#516 – not even counting

DOES THIS WORK??? I'm still pretty happy with the physics of it, but let's see. It would've been nice to have a panel where Don's end of the rope is pulled taut, so we really believe he's rising off the ground. I also could've varied the scaling on that bottom tier a bit. But I like the illusion of swinging, and it's got a fun, springy energy to it that you can't stay mad at for long.

6 thoughts on “#516 – not even counting

  1. This is pulling yourself up by your bootstraps. But Don is so cool he can do it without boots.

  2. Since you asked and I have a career in making imaginary things pretend to obey the laws of physics: no, it doesn't work. But hey, it's a comic; it's more fun if it does work, and I'd rather read a fun thing than a physically-accurate thing.

    1. Rereading this years later and saw I got downvoted, thought I might try to explain myself.
      You can use fulcrums to get large lifting forces on small distances, or small lifting forces over large distances. Those two things balance out so that, no matter where you place the fulcrum, a force pressing down on one side is never going to impart more upward momentum on an object on the other side than you could have gotten by directing that original force upwards in the first place. In other words, if Don's legs are powerful enough to exert enough force downward to fling both Eve and himself that high in the air, he could have gotten the same or better height by just grabbing Eve and jumping. In fact, it wouldn't have been possible for him to smash that board down hard enough to lift his own weight without jumping.
      I did see the "warped boards" argument above, and I agree there could be more potential energy stored in a warped board that I wasn't factoring in originally. But, if the boards are that warped and straining against each other with enough force to fling two human bodies several stories into the air when that force is released, I suspect that whole boardwalk would have exploded long ago. Maybe I'm wrong on that front? Feel free to let me know.
      Again, it's a great dynamic sequence anyway! I don't think it invites this level of scrutiny on its own. It's just that, in this instance, that invitation was extended by the author in the commentary, and I thought I had an answer for it. I feel like rule of cool should always override pedantry by physics nerds, and this is definitely cool regardless of whether it works physically.

  3. Yeah, it does!

    Eve’s face in panel seven remains one of my favorites in OP. This whole arc has some wildly fun expressions, really.

  4. This does work, but only if the board has an enormous amount of potential energy stored in it before Don even jumps on it. Did Hurricane Sandy warp the board? When was this originally posted again?

    It probably also helps if the rope is a bungee cord.

  5. The fulcrum is so close to his foot that he's not making use of much force aside from the initial impact of his slamming his foot on the ground. So while the physics of this are technically possible, the force behind Don's stomp is enough to launch Eve's entire body weight what looks like 5 stories, and a considerable distance besides. Dude could probably stomp a car into the ground (and New York is apparently using massively sturdy material in their pedestrian walkways).

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