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The optical illusion of a curveball

Discussion in 'Sports and News' started by Inky_Wretch, May 15, 2009.

  1. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    The 2009 optical illusion of the year has a sports theme ...

  2. hondo

    hondo Well-Known Member

    Bullshit. An "optical Illusion" doesn't end careers.

    Postcard from the bushes-

    Dear Mom: They're throwing curveballs. Be home soon.
  3. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    If it's a good enough illusion, it certainly could end a career.

    But I'll defer to the Mythbusters on whether a curveball curves as much as our eyes say it does.
  4. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    A "rising" fastball is a complete myth.
  5. Michael_ Gee

    Michael_ Gee Well-Known Member

    This debate, which is almost as old as the curveball itself, was summarized by a baseball player around the turn of the last century.

    "The hell it don't curve."
  6. Starman

    Starman Well-Known Member

    Baseballs do in fact curve, the result of laminar airflow drag creating resistance differentials on opposite sides of the spinning ball in the same general way airplane wings create lift.

    The illusion of apparent sudden breaks are due to the viewing perspective of the batter, and occasionally from random air current interference with the path of the ball during flight.

    Also in play are the conditioned responses of batters following the flight path of a pitch -- their eyes reflexively follow the path of where they expect the pitch to go, and when the pitch deviates from that path, it appears to be a sharp break.
  7. three_bags_full

    three_bags_full Well-Known Member

    The ball curves because the spinning motion creates lower pressure beneath the ball, and it moves toward the lower pressure. Just like a helicopter flies.
  8. Del_B_Vista

    Del_B_Vista Active Member

    Yeah, and men landed on the moon.[/blackhelicopterfearingman]
  9. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    The hell it don't, indeed.

    If you've ever thrown one, or stood in against one ... you know the truth.
  10. apeman33

    apeman33 Well-Known Member

    I think it was Sandy Koufax who once said something close to: Stand behind a tree 60 feet from me and I'll beat you to death with an optical illusion.
  11. Double J

    Double J Active Member

  12. buckweaver

    buckweaver Active Member

    Yeah, he couldn't hit one.

    But his daddy could.
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