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Rain

Walking in the rainAnother thing which might have given me my cold, was not the freezing temperatures, but the fact that it’s been raining a lot this week. And again – where I’ve got used to going out without having to think ‘Umbrella’ anymore, I’ve been caught in the rain a few times recently and got wet.

Which led to an interesting discussion theory with someone about what to do when you’re out on foot and you get caught in the rain.

Running in the rainIf you’ve got 100 metres to cover, and it’s raining fairly hard, most people would choose to run.

But an argument put forward to me this week was that in some instances this can make you wetter than if you choose to walk because your velocity is making you run into MORE raindrops.

Now I initially thought “That’s bollocks, surely?”, but the more I thought about it, the more I figured that relative to the average speed of the raindrops falling down, there’s probably an optimum speed that may be somewhere between walking and running that means you encounter the least number of raindrops.

Or is it – as I first thought – a load of bollocks?

14 responses to “Rain”

  1. Mark says:

    You would have missed an experiment on “Brainiac: Science Abuse’ recently. They had two men dressed from head to toe in sponges, and got one of them to run a certain distance in the rain and the other to walk the same distance.

    Then they had to stand in buckets to be wrung out. There was hardly any difference in the amounts of water their sponges absorbed.

  2. ClaphamCommuter says:

    As an Englishperson who has got wet very many times, I would say that it’s the length of time you are exposed to the rain that matters, so if you run like the clappers to your destination you’ll be less wet, cos you’ve been out in it for a shorter time. Make sense? Does it make a difference also if you are thin or fat how wet you get?

  3. Paul Webb says:

    Getting wet is very much a part of British life.

    Running is, however, undignifed, and should only be used whan trying to avoid angry husbands.

  4. geofftech says:

    #1 – dammit! i guess that resolved that one quite quickly then.

    my favourite Brainiac experient was the Brown Noise one … (See also here)

  5. If it stops raining in the time between starting to walk and getting home, you’ll be dryer walking. YOu would have been dryer still if you’d stood still. Paul’s right. Running is undignified. Especially for a bus.

    It’s similar to driving a convertible in the rain. As long as you keep up a certain speed, you don’t get wet, even with the roof down.

  6. Richard says:

    The wetness is very much dependent on wind direction.

  7. Fimb says:

    Back in my new Scientist reading days, this was the subject of many letters for a long time.

    Damned if I can remember the answer though *lol* I’m not sure there ever was one.. (I seem to remember lots of differing theories for different leves of rain)

  8. jaq says:

    They did an experiment on Mythbusters a while back. Then they got enough letters about it that they got some of the other team members to repeat it, and got the opposite result the second time. Oops.

  9. geofftech says:

    FormulaJaq – what’s Mythbusters? US equiv of Braniac? Anyway I googled it here but then rather marvellously found this inspired BBC page here, complete with mathematical formulas.

  10. ClaphamCommuter says:

    Brilliant! Although it agrees what I said about length of time in the rain; Paul I run -everywhere- get more done that way, busy woman that I am. In London everyone runs for their train.

  11. Joshua Curry says:

    From the book of the samurai, Hagakure:“There is something to be learned from a rainstorm. When meeting with a sudden shower, you try not to get wet and run quickly along the road. By doing such things as passing under the eaves of houses, you still get wet. When you are resolved from the beginning, you will not be perplexed, though you will still get the same soaking. This understanding extends to all things.”

  12. Johnny Alpha says:

    I’ve got a great book that covers this, and many other similar day to day quandries.
    Well worth a look if you like this sort of thing.

    Why Do Busus Come In Threes?

    http://www.amazon.co.uk/Why-Buses-Come-Threes-Mathematics/dp/1861058624/

  13. Anthony says:

    You could follow a slightly different philosophy:

    Empty your mind. Be formless; shapeless, like water. When you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. When you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle; you put it into a teapot and it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow, but it can also crash.

    Be water, my friend.

  14. DivineMrsM says:

    I might be wrong here, but is it actually true that getting cold or wet gives you a cold? :-/

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