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## Physicist Calculates Trajectory of Tiger At SF Zoo713

KentuckyFC writes "Is it really possible for a 350-pound tiger to leap a 12.5-foot barrier from 33 feet away? (Said another way: a 159-kg tiger, a 3.8 m barrier, and 10 m away.) A physicist at Northeastern University has done the math, a straightforward problem in ballistics, and the answer turns out to be yes (abstract on the physics arXiv). But I guess we already knew that following the death of Carlos Souza at the paws of Tatiana, a Siberian Tiger he had allegedly been taunting at San Francisco zoo at the end of last year."
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## Physicist Calculates Trajectory of Tiger At SF Zoo

• #### Never mind the physics (Score:5, Funny)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @10:46AM (#22260728)
It's just nice to see that the zoo's kharma system was working. Unfortunately, someone meta-modded the tiger with a shotgun.
• #### Re:Hmm (Score:5, Funny)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @10:47AM (#22260748) Journal
Seriously, you'd think the people who designed the enclosure would know how to do that kind of math... or at least be smart enough to get a consult. I wonder how many aquarium designs they went through before they finally made one that held its contents properly...

=Smidge=
• #### Prior Research (Score:5, Funny)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @10:51AM (#22260826) Homepage Journal

Is it really possible for a 350-pound tiger to leap a 12.5-foot barrier from 33 feet away?

All prior researchers have not returned from the jungle. Information is incomplete.

• #### Another interesting calculation... (Score:5, Funny)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @10:57AM (#22260902) Homepage Journal
I did a similar calculation a while ago.

An object of 750kg can accelerate to 60km/h in 5 impulses (rapid pushes).
How far will an object of 75kg travel when one such impulse is applied at angle of 45 degrees upward?

The 750kg object is a horse. About 5 pushes of hind hooves are enough to reach the full speed.
The 75kg object is a human kicked by the horse (remaining motionless with a counter-push of front hooves).

The result was something like 30 meters. The damage was equivalent to fall from 6th floor.

And they tell us horses can't say "no" when they don't want sex.
• #### Re:Wow, talk about an unsafe zoo! (Score:5, Funny)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:00AM (#22260950)
Unfortunately, the zoo made their initial estimates for the enclosure based on the ballistic characteristics of a Southern Asian tiger carrying a coconut, not an unladen Siberian tiger, so their calculations were off slightly.

• #### Ob. Simpsons: (Score:5, Funny)

<roundfile&mindless,com> on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:03AM (#22261006) Journal
"Och, someone save me from the wee turtles! They were too fast for me!"
• #### I'll wait for the Mythbusters segment on this (Score:5, Funny)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:03AM (#22261012)
before I finally decide.
• #### Two hunters (Score:2, Funny)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:03AM (#22261020) Homepage Journal
Two hunters are in the jungle and they see a tiger coming towards them at the other side of a clearing. Fred raises his rifle, and pulls the trigger. It misfires. Then Bill's gun jams. The tiger is steadily approaching, licking its lips. Fred suddenly takes off his pack and starts limbering up. "What are you doing," says Bill, "you'll never outrun a tiger."

"True - but I only need to outrun you!" replies Fred.
• #### Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (Score:5, Funny)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:07AM (#22261088)
I wouldn't mess with the turtles if I were you. While the tiger's retribution may be swift and deadly, the turtle is content to bide his time, and has a much colder, darker heart. Once you get on a turtle's bad side, your life will never be the same. The turtle will make the rest of your long life a living hell. A turtle is cold and evil, and he never forgets.

• #### Re:Wow, talk about an unsafe zoo! (Score:5, Funny)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:09AM (#22261116)
They did, unfortunately the calculations were only accurate for spherical tigers leaping in a vacuum.
• #### Wait a dog gone minute! (Score:4, Funny)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:12AM (#22261160)
I took engineering physics in college, and from what I recall all formulas only worked on massless, frictionless systems and didn't account for air resistance. Now, how the hell did a physicist crunch these numbers?
• #### Re:Never mind the physics (Score:5, Funny)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:18AM (#22261250) Journal
Exactly, the only math I would do if I saw a tiger attacking is:
1. The distance from me to the tiger
2. The distance from me to my car
3. The distance from me and some guy I can beat in my race between me and my car
• #### Re:Hmm (Score:1, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:21AM (#22261284)

*whoosh*

Emphasis mine.

• #### Humor: Mythbusters (Score:3, Funny)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:35AM (#22261516)
Is it really possible for a 350-pound tiger to leap a 12.5-foot barrier from 33 feet away?

Coming up next on Mythbusters :-).

• #### Re:A lot (Score:3, Funny)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:38AM (#22261566)
Wanna bet the tiger would still be in its cage if these drunken idiots had decided NOT to shoot it with a slingshot?

If you are going to attack a large predator which both outmasses you and can run much faster than you then you really don't want to use a weapon which will simply annoy it.
• #### Staying on that theme... (Score:5, Funny)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:40AM (#22261594)

Unfortunately, the zoo made their initial estimates for the enclosure based on the ballistic characteristics of a Southern Asian tiger carrying a coconut, not an unladen Siberian tiger, so their calculations were off slightly

Now jump that fence or I shall taunt you a second time.
• #### Re:A lot (Score:3, Funny)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @11:48AM (#22261734)

What if a child with a limp walks by the tiger enclosure? Or someone with a bandaged wound? Or a stray dog gets into the zoo and barks at the tiger?

What if these jerks had been teasing the tiger on a day when the zoo was full of people instead of a holiday when there was almost no one present?

And actually there WAS a case of a stray dog being attacked by a tiger [google.com] in Tennessee. However that was because the dog (also not big on brains) swam across the moat. Apparently he didn't read the "objects are larger than they appear" sign. Fortunately for the dog, the tiger was young and inexperienced at hunting and keepers were able to distract it and get the dog out. The dog still required surgery for the puncture wounds it received.

I seriously doubt the tiger would have breeched the pen except that it was enraged. This was no prey drive in action--the tiger was not hunting for food (or a limping child). It was just very, VERY pissed off. That doesn't mean the zoo is not responsible, but I would put responsibility at 50-50 between the zoo and the jerks. If one or the other had not been doing the wrong thing, this attack wouldn't have occurred.

• #### Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (Score:2, Funny)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @12:01PM (#22261924) Journal
• #### Re:the tiger had superior knowledge of the situati (Score:5, Funny)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @12:22PM (#22262250) Homepage Journal
Hah, I like your "more tigers = fewer jackasses" concept. Except...

First, they leapt for the jackasses; I feared not for I was not a jackasss.
Next, they leapt for the lame and wounded; I feared not for I was not hurt.
Next, they leapt for the young and tender; I feared not...
• #### First order approximation... (Score:4, Funny)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @12:28PM (#22262356)
Assume a spherical tiger in a vacuum...
• #### Re:Another interesting calculation... (Score:1, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward on Friday February 01, 2008 @12:38PM (#22262518)

"And they tell us horses can't say "no" when they don't want sex."

It's fascinating that you felt the need to calculate whether or not horses can say no when they don't want sex...

• #### Re:Lateral velocity != jumping velocity (Score:4, Funny)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @12:38PM (#22262524) Homepage

Pah! Using imperial unit to do the calculation was a dead give-away. Real physicists use CGS.

Actually, they use SI [wikipedia.org]. CGS is deprecated, but still appears in lots of older papers, textbooks and the like. Multiple metric systems? The horror!

(Although some would argue that realer physicists just use electronvolts, the speed of light and the Planck constant for everything. Even in situations that don't appreciate it, like tiger attacks. Consider a tiger of mass 8.92*10^37 eV...)

• #### Re:Hmm (Score:5, Funny)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @12:54PM (#22262814) Homepage Journal
I guess we all know what to pack next time we go to the zoo then.

"What's in that case sir?"

"Oh it's just my photography equipment. I have a very high long zoom lens for, uh .. shooting *cough* pictures of distant animals"
• #### Re:The SF Zoo? Hah! (Score:3, Funny)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @01:19PM (#22263236) Homepage
How [is this an example of the tragedy of privatization]? The fence is the same height today it was when it was a public zoo.

Obviously the tiger evolved, and the zoo budget didn't include studies of the tiger's new superpowers. Same thing happened with the flying squirrel and the electric eel, but in those cases nobody died.

• #### Re:Never mind the physics (Score:2, Funny)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @01:55PM (#22263836)
You may be correct in most cases - except for the fact that we are talking about the San Francisco Zoo. Given that this is San Franciso, the only weapon that is appropriate is the .44 Magnum. The most powerful handgun on earth. "So Tiger, you have to ask yourself, 'do I feel lucky?' Well do you punk?"

Even Chuck Norris fears Dirty Harry.

• #### This just in - Stop the presses (Score:4, Funny)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @02:39PM (#22264572)
Physicist conducts analysis, concludes that thing which already happened is theoretically possible.
• #### Re:So he taunted... why difference does it make? (Score:2, Funny)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @02:48PM (#22264700) Journal

The way all mammals respond to threats is known as "flight or flight".
So is the true geek reflex?
• #### Tigers acting like tigers (Score:4, Funny)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @02:57PM (#22264852) Journal
There was a tiger attack at some animal park a decade or two ago, and some TV reporter asked the trainer whether they'd known the individual animal was dangerous before the attack. His reply was "Maam, they're tigers."

Or as a friend of mine commented, "If they were six-foot cuddly bunny-rabbits, we'd have called them bunny-rabbits, not tigers!"

• #### Re:Hmm (Score:3, Funny)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @03:15PM (#22265146)

The way to deal with this is through the legal system.
Will the tiger be able to pay for a lawyer, or will the court assign a public defender?
• #### Re:The SF Zoo? Hah! (Score:2, Funny)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @03:49PM (#22265556) Homepage
You are not thinking literally enough:

"Then it was privatized, and the company cut costs and corners."
Means the evil capitalist scum actually shaved the top corners of the tiger wall so that they were too low.

Please use the proper left-focused lenses when reading Slashdot. Unauthorized eyewear prohibited.
• #### Re:Hmm (Score:5, Funny)

<`moc' `at' `liamg.valluN'> on Friday February 01, 2008 @03:49PM (#22265568)

1) There are 6.5 billion people in the world. How many tigers are there?
And it's humanity's fault that tigers haven't evolved some sort of bulletproofing by now?
• #### Re:Hmm (Score:2, Funny)

on Friday February 01, 2008 @05:35PM (#22267036)
It doesn't matter. We all know it'd be a kangaroo court.
• #### Sharks aren't like tigers (Oblig. KITH) (Score:1, Funny)

by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 02, 2008 @01:36AM (#22270696)
Mark: Oh . . . I used to be the captain of my own cruise ship. It was the kind of boat folks rent for weddings, parties, you know, that kind of thing. But on the night in question it had been rented for a prom. Oh, the girls looked so lovely in their dresses, the boys such fine little gentlemen in their tuxedos. They were all drinking and dancing and spiking the punch. I was dizzy with delight when suddenly - my ship sank. We all went into the water. Then came Skoora, picking us off one by one by one by one. Till only I was left. And as he bore down on me, he paused as if to say, "What can I do? I'm a shark. I eat." And then he cut me in half, cut me right in half - my wife measured me, I'm exactly half my former length. But as he swam away with my lower extremeties dangling from his jaw, I swear to god he was crying.

Kevin: Crying?

Mark: Yes, crying. Oh to be sure, he's a brutal killing machine. But he shows more remorse than I've ever seen in a human.

Everyone: . . .Skoora, the gentle shark.
Skoora, Skoora. He's a killer with a broken heart.
Don't blame him! He blames himself.
Don't hate him! He hates himself.
Skoora, Skoora. Skoora the gentle shark.

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