Sunday, February 6

Skipping stones won't break my bones

Trust the French to devote to something as world changing as discovering the best way to skip a stone. This New York Times article was part of The Year in Ideas series which came out last December, but I only got to browse it now. There's apparently a world record in stone skipping: 40 skips, set in 2002 by Kurt Steiner. If you aim to break that, you must throw a stone four inches in diameter at roughly 60kph, and at an angle of around 10 degrees.

That's what French scientists Lyderic Bocquet and Christophe Clanet discovered when they made a robot throw metal discs in an unpertubed water tank. I don't know if this foray into the physics of stone skipping has anything to do with a certain stone skipping French lass, but at least, now we know. So the next time you pick up those stones by the beach, choose one that's four inches wide and you better throw it 10 degrees sharp.

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