My Brush With Fame?

Those of you who've been reading Starts With A Bang since this last summer may have seen this article I wrote -- The Math of the Fastest Human Alive -- about Usain Bolt's world record in the 100 meter dash.

Little did I know what type of interest this would generate. A few weeks after I wrote it, I found that my article was reprinted -- verbatim -- in the St. Petersburg Times, and then was featured in MacLean's. And I thought that was going to be it.

And then Esquire Magazine called. I'm featured on page 133 and 134 of this month's (April 2010) issue, and you can read the article online here.

But nothing prepared me for what I saw on ESPN today:

This is crazy and awesome at the same time, and something I never expected from just applying a little math to what looked like a very, very fast world's record!

We now return you to your regularly scheduled astrophysics.

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Last year, while watching the Beijing Olympics, I was blown away by how much faster Usain Bolt was than everybody else: He became the first man to run the 100 meter dash in under 9.7 seconds. Now, I thought, that's really, really fast. But then, just a few days ago, there was a race between the "…
Human athletic performance has the consistent ability to amaze us--we tend to think of the Michael Phelpses and Lance Armstrongs of the world as nearly superhuman. But in fact, there are physiological limits to our species' strength and speed. On Starts With a Bang, Ethan Siegel calculates the…
"A lot of legends, a lot of people, have come before me. But this is my time." -Usain Bolt The Olympics is an incredible time for athletes in all sports, and a time to celebrate the fastest, strongest, most agile, and all the other superlative achievements the human body is capable of. Yet for…
Hrmph. The real issue is the exact proper motion, not the dispersion about the mean. Although I suppose outliers can be interesting, even in small N groups. This is very clever. I award it a clear: "damn, I wish I had thought of that...!" "Velocity dispersions in a cluster of stars: How fast could…

Going back and reading the original story I see the SPAMbots have a new method of repeating existing comments and adding their little links. Check it out and maybe get it cleaned up if you don't want that unsightly stuff. The last three comments at least as of this comment.

It's about time the MSM noticed your brilliance !

oh look...a star in the Blogosphere!
Great Blog Ethan.

By Sphere Coupler (not verified) on 09 Apr 2010 #permalink

Will fame alter Our man Ethan? Tune in at 11 to find out! ;)

By NewEnglandBob (not verified) on 09 Apr 2010 #permalink


By rick king (not verified) on 10 Apr 2010 #permalink

Awesome, Ethan. Keep up the good work.

It is hard to see them when you're always looking up at the stars through a telescope.

They like you! They really like you!

On the other hand, it's hardly surprising that ESPN considers Michael Johnson "the hero of the 1996 Olympic summer games".
After all, Canadians owned the podium (and world record) in the 100m and became the first non-US team to win the 4X100m relay in the Olympics. Guess they forgot about Donovan Bailey.

PROFESSOR YOU ARE SO COOL!! Congratulations. The article is fascinating.
I had a moment of clutching my face and squealing, "Cool," repeatedly, until my roommate gave me a look significantly bewildered enough to warrant the explanation that my Astronomy teacher from last semester had just had an article published across popular media, and was now, effectively...well, really just as awesome as he'd been every day of class. :)

By Abby Smith (not verified) on 12 Apr 2010 #permalink