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MECA Electronics

One Man's Fast is Another Man's Slow
Kirt's Cogitations™ #175

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One Man's Fast is Another Man's Slow

Fast is a relative thing. If the discussion is about aircraft, for example, the world record speed is 6,800 mph (~Mach 10), just set in November of 2004 by NASA's X-43A scramjet. That is fast, but not as fast as the world's fastest land-based projectile. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory has a gas gun, the 30-meter-long JASPER, capable of firing a 1.1-inch diameter, 0.88-oz projectile at more than Mach 36 - even the X-43A could not outrun it. Now that's fast, but not as fast as the world's fastest manned spacecraft, which was the Apollo 10. During a steeply inclined atmospheric reentry, its crew reached a speed of 24,795 mph. Remember I said speed is relative. If you are talking about tectonic plate movement in the Earth, the Pacific Plate is hauling along at a blinding, world-speed-setting record 0.00000000709 mph. Bamboo, the world's fastest growing plant, puts tectonic plates to shame by growing at an astounding 0.0000237 mph (up to 3 feet per day). Alexander Popov, the world's fastest human swimmer, plows through the water at 5.17 mph. Secretariat, the world's fastest Thoroughbred, topped out at 37.6 mph - exactly the same speed as the world's fastest elevator, which zips up and down Taiwan's new 1,667-foot Taipei 101 tower. Venturi Automobiles' Fetish peaks the speedometer at 105.6 mph, making it the world's fastest production hybrid electric car. If you want a fast roller coaster ride, go to Six Flags in New Jersey to hop on the Kingda Ka to be blasted 456 feet skyward from standstill to 128 mph in 3.5  seconds by its 12,000 hp catapult. Like the speed but not the acceleration? - Buy a ticket on China's Transrapid Shanghai Maglev train and breeze along at a comfortable 267 mph, but don't get in the way of Lockheed Martin's world's fastest LOSAT missile that travels at 3,409 mph. I could go on, but you get the picture. Anybody know the fastest finger movement ever recorded for punching calculator buttons while converting English units like all of these to metric?

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