Monday, October 30, 2006

Physics of a pole dancing mishap (click through to see the video):
Consider the body of the body in question. After a quick shake of the head right and left, she leans backward to begin her rotation around the pole. Her pivot points include her right hand, held fast to the pole, and her left foot (disastrously clad, we will soon learn, in three-inch heels). She now has a sizeable amount of angular momentum moving counterclockwise around the pole, and this can be halted only by an external force.

Unfortunately for our young dancer, the outcropping of wall her rear end soon encounters does not provide that force. Instead it simply serves as a new fulcrum, shifting the center of rotation from her hand to her hip. This does two things: Like a figure skater pulling her arms in, shifting the center of rotation closer to her center of mass acts to speed the rotation up. More important, it also means that her right hand must begin to rotate around the wall as well.

The outcome is predictable. A hand rotating away from the pole cannot continue to hold onto the pole, and without that grip, our dancer loses her balance in a most sudden and undignified fashion.
Safe for work; just tell your boss you're brushing up on Newtonian mechanics. (Via Boing Boing.)