Need some help with a mathematics/physics problem - Fantasy Football Cafe 2014 Fantasy Football Cafe


Return to General Talk

Need some help with a mathematics/physics problem

Moderator: Football Moderators

Need some help with a mathematics/physics problem

Postby Warpigs » Sat Dec 22, 2007 6:37 pm

Let me tell the story first, and then I’ll explain my math/physics question.

I was driving my Volkswagen Jetta at 65 miles per hour Friday afternoon. It was warmer out than normal and I decided to open my sunroof while blaring Nickelback. It felt good to feel the wind in my hair and music pumping. Sudddenly, I felt something tap me on my right shoulder. I looked down and saw a fresh plop of bird poop. I looked up and there was a flock of European Starlings flying about 50 yards above me in the total opposite direction. I looked online and found the average airspeed of a European Starling is allegedly 11 meters per second (which seems pretty fast to me, but what do I know?). Damn bird.

Anyway, I find this situation curious. There were no other bird droppings on the roof of my car. The one bird deposit that was dropped in my direction came threw the 12in X 30in rectangular sun roof hole and hit me in the shoulder. The odds of that seem incredible. I really would like to know the actual odds of this happending considering all the variables listed in my story. Can anyone help? I think this would make a very interesting outdoors column for the newspaper I work at.
Image
Warpigs
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
Cafe RankerCafe Spotter
Posts: 3054
(Past Year: 3)
Joined: 20 Jun 2003
Home Cafe: Football

Re: Need some help with a mathematics/physics problem

Postby scottaa1 » Sat Dec 22, 2007 6:49 pm

I'd offer some toilet paper, but the bird is probably long gone...

I'm not one of those math-doing types of people but maybe someone can run the numbers. Good that it didn't get the rest of your car at least since it can damage the paint. Perhaps starlings don't like people who drive VWs, and it does seem like birds aim their feces as surely as monkeys fling it. I had a similar run in with a flock of Canadian geese. Suddenly it was like I had just driven thru someone's wayward sprinkler, but there was no sprinkler and it smelled. A standard drive-thru car wash didn't remove it, either.

Sorry you got pooped on bro. With the speeds/trajectories involved, it's pretty darn slim odds. At least it wasn't a pelican, those birds can do some NASTY damage.
Image
Thanks Chaoyi Shih for the sig.
scottaa1
Mod in Retirement
Mod in Retirement

User avatar
EditorCafeholicFantasy ExpertCafe WriterMock(ing) DrafterGolden Eagle EyePick 3 Weekly WinnerMatchup Meltdown SurvivorCafe Blackjack Weekly Winner
Posts: 8540
(Past Year: 13)
Joined: 17 Oct 2004
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Indy

Re: Need some help with a mathematics/physics problem

Postby Warpigs » Sat Dec 22, 2007 6:55 pm

scott, Thanks for your concern.

As far as an update on the statistics, I converted the starling's rate of travel from meters/second to miles/hour. The bird was traveling at 2.454546 MPH. Hope that helps
Image
Warpigs
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
Cafe RankerCafe Spotter
Posts: 3054
(Past Year: 3)
Joined: 20 Jun 2003
Home Cafe: Football

Re: Need some help with a mathematics/physics problem

Postby scottaa1 » Sat Dec 22, 2007 7:25 pm

Another factor to consider is suction. Having an opening in an otherwise streamlined car can cause some pretty bizzare vacumn effects. I had a truck with an extended cab and split rear window, with the back window open and door windows closed, it would suck in anything from the back and fling it five feet horizontally to the inside of the windshield. So it's possible the bird that 'killed the death star' only got it in the general vicinity and the car is responsible for where it ended up.

Again, either way, that's one of those shake your head moments.
Image
Thanks Chaoyi Shih for the sig.
scottaa1
Mod in Retirement
Mod in Retirement

User avatar
EditorCafeholicFantasy ExpertCafe WriterMock(ing) DrafterGolden Eagle EyePick 3 Weekly WinnerMatchup Meltdown SurvivorCafe Blackjack Weekly Winner
Posts: 8540
(Past Year: 13)
Joined: 17 Oct 2004
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Indy

Re: Need some help with a mathematics/physics problem

Postby beanoX3 » Sat Dec 22, 2007 7:29 pm

That's some weird crap happening to you, Warpigs. :-b

Unfortunately, I'm on vacation so brain use is limited. I'm afraid I can't do any heavy thinking for the next few days, at least.
The cake is a lie.
beanoX3
Hall of Fame Hero
Hall of Fame Hero

User avatar

Posts: 5971
Joined: 14 Feb 2006
Home Cafe: Football

Re: Need some help with a mathematics/physics problem

Postby josebach » Sat Dec 22, 2007 9:07 pm

Every single second, things happen beyond all odds. Toss a deck of cards up in the air and when they land, mark an outline around every card and mark whether they land face up or face down. Now pack the cards up and try to repeat it. It would likely never happen again, yet it happened one time. THAT'S how you explain that bird crapping on you and that could very well be how you explain our existence.
Image
josebach
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
Cafe Ranker
Posts: 4611
Joined: 27 Aug 2003
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Tallahassee, FL

Re: Need some help with a mathematics/physics problem

Postby FantasyMan13 » Mon Dec 24, 2007 2:58 am

josebach wrote:Every single second, things happen beyond all odds. Toss a deck of cards up in the air and when they land, mark an outline around every card and mark whether they land face up or face down. Now pack the cards up and try to repeat it. It would likely never happen again, yet it happened one time. THAT'S how you explain that bird crapping on you and that could very well be how you explain our existence.


Also See: Chaos Theory
FantasyMan13
General Manager
General Manager

User avatar
Cafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyePick 3 Weekly WinnerCafe Blackjack Weekly WinnerLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 4171
(Past Year: 40)
Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Home Cafe: Football

Re: Need some help with a mathematics/physics problem

Postby terpfan » Mon Dec 24, 2007 9:43 pm

Warpigs wrote:I decided to open my sunroof while blaring Nickelback.

Sorry you lost me there :-b


Seriously though... the odds are low, but it wouldnt really be possible to calculate them knowing just what you know. You'd have to know how many birds, how many were crapping, etc... I'll say they are low, but lots of things that happen every day have very low odds. It just so happens that this particular instance is more noticeable because it ends with you being crapped on the shoulder. :-)
terpfan
Mod in Retirement
Mod in Retirement

User avatar
CafeholicFantasy ExpertCafe WriterCafe RankerMock(ing) DrafterEagle EyeCafe MusketeerSweet 16 ChampionPick 3 Weekly Winner
Posts: 11116
Joined: 30 May 2002
Home Cafe: Football

Re: Need some help with a mathematics/physics problem

Postby joelamosobadiah » Mon Dec 24, 2007 9:58 pm

Don't forget the odds of listening to Nickelback and driving a convertible.

Oh yeah, and what color was your shirt? :-B
Image
joelamosobadiah
Mod in Retirement
Mod in Retirement

User avatar
Cafe WriterCafe RankerGraphics ExpertMock(ing) DrafterGolden Eagle EyePick 3 Weekly WinnerMatchup Meltdown SurvivorCafe Blackjack Weekly WinnerLucky Ladders Weekly Winner
Posts: 16386
Joined: 4 Sep 2006
Home Cafe: Football
Location: Gun control is hitting what you aim at.

Re: Need some help with a mathematics/physics problem

Postby suppasonic » Tue Dec 25, 2007 3:46 am

I could do some calculations, but it would be tough to define what "odds" are. Odds of it hitting out out of your whole car? What exactly do you mean by odds.
suppasonic
Defensive Assistant
Defensive Assistant

User avatar
Cafe Ranker
Posts: 370
Joined: 7 Jun 2005
Home Cafe: Baseball

Next

Return to General Talk

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests

Forums Articles & Tips Start & Sit Sleepers Rankings Leagues


Get Ready...
The 2014 NFL season kicks off in 21:09 hours
(and 35 days)
2014 NFL Schedule


  • Fantasy Football
  • Article Submissions
  • Privacy Statement
  • Site Survey 
  • Contact