back to article Boffins: Michael Jackson's tilt was a criminally smooth trick

New research from India into Michael Jackson's Smooth Criminal tilt has concluded that, yes, it is physically impossible and dancers should really stop trying to recreate it because Achilles tendon and spinal injuries are not fun. The paper, "How did Michael Jackson challenge our understanding of spine biomechanics?" published …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    That's all well and good but did they find out what happened to Annie?

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Annie lost his shit and murdered younglings.

      1. John Sanders
        Pint

        There...

        You win the beer this week X-D

    2. Bad Beaver

      Annie is ok.

    3. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
      Megaphone

      She was hit by, struck by, a smooth criminal.

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Coat

        Annie?

        "She was hit by, struck by, a smooth criminal the owner of some social media operation."

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      I always feel like, Annie is watching meeeee!

      And I have no privacy.

    5. DavCrav Silver badge

      She ran into the bedroom, but it didn't go well for her.

    6. Korev Silver badge
      Joke

      >did they find out what happened to Annie?

      I don't know, I'm still trying to get Diana clean, she's so dirty

      1. Stumpy
        Joke

        Korev wrote:

        I don't know, I'm still trying to get Diana clean, she's so dirty

        Yes, the French authorities really need to clean out their road tunnels...

        ... what? too soon?

  2. Steve K Silver badge

    Bad

    Achilles tendon and spinal injuries are not fun.

    No - in fact they are Bad, Bad - really Bad (Ow!)

    1. Jay Lenovo Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: Bad

      The tilt was just a lie?

      Now I have to wonder if the crotch grab activated some kind of go-go gadget moonwalk.

  3. DailyLlama

    I was expecting lots of Off the Wall comments, but nothing like this Thriller...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Beat it with the cheesy puns.

      1. ElectricFox
        Coat

        Some of these dance moves are So Dangerous...

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          You are not alone thinking its not black or white.

          1. Haku

            All you people slinging bad puns around like there's no tomorrow, take a look at yourself, and then make a change.

          2. PipV

            If you're gunna be starting something,

            you should remember the time and maybe keep it in the closet.

            1. Korev Silver badge
              Coat

              Re: If you're gunna be starting something,

              Why, we're Just Good Friends

        2. FrogsAndChips Silver badge

          Re: dance moves are So Dangerous

          they'll only bring Blood on the Dance Floor...

          1. sisk Silver badge
            Coat

            Re: dance moves are So Dangerous

            You Are Not Alone if you tire of Bad puns with Michael Jackson songs. It's enough to make you want to Scream, but hey, at least it's not the Man In The Mirror making the puns, right?

            Yes, I'm going. I've Got To Be There you know....

  4. Andrew Moore

    This is one of those "unsolved mysteries that was actually solved decades ago"...

    1. TonyJ Silver badge

      @Andrew... the shoes etc were known about, for sure. What has become apparent, (from listening to the radio yesterday) is just how much core and spinal strength is required and what damage can be caused.

      1. Killfalcon Silver badge

        Yeah - the news here is that the shoes themselves aren't enough for most trained dancers - you also need a lot of core strength and ankle support.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          "you also need a lot of core strength"

          ...relative to your body mass because the inverse cubed law applies here, and Michael Jackson didn't have much body mass.

          Light people are relatively stronger, in proportion to their mass, than heavy people, so the strongest weightlifter might be able to raise a far greater absolute mass than a comparatively fit skinny person but they'd struggle to manage a couple of pull-ups/chin-ups. The skinny person, on the other hand, would be able to do the pull-ups/chin-ups with relative ease but wouldn't be able to lift anywhere near the same absolute mass as the weightlifter.

          1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

            Which is why abs on skinny guys don't count.

            1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

              But everyone has abs. Not wanting to show off, I keep my six pack well hidden behind a quarter keg.

              1. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                six-pack

                I keep mine well-insulated!

                1. Locky Silver badge

                  Re: six-pack

                  I have an awesome 6 pack, but I've lost the little plastic thing that holds them all together

                  1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

                    Re: six-pack

                    "I have an awesome 6 pack, but I've lost the little plastic thing that holds them all together"

                    It's probably ended up at sea and is now slowly stranglaterizing a poor seal. You evil bastard!

          2. disgruntled yank Silver badge

            skinny and bulky

            That could be true at the limits--I've never considered what the Olympic weightlifter types can manage in the way of chin-ups. On the other hand, I imagine that if I were to take a sample of 6' Marines weighing 220 lb and 6' distance runners weighing the canonical 144 lb (2 lb x inch of height), the jarheads would manage considerably more chin-ups.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: skinny and bulky

              I imagine that if I were to take a sample of 6' Marines weighing 220 lb and 6' distance runners weighing the canonical 144 lb (2 lb x inch of height), the jarheads would manage considerably more chin-ups.

              I'm sure you're right. But particularly because when told to do so, the jarheads would go "SIr!YesSir!" and get stuck in, whereas the distance runners would look puzzled and ask "Why the eff would I want to spend an hour or even five minutes doing chin ups?"

              However, the Marines WOULD take part in a distance race, and then look puzzled as the (probably) Kenyans* disappeared in a cloud of dust. Horses for courses. And if I was going to be rescued from terrorist kidnap, I'd want the marines rather than Wilson Kipsang.

              * Other nationalities of distance runner also available, enquire for further details.

              1. 2Nick3

                Re: skinny and bulky

                If asked to run with 40 pounds of gear the Marines would look at you like "Is that all?" while the marathoners would say "No."

                Heck, even if asked to carry the marathoners the 26.2 miles the Marines would just ask what you want them to do with the other half of their day (14 hour duty day, ~4mph march speed, with a couple of water breaks).

              2. Oblamo BinLyen

                Re: skinny and bulky

                Marines will do their run with a full load. Air Force will ask...'run'?

                AF 66-70

            2. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

              Re: skinny and bulky

              Rather than Marines vs. distance runners at chin-ups, you could try Marines vs. Rings gymnasts at chin-ups. Specialist vs generalist, it all depends on whether the competition is the specialist's speciality.

              How about Marine in a pentathlon? The Marines have the training for everything except the equestrian show jumping.

              1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

                Re: skinny and bulky

                Marines would beat crossfitters, because crossfit reps don't count.

              2. onefang Silver badge

                Re: skinny and bulky

                "How about Marine in a pentathlon? The Marines have the training for everything except the equestrian show jumping."

                You might need Canadian Mounties for that.

          3. Alistair Silver badge
            Coat

            Light people are relatively stronger, in proportion to their mass, than heavy people, so the strongest weightlifter

            Hmmmm is that why he worked so hard to be lighter..........

          4. King Jack
            Coat

            ...relative to your body mass

            When failing to do ONE pull up I tried using that excuse, but girls still aren't impressed.

          5. ZanzibarRastapopulous

            > "Light people are relatively stronger, in proportion to their mass, than heavy people..."

            Surely this can't be true? Assuming a similar skeleton and the same percentage of fat then organ weight will be constant and so any additional weight will be muscle and so they must be "stronger" (depending on how you want to define strength).

            Unless you're just saying they're all fat?

            1. Eddy Ito Silver badge

              Surely this can't be true? Assuming a similar skeleton and the same percentage of fat then organ weight will be constant and so any additional weight will be muscle and so they must be "stronger" (depending on how you want to define strength).

              The problem with muscle is that it gets stronger in proportion to the cross sectional area but the weight goes with the volume. Also a stronger musculature will necessarily require a stronger skeletal frame to withstand the increased stress which also adds weight so a slight person will have both lighter muscles and a lighter skeleton. As to their organ weight, it too will be different because both their caloric and pulmonary requirements to sustain their frame and musculature will differ substantially as well as their overall blood volume. So even if we assume their activity levels and fat percentages are even the balance equation changes simply so the person with more muscle doesn't break their own bones. It's why Superman is the man of steel, he kinda has to be.

              I give you the ridiculous comparison: ants (~10 mm long) can lift 20-30 times their own weight but it's only because they are tiny. A man sized ant wouldn't survive because it wouldn't be able breathe adequately much less lift it's own weight. In the same way a human (say 1.75 m, 75 kg) who can lift their own weight shrunk to ant size would be able to lift 175 times their weight but would be blind in a sense as they would only see wavelengths near the X-ray band. Sorry for ruining all those '50s & '60s B movies.

              In short, yes, more muscle equals more strength but the associated support infrastructure that goes with it also necessarily changes.

  5. Aaiieeee
    Angel

    I could probably do it with some skiis

    1. Kevin Johnston

      Meh, too much of a bind doing it that way

    2. Mike Richards

      Alternatively, reinforced clown shoes.

      1. UncleNick

        c.f. Little Titch, and his ever-popular "Big Boot Dance"?

        1. FlossyThePig

          c.f. Little Titch, and his ever-popular "Big Boot Dance"?

          You beat to it.

          MJ didn't pick his hat up like Little Titch.

        2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Now that's a reference I never thought I'd read when talking about the most amazing man who ever lived....

      2. hplasm Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: reinforced clown shoes

        Do not, ever, mess with a reinforced clown.

        That is all.

        (edit: where is the Trump icon? )

        1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

          Re: reinforced clown shoes

          El Reg has the best Trump icon, simply the finest. CNN will tell you that there is no Trump icon, but that's fake news.

  6. Nevermind
    Pint

    Bah

    Beer option - consume enough and let the world do the 45 deg trick for you. None of that flinging yourself around/special trick malarkey.

  7. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

    What the hell is this doing on an IT site???

    (angry waving of fist at now spittle-drenched screen)

    Ah yes, it's bootnotes, innit?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What the hell is this doing on an IT site???

      Quite so, the register is now an IT and footwear site.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Quite so, the register is now an IT and footwear site.

        I take it the number of bootnotes (ie shoe-related items) will now increase in number, while decreasing in quality. This on-going decline in standards will require ever-greater numbers of bootnotes, until a shoe-like event horizon is reached and no IT related items will be seen at all...

        ... not even ones about Dev-Ops.

        1. heyrick Silver badge

          Re: Quite so, the register is now an IT and footwear site.

          "... not even ones about Dev-Ops."

          You say that like it's a bad thing...

        2. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge

          Re: Quite so, the register is now an IT and footwear site.

          How very meta of you (HVMOY)!

      2. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: What the hell is this doing on an IT site???

        Quite so, the register is now an IT and footwear site.

        It was also a post pub nosh site in the past ... alas and alack.

  8. Bad Beaver

    Saw him do it

    on stage once, many moons ago. It was very, very cool.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "While many new questions need answering, what is certain is that all this is owed to the ever-fresh inventiveness and style of “The King of Pop."

    Yeah...but what's he done lately?

    1. Steve K Silver badge

      Yeah...but what's he done lately?

      No - you're thinking of his sister, Janet

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Happy

        but-

        "Yeah...but what's he done lately?

        No - you're thinking of his sister, Janet"

        That's all just nasty rumour...

        1. Teiwaz Silver badge

          Re: but-

          No - you're thinking of his sister, Janet"

          Personally, I've not done that since the 80's.

          Thinking? I've tried to avoid that too recently on medical advice.

    2. onefang Silver badge

      "Yeah...but what's he done lately?"

      Interestingly enough, he was touring Australia not so many years ago, even while dead. At least, that's what the posters where saying, I didn't bother going to see the performance.

  10. Lt.Kije

    45°? Pfft.

    In the "Nothing New Under The Sun" department,

    https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=RkEUHawaAZ4

    1. heyrick Silver badge

      Re: 45°? Pfft.

      I recall a female performer (Sarah Brightman?) on a TV show ages ago (when TOTP was still a thing) beating that. She didn't move on stage and she had a big dress, clearly to hide the fact that her shoes were probably fixed to the floor, but she was bending to crazy angles - way more than 45 degrees.

      But if we're talking about insane, try this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZLldDtZYt8

  11. steviebuk Silver badge

    WHAT!!! Annie? Really?

    Since I heard that song in the 80s to this very day I thought it was "Are you OK Eddie?"

    Life is now totally different!

    1. David Nash Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: WHAT!!! Annie? Really?

      No, it's "Yanny"

      1. Swarthy Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: WHAT!!! Annie? Really?

        Oh, we are not going into a Yanny and Hardy sketch, are we?

  12. ZanzibarRastapopulous

    Self proclaimed...

    I don't think he did proclaim it himself, google tells me that Liz Taylor did the proclaiming.

    1. lglethal Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Self proclaimed...

      Funny, I always thought that was the Proclaimers...

      1. ZanzibarRastapopulous

        Re: Self proclaimed...

        I think they were out walking.

  13. LeahroyNake Bronze badge

    Heel the world

  14. sisk Silver badge

    Um......did anyone ever actually think he did the lean unaided? It took me about 30 seconds after the first time I saw it - at the age of 10 I might add - to conclude that there must have been something special about Jackson's shoes that made it possible.

    1. King Jack

      Magnetic Trick

      I always thought the soles of his shoes or inserts were metallic. Then all you need do is hide an electro-magnetic plate on stage. Dance around all you want then stand on the plate, stage hand flicks the switch and presto. Street magicians probably do it like that too.

      1. DropBear Silver badge

        Re: Magnetic Trick

        That's how I would have done it - much cleaner to engage / disengage and I'm convinced it would have plenty of holding power. Yes, it IS more "complicated" that just a hooking peg but come on, electromagnets are really, really not rocket science...

  15. The Oncoming Scorn Silver badge
    IT Angle

    Icon

    45 degrees apparently.

    Wouldn't have surprised me given all the body mod's, he had springs instead of ankle bones like Inspector Gadget.

  16. David Nash Silver badge

    So in order to lean over further than normally possible...

    ...your shoes need to fix to a little hook in the floor.

    Does that deserve a patent? Surely that counts as "obvious"?

    1. sisk Silver badge

      Re: So in order to lean over further than normally possible...

      Does that deserve a patent? Surely that counts as "obvious"?

      Clearly you haven't paid attention to patent litigation. "Obvious" may legally be a reason to deny a patent, but in practice I can name quite a few patents that have been granted to obvious ideas.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: So in order to lean over further than normally possible...

        Does that deserve a patent?

        I assumed the patent was more about preventing others performing the trick on stage. Lets face it, its a move that's synonymous with Jackson.

        would another performer dare risk the legal wrath of the Jackson lawyers to ape him? Not when you consider that nobody would extend credit to Jackson because it would take a court order to get paid and his legal team can make ( not so smooth ) criminal charges vanish,

  17. Gambler

    classics are classics

    I watched this "kid" on Motown 25 perform Billie Jean and REINVENT the music video. I am not suprised that he invent a way to cheat gravity while performing live. His first four albums are still some of the best music I have ever heard then and since. It is a shame he became a circus show later in life. After he left us a vacuum formed and now music is full of imposters that can't tell if they are tone deaf or not(Taylor Swift) or are all just hype(Katy Perry). Don't get me started on Sucky Dweeber(Bieber). I could go on but this has to end sometime. He is sorely missed and despite the train wreck some of us liked having a once in a century talent around.

  18. DaveB

    Prior Art

    This trick was around the Music Halls/ Variety Theaters in the 60s. I also think I saw Freddy Star perform it. Never the less

    A patent for the trick replete with spoilery diagrams was registered in 1992, listing Jackson (amongst others) as the inventor.

  19. MatsSvensson

    Preview of their next research project

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ac6o8PXthzQ

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Implants will also likely need strengthening if dancers are to continue flinging themselves around the dance-floor post-surgery.

    Yes, but when the cyborg dancers decide to become full Cybermen, then we have a problem

    1. sisk Silver badge

      Yes, but when the cyborg dancers decide to become full Cybermen, then we have a problem

      Only if you consider involuntary upgrades a problem.....wait, are Cybermen running Microsoft these days?

      1. onefang Silver badge

        Last time I watched Dr Who, becoming a Cyberman was usually an involuntary "upgrade".

  21. robsonde

    on the topic of puns

    "Don't Be Messin' 'Round", just "Give Me Half a Chance" maybe it is "Much Too Soon" but "This Had to Be" done.

    "We're Almost There" but really, "It's Not Worth It"

    I think "We've Got a Good Thing Going" but "What More Can I Give"

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Its a smooth trick has a double meaning, you think he was a great person....

    1) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2351783/Michael-Jackson-spent-35-million-silence-dozen-boys-abused.html

    2) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3026714/Michael-Jackson-paid-200m-hush-money-20-sexual-assault-victims-say-lawyers-two-claimants-prepare-sue-King-Pop-s-estate.html

    3) https://www.thesun.co.uk/tvandshowbiz/1457111/michael-jacksons-first-sex-abuse-accuser-could-speak-publicly-for-first-time-about-relationship-with-popstar/

  23. Celeste Reinard

    ... lean forwards in a visually impossible manner...

    Indeed, I totally can't see him leaning forward. Due to eyes facing backwards into my head. Something one has to imagine how it looks like.

  24. Stevie Silver badge

    Bah!

    That it was all a trick is of little surprise to anyone armed with a brain and everyday experience of the laws of physics.

    Seriously. People thought this was doable without a mechanical support?

    The IQ generation strikes again.

  25. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The self-proclaimed fans"

    There are other kinds?

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Magic?

    instead of reporting on how he did his magi tricks on stage, how about how he made not one but TWO cases of child molestation disappear !!

POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019