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Nov 16, 2006
Throwing For Distance

I believed Wally. He can do anything.

With the curve of the earth, gravity (which maybe cancels out the curve?), and the ceiling of the atmosphere, is there actually a definitive distance an inanimate object could be projected on earth? Any of you science whiz readers know that one?

Emperor Penguins, Dedicated Parents

National Geographic posted a couple more penguin videos about penguins being Happy Feet is being released in the US tomorrow. Yesterday they posted a little short about the emperor penguins parenting skills. Watch the video at National Geographic.

  • Xavier

    Well anything I studied about orbital mechanics was very elemental, but I think that if you make something go all the way round the earth it won’t descend back. So you’d need a penguin with an astronaut suit and a baseball bat to make it go down where it was shot from. ๐Ÿ˜›

    The actual maximum distance will depend on the angle of the initial shot. The thing is that, disregarding air resistance for a first approximation, the trayectory of something that won’t be so fast as to distance itself from Earth indefinitely is an ellipse, one of its foci at the centre of the Earth. And there’s no way to trace an ellipse which goes round the Earth and then after the first revolution just goes against the surface.

    But the real secret is licking it just like Wally does. ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Ishmael

    that was fast a new comic. well at least hetrick osborne ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Phill

    You wouldn’t be able to disregard air resistance for a throw like that!

    I imagine if Wally threw it right up into the upper atmosphere, so it was kinda orbiting but not quite… and then the drag would need to decay the orbit just enough to drop the stone back in antarctica, at Osborne’s feet no less… but even if Wally got the angle and power just right, it would come back down at a good 5 or 10 km/s!
    The approximation I’d use is that it’s in a comic strip and the laws of physics work the way we want them too. ๐Ÿ˜›

  • CL

    LOL that is so funny!!

  • wit

    I like that he licked the rock before he threw it. Everyone knows that saliva is a naturally wind-resistant substance. Once I spit a loogey forty-seven feet.

  • Shrew

    Nice one, Tyler!

  • spyguy294

    LOL!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Lee

    Of course an object orbiting the Earth doesn’t have to travel so far if it’s near the pole.

    No, wait a minute…

  • purple people eater

    Haha Wallys a “far” thrower:P
    Ok here is my orca fact
    Orcas are very social animals
    they travel in groups called pods and are led by females.
    Some pods join together and can have 100 oracas in one REALLY big pod.

  • hey people
    i love it!!!!!!!!!!!! ๐Ÿ˜€
    i thought it was going to hit Osborne at first.

    hey thats the same pose that Wally has when he won the snowball fight
    like in the wallpaper ๐Ÿ™‚
    also i like the noise Wally makes before he throws it ๐Ÿ˜†

  • kaiti

    be the rock Osborne, be the rock. Or you can always copy Wally’s ideas, lol

  • Nikos

    To complete what Xavier said, the trajectory of any object submitted to gravity is either a parabola, an ellipse or a hyperbola, the center of the earth being a focus, if it’s an ellipse, it means that the rock will fall on the other side of the earth, if it’s a parabola or a hyperbola the rock will just travel infinitely through space and never come back.
    If there was a way to get an object to do that kind of course around the earth, then we wouldn’t have to look for our rockets in the ocean ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I guess Wally’s rock is in fact a tiny alien drone trying to observe terrans and making odd reports to his main base about penguins being the dominant specie.

  • Phizlo

    Whoa. . . 8-0 I don’t think anyone can do that except when Wally is cheating. ๐Ÿ˜€
    Wally’s a nice prankster. Like the little penguin dude. ๐Ÿ™‚
    Osborne must be really jealous. And gullible.

  • Phizlo

    Hannah are you still doing penguin facts? Please don’t say NO! ๐Ÿ™

  • hey all!
    i wonder if osborne will find out what wally did? that’d be rather funny. or at least, i think that it would be! adidos!

  • Ferrety Penguin

    thts pretty sweet.. i should try that on my sister

  • Ferrety Penguin

    i cant wait for HAPPY FEET…yay!

  • wit

    what is the premise behind Happy Feet other than the fact that they are dancing penguins?

  • Roi

    Wally doesn’t need to be able to skip rocks if he can simply toss them across the ocean like that, the cheater.

    He should throw it at the mountains, next. Just take off one of the peaks.

  • Tux

    Lee brings up a good point, if Wally were to throw a boomerang while he was standing close to the true south pole then he could be throwing the boomerang right the way around the world according to it’s axis of rotation! ๐Ÿ˜›

  • Sheena

    F-U-N-N-Y!!! I agree, Wally is the ultimate prankster. Oh, and don’t forget the little penguin!!

    Speaking of little penguin, Tyler should bring back the scrawny little penguin!! LOL

  • Mysterygal

    I miss the scrawny lil’ penguin. If Tyler does bring him back, the penguin should be tough and big and stuff…nice comic Tyler!ร‚ยก!

  • Veranda

    Okay people for all you who don’t understand the scientific jargon some readers are throwing out, basically if an object was moving fast enough (I mean really really really fast) it could orbit the earth just a few feet above your head.

  • me–

    hey hey … saturday night fever pose! is it?

  • Emily

    I used to read this comic on and I thought you should know that since early November, ythey’ve been repeating the strips from LAST November.

  • alex

    I think i remember something from physics class that says an object thrown in an ark, or even straight up, will have the same speed as its initial velocity when it returns to the height from which it was thrown. basically, if he could throw it high enough to reach the upper atmosphere, it would be going super fast when it hit the ground, as Phill said. Wally, then, would have needed to be able to throw the rock as fast as it would be coming back from the upper atmosphere! that’s one strong bear!

  • BriaN

    Haha this was pretty good… reminded me of Hammy’s Boomerang Adventure in Over the Hedge… maybe because I just watched that tonight…

  • Well, I guess since they are at the South Pole, throwing a stone around the world really isn’t a big deal – after all, down there, you can run around the world in no time at all.

  • Phill

    Heheh. I used to think that if you ran around the south pole, you’d keep crossing the international date line over and over, and would be able to go back in time! ๐Ÿ˜†

  • Xavier

    Well obviously you shouldn’t disregard air resistance especially for a small stone, I was just making things simpler. In fact air resistance makes me think that it would be possible, after half a revolution the stone would lose some speed scratching the atmosphere near the Antipodes, exiting it right away, and the loss of energy would be enough so that when entering the atmosphere again where the stone was shot from, it would lose yet enough energy to touch ground. (Think of an ellipse around a circle, kind of the eyelids’ line around the iris [but decentered], the ellipse would come close the circle at two points.) That would be some precission shot –mustn’t be too strong as well as weak– and the stone would fall with incredible speed melting a lot of snow and possibly hurting somebody, but it could… NAAAAH it’s easier to hire a baby penguin to pull Osborne’s flipper. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Being near the Pole doesn’t make the orbit shorter, any orbit must be included in a plane which includes the centre of the Earth, so if you shot from the South Pole you’d have an orbit which flies over a meridian and flies over the North Pole some half way round.

    And we needn’t concern about parabolae and hyperbolae, because those kinds of trajectories move indefinitely farther away and so don’t form and orbit, it’s an ellipse what an objet follows when it’s not going to escape Earth’s gravitational pull altogether.

    Food for thought! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • qtpa2tnh

    Wally’s a scamer …

  • Anonymous

    That was your best comic yet Tyler this one reallly takes the cake!8-)

  • Anonymous

    BriaN i deffinetly agree it totaly reminds me of that too

  • rebecca

    I didn’t know Wally had the brainpower to pull that off.

  • Happy Feet seems cool. Great comic tyler.

  • Bryan

    LOL! Nice one Tyler! hmm, looks like it went a litle tiny bit more then around the world…..

  • Cristina

    Good one Wally! Poor Osborne, he’s always scheming for greatness, and Wally has to go and steal his thunder w/ a stunt like that!!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • SportyBlonde!

    Thank you Veranda! I had no clue what they were saying! I am much better at chemistry than physics!

    Hey Tyler, I love it!!! I love the way Wally licked it! That would be a fun prank to play on someone who is really gullible.

    This reminds me of when I was in pre-school and we used to stick little rocks up our noses just so we could go to the nurse (for some reason the nurse was like the coolest back then)… Ahhh… Childhood memories…

  • Hey anyone gonna see “Happy feet”, or if you already saw it tell us how it was!

  • Bluey

    I pretty much agree with everyone here… on the topic of the rock. To gain enough altitude to orbit very close to earth, say in the thermosphere, anything would most likely require solid rocket fuel thrusters, heat shields, and a way to return to Earth safely. Some leading research by Werher Von Braun, a reformed Nazi rocket scientist in the US, showed exactly what an object perpedicular/parellel to the Earth’s atmosphere would do upon reentry. If it was coming in too steeply, the craft would break apart and burn up in the uper atmosphere. Kinda like the equivilent to the 2003 RLV diasaster in which all 7 members of the Columbia rocket died upon reentry. There was no problem in that, however, with the angle. That was a problem with the heat shields. Considering the fact that this doesnt frequently happen, we can only assume the results would be the same. If the ‘Spaceship Rock’ came in at too low of an angle, it wouldnt even come back. It would hit the outer atmosphere and bounce off into space forever. And ever. And plus, the angle the rock is coming from in the bottom left pannel suggests that the rock would have done just that.
    On the matter of heat shields, I think it pretty much speaks for itself. Being in the cold vacuum of space -> the burning temperatures of the atmosphere would easily break up anything without protection.
    Also, standing next to the rock upon reentry would be deadly. Impact of the rock would most likely combust extra fuel from the thrusters built earlier by rocket scientist Wally. NASA, ESA, JSA etc. always give spacecraft extra fuel, a little more than needed for obvious reasons!

    That, or Wally had a super rush of adreniline. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • ostrich girl

    ha ha! one of the funniest by far! brilliant tyler.

  • izzieluv

    lol, nice that’s so wally

  • BriGuy

    Wow.. I’ve under estimated Wally. Love the last panel. ๐Ÿ˜›

  • I love how wally had another little penguin friend helping him out, definetly showed a smarter side of him.

  • zeel

    LOLLOLLOLLOLLOLLOL thats funy wally always has abag of triks

  • Jamie (I looove penguins)

    AHHH….look at the penguin in the backround…haha classic.

  • steve-o


  • ๐Ÿ˜€ Good job Tyler, that was a home run of a strip!
    Nice one, what with :mrgreen: owning up on ๐Ÿ˜ฎ and all!
    I depend on you to brighten my day, the Antarctica way!
    Keep up the good work!

  • whats hnyarg!!! ? ๐Ÿ˜ฏ ๐Ÿ˜ฏ ๐Ÿ˜ฏ ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

  • Sally

    Hey peoples…did you see Wally waving ‘thanks’ at that baby penguin?