Some years ago at the annual family Thanksgiving extravaganza at the ‘rents house we all got deeply involved in a thoroughly silly conversation regarding fruit flies.
Off the top of my head I can’t remember what it was that started the conversation, but it degenerated into speculation regarding whether or not the human body had enough surface area to accommodate the number of fruit flies it would take to allow said human body to become airborne. We made several concessions regarding the abilities of fruit flies (i.e. that the ones that would be attached to inconvenient places like the bottoms of the feet and in between the toes would be able to produce the same amount of vertical lift as the ones attached to places that would make vertical lift easier such as the top of the head) and several concessions regarding the human body (the biggest being that one could have a surface that was adhesive enough to allow the attachment of fruit flies and yet not adhesive enough to suffocate the fruit files).
I used the term “degenerated” above. Picture six or eight (I can’t remember how many of us were there) highly educated people with references ranging from a nursing manual to obscure engineering books with details regarding how much lift would be required to heave a certain amount of mass into the air at a certain height. There were scientific calculators, pencils, scraps of paper, and arms flying. By the end we were all quite hysterical and as I recall we never did really answer the question.
In fear of this, as it were, conversation degrading to the same level as the previous one, I would like to pose the following question.
Do you suppose it would be possible to drill holes in PVC pipes that would allow said pipes to act as musical instruments when they were strapped to the tops of trucks driving down the interstate?
Stay with me here, let me explain.
I was driving to Olympia this morning and spent a good deal of time driving next to a semi-truck that was stacked high with various sizes of PVC pipes. The pipes were strapped in bales lengthways along the bed of the truck and they were stacked higher than the cab. I kept thinking how cool it would be if one were able to carve holes along the length of the pipe so that the wind generated by the motion of the truck would blow across them as one does with a flute.
Really, how cool would that be? Certainly one would only put holes in the pipes along the tops of the bales, but by changing the size and placement of the holes and by changing the size and position of the pipes couldn’t you turn a semi-truck into a gigantic mobile pipe organ?
I have neither sufficient knowledge regarding how most wind instruments work, nor regarding how the air flows over a semi-truck in motion (although I am an avid Mythbusters fan) to be able to answer the question.
And if someone can answer me in the positive, let me know because I’d be all over strapping holey PVC pipes to the luggage rack on my Subaru.