These Feet Were Made for Walking (and Running)

first_imgWe usually walk or run.  When walking, we roll from heel to arch to toe and rock our arms back and forth.  When running, we bounce up and down slightly while pumping our arms.  Did you know that many other gaits are possible?  Why do we use only two?  A team of specialists in bio-robotics at Cornell decided to apply a mathematical model to human foot travel.  Like true scientists, they asked questions about the obvious:Why do people not walk or even run with a smooth level gait, like a waiter holding two cups brim-full of boiling coffee?  Why do people select walking and running from the other possibilities?  We address such questions by modelling a person as a machine describable with the equations of newtonian mechanics.  The basic approximations are: first, that humans have compact bodies and light legs; second, that gait choice is based on energy optimization; and third, that energy cost is proportional to muscle work.  We use a simplification of previous models, perhaps the simplest mechanical model that is capable of exhibiting a broad range of gaits that includes walking and running.  Although the model is a mechanical abstraction that is not physically realizable, it is subject to the laws of physics.  Because of its simplicity, the model is amenable to interpretation.  It can also be studied with exhaustive and accurate simulation experiments, far beyond what is possible with human subjects.   (Emphasis added in all quotes.)So, putting the model in the computer and cranking out the equations, they discovered that these two gaits are the most energy efficient for beings our size and shape.  Their only mention of evolution referred to the fact that, in their model, running did not require elastic spring energy: “human ancestors could have started to run before the modern human long Achilles tendon was fully evolved.”  Their derivations were published in Nature.11Srinivasan and Ruina, “Computer optimization of a minimal biped model discovers walking and running,” Nature 439, 72-75 (5 January 2006) | doi:10.1038/nature04113.That statement merely assumes evolution, again – the mortal sin of Darwinists.  “Before the Achilles tendon was fully evolved,” right.  Since evolution is already a fact to these dogmatists, it must make perfect sense.  After all, running in circles in a big enough squirrel cage provides the illusion of making progress down a straight track.    Human bodies can be treated like physical objects and described according to physical laws.  Drop yours out a window and you will accelerate at thirty-two feet per second squared till reaching terminal velocity.  The crater you formed can be measured, and the force you generated on impact can be calculated.  The mechanics of running can be described, quantified, and modeled (see 11/18/2004).  This is all wonderful and useful, but says nothing about how humans, and these mechanical abilities, arose.  Nor does it say how we should use them.  Newton needed to look elsewhere for those laws: Walk circumspectly; do not run in vain.(Visited 13 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more

Darjeeling Himalayan Railway gets first evening train after 137 years

first_imgThe iconic Darjeeling Himalayan Railway (DHR) has a first since its birth 137 years ago – an evening daily toy train service hauled by a steam engine.But the evening narrow-gauge train, introduced on Monday for tourists, does not go the whole hog.Instead of the 88 km between New Jalpaiguri at 113.8 metres above mean sea level to Darjeeling at 2075.6 metres, the train will cover 18 km between Siliguri Junction and Rongtong at the 427.9 metres.Siliguri Junction is the third station after New Jalpaiguri on DHR and Rongtong the fifth. Rongtong, meaning ‘southern river’, is the first of the high-altitude stations.“The steam evening safari leaves Siliguri Junction at 3 p.m. to reach Rongtong at 4:20 p.m. with a 10-minute stoppage at Sukna station in between. The break is for tourists to visit the DHR museum at Sukna station. The train returns from Rongtong after a 25-minute halt for refreshment and engine reversal,” Pranav Jyoti Sharma, spokesperson of Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR), said.DHR, tagged a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in December 1999, is under operational control of NFR. Most films featuring DHR in song sequences or poignant moments are shot along the Sukna-Rongtong stretch and Tindharia further up. Tindharia is where the DHR workshop is located.The evening special toy train has a first class coach and a dining car with a total seating capacity of 29. The train has on-board catering service to be served on payment, NFR officials said.New additionsNF Railway had introduced Vistadome – transparent glass roof for passengers to get a panoramic view of the journey – and air-conditioned coaches in DHR some time ago. This was the first instance in India of a narrow gauge railway having AC coaches.The Vistadome coach can accommodate 40 people while the first class AC coaches have bigger and wider windows offering a better view for passengers.The coaches also boast of other features such as automatic sliding compartment doors, multiple television screens providing infotainment to passengers, wide side door for the differently abled, GPS-based info system, and LED lights.NFR officials said that the Railway Ministry has delegated more powers to the divisional railway managers and director of each of the five heritage hill railways of Indian Railways for enhancing their tourist potential and scientific preservation.Innovative measures have helped DHR reduce the expenditure-earning gap. For instance, the mountain railway earned ₹7.65 crore against an expenditure of ₹22.83 crore on maintenance during the 2016-17 fiscal. The revenue dipped to ₹6.23 crore mainly due to six months of shut down due to Gorkhaland stir and landslides during the 2017-18 fiscal. The expenditure during this period also dipped to ₹19.37 crore. In the current fiscal (up to October), DHR has earned ₹8.80 crore while spending ₹12.19 crore. Darjeeling Himalayan Railway gets first evening train after 137 yearslast_img read more

Indian hockey eves thrash Malaysia in Asiad opener

first_imgIndian eves started their campaign in style in the hockey event of the 16th Asian Games, thrashing lowly Malaysia 4-0 in their opening Group A match in Guangzhou on Saturday.India were by far the better side on display under lights at the Aoti hockey field on Saturday evening as they controlled the game during the entire 70 minutes and pumped in four field goals to start their campaign on a winning note.Thokchom Chanchan Devi opened the scoring for India in the 26th minute from a field strike but that was all that coach Sandeep Somesh’s girls could manage in the opening period.However, after the change of ends it was a different story as Deepika doubled India’s lead in the 43rd minute and then after 10 minutes Rani Rampal made it 3-0.Captain Surinder Kaur too registered her name in the scoresheet, scoring India’s fourth goal just three minutes from the hooter in the one-sided affair.India will face Japan in their next group match on November 16.With inputs from PTIlast_img read more