## 10 You can out run a lava flow

November 16, 2009

Every volcano disaster movie from Volcano (1997) with Tommy Lee Jones to Dante’s Peak (1997) with Pierce Brosnan someone somewhere tries to out run a lava flow. Is this possible?

The answer is maybe. You will find everything you want to know about lava flows @ http://volcano.oregonstate.edu/

On January 10,1977, at Nyiragongo lava sprang from the sides of the volcano moving at speeds up to 40 miles per hour (60 km/hr). About 70 people were killed.

Measuring the temperature of lava. Photograph by R.L. Christiansen, U.S. Geological Survey, January 9, 1973.
The fastest Lava flows recorded were in Hawaiiin 1950 when Mauna Loa erupted. The lava traveled at 6 miles (10 kilometers) per hour through thick forest. But once the lava flows became established and good channels developed, the lava in the channels was flowing at up to 60 km/hour (97 kph).

Speed of average sprinter = 19 – 24 kph

Can you out run lava?

Work it out mathspigs. You are 600m ahead of the lava flow and you need to get up a hill to escape, which is 1000m away. The lava is flowing at 30 kph and you are running at 18 kph.

Will you make it??????

## The shop is 50 Smoots on your left

June 4, 2009

According to the New Scientist  magazine ‘AS A prank in 1958, Matthew Dirckx tells us, a group of students from Massachusetts Institute of Technology used the body of Oliver Smoot, the shortest new recruit to their fraternity, to measure the length of a bridge across the Charles river connecting Boston to the MIT campus. The bridge was found to be 364.4 smoots long, plus or minus an ear.’ Fifty years later a plaque was placed in the new bridge officially recognising the Smoot.

Meanwhile in the most recent Dr Who episode “Planet of the Dead’ one scientist named a very big amount of weird energy after himself. Instead of Joules or calories he called his energy unit the Malcolm. Good idea.

Mathspigs we definitely need more units of length such as the Werner, Chinock, Wu and Clutz. Claim your own height as a unit of length. Name it and then convert the heights of the following monuments into your unit:

Empire Ste Building: 381m

Statue of Liberty: 93 m

Great Pyramid of Giza: 147m

Eiffel Tower: 300m

Gustave Eiffel was an engineer who not only designed the Eiffel Tower (Built 1889) but was also involved in the design and construction of the Statue of Liberty.

Twin Towers New York: 420 m

Mathspig travelled to the top of the Twin Towers in 1999 and found the view terrifying. But a little known fact about the Twin Towers is that they were built using half a dozen  Australian designed cranes called the Favco Climbing Crane.

Burj Dubai: 818 m