October 17th, 2007

Smashing people into walls

As someone who has watched far too many "something is wrong with this" superhero scenes and sci-fi movies, I have a question about people being smashed into walls. I ran searches on... anything involving the words wall, smash, impact, surface, and a bunch that I've probably forgotten. I used many configurations, quotes, not quotes, everything. I seem to have been thwarted by figures of speech and often-used words, in that respect.

So, here I am.

There are two guys in my story, both supernaturally strong. Bending or breaking metal type strong. Their muscle/bone density are increased as a result. It's a fairly high-magic fantasy world. At one point, the stronger one injures the other and flings him into a wall.

What would this result in? I haven't decided on wall materials yet, but it's a fantasy setting, in a castle/keep. The guy already has a severely broken right arm. He would probably hit sideways or a little sideways but back-first. The un-broken arm is towards the wall He's wearing full plate armor.

I'm thinking at least the other arm would be cracked or broken, but... well, what about the wall? I don't know what it would take at minimum to damage a stone wall. I know wood a bit better, though it'll be damn solid wood in a castle. If any damage resulted, what would it look like? I have flexibility on the people themselves, considering the magic element, but the nice, mundane wall has me especially baffled. A normal person hitting a wall at a great rate of speed may be good for reference, if you know that much...

I mean, think Superman. He gets hit through many walls. We know he can survive it, but I have no idea of any accuracy of the wall damage. (I doubt there's much, if any.) And would someone with the ability to bend metal be able to propel someone else with similar strength hard enough at a stone wall to damage it? A wooden one, I know, but what would the damage be like? Would he bounce or just fall back after impact?

...I think about things too much, but it's kind of an important scene, and I'd like to get something right in it.
  • Current Mood: curious

Distance Light Travels

NaNo looms! ahhh How sweet it is. This year, as last, my idea sort of came to me as I was falling asleep contemplating a discussion I was having about various apocalyptic scenarios that have nothing to do with Mel Gibson. Whatsoever.

I've searched around with various variations of "distance light can travel through air" and so forth, and all I'm coming up with is the speed of light and how it is slightly slower in air. Thanks, I passed third grade science. I have found this but I'm not even sure if that's what I want and if it is I don't understand. It's been awhile since I had to think about this sort of thing.

To make a rather complicated situation plain. In a completely perfectly straight shot, how far does light travel through air? Let's say, for the sake again of simplification, if the atmosphere extended way higher than it does, forever forever forever, up and up at the same thickness as it is at the ground, how far into space would I be able to even detect a large city?

It's, yeah. NaNo. If this ends up being a really stupid question, feel free to shame me to the depths of the internet.

EDIT: Ok, yes. redcoast helped me make this not sound so stupid, so here I go. All I want to know, really, is if light will make it even in a vague blurry form through 6,000 miles of Earth-like atmosphere. And if it won't, about how far would it go?

"Saintly" names...?

Okay, this is probably a really stupid question, and maybe I'm missing something obvious, but I don't know how I should Google this.

On occasion, I have seen either first names or last names that have "saint" or its abbreviation "st." as part of their names.

Examples: Eugene Saint-Laurent
St. John Lestrange (from an HP fanfic written before the Lestranges' real names were given)

Can anyone tell me how/why this naming convention came about? I currently have a name for a character that uses this convention, and while she's from a fantasy/sci-fi world, I wanted to see if there was a real-world explanation for this.

EDIT: Holy cow, you guys are awesome. Thanks so much for your help!
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