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back to article LOHAN's fantastical flying truss menaces kiddies

We at El Reg's Special Projects Bureau generally have little contact with the internet commentard mosh pit, where the bottom feeders vie for immortality in the pantheon of the obtuse. However, from time to time, we're obliged to confront the unwashed masses down at YouTube, which as readers will be aware is the Rwandan genocide …

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Death from the skies

> Well, the balsa wood truss weighed a hefty 173g,

That's fair enough, but a titanium rod could easily skewer an unwitting land-dweller (comments about "especially if you sharpened the end" will be omitted for reasons of taste, ooops!)

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Holmes

Re: Death from the skies

Yeah. Isn't the typical bullet less than 10g? They're not made from balsa wood of course. :-)

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Re: Death from the skies

And you will find, as per the Mythbusters experiments, that a free falling bullet has a terminal velocity sufficiently low that they are very unlikely to cause serious harm, let alone kill anyone.

The problem isn't bullets (or in this case balsa wood trusses) falling straight down, it's the ones fired at an angle that drop from the skies with still sufficient speed and thus energy to penetrate the skin.

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Meh

What's your favourite car?

"Yes, but if you did like cars, what would be your favourite?"

"The Humber Monoglot..."

... and the conversation proceeded along well-worn lines...

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Surely the answer to his question is...

"A quiet one where nobody speaks".

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Anonymous Coward

A much better follow-up question

Why don't you like cars?

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TRT
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Serves you right...

for getting a lift of Jeremy Clarkson.

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Joke

I can see the headline now. "School child hit by falling truss after balloon goes up."

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And think of the publicity

LOHAN drops truss, stuns children! See the shocking video.

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Your favourite car...

Was the village idiot called Dave??? Because I think he's working in our company now.

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Joke

Re: Your favourite car...

They're ALL called Dave.

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Re: They are ALL called Dave

Yes sir, you are absolutely right.

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Re: They are ALL called Dave

... and I thought it was Trevor.

My bad.

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Facepalm

The village idiot - I think I might know him. And him. And him.

> After an hour of banal gibbering, he said: "What's your favourite car?"

> I replied: "I don't like cars."

> Undeterred, he insisted: "Yes, but if you did like cars, what would be your favourite?"

This does remind me of the sort of question I get from time to time, when asking about something where the answer depends on oh so many different factors. Probably the worst one was when I upgraded someone's hard drive, and they asked how many files the new drive would hold. Answer: "It depends what you put on it." Response: "But you're an expert, you must have some idea."

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The village idiot - I think I might know him. And him. And him.

Twice as many as the old one (assuming it was double the capacity).

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Re: The village idiot - I think I might know him. And him. And him.

You should have told him:

"One, if it's big enough."

Then enjoy the rapid panapoly of looks crossing his face.

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Re: The village idiot - I think I might know him. And him. And him.

"One, if it's big enough."

Ha, yeah, I like that. I'll give it as an answer if I'm ever asked that again. :)

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Facepalm

Re: The village idiot - I think I might know him. And him. And him.

"How long does it take for an email to arrive?" (note: 1998 or 1999, so fast, always-on connections were still a little thin on the ground).

"Anything between a few seconds and two months" was not exactly the answer he wanted, even though the "2 months" was wildly optimistic (earlier that year I had received an email which had become stuck on some server for nearly 10 months).

The suggestion that burning that 100+ Megabyte CAD file on CD and hand-delivering it to the engineering shop two blocks away would be quicker and more certain of delivery than trying to squeeze it though the 256kb/s line to HQ, where it would be queued for squeezing through their outside pipe, to then await retrieval by the engineering shop (with quite likely yet another not-too-fast line) was *also* something he didn't want to hear.

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Facepalm

Wildlife?

An unsuspecting child is a form of wildlife?

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Re: Wildlife?

You'd definitely think so if you met my nephew. He's a complete monkey.

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Joke

Re: Wildlife?

Until they start earning - yes.

What do you think they are - ornaments?

ttfn

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And as for youtube comments, has anyone else noticed that every video featuring animals of any sort invariably has at least one comment declaring it to be animal cruelty? Even videos of lions on the Serengeti chasing zebra are "abuse" now. One example I recall even declared that there would be no "abuse" if only us horrible humans weren't forcing these poor animals to eat each other...

anything that contrives to make my witterings look sane in comparison MUST be bad...

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Joke

Well in this case, we need to send these people to the Serengeti and comfort these poor lions. At least then, the lions wouldn't have to chase poor defenceless animals for food.

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At least not far. Or for long.

Capital idea, btw.

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Stop

May I suggest the YouTubes comment snob addon for Firefox?

https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/youtube-comment-snob/

YouTube Comment Snob filters out undesirable comments from YouTube comment threads. You can choose to have any of the following rules mark a comment for removal:

* More than # spelling mistakes: The number of mistakes is customizable, and the extension uses Firefox's built-in spell checker.

* All capital letters

* No capital letters

* Doesn't start with a capital letter

* Excessive punctuation (!!!! ????)

* Excessive capitalization

* Profanity

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The problem with this sort of thing is that yes, it does remove the more irritating and mindless cr@p, but you do miss out on the occasional gem of outstanding fsckwittery

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YouTube Comment Snob

I don't read YouTube comments at all as a rule, but this looks ace.

If there was some way of making it generic - so you could apply it to your view of the internet as a whole - that would be fantastic.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: YouTube Comment Snob

Dansguardian *should* be able to do it if you are good with regexs

Anon as the author reads El Reg ;)

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WTF?

you could just not read the comments.

It's the same effect, really.

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Facepalm

It may well not maim or kill an unsuspecting child as it falls out of the sky, but did anyone stop to think about what it might do to a suspecting child?

No, I didn't think so. Murderers!

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The kinetic energy of an object is half the mass times the square of the velocity. The speed at which the balsa falls is far more important than the mass of the truss. Bullets are quite light but travel at very high speeds, that's why they do a lot of damage. It's why birdstrikes are such a problem for fast jets, hitting a sparrow at 600 knots can cause very serious problems.

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Anonymous Coward

Erhhmm

Bullets at terminal velocity actually do very little damage - as do birds at terminal velocity.

In the case of bullets, they leave the gun at a speed much greater than their terminal velocity, and once outside the barrel immediately start slowing. Only if shot, more or less, exactly straight up in the air do they ever actually slow to terminal velocity before impact. As someone else mentioned, Mythbusters demonstrated this in an episode.

Regarding birds and aircraft... again we are talking about speeds greater than the terminal velocity of either the birds or planes - only achieved via the jet engines on the plane.

What you're talking - while correct from a technical standpoint - completely neglects the concept of terminal velocity, and as such incorrectly implies (or at least appears to imply) that there is substance to the concern.

I would submit that the terminal velocity of the truss will be quite low, and in combination with the low mass incapable of doing any significant damage to anything.

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Facepalm

Quit launching balloons?

I have a feeling what the payloads of weather balloons weigh a lot more than LOHAN would do & how many are launched around the world each day? In fact how many accidents have happened with something falling out of the sky let alone from a balloon?

Definitely a comical comment from a troll or typical scaremonger/nanny state type moron ;-)

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Re: Quit launching balloons?

>n fact how many accidents have happened with something falling out of the sky let alone from a balloon?

There you go:

http://www.bookmice.net/darkchilde/japan/balloon.html

Though of course it wasn't really an accident.

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Headmaster

Re: Quit launching balloons?

"I have a feeling what the payloads of weather balloons weigh a lot more than LOHAN"

A modern radiosonde such as the Vaisala RS92D weighs between 150g and 280g, depending on which battery you order. It is about the size of three fag packets.

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Devil

And The Village Idiot...

...Went on to be Chief Inspector of the Met...

BOOM BOOM

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Timeless wisdom

The first two paragraphs of this story are timeless wisdom, worthy of printing, framing and placing in a prominent position near the workspace.

Thanks for making my day by proving that I'm not the only person who thinks this way!

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WTF?

Although I followed PARIS closely,

To be honest I haven't yet read every article about construction wooden trusses so I'm basing my knowledge on your headlines. However heavy a balsa truss might not be, I would still be surprised and probably a bit annoyed if one fell on me.

Also, I have read about released ballons being hazardous to animals when they land.

Also also, sounds like Dave has a similar game to one I like to play with my friends. I call it "If you had to".

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Go

Re: Although I followed PARIS closely,

>>

...

However heavy a balsa truss might not be, I would still be surprised and probably a bit annoyed if one fell on me.

...

<<

Not at all. If the SPB manages to drop their truss on me, I'd feel: 1.) honoured and 2.) demand a retrieval fee of at least a sixpack of my choice.

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Re: balloons being harmful to animals

I think you might be referring to the recent fad for setting Chinese lanterns floating through the sky for any or no reason. Some of them that were (are?) sold in the UK had metal frames to hold the structure, and some ruminants were eating parts of the frames and then having punctured stomachs. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8490524.stm.

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Linux

As someone living in the mountains near Los Angeles

I can attest that the wood is not an issue but that the flaccid Latex and/or Mylar draped in the shrubbery is ugly as all get-out.

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Paris Hilton

Re: As someone living in the mountains near Los Angeles

Agreed Dave - 'Flaccid Latex' is NEVER a good look as general rule of thumb..

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WTF?

Flaccidity

Yes, I think we should all be against flaccid objects, wither they're deflated weather balloons or anything else!

Dave

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Paris Hilton

Flaccid Latex

Agreed Dave - 'Flaccid Latex' is never a good look.. !

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Happy

An unsuspecting child

The most likely thing for a child, either unsuspecting or suspecting, to be hit from above by is a chuck of 'blue ice', should they be foolish enough to be playing outside under the approach path at most of the world's airports.

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Z80
Stop

The bottom half of the Internet

Stay away from YouTube comments - there's nothing good there. If you don't heed this advice then "your [sic] an idiot".

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Momentum kills

It's the product of mass and speed that allows falling objects to do damage on the ground. This is why they invented parachutes, gents!

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Happy

"Yes, but if you did like cars, what would be your favourite?"

When I was 11, my classmate Jeff came over to play. When he left, my sister, then 7, remarked, "I still don't like boys, but if I did, I'd like Jeff."

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