Wheel of Camembert
Wheel of Camembert

All Pain, No Gain with Charles Liu

Coyau / Wikimedia Commons
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About This Episode

How fast does cheese roll down a hill? On this episode, Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-hosts Chuck Nice and Gary O’Reilly walk us through the physics behind the weirdest sports competitions: cheese rolling, belly flopping, face slapping and more with astrophysicist Charles Liu. 

Find out about a British cheese rolling competition where contestants run after a wheel of cheese rolling down a hill. What rolls better, cheese or people? We talk about moments of inertia, rotation versus translation, and what the acceleration of the cheese is. Could Usain Bolt beat the cheese down the hill? What type of cheese is best for rolling? 

We explore belly flop and the Norwegian art of dodsing, or death diving. What sort of force will you hit the water with? We break down the physics of why belly flopping really hurts. Do you want a high or low surface area when doing a belly flop? We discuss the surface effects of water and what type of backside is best for a cannonball. 

Find out the rules to official face slapping competitions. Can you slap someone into orbit? We also explore why the biggest people might not be the most powerful slappers. Learn about shin kicking, wife carrying, and chess boxing. Could you win a chess match after getting punched in the face? Discover the wacky world of weird sports with us!

Thanks to our Patrons Scott Schekk (shek), Kristine May, Jacob godman, Chelsea Dolloff, Daniel Lopez,Dustin G, Michael McManus, Genesis Martinez, Kinetik Plastik, and Pavel Bains for supporting us this week.

NOTE: StarTalk+ Patrons can watch or listen to this entire episode commercial-free.



In This Episode

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