Over a year ago on Boing Boing, I linked to this video from a guy who made a propeller-powered vehicle that he claimed could travel downwind faster than the wind. Some people think it was a hoax, and some don't.
In Make Vol. 11, Charles Platt made a miniature model of the vehicle and came to the conclusion that there is no such thing as a wind-powered vehicle that can travel faster than the speed of the wind.
Now there's a new video on YouTube (above) that claims it is possible to sail directly downwind faster than the wind (aka DDFTTW). You can read heated discussions about the video and its claims at Makezine, the Mythbusters Fan Club discussion board, and Randi.org. The creator of the video, spork33, hopes that the Mythbusters folks will attempt to replicate the experiment.
I admit that I don't understand the physics involved, so I don't really know whether DDFTTW is possible, but I am siding with Charles on this because I've never known him to be wrong when it comes to math, physics, or electricity.
UPDATE: Charles says: "You might make it clear to readers that the argument is strictly confined to the behavior of vehicles in a direct tail wind. A cross wind can indeed create a force-multiplying effect when it blows against an angled sail."
On Monday, the Supreme Court will review the 9th Circuit's decision in Apple Inc. v. Pepper, in which the plaintiffs argue that Apple has established a monopoly over apps for Ios (this part is actually incontrovertible, as Apple has used both technology and law to prevent rival app stores from operating), and that Iphone and […]
I’ve mentioned it online before, but here we go: Two years ago, my wife and I decided to leave our rented home behind and move into a 40-foot RV. We spend our spring and summer in Alberta, Canada where she has a job for six months of the year working as an addictions counselor. The […]
Androkavo tests some of the cheap eBay solder against the brand-name stuff; it gets there in the end, but it’s surely not the advertized 60/40 alloy and needs to be close to 400° before it behaves itself.
Your pet might be photogenic, but getting them to stare long enough at your camera to snap that Instagram-worthy photo isn’t as simple as telling them to sit. Bribing your pets with their favorite treat, however, might just do the trick, and with the Adjustable Pet Selfie Smartphone Attachment, you can do just that while getting […]
The cybersecurity landscape is changing, and now one of the most effective ways to counter hacking threats is to employ another hacker against them. Commonly referred to as ethical hackers, these professionals use a cybercriminal’s tools against them, checking networks for vulnerabilities and patching them up before they can be exploited. The Certified Ethical Hacker Bootcamp […]
The human eye is a powerful thing, but it’s not so great at seeing in the dark or around tight spaces, which is partially why most of us struggle with unplugging drains, cleaning under the fridge, and other hard-to-reach jobs. This 1080p HD Waterproof WiFi Wireless Endoscopic Camera, however, gives you the flexibility necessary to get […]