The science of faceplanting


#1

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#2

A good thing to know about John Paul Stapp and the rocket sled/ejector seat testing at Edward's Air Force Base in the 50's is that this is the source of "Murphy's Law". There's a great write up of this (shortened from a book by Nick T. Spark) on the Annals of Improbable Research website: The Fastest Man on Earth


#3

I meant to say there, I use this in teaching about piezoresistive strain gauges and how to wire them up in Wheatstone bridges.


#4

I wonder if force is the right quality to measure? The rate of change of acceleration - I swear I'm not making this up - is called jerk. A steady force might be a lot less harmful than a sudden one.


#5

The trick is to throw yourself at the ground and miss.


#6

Does anyone know what the checked markers they put on head and joints of dummies (and in this case Dr. Stapp) are called? I know they're some sort of reference marker, but i've never been able to figure out if they have an official name...or at least what an associated engineer would call them.


#7

I believe they're called calibration or tracking markers.


#8

A bit of Googling suggests "checkerboard target" or "checkerboard calibration target." There may not be a single agreed-upon name.


#9

That's exactly what astronauts do, repeatedly.


#10

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