Posts Tagged ‘Math’


8. You can survive any amount of beating in a fight.

December 6, 2018






Every action hero gets into a fistfight. James Bond, Jason Bourne, Indiana Jones. Then there are all the stars known for their fight scenes. Sylvester Stallone ( Rocky),  Arnold Schwarzenegger (True Lies), Jackie Chan (Any movie), Bruce Willis (Die Hard 1,2, 3 etc), Mel Gibson (Lethal Weapon I, II, III etc), Jean Claude Van Damm (Blood Sport, Street Fighter), Brad Pitt (Fight Club), Fast & Furious 1,2,3 and so on.

But can the human body take this punishment?

We can work it out. Measurements taken at The University of Manchester have shown that local boxing hero Ricky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton really does live up to his name. (DailyScience)

ricky 'the hitman" hatton

Ricky ‘The Hitman’ Hatton can pack a punch!!!!! 

Similar results were found at Uni Manchester BBC (Force of boxer’s punch measured)

So one punch is equal to being hit by a car …… if only for a split second!!!!!!!!!!! Nevertheless you can be killed by this one punch.

You’ll find some great punching physics here


9. A single match or candle will light a room the size of a football stadium.

November 21, 2018


This is the rework of a previous post.

Action heroes such as Indiana Jones or even film kids like Tom Sawyer or The Goonies who go into a cave, anabandoned house, a crypt or a catacomb light the entire place with one match, one candle, a lighter or a cellphoneIndiana jones 1tm sawyer.

Is this real?


Now mathspigs, if you are interested in a career in stage/film lighting or even architecture you will need this maths.light globe_tns


60Watt light globe tells us how much power it uses. But some 60W globes are brighter than others. Light is measured with weird units.

candle_tnsUSA uses Foot-candles. Can you imagine the pickup line ‘You brighten up my world like a footcandle’? A foot-candle is the brightness of a candle 1 foot away. Now think of a bubble around the candle. Brightness is mostly measured using one square foot or one square metre of that bubble:

1 LUMEN = 1 Footcandle/ft squared

1 LUX = 1 footcandle/m squared

Don’t get too hassled by these units.  As a rough rule:

1 candle = 1 LUX

candle 1 Correction

candle 2 Correction

candle 3 Correction

From graph you can see by 3m a Birthday Cake is not very bright even in a haunted house or crypt.

Challenge: Draw a graph of the brightness of your own Birthday Cake!

Big Challenge:Draw a graph of your Teacher’s Birthday Cake!!!!!! Ahhhh!!!!

We know:

1 candle = 1 LUX

Now compare the brightness of 1 candle to the brightness of other sources of light:

If you want sufficient light to live your everyday life you’d need:

80 candles just to go to the toilet!!!!!!


10. You can out run a lava flow … USA UNITS

November 17, 2018

This is a rework of a previous post with full calcs.

Dantes_peak_ver2Every 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 here.Volcano_ver2

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


lava temp 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 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 mph.

Speed of average sprinter = 10 – 15 mph

Can you out run a lava flow?

 You would be scorched in 33 seconds!!!


What do the Sydney Opera House and Freddie Mercury have in common?

November 6, 2018

Freddie Mercury is back in the news with the release of the new biopic BOHEMIAN RHAPSOSDY. ( Mathspig gives it ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. But I’m a Freddie fan. ) So Freddie and the Opera House? What do they have in common?

NOTE: Uncanny likeness of biopic actors to the real Queen!

According to intmath The Sydney Opera House is a very unusual design based on slices out of a ball. Many differential equations (one type of integration) were solved in the design of this building.

You will never see a better parody of Queen’s ICONIC song BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY than Calculus Rhapsody By Phil Kirk & Mike Gospel (below).

And if you need to be reminded of the maths you will find links to texts here.


1. Movie Stunt Math: Rolling a CAR

October 29, 2018

“With enough stupidity you can get any car to roll over” (MSN AUTO)

What stuntmen and women need is maths!

Maths is essential to the process, from calculating speeds and braking distances to looking at the ratio of the amount of film shot to the length of time of the end sequence. The stunt and crash is outlined, and the co-ordinator explains how he must calculate speeds and stopping distances carefully.

So you want to be a stuntman?

First think of the pain.

Mark Eiden, 52, a professional stuntman (pictured) who is not only afraid of heights, but was once told he likely wouldn’t walk again. Eiden’s had surgery on both arms and shoulders, five knee surgeries, six nasal reconstructions, foot and hand surgery and a facial cast. He fell off the top of a stunt car at 40 mph when the tyre blew. He gaffer taped his ear and continued, despite severe concussion. Northern Express Michigan

1 J Mark Eiden Northern Express

If you still want to be a stuntman do the Maths:

Rolling a Car:

You can use quick handbrake turn, speed around a corner, fishtail into the curb or some other lunatic thing. The most controlled way to roll a car is to use a ramp.


These ramps often have a kicker at the end to add extra lift. Ramp calculations can be complicated, but the simplest way to look at the maths is to determine the angle a car will roll ie. When the Centre of Gravity moves over the base.

Centre of Gravity vs Base Width

The distance between the front wheels in cars is often called the track width.

1a Centre of Gravity

2 Stable Couch3 SUV angleBase vs CofG SUVsTable from Accident Reconstruction Website

4 Bus Centre of Gravity

5 Small car centre of gravity

6 Lambogini Diablo Centre of Grvity

So the Lamobgini Diablo is very hard to roll (build a higher ramp) and it therefore beats the SUV for stability every time.

Balancing on 2 Wheels

A more skilled stunt involves driving a car on two wheels. A very skilled stunt driver can lift the car onto wheels by snaking the car back and forth across the road until it balances on 2 wheels.

From the Centre of Gravity vs Base angles above you can see that the SUV is the easiest car to balance of 2 wheels.

But there is nothing quite as crazy as this SUV stunt:

Saudis changing car tyres, just insane.

Picture 1

View full video here.

Safe Driving Info here





2. Movie Stunt Math: Jumping off a Building

October 24, 2018

The main concern when jumping out off a building is that the airbag (cardboard boxes) cover the drop zone.

The maths calculations involved in jumping off a building are straightforward. You might like to check out How Maths Solved a real murder.

Jump Height that Kills

It doesn’t take much of a fall to cause damage. Sean Hughes, professor of surgery at Imperial College, London. Says “From a height of 3m you could fracture your spine,” he says. “At around 10m, you’re looking at very serious injuries.” (The Guardian, 20 MAY 2014)

Stunt Jump from building from standing start

1 stunt jump from building

As this jump – as in most base jumps – involves a standing start:

2 Mathspig Jump off building


Stunt jump from building running

We will assume you are no Usain Bolt. His running speed, the fastest in the world, is 44.72 km/h (12.42m/s, 27.44 mph).

We’ll say your running speed on take off is:

Vy = 15 mph = 24.1 kph = 6.7 m/sec

3 Mathspig stuntman running jump

Don’t do this at home.

NB: Airbag dimensions: 20m x 20m x 4 m

Handstand of death

Would you jump off a 25 story building?



How far does the tallest buidling in the world SWAY in an earthquake?

October 2, 2018

Earthquake Engineering Maths

Take 2:

Structural Engineer Ron Klemencic explained on the Discover News that a simple rule of thumb for calculating skyscraper sway was to simply divide the buildings height in by 500 because the building codes demand the building fit a 1:500 sway ratio.

The tallest building in the world at 2,716 feet (828m), the Burj Khalifa, Dubai, would sway back and forth about 5.5 feet or 1.7 m.

Ahhhhhhhhh!  But you would have to drag Mathspig onto the 168th floor screaming.

But mathspigs you can work out the sway on the top ten tall buildings in the world.