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Monday, September 14, 2009

Leaving San Francisco -- at 52 Times the Speed of Sound

Posted By on Mon, Sep 14, 2009 at 12:01 AM

Perhaps you've seen this before -- but it was a new thrill to us. A pair of gents with a time-lapse camera that snapped photos every 10 seconds have distilled their cross-country automobile journey down to the above four-and-a-half minute haul from San Francisco to Washington, D.C.

In case you're wondering, this is the quickest anyone has left San Francisco since Gavin Newsom heard there were some folks in Bakersfield with an abiding interest in health care and photogenic mayors.

If you're also wondering how fast a vehicle that could tear from Mason Street to the nation's capital in four minutes and 36 seconds would be traveling, we did the math for you:

Four minutes and 36 seconds is roughly 7.6 percent of an hour, and this journey covered 3,052 miles. So, in an hour's time such a mythical auto would cover 39,843 miles -- traveling at 52 times the speed of sound (but only 0.006 percent of the speed of light).

How fast is that compared to man-made objects? Well, that's 19 times faster than the fastest recorded speed from the SR-71 Blackbird, 321 times faster than Steve McQueen drove on Marina Boulevard during the classic chase scene in Bullitt, and 39,843 times faster than I feel like I'm going on the N-Judah.

H/T   |   Triangle Films

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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