Tuesday, 19 May 2009

A Response Of Some Kind

About 322 days, 5 hours and 53 minutes ago on a cold July afternoon I wrote "Debunking911.com Is A PNAC Front.

View wise it's the most successful thing I've ever written because of the nice referrals I get from the site in question.

Anyway, enough background.

I've received a comment from a chap calling himself "Chuck Boldwyn" challenging a debunking of something that he managed to calculate that shows that what he has done proves that the September 11 attacks could not have happened the way they actually did.

Unfortunately, comment wise, I can't really say anything. I've only had some instruction in classical mechanics and I'm also not an engineer. I've never even pretended to be one on TV (incidentally I'm not on TV...).

I can, and will, only comment on things that I have noticed.

As far as I can tell from the post in question though, it seems to be using the assumption that the tower was essentially acting as one big block of steel. That seems to ignore structural elements like joints etc. I would have thought that the force acting downwards upon the building would affect the load bearing columns and the joints and so on.

There is a bunch of maths which to me seem to work. By the way, if a proper engineer happens to read this could you please tell us whether the equations are being used correctly together?

But then we get to an interesting bit:

This means the the lower 94 block of steel could support 100 blocks of 94 floors before possible total collapse could occur.

This also means that the lower 94 block of steel could support 588 blocks of 16 floors before possible total collapse could occur, since one 94 block is equal to 5.88 16 floor blocks.

588 Vector Force units of upward support (stressed Normal Force)against 1 Vector force unit of downward gravity weight force, all by its lonesome.

Now apply Vector math Addition to opposing Forces to find that the top block could never in one's wildest dreams totally collapse the lower 94 floor block of powerfully strong and very thick,
4 inches, steel.

588 Force units of upward support
1 force unit of downward weight Force
gives 587 force units of non-collapsing support.

1 Force Unit(FU) = 1 DL(16)

(588 FU up) - (1 FU down) = 587 FU up.
This is something I don't understand. What the hell is a "vector force unit". I'm well aware that force is already a vector, so "a vector force" is rather redundant statement. Where does this "1 force unit" come from?

I do question why such "hard hitting" research is being posted here and not being sent to an engineering journal to undergo peer-review. Hell, even a letter to one would be better then posting it here. But I'm not expecting him to sent his work in to a credible journal because of this statement here:
That is the Final & Ultimate answer as to why the twin towers could never, ever collapse under the conditions offered by NIST, the Government, the Mass Media, and the big name University and corporate PHDs.

Since the confirmed discovery of the red and gray nano Thermite active and explosive particles in the WTC dust samples, there is no leg to stand on by the NIST, government and all the "quack" PHDs hired by the Government to do their lying diry work with the Mass Media.
(emphasis mine)

Basically to him there are no "peers". There are only "shills".

"Confirmed discovery of red and gray nano Thermite" [sic]? Yes, by a man whose entire argument was "I've found things that would be in thermite therefore there was thermite", without determining whether the elements and molecules analysed would appear in any regular office.

There are also two other posts that don't really have any substance. One links to a youtube video, and they both go on mentioning "patriotism" and "traitors".

For those that haven't read anything else on this blog, I'll mention this here. I am not an American. I don't hold US citizenship, I also don't live in the US. I am an Australian. Accusing me of being a traitor to the US is like claiming that Saddam Hussein was a traitor to the Sudan. It doesn't work.

I'm going to post his last comment in it's entirety:
This "Anti Truth Movement" site has been completely and 100% debunked with no mercy. You are all fools, dupes, idiots, numbskulls, morons, and retards if you still, yet, support the government's and the Mass Media's Theis Conspiracy. You will now be a supporter of mass murderers. Be careful of what you support.

Next time, use your brain, if you have one...
Two small things:
  1. Re: support of mass murderers. I can claim the exact same thing to you. By not supporting my side (which, by the way is the one supported by far more evidence then yours) you support Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda are mass murderers. Therefore you support mass murder.

    So next time you argue this, don't try to label people. (Yes, I am aware of the fallacy above.)

  2. I have used my brain. When will you start using yours properly?


j03808 said...

I, as an honest-to-god engineer (B.S. in mechanical engineering), can say that he's trying to make you think he's smart. Terms like 'vector force units' and 'downward gravity weight force' are redundant to the point of meaninglessness. By using these he hopes to confuse you, and look as though he knows what he's talking about, so that you will take his word for his conclusions.

For your edification, and to make him look like a fool, let me put into layman's terms what he is trying to say:

He estimates the dead load (the weight of everything permanently attached to the building, including the structural materials, walls, etc.) of the towers were 500,000 tons. He then does some division to find what the top 16 floors would roughly weigh. Because buildings are built like trees, thicker on the bottom and thinner on top, his estimate for the weight is actually a little high (and he notes this) at 73,000 tons.

Then he brings in the live load (everything not included in the dead load, like people, office equipment, snow on the roof, wind blowing against the building, etc.) and the collapse load (how much force would be necessary to break the structural elements and collapse a floor).

He states that according to the WTC's chief engineer, who happens to be dead, the collapse load is twenty times the live load, which is itself five times the dead load. It should be noted that he is implicitly stating either a. that the live load includes the dead load (which it does not) or b. that the dead load wasn't factored into the calculations made by the WTC's engineers (which is also not true). But we'll ignore that, and assume that his calculations there are correct. Here's where we get to the problems:

The factor of safety (FS) is the ratio of what something is capable of holding up to how much you expect it to hold. So a FS of 0.5 means it can hold half of what you are going to put on it, and a FS of 2 means it can hold two times what you expect to put on it. Most things which have been properly engineered have a FS of about 2 (though this can range from ~1.5 to up to 3 or 4). If the FS is lower, you risk it collapsing under it's own weight. If you make it any higher, the building will cost too much to build. Anyone can overdesign a building. It takes a good engineer to get it in that sweet spot.

Mr. Boldwyn says the FS for the twin towers was 100. That is 'one hundred'. As in over twenty five times higher than you'd possibly expect. In fact, you probably couldn't even build the towers that high with such a high safety factor, because the base would take up numerous city blocks and it would likely sink into the ground from the weight. If there is any part of his writing which shows Mr. Boldwyn to be wholly inexperienced in structural design, it is this.

But wait, we're not done yet. The thing is, even if the building had some ludicrously high factor of safety (and, I can't stress this enough, it didn't) Mr. Boldwyn completely disregards structural damage from a plane impact, structural damage, and most importantly of all he considers the force to be a static load.

Let me explain that last one, because it's really important. Lets say you have a rock, maybe a foot long, half a foot in diameter. Heavy, but not enough to crush you under it's weight. Imagine you set this rock on your head. You can feel the pressure, but it doesn't really hurt and you're in no danger. Now, take the rock, raise it five feet in the air, and drop it on your head. Suddenly, the rock seems a hell of a lot more dangerous. That's because, even though it only would fall a couple feet, it gained a lot of kinetic energy which would be released upon striking your head, resulting in a lot of unpleasantness. Boldwyn ignores this.

To conclude, Boldwyn uses lots of smart sounding words to say ridiculous things. The famous Shakespeare quote is hilariously apt: "It is a tale. Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing".

And 'Chuck Boldwyn'? Drop a rock on your head.

rrpostal said...

Thanks for that response. Not having the credentials and expertise to discuss this intelligently, I stayed away for fear of muddying the waters. Although it was pretty obvious there were some flaws. The biggest I was able to spot being the last bit. He figured how much more weight you could place above the certain floors in an ideal static environment. Even if his math was correct, it certainly didn't account for a few things, namely the horrific collision, fires and overall carnage present. I'm glad you, quite efficiently and succinctly, shared the other mistakes. As I'm sure you are aware, any time "numbers" are involved there are a good deal of people whose eyes glaze over and they assume it to be correct. (Unless it's coming from a source they don't like, then they figure it's BS).

Anyway, I just wanted to say thanks.

j03808 said...

You're quite welcome. You are also entirely right about how easy it is to take concrete-seeming numbers at face value. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

please explain bldg 7 sir!

mrm1138 said...

Anonymous wrote: "please explain bldg 7 sir!"

He doesn't need to.


You're welcome!