Thursday, April 14, 2011


How to Avoid Getting Wet in the Rain

If you want the long, very interesting explanation of how to stay dry, you should watch all 18+ minutes of this video. It's worth it not only for the mathematical explanation but also for the wonderfully charming MIT professor who's explaining it and his hilarious jokes. (Great math crack at the 15:32 mark!) His accent could not be more perfect, his explanation more thorough, or his enthusiasm more infectious. He had me at "I'd now like to discuss a classic problem of Mary and Peter arguin' in the rain."

If you want the short answer: The faster you run the less wet you'll get, and if you lean forward while you run you're even better off. If you run infinitely fast, you won't get wet at all!



science, math, how to, MIT, rain

7 Comments / Post A Comment


Walter Lewin!!! Man, I hated physics but I always dragged myself to his classes just for the crazy stunts, like using an air gun to shoot a stuffed monkey that was in mid-fall. He also used to wear the most amazing brooches(?is brooches the right word to describe large decorative pins worn by men?) that were in the shape of like bagels or bananas or other large food objects. The man is a legend.


@FMoss3 He is! He also wears crazy colorful rings! And I saw him at the MFA. He's so legit. That's so cool that you had him before TEAL happened and 8.01/8.02 became the. worst. with computers and buggy programs that were supposed to do cool experiments but were not as cool as the ones Lewin did IRL.

MIT hairpinners represent!

major disaster

@lizkimballet My people! I wish I'd had a fun prof like this for physics, but I never took 8.01 and very nearly failed 8.02 and absolutely hated it. (To this day, I'm still not sure how I actually passed that class because I had no idea what was going on. Also still very thankful for freshman year pass/no record.)


Well I certainly noticed that missing square, and I am so glad that he picked up on it because I would have hated to have embarrassed the guy in front of all you people.


Love him. Thanks for the video.

But... If I run in the rain, I will fall. If I fall, I'll get wetter than if I'd walked. So I always walk.


Dear Hairpin,

If your site has multiple readers from MIT, that means we're all smarter by association, right?

Your favorite telecommunications major

uncle jesse

A science book that I owned as a kid also solved this riddle for me:

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