Russian Tears

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The Russian Secret

From: "Dr. Chris Kirtley" <kirtley@CUA.EDU>
Subject:      Science Quiz: summary & solution
Date: Monday, May 14, 2001 8:54 AM
Dear all,
Thanks (?) to all the sour grapes who are still griping about the quiz
answer. At the risk of re-starting the Cold War, I hope our Russian
biomechanists will forgive this message from Gideon Ariel, which I think
provides an appropriate codicil...
Hi Chris:
  Very nice. But I must tell you a story about the Tears in space.
In 1979 my company was hired by NASA to conduct a research analyzing
on a treadmill. This was the year where the USA and the USSR signed an
agreement to collaborate in space research.  At that time they both used
mm film, collecting film data in space on the Astronauts running on the
treadmill. This was the first biomechanical study in space !!!
  The question to answer was, why the Russians using only bungee cords
around their hips and do not need to have hand support, and the
using the bungee cords around the hips but must gain support with their
on a handlebar built into the treadmill.  From biomechanical point of
it did not make sense. If you have only have bungee cords around the
of mass, by propelling the legs on the treadmill it will created moment
which will twist the body backward. Did the Russians calculated the CM
attuched the cords just little higher or lower???
  Well the Russians seems to do it with no problems.
  We digitized 25 sequences and the finding show that the Russians did
need to counter the backward moment. Why ??? Why??? We went crazy and
scientists in NASA went crazy.
  On repeating the digitizing procedure, one of my scientist Dr. Ann
noticed a tear or a sweat going off the body of one of the Russian
Astronauts.  I told her to digitize this "tear" or "sweat" drop. And
what??? It exhibit acceleration at 9.8 meters/second/second.
  Obviously the experiment by the Russians was conducted on Earth......
  They sent a misleading film....
  This was kept in secrete until 1995.
  In anyway, this is in reference to the tears that you mention in your
  And this was the first Biomechanical Study in space.
All the best
Gideon Ariel, Ph.D.

----- Original Message -----
From: "Dr. Chris Kirtley" <kirtley@CUA.EDU>
Sent: Friday, May 11, 2001 8:30 AM
Subject: Science Quiz: summary & solution:
> Dear all,
> Thanks to everyone who tackled the Science Quiz about the only activity
> you can't do in Space. Here is a short summary of the suggestions...
> Swim
> Weight-lift (2)
> Burp
> Skip rope (2)
> Breathe (2) ,talk/live
> I'll now (at considerable risk of being flamed) tell you what the
> Science Museum answer was...
>                                            CRY!
> Before you start complaining, I will say that my own colleague, Fran
> Sheehan, got it in an instant (that's a Stanford education for you!),
> and denies having heard the riddle before.
> I'm tempted to say that weight(inertia)-lifting is at least possible
> during the acceleration phase! Swimming is conceivable, I think, if the
> water could be contained. Skipping rope would, I admit, be difficult,
> but could (I tentatively suggest) be contrived by the appropriate
> apparatus - as applies to breathing and talking. However, to get tears
> to run down the cheeks would be a tough exercise in physics.
> So, perhaps another draw card for Mr. Tito's space tourism venture might
> be it's, outwardly at least, anti-depressant effects!
> Chris
> --
> Dr. Chris Kirtley MD PhD


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