Abusing Math for Fun and Profit, “Up Goer Five”-ed

This one song says that to “be a man” you have to be as quick as a running body of water and strong as a great wind. And as strong as a big fire. And people should know less about you than about the side that no body sees of that world in space that goes around our world. I wanted to see if I could do all that with numbers.

1. As fast as a body of moving water
This might work, but it matters what water we’re talking about. The things in this movie were supposed to have happened hundreds of years ago on the other side of the world from where I am. The water they were probably talking about is a body of water that is named because of its color. Its color is not red or blue, but when added to blue it makes green. This not-red-or-blue water moves pretty fast, for a body of water. It moves at almost ten feet every second. That’s…actually not that hard. I can run faster than that.
2. As strong as a big wind.
Some winds are stronger than others. It pushes harder if the air moves faster, if the air is heavier, or if the thing being pushed is bigger.
Let’s say I want to hit a wall hard enough to make it break. I want to see if I can do that better than the wind. To be a “great” wind, the air has to move more than one hundred feet every second. Let’s say it’s more than two times as fast. We want it to have a chance.
Air is not empty space. It can be heavy. Not very heavy, but a little bit of heavy. About seven numbers of heavy for every hundred feet of space.
The thing being hit is a part of a wall. The part is as big as my hand, when my hand is closed to punch things with.
Using those numbers, we can find how strong the wind is. It is the number for how fast the air moves, times that number again, times the number for how heavy air is, times the space that my hand takes up, times one more number because air does not move around walls very well. The wind has the same number for how strong it is as the number it would take to lift a brain. My hand could do that. So I must be as strong as that wind.
3. As strong as a big fire.
This one is easy. How strong something is means how hard it can push or pull something. Fires can not push or pull very hard at all. This is almost too easy.
4. And people should know less about me than about the far side of that other world that goes around this one.
I’m still having problems with talking about this using only the ten hundred most used words. Oh well.
Not very many people in the world have heard of me. But very nearly all the people have seen that other world (you can see one side of it if you look up at night), and a lot of those people knew that it had more than one side. And by now, there are even pictures of the other side that are easy to find if you want to. So which is better known, me or it?

For some reason, this is supposed to be a good thing. I don’t know why. But it’s in the song, so I’ll take it.

So, yeah. Those were supposed to be some things that no human could do. But the numbers say that I can do all of them. So either numbers can lie if you ask them to, or I am just that good. But it’s the first one.

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