Thursday, September 2, 2010

I Have a Rock, It Keeps Away Tigers . . .

And that sock saved a man's life today.

So, a man jumps from a building and lands on a car. He survives the impact (falls don't kill people, per se), ending up in the hospital with two broken legs and in critical condition. What saved his life?

A rosary.

A New York City man is alive despite a 39-story fall:

Witnesses and police say 22-year-old Thomas Magill jumped from the high-rise at West 63rd Street on Tuesday. He landed in the backseat area of a Dodge Charger after crashing through the windshield.

He suffered broken legs. Police say he's in critical condition.

The car's owner, Guy McCormack, of Old Bridge, N.J., told the Daily News he's convinced that rosary beads he kept inside the Dodge saved Magill's life.

I wouldn't be at all surprised--and will remember Mr. Magill and Mr. McCormack in my prayers today.

I would be surprised that a piece of jewelry saved Mr. Magill's life. I don't even see how that's possible. I suspect the reason he didn't die- yet, critical condition isn't good- has something to do with physics and the way the human body works. Mostly physics. Certainly not little pieces of plastic or wood strung together in a particular way.


  1. Let's see... the windshield collapsed, slowing him, before he landed on the soft back-seat of an old car. Hmm... Dodge Charger: American muscle car: soft suspension. His legs also broke his fall, slowing the deceleration his internal organs experienced.

    He is 22, which means he is probably in decent physical condition.

    Human Terminal Speed is roughly 55 m/s, or almost 200 km/h (120 mi/h). Taking into account all the contributing factors, his deceleration (as measured by his torso/head) may have been spread over as much as half a metre of space. This would expose his critical organs to a deceleration of less than 12g's: quite survivable. Of course, the fact that it would not have been a steady deceleration may have resulted in a peak g force of several times that figure: still survivable.


    PS: Nice work with the anti-DM filter. Can't wait to see if it works.

  2. Quasar - i'm impressed. i thought about trying to figure all that out, and said "nope, thursdays are lazy days, and besides, i hate math a LOT, and i'm too tired"

    hats off to you!

    man, i HOPE the anti-DM-field works as specified!!!

  3. I think he ought to try again-just to be sure.


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