Hello, Ezra here, and today I would just like to say that I have discovered a rather cool website called Xkcd. It is run by a guy named Randall Munroe and it is amazing.
Have you ever wondered what would happen if the Earth stopped spinning, or what would happen if you lost all you DNA, or how much force power Yoda can output or anything like that, but there was no way to find out the answer? (Yes. That has totally happened to me.)
Well, if you have, then your prayers are about to be answered! Just submit your question to Xkcd, and Randall Munroe, The man who (according to his book entitled What If? in which he finds “serious scientific answers to absurd hypothetical questions”) used to work for NASA as a roboticist before leaving to draw internet comics full time. Obviously this guy is awesome.
Here are a few of his cartoons;
And there’s many other hilarious ones. But that’s kind of besides the point because we were talking about how he can answer your ridiculous, unanswerable questions.
You know how I gave the question of how powerful Yoda is in the force as an example of the kind of questions Randal might answer? Well in his book What If? he answers that question, which was emailed to him by someone who was curious. Randal then decided that Yoda lifting the X-wing out of the swamp of Dagobah was Yoda’s greatest display of power in the original trilogy, estimated the weight of the X-wing by scaling down from the weight-to-size ratio of an F-22 to 12,000 pounds and timed the scene with a stopwatch to determine that the front strut (which he estimated to be 1.4 meters long based on a scene in A New Hope where a crew member squeezes past it) of the X-wing rose out of the water in three and a half seconds, telling him that it was rising at 0.39 m/s.
He then surfed the web and learned from wookiepedia the the surface gravity of Dagobah is 0.9g, and with all this information he deduced that Yoda exerted 19.2kW lifting the X-wing out of the swamp.
Having read the book, I can tell you that this is one of his less impressive answers. He is really and truly brilliant.
I think that’s all for today! If you want to see some of this for yourself or submit a question then search Google for “xkcd” and click on the result under “xkcd: Superbowl Context” entitled “What If?”.
More blogs coming soon!