Thursday, February 17, 2011

Amazing Speed/Time Facts

I was amazed to learn a few things about speed the other day. Not that it’s amazing to learn something, but that it’s amazing that certain things are true.
For example, I didn’t know that a “jiffy” was an actual measurement of time. It’s true, no kidding. A “jiffy,” you see, if 1/100th of a second long. So if you say you’ll be “back in a jiffy,” you’d better have the super speed power of Superman. And remember, “Back in a jiffy” means you’ll have to be 100 times faster than “Back in a second.”
And since we’re talking about time, I also didn’t know that a goldfish can only remember something for three seconds (300 jiffies, apparently). No wonder my goldfish are always swimming around aimlessly sucking little pebbles off the bottom of their bowl. They can’t remember if they’ve been there or not.
And finally, here’s something you really need to know about speed:
The fastest possible speed at which energy or information can travel, according to special relativity, is the speed of light in vacuum c = 299,792,458 meters per second, approximately 1079 million kilometers per hour (671,000,000 mph). Matter cannot quite reach the speed of light, as this would require an infinite amount of energy.
Betcha didn’t know that.

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