# (Roughly) Daily

## “Everybody’s a critic”*…

In her latest hit, Miley Cyrus sings that she “came in like a wrecking ball.”  David McDonagh, a third-year natural sciences student at The Centre for Interdisciplinary Science at University of Leicester, did the math and concluded that it’s probably a bad idea to literally smash someone’s walls with your body:

An ordinary wrecking ball is a massive, incredibly durable object. It has to be to break down the buildings and structures we take so much time putting up. An average ball could be anywhere from 1,000 to 7,000 kilograms of solid metal. The material helps, but what really gets the work done is the swinging. When you swing a massive object, it gains a lot of momentum. And when that momentum suddenly changes—when the ball hits a wall—a huge amount of force is produced. That’s what makes it through concrete and steel and brick. So how good a wrecking ball would Miley be?

Miley is nowhere near as heavy as an average wrecking ball, so to produce the same momentum, she would have to come in incredibly fast. Assuming she weighed 125 pounds, she would have to come in like a wrecking ball at over 390 miles per hour to generate the same momentum.

And what happens when this Miley ball hits a wall? Assuming a rapid deceleration, Miley pulls 350 G’s impacting the wall with over 198,000 Newtons—a force equivalent to getting hit with all the force rocketed out of a 747 engine at once.

If Miley really did come in like a wrecking ball, she would never again hit so hard in love, because she’d be dead.

Read more at Discover, and read David’s paper, “The viability of coming in like a wrecking ball,”  Journal of Interdisciplinary Science Topics, here.

* cliche (c.f., here)

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As we have second thoughts about our similes, we might  recall that it was on this date in 1930 that Amy Johnson left Croydon, south of London, on on a flight to Darwin, becoming the first female pilot (or in the language of the time, “aviatrix”) to fly solo from England to Australia, a journey of 11,000 miles.  She had learned to fly only a little more than a year before.

The first British-trained women qualified as a ground engineer, she went on to set a number of long-distance flying records in the 30s, both solo and flying with her husband, Jim Mollison.  She flew in the Second World War as a part of the Air Transport Auxiliary, where she died during a ferry flight in 1941.

The second-hand de Havilland DH.60 Gipsy Moth she bought to make the Australia flight is on display in London’s Science Museum.

Written by (Roughly) Daily

May 5, 2014 at 1:01 am

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## Good songs gone bad [Warning: you won’t be able to unhear this]…

Take That was (and sort of still is) a British pop group that dominated the UK charts– and charts in most of the rest of the world– through much of the 90s.  Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Jason Orange, Mark Owen, and Robbie Williams had 27 hit singles in Britain, 11 of which reached number 1, and seven number 1 albums.  Globally, the band hit the top of the charts with  54 singles and 35 albums…

In the second half of the last decade, the group– sans Williams, who had gone solo– toured with a mix of old favorites and new material, including some covers…  like this one:

Poor Nirvana can’t catch a break.  Here’s Miley Cyrus performing the same tune in what Rolling Stone readers voted “The Worst Cover Song of All Time”…

Click here for Rolling Stone‘s full list of Worst Covers; and here for Flavorwire‘s roster…

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As we rethink imitation as a form of flattery, we might recall (with an ironic sigh) that it was on this date in 1964 that regular programming commenced on Radio Caroline– the first British pirate radio station.  Broadcasting from a converted passenger ferry moored far enough off of English shores to evade government control, Radio Caroline offered emerging artists– mostly rock and soul acts– a route to the listening public that skirted the major record labels’ hammerlock on the market and the BBC’s monopoly on the airwaves.

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March 28, 2013 at 1:01 am

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## Here we are now, entertain us…

Hannah and her patron (source)

Readers may have encountered the storm that’s arisen online over the release of a video of Miley Cyrus/Hannah Montana in a Quito concert covering Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit.”  It is, in fact, execrable.  But then, in fairness to Ms. Montana, so are many of the attempts to capture Kurt Cobain’s lightning in a different bottle… as is amply (if not indeed painfully) demonstrated in Flavorwire’s “10 ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ Covers That Are Worse Than Miley’s.”

From the louche stylings of Paul Anka and Michael Bublé, through folk, a cappella, pop, R&B, even classical, to a stunningly-bad rendition by Limp Bizkit, there is video evidence for review.  But lest readers click away with bad tastes in their mouths, the good folks at Flavorwire conclude with “Nyevana”‘s delightful “Smells Like Air Pressure.”

(Readers may recall that RD has visited “Smells Like Teen Spirit” before– in what may be the strangest mash-up ever… some songs are just so good that no one can leave them alone…  Your correspondent’s own favorite cover: by the always-astounding Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain.)

As we promise to pay our exemplars more respect, we might recall that it was on this date in 1660 that Isaack B. Fubine of the Hague patented macaroni… and thus made possible, on this date in 1947, the launch of the first-ever weekly TV series – “Kraft Television Theater.”

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May 7, 2011 at 1:01 am