Light travels faster than sound. That’s why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
– Alan Dundes
This really appeals to the scientist in me.
It also reminded me of a funny incident at school once.
In physics class one day, we were doing an experiment outside, attempting to measure the speed of sound. The teacher stood with a group of girls, who had a starting pistol (firing blanks). My friend and I, both equipped with stop watches, walked a measured distance away from them.
The experiment was to time the difference between seeing the puff of smoke as the pistol was fired and hearing the actual gun shot. We could then calculate the speed of sound, as we also knew the distance travelled.
Well, school was hard work and extremely tedious. I was a bit of a clown at times, just to relieve the boredom.
So, I spoke quietly to my friend and told her what I was going to do.
When the shot fired I dropped to the ground and lay still.
I thought this was hilarious! The teacher not so much. In fact I still remember her white face!
I was told to stop messing around and we got on with the experiment.
We got a fairly decent result in the end, considering it relied so much on human accuracy with the stop watches.
And for those few who might be interested, the speed of sound (which varies according to air pressure and temperature) is 343 m/s in dry air at 20C.