[ExI] fermi question on poseidon adventure

William Flynn Wallace foozler83 at gmail.com
Tue Mar 19 18:13:39 UTC 2019

I strongly object to the word 'gratuitous' in your sentence - " gratuitous
bun shot" There just isn't any such a thing.

 bill w

On Tue, Mar 19, 2019 at 11:57 AM <spike at rainier66.com> wrote:

> There is a game in the Science Olympiad called Fermi Questions, where the
> competitors are challenged into estimating things that are hard to guess
> even to the nearest order of magnitude, such as
> Placed end to end, what is the length of the churros sold by Disney Land
> in July of 2018?
> How many piano tuners live in the city of Chicago?
> What is the weight in orange paint applied to the Golden Gate bridge each
> year?
> That kinda thing, love that game.  A long time ago, I saw a disaster flick
> called Poseidon Adventure, where a big passenger ship is capsized by a
> rogue wave, half a dozen gutsy passengers (including a mostly nekkid woman
> (she was a newlywed doing the newlywed thang at midnight)) climb thru an
> obstacle course of inverted staircases and such to get to what used to be
> the bottom of the ship, and it was kinda exciting (whenever the director
> allowed gratuitous ut deeply appreciated bun shot (hey, I was at that age
> when I saw the movie)) and eventually they get to the what was once the
> lowest point on the ship, the propeller shaft, bang on the ceiling,
> rescuers cut into the hull, see mostly nekkid girl, faint from sudden drop
> in blood supply  to the brain...
> OK I made up that last part but I thought of a fun Fermi question that
> doesn't even involve the girl:
> What is the pressure in the propeller shaft housing when the rescuers cut
> into it?
> I estimated it without any figures or paper, and got very close.  Try it
> this way: estimate it first, then look up numbers on the internet and
> calculate it.
> Hint: they couldn't have rescued them the way the movie portrayed.
> There was a new Poseidon Adventure made more recently, which I didn't
> see.  Questions for Hollywood hipsters please: How did the new version deal
> with the pressure differential and how many gratutious bun shots does it
> offer?
> spike
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