For Advanced-Degreed Physicists Only!

Here is an example of where a typical layperson can go horribly astray when confronted with what he or she may assume to be an elementary physics problem. Au contraire!

Question: A 20-story building hangs suspended from a crane so that the bottom of the building is 10 feet directly above a 90-story building. Right next to this first 20-story building is another identical 20-story building suspended from another crane at an identical height above the ground, but with no building underneath it. Both cranes let go of their respective 20-story buildings at the same time. Which one hits the ground first?

Answer: This is actually a bit of a trick question.

Prior to 9/11/01, 100% of Advanced Physics Degree professionals would have agreed with the lesser-educated, "common sense" crowd and said that the building with nothing but air beneath it would strike the ground considerably faster than the other, which, quite honestly, could not really be expected to burrow its way through a 90-story building to reach the ground at all.

However, since 9/11/01, physicists have learned that the answer is actually "there will be no difference in the rate of descent between the two 20-story buildings. They will both strike the ground at the same time."

So you see, one must always consult one's local physics expert when questions concerning the physical universe arise. PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO WORK THROUGH ANY TYPE OF PHYSICS PROBLEMS ON YOUR OWN AT HOME—ALWAYS CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL. Only a professional knows which laws of physics are currently being applied to describe the physical universe that surrounds us. THESE PHYSICAL LAWS ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE. Please do not assume you are up to date on the latest equations and/or theories concerning gravitation or conservation of energy and momentum.

You may now return to your regularly-scheduled life, knowing that you are safe in the good hands of the people who you expect to watch out for you and your family's best interests, since that would take too much time out of your day to do for yourself.

Brought to you by the "Have You Hugged Your Big Brother Today?" foundation.

Where did you get that?

That was funny (and educational)!

I'm debating this guy over at the ABC News message boards. Tomorrow (when we return to the debate) I'm going to copy and past your blog into one of my comments!



My keyboard gave it to me.

I've posted it in quite a few places already!

As a bulletin through my Facebook and MySpace account and the list will go on!

How could you possibly "debate"

anybody on the "ABC Message Boards"? I have been banned from that boards AT LEAST 350X and the Nazi moderators there delete ANYTHING that doesn't adhere to the ABC propaganda.

Casting pearls is hard work, lol

Those posters are using generalities to arrive at specific conclusion, ergo their own morphed science and physics that suits their paradigm foundation, which is illusionary ... btw(as you already know).

It is difficult, at best, to try and education those particular people who have their hands on their ears while their eyes are shut and singing LaLaLa.

Not exactly true

If you look at WTC1 you will find that the top of the building accelerated as if there was nothing below it for a drop of 2.5 stories, after that it started contributing energy to demolish the building below and the rate of acceleration dropped.

See this paper for some more detail on this:

See also Jim Hoffman's Progressive Collapse Challenge:


your explanation is not anywhere near as funny! ;)


Hoffman's paper on the dust cloud explains how there was not enough energy for a collapse, period.

Not even close.

I love it

so don't get me wrong about this, but to settle the naysayers, you could make this slight change:

"However, since 9/11/01, physicists have learned that the answer is actually "there will be VIRTUALLY no difference in the rate of descent between the two 20-story buildings. They will both strike the ground at APPROXIMATELY the same time."

NOTE: The capitalized words are only for easy distinction of the changes.

Hey now

NIST said it fell essentially in freefall and the 911 commission timed it at 10 seconds. Please do not argue with such esteemed authority.

tzo, love your style and humor.

Your tongue-in-cheek can still be seen as you humbly bow in relating knowledge, my friend.

The point you are making strikes at the heart of other values we lost on 911, creditability in foundations and organizations of knowledge that used to be revered. The individuals in these orgs. who are physicists that sold their souls, the institution's prestige, and the respect of knowledge at large, for a buck or political favor ... is unforgivable, shameful, and disgraceful.

This means you: Popular Mechanics, Perdue, NIST, UL, NOVA, History Channel, BBC, MSM (of course). Even before 911, it was expected that govt., politcans, intelligence agencies, i.e., CIA, NSA, FBI, PENT.,etc. were capable of deceit (add to the list if you wish).

But not the academic institutions that used to be revered. We lost way too much individually and collectively.

Look at a tree: Structure 101

Cut the top third of a tree off, put it back on the remaining trunk. Does the trunk explode (or pancake)?

The structure below is designed to hold up whatever is on top of it. It topples over if gravity exceeds its ability to stand in balance. Roots (foundations) stabilize the trunk. Buildings work the same way.

I posted it about ten minutes ago

with the incorporation of the two words "virtually" and "essentially" (instead of approximately [I hope you don't mind; I'll take my lashings like a man, if necessary]) and within about two minutes the entire thread was deleted. I guess I hit a nerve, tzo, and/or they didn't think my slightly different version of your original post was funny. Oh, well. Until next time. And there WILL be a next time!

Simple, true, and effective

Simple, true, and effective.

Combine this with: “we are unable to provide a full explanation of the total collapse.”

Deadly combination