Zen Bastard (jimbojones) wrote,
Zen Bastard

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resonant frequency

On the way to lunch today, I wound up stopped in traffic on the I-26 overpass at Piney Grove Road. Alarmingly, I suddenly realized that the entire car was jumping beneath me - I was bouncing up and down in the seat as though Mighty Neon had mysteriously grown hydraulics. Couldn't figure out wtf was going on - and it kept going on for long enough that I even had time to turn off the stereo to try to sort my impressions. Finally, a gigantic truck slowly pulled ahead and to the left of me, and on the back of it I saw a telephone pole laid flat, with the last 1/3 or so of it overhanging the rear of the truck. The whole thing - a telephone pole, mind you - was flexing, the end dancing up and down nearly four feet per bounce. As of today, I now know that the resonant frequency of a flexing telephone pole is somewhere between 2 and 5 Hz - as is that of the suspension in the extremely heavy duty truck which was carrying it. (And, quite possibly, that of the Piney Grove overpass as well.)

I wonder if that was freaking out the truck driver as much as it was freaking me out. Probably not - even if it was an unusual occurrence (and the pole, having settled down once the truck eased to a stop ahead of me, didn't start back up again when traffic moved back out), he at least was probably aware that it really was his truck and his cargo bouncing, whereas I had to figure out why the hell the entire earth was moving beneath me strongly enough to toss a Neon gently up and down. Crazy.

In unrelated news, I met watermelonlife (who is quiet, and charming, and from the Deep South without being unnecessarily Deep Southern) tonight, for sushi and sashimi at Inakaya (mochiron, takusan kanari oishii desu!) followed by The Illusionist at the amusingly Pac-Man themed dollar theatre nearby. A very interesting movie. I'm not sure what I expected, but that certainly wasn't it. Definitely worth seeing, though. A very odd sometimes film noir, sometimes art nouveau tone to it, and the occasional glaring anachronism (such as color film projection in the era of horse-drawn carriages!), but it kept me pretty captivated nonetheless. And it wasn't broodingly malignant like The Prestige, in spite of also being a film about stage magic and rivalry and murder.

And for a distinct downturn to the night, now it's time to buckle down and finish work on the collaborative project for CSCE245. Sigh. As much as I have enjoyed that class, I am ready to be done with it. Oh well - as much as I don't want to look at that code again, at least after tonight I'm done. =)

Tags: vignette

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