05/12/21 – Inertia

Spacetrawler, audio version For the blind or visually impaired, May 12, 2021.




In college, I saw someone jump from the back of a truck onto the grass (which, granted, th truck was slowing down and not moving fast at all), but he tried to land square on his feet. Which he did right before promptly sprawling forward on his face. He was fine, but it stuck with me.


    1. Fnordius

      Well, I also suppose that they might have picked up on Dmitri’s trick of inuring oneself as well. He must not have been the first one to figure that out. And it may not be unique to the human metabolism.

      That, and I suspect the guys shooting at them are doing “alibi zapping”: just doing enough to make it look plausible and not get fired, without actually exposing themselves.

  1. Mgnostic

    A drunken highschool buddy once tried to crawl from the bed into the cab of a moving pickup. Luckily, the weeds in the ditch were pretty thick. They cushioned his fall but he still had to peel his shirt off for a week. Velocity and momentum are fickle friends.

  2. Efogoto

    Escalators are the low-impact version of this. The funny thing is, I have no trouble em- or de- barking from them … unless they’re not moving. As I step onto the now solid step, the area of my brain that compensates for the fact that the stair will be moving is ALWAYS surprised when it doesn’t. It is the weirdest feeling.

    1. Gene

      Yup, same here. I actually did some experiments the last time I encountered a bunch of moving-walkways-that-weren’t. Just closing my eyes a few moments before stepping off didn’t do it, I still had that jarring off-step. But if I closed my eyes sufficiently far away that I couldn’t accurately (unconsciously!) anticipate when I would get off, I walked off smoothly. Brains are amazing and weird.

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