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Nanoda
2002-Feb-03, 11:09 PM
Good golly. The online summary for "Roaring Rockets" says "A simple explanation of how space rockets work, where they travel, and what they do". Sounds great, but the reserve desk handed me a childrens book. Well, it's happened before. But before I ditched it, I flipped through it, and noticed the last page, where described a lunar lander, oxygen helmet, and "gravity boots". Next to a drawing of regular space suit footwear, it states "gravity keeps us on the ground but there is not a lot of gravity on the moon, so astronauts wear these boots to stop them floating away".

Ack.
I've e-mailed the publisher so that they can take the natural step of recalling all copies of this flawed childrens book, at http://www.kingfisherpub.com/

You too can see the cover, (if the url works), at http://www.kingfisherpub.com/sub_sresults.ink?-database=books.fp3&-layout=detail&-response=body_nf-detailedresult.ink&-recordID=32969&-search

BTW, don't ask me what makes them "gravity boots". I showed the page to my father, and he just said "So they wear really heavy boots?". Sigh.

amstrad
2002-Feb-04, 04:23 AM
"Because they were wearing heavy boots (http://www.phys.ufl.edu/~det/phy2060/heavyboots.html)."

Or maybe they are special cheese atracting boots...

Chip
2002-Feb-04, 06:42 AM
Hmmm, concerning Roaring Rockets. I'm not so sure this is a science book for little kids as much as just a fanciful tale. (Sometimes one can judge a book by it's cover.) /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

Ah, haven't heard the terms "gravity boots" or "magnetic boots" in years. In old fashioned (pre-WWII) science fiction as well as 1950's classic sci-fi movies, (such as George Pal's Destination Moon,) the boots are used to keep people stuck on the outside hull of the ship during an E-V-A. (Though they didn't say "E-V-A" in those days. They said, "We've got to go outside the ship and repair meteor damage.")

Chip

ToSeek
2002-Feb-04, 12:57 PM
Didn't they have special boots on Skylab that could hook into the floors and hold them in place?

Wiley
2002-Feb-04, 03:27 PM
On 2002-02-04 07:57, ToSeek wrote:
Didn't they have special boots on Skylab that could hook into the floors and hold them in place?



Like the velcro slippers the stewardesses wore in 2001?

Donnie B.
2002-Feb-04, 04:40 PM
Not exactly... If I remember aright, the "floors" in Skylab were an open, triangulat gridwork, around 2" on a side. The boots had triangular wedges that fit into the openings in the grid, so you could sort of "plug yourself in" to the deck. In any of three orientations, since they were equilateral triangles.

amstrad
2002-Feb-04, 05:12 PM
On 2002-02-04 11:40, Donnie B. wrote:
Not exactly... If I remember aright, the "floors" in Skylab were an open, triangulat gridwork, around 2" on a side. The boots had triangular wedges that fit into the openings in the grid, so you could sort of "plug yourself in" to the deck. In any of three orientations, since they were equilateral triangles.


here is a picture (http://images.jsc.nasa.gov/images/pao/SL4/10076340.htm) of these shoes

ToSeek
2002-Feb-04, 05:46 PM
On 2002-02-04 12:12, amstrad wrote:
here is a picture (http://images.jsc.nasa.gov/images/pao/SL4/10076340.htm) of these shoes


Note the extensive use of duct tape (http://www.redgreen.com/news/news.html).

Chip
2002-Feb-04, 10:13 PM
I guess that would be OK if you had to work in one spot for a while.

http://images.jsc.nasa.gov/images/pao/SL4/10076340.jpg

As for walking, wouldn't it be like...(inserting sound) "clunk" (other leg moves forward) "swish" ...(reinserting sound) "clunk" (opposite shoe detaches from floor grid) "shlunk" (leg moves forward) "swish" ...(inserting sound) "clunk" (opposite shoe detaches from floor grid) "shlunk" (leg moves forward)..."clunk" "swish" "shlunk" "swish" "clunk" "swish" "shlunk" "swish" "clunk" "swish" "shlunk" "swish" "clunk"...(five minutes later)...well time for lunch... /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: Chip on 2002-02-04 17:14 ]</font>

ToSeek
2002-Feb-04, 10:20 PM
Well, they're always worried about the astronauts getting enough exercise.... /phpBB/images/smiles/icon_wink.gif

mallen
2002-Feb-04, 11:53 PM
On 2002-02-04 17:13, Chip wrote:
As for walking, wouldn't it be like...

Why walk? In zero-G, you can just float.

- Mike

ToSeek
2002-Feb-05, 01:24 PM
On 2002-02-04 18:53, mallen wrote:
Why walk? In zero-G, you can just float.


I think that was how the boots were planned to be used: you float to where you want to be, then use the boots to lock yourself in so you stay there. They weren't intended for more than that.

Chip
2002-Feb-05, 06:39 PM
On 2002-02-05 08:24, ToSeek wrote:
I think that was how the boots were planned to be used: you float to where you want to be, then use the boots to lock yourself in so you stay there. They weren't intended for more than that.


Yes. (I was being a wise guy.) In videos from Mir, Skylab, Space Shuttles, it appears a lot easier for people to scoot weightless through corridors and passages, and then "anchor" themselves or just grab something when they needed to be in one place for a while.

I was actually referring to old movies which seemed to make "gravity boots" a necessity in space. More dramatic that way.

The Rat
2002-Feb-06, 03:31 PM
On 2002-02-03 23:23, amstrad wrote:
"Because they were wearing heavy boots (http://www.phys.ufl.edu/~det/phy2060/heavyboots.html)."

Or maybe they are special cheese atracting boots...


I went to that link.

I read the article.

My jaw dropped into my lap.

That is truly frightening...

bup
2002-Feb-06, 06:11 PM
I have "Roaring Rockets."

Let me tell you - that's not the only bad science in the book.

The astronauts? A rabbit, a chicken, and an owl.

OK, so they trained some animals, you say. Not so fast! They can talk (they use radios on the moon - good!)! They have opposable thumbs!

Bad! - The habitable parts of the rocket are far too large, as a proportion of the overall rocket size, for the thing to have ever escaped Earth's gravity.

Good! - Well, you know, the proportions should be like the Saturn V.

Good! - The owl had to pilot the Apollo-looking module in orbit around the moon, while the other two descended to the moon.

Bad! - There were flames coming out of the lander when they took off from the moon.

Good! - Shouldn'ta been flames.

On the other hand, it was a whole lot better researched and executed, and less cloying, than the stupid "Berenstain Bears go to the Moon." The dumb bears took off from their back yard, and landed there again (with the ol' last second "flip the nose of the rocket back toward the sky just before you land").
At least "Roaring Rockets" had them drop in the ocean and get picked up by 'copter.

Donnie B.
2002-Feb-06, 06:24 PM
It seems odd that the author of what appears to be intended as a scientifically-accurate children's book would have failed to have it vetted for glaring errors like "gravity boots".

I can live with the talking animals (a staple of children's fiction) and the visible rocket plume (it could have been a different fuel than the LM used).

bup
2002-Feb-06, 09:18 PM
It wasn't meant to be a scientifically accurate portrayal.

The book's target audience is pre-school.

It's just supposed to turn kids on to rocket-stuff. It *happened* to have a lot of stuff that was correct.

odysseus0101
2002-Feb-06, 11:50 PM
On 2002-02-03 23:23, amstrad wrote:
"Because they were wearing heavy boots (http://www.phys.ufl.edu/~det/phy2060/heavyboots.html)."


That is why the philosophy dept. at UW-Madison is ranked very poorly... I promise each and every person on this list that a graduate student at a top philosophy program could answer that question correctly. I've dealt with some Madison philosophy grads, and they don't even know philosophy very well...

[edited for rant-induced spelling errors]

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: odysseus0101 on 2002-02-06 18:53 ]</font>

Wiley
2002-Feb-07, 05:20 PM
On 2002-02-06 18:50, odysseus0101 wrote:


On 2002-02-03 23:23, amstrad wrote:
"Because they were wearing heavy boots (http://www.phys.ufl.edu/~det/phy2060/heavyboots.html)."


That is why the philosophy dept. at UW-Madison is ranked very poorly... I promise each and every person on this list that a graduate student at a top philosophy program could answer that question correctly. I've dealt with some Madison philosophy grads, and they don't even know philosophy very well...

[edited for rant-induced spelling errors]

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: odysseus0101 on 2002-02-06 18:53 ]</font>


I guess we liked to think that college grads, even liberal arts grads, would have a basic, high school level understanding of physics. When an "edumacated" person commits a bad physics faux-pas, it seems much worse than when Fox TV does.

odysseus0101
2002-Feb-07, 08:53 PM
I guess we liked to think that college grads, even liberal arts grads, would have a basic, high school level understanding of physics. When an "edumacated" person commits a bad physics faux-pas, it seems much worse than when Fox TV does.


True indeed. In the interests of keeping us all on our respective balls, I'd like to point out that humanities people do get the chance to chuckle at sciency people's mistakes, as well. For example, a decent bit of the SETI writing on how alien cultures might function is laughably simplistic and unreflectively Eurocentric (and much of it is awesome). And then there's the whole argument about violin music being the sound of horsehair scraping across catgut.