America’s been a country for 235 years, and at war for 209 years.
An excerpt from a book by Sebastian Junger on living with soldiers in the most dangerous and hostile spot of the Afghan War.
“Reaction times have been studied extensively in controlled settings and have shown that men have faster reaction times than women, and athletes have faster reaction times than nonathlethes.
Tests with soccer players have shown that the ‘point of no return’ for a penalty kick — when the kicker can no longer change his mind about where to send the ball — is around a quarter of a second. In other words, if the goalkeeper waits until the kicker’s foot is less than a quarter second from the ball and then dives in one direction, the kicker doesn’t have enough time to adjust his kick.
Given that quarter second cutoff,
the distance at which you might literally be able to “dodge a bullet” is around 800 yards. You’d need a quarter second to register the tracer round coming toward you — at this point the bullet has travelled 200 yards — a quarter second to instruct your muscles to react — the bullet has now travelled 400 yards — and half a second to actually move out of the way.
The bullet you dodge will pass you with a distinctive snap.
That’s the sound of a small object breaking the sound barrier inches from your head.”
- Sebastian Junger, on being caught in a firefight high atop the mountains of the Hindu Kush Region.
A book not to be missed.