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January 26, 2011

#852: Local g

Local g

He: Did you know that because of centrifugal* force and the shape of the Earth, “gravity” can vary by nearly half a percent between major cities?

*Yes, centrifugal. xkcd.com


He: That’s not a lot, but it could affect, say, pole vaulting. In a 5m jump, it could make a difference of 2cm.

She: Huh, interesting.

He: I’m going to write an article reevaluating vaulting records to take this into account.

Three days later:

She: Good job. There’s an angry mob of athletes outside.

[[He looks off the balcony. The mob of athletes is out of frame.]]

Athlete: That record was mine!

Athlete: How dare you cast doubt on our honor?

Athlete: Have you no respect?!

Athlete: Make him pay!

He: Hey, the math doesn’t lie. Suck it, jocks.

She: Dude, don’t provoke them.

He: Whatever. The building’s locked. Let ’em vent for a–


Off-panel Athlete: GET HIM!

He: Crap!

He: How did the pole vaulters get up to our balcony?

She: …

[[Beat frame]]

She: That might be the stupidest question I’ve ever heard.

He: Right.