Thursday, April 26, 2012

Defeating the Gallows

If you were a trained rope performer (Like this lady, for example), and someone tried to hang you, it seems plausible that you might be able to survive by following this course of action:

1) Take a deep breath.
2) Just before they pull the lever, kick your legs up (and forward) so that you fall head first rather than feet first.
3) As the back of your neck hits the tense rope, use your momentum to swing one foot up and twist the rope around your ankle.  Hopefully, as you are upside-down and have quickly decelerated, the hood falls off.
4) Use your other foot to kick the executioner off of the platform as he comes to pull you back down.
5) Pull your tied hands over your butt and legs so that your hands will be in front of you.  This requires you to let go of the rope, swinging backward and back down.
6) Simultaneously, reach above your head and grab the rope with your hands to take up the tension of the rope and avoid a broken neck.
7) Hands still tied, use them and your legs to get to the top of the rope as quickly as possible.
8) Get on top of the gallows' arm and remove the noose.  Breathe again.
9) Use your teeth to get your hands free.
10) Now that your hands and neck are free and you're at the top of the gallows with full control of the rope, you are free to use all of your training to escape.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Space Ships Before Astronomy

It seems like, if our planet had an opaque atmosphere, we could have built a rocket and left the atmosphere before we even understood that we live on a planet that was rotating and orbiting a star.