I nearly cried at 'Man of Steel' last year, it was such a let down.
I watched it again yesterday. It wasn't so bad second time around. I probably rate it average.
Anyway, after writing about deadly pressure yesterday, I thought I'd write something a little softer today.
Enter a brilliant quote by Sheldon Cooper, hyper-anal theoretical physicist from 'The Big Bang Theory' on the Man of Steel.
Sheldon: "Lois Lane is falling, accelerating at an initial rate of 32 feet per second per second...
Superman swoops down to save her by reaching out two arms of steel...
Miss Lane, who is now traveling at approximately 120 miles an hour, hits them and is immediately sliced into three equal pieces."
Leonard: "Unless Superman matches her speed and decelerates."
Sheldon: "In what space, sir, in what space?
She's two feet above the ground.
Frankly, if he really loved her, he'd let her hit the pavement. It'd be a more merciful death."
To go back to our pressure topic yesterday, Lois would have a better chance of survival with Superman catching her with a larger contact area.
His arms would offer a surface area of less than half a square metre.
If he caught her with his whole body along her whole body, the surface area is suddenly more like three to four times that meaning much less pressure.
She'd probably still splat at that speed.
Luckily, we aren't usually dealing with bodies falling at 120mph.
I work with a lot of horse riders.
They aren't falling (usually), just sitting fairly still on their horse's back.
They don't want to be deadly to their horses. Therefore, we want to minimise the pressure we put on them.
We can do this by losing weight but more immediately we can do this by maximising our surface area.
In practical terms for a rider, this would mean relaxing their ass and leg muscles.
This will spread the rider's weight and make them easier to carry for their horse.
The greater surface area will also make it easier for the rider to communicate their intentions to the horse.
This is useful way beyond riding too.
If you're in a sport where you fall accidentally or intentionally, spreading yourself will make your falls less risky.
If you become really soft, you can throw yourself onto concrete with no problems as demonstrated in the video just after the 4:53 point.
Superman must really be a softie to catch Lois like he does and if it's good enough for our boy in blue, it may be good for you to be able to do too.
Arton "More Sheldon than Superman" Baleci