is elastic, the time available to slow her descent is short. If she weighs 110 and her stopping time is 0.5 second, then the webbing applies 970 pounds to break her fall, or nearly 9 times her weight, or 9 g's.
Traveling at that speed and stopping that fast, there is little difference between hitting the webbing and the water, says Kakalios. There have been cases of people surviving 9 g's, but typically suicide victims who jump from bridges die not of drowning but from broken necks, Gwen's likely not-too-comic fate.May the controversy rest in peace.
Question: You know about synonyms, or two different words with the same meaning. So what are trinonyms? Three different words with the same meaning, wouldn't you guess?
Question: Turn on a huge oven, put in a slab of beefsteak and a human being, and which cooks faster?
The secret was the men were touched only by the likely very dry hot air, which conducts heat poorly, whereas the meat was on hot metal, which transfers its heat readily. That explains why you can briefly reach your hand into an oven where you're baking a cake, but you better not touch the metal shelf.But heatstroke is a real risk so don't try any of this!
Send STRANGE questions to brothers Bill and Rich at firstname.lastname@example.org, co-authors of "Can a Guy Get Pregnant? Scientific Answers to Everyday (and Not-So- Everyday) Questions," from Pi Press.