Physics of Family Guy

After viewing one of my favorite Family Guy clips I began to wonder, exactly how massive would Peter have to be for this to work...

Ignoring Earth's gravity, we can equate the centripetal force of the apple with the gravitational force of Peter on the apple:

m_apple * a_c = m_apple * r_orbit * omega^2 = G * M_Peter * m_apple * r_orbit^-2.

This implies that M_Peter = r_orbit^3 * omega^2 * G ^-1. If we estimate the radius of orbit as about 1m and the orbital frequency as omega = 2*pi / 2s = pi s^-1, we get Peter's mass as 1.5 * 10^11 kg or approximately 160 million tons. Fortunately for the residents of Quahog, this is not massive enough for Peter to create a black hole, his Schwarzschild radius is only 0.1 femtometers.


A few words about conferences

Just because you're with a "native" of some city, don't expect that the person can help you find a good place to have lunch.

There could be the following excuses:
1) He used to live in Downtown and therefore would just go home for lunch.
2) It was 5 years ago and lots of restaurants have changed.
3) Walking a couple of miles to go to a specific restaurant isn't a problem when you work from 7am-11am and then spend the afternoon preparing lectures.

While I warned people about point number 1, I still managed to bite some people with point 3 and got myself with point 2.

Seattle really is a nice city though. There's always a big party at the end of the AAS conference and I ended up walking around downtown for an hour or two afterward. Despite the fact that it was 1am, I felt safe basically the whole time.*

*except when I walked by some bums peeing on a car and almost splashed myself.


Coming out of Hibernation

The two weeks before Christmas were completely consumed by getting my poster done and printed, the week after Christmas was eaten by a visit from my parents and pregnant sister (and a trip to Atlantic City with Chris), then a week away in Seattle for the AAS conference. It's been a long time since I've done anything "real".

Apparently I'm doing a good job at not working now that I'm actually back in the office. I have to report on some utter coolness though...

This is turning into a long and rambling post, so more after the break.
Continue reading Coming out of Hibernation