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_Sian_
11-06-2010, 02:12 PM
Okay. Here's the situation. A small, light female wishes to jump from a second story window. There's a garden outside, and it's the Victorian era, so it has something called a hot bed in it (basically a pit that has mulch of something else on either side, for growing tropical plants). If she took the glass top off it, stretched a sheet over it and jumped from a second story window, what are her chances of walking away as happy as a lark?

Captcha
11-06-2010, 04:17 PM
Second storey, like - eight feet off the ground? (I know there's some sort of British/North American difference between what counts as the second story, but I can't remember just what it is).

If it's the eight feet of the ground kind (like you walk into the house, and go up the stairs to the second floor), I wouldn't think she'd need any of that preparation - she could just fall and go. We used to jump off my grandmother's porch roof all the time as kids - if she dangled herself out of the window, her actual fall would be less than ours was. And a small, light body seems to fall without much damage, most of the time.

With that in mind, even if you meant the other kind of second storey (go inside, go up two flights of stairs), I'd believe she was fine if she went through all that prep. Especially if you made it clear that she knows how to fall (bends her knees, rolls, etc.).

Rowan
11-06-2010, 04:53 PM
Second storey, like - eight feet off the ground? (I know there's some sort of British/North American difference between what counts as the second story, but I can't remember just what it is).

If it's the eight feet of the ground kind (like you walk into the house, and go up the stairs to the second floor), I wouldn't think she'd need any of that preparation - she could just fall and go. We used to jump off my grandmother's porch roof all the time as kids - if she dangled herself out of the window, her actual fall would be less than ours was. And a small, light body seems to fall without much damage, most of the time.

With that in mind, even if you meant the other kind of second storey (go inside, go up two flights of stairs), I'd believe she was fine if she went through all that prep. Especially if you made it clear that she knows how to fall (bends her knees, rolls, etc.).

I was going to say same thing... especially about "dangling and then dropping". :)

Fenika
11-06-2010, 05:05 PM
Yeah, we used to jump off a tree fort that was at least 8 feet high. We'd crouch, dangle a hair through the open-front gap in the floor, then land in a crouch and usually come forward onto our hands too. No one ever got hurt, though occasionally we sored up a knee.

My friend, while drunk, jumped out a second story window without any dangling/lowering, hit the hard ground around the bushes, and fractured a vertebrae. Other than that he was fine, but a vertebrae fracture will have you bed ridden for a fair bit.

He went on and on about how the booze saved him by making him relax and we just rolled our eyes.

shaldna
11-07-2010, 12:27 PM
I'm sitting at a second story window right now, and looking down I reckon I could jump and be fine, maybe a bit bruised, and a broken writst or ankle if I was very unlucky. but it's all about how you jump and, more importantly, how you land.

To give you an idea of how landing is important, here are some stories of people who's parachutes didn't open, they fell thousands of feet, and some of them got away without a scratch.

http://www.greenharbor.com/fffolder/unlucky.html

Tsu Dho Nimh
11-10-2010, 01:45 AM
Okay. Here's the situation. A small, light female wishes to jump from a second story window. There's a garden outside, and it's the Victorian era, so it has something called a hot bed in it (basically a pit that has mulch of something else on either side, for growing tropical plants). If she took the glass top off it, stretched a sheet over it and jumped from a second story window, what are her chances of walking away as happy as a lark?

Hotbeds are a deep pit full of horse manure to generate heat under the tropical plants, so she'll be in deep doo-doo and walk away reeking like a stable midden. Also, she's risking injury hitting the sides and not the middle of the hotbed. The sheet would do nothing to break her fall.

I used to go out second story windows by dangling from the sill and dropping down, then rolling backward on landing. Even a short person can take 6 or 7 feet off the drop if they do it that way. (American nomenclature - up one flight of stairs)

She'd be better off going down a vine or trellis.

KTC
11-10-2010, 01:47 AM
I've done it. Walked away. Many times.

Julie Worth
11-10-2010, 01:51 AM
I'm with the others. Jumping from a second story into soft earth is no big deal, especially if you're young. I did it when I was a kid, about thirty times.

WriteKnight
11-10-2010, 01:51 AM
Completely believable to make the jump, with roll and get up walking. Done it hundreds of times as a kid.

Jumping THROUGH a glass roof? Not so much. Probable death. So yeah - if the glass roof is below her, she's not in a good situation.

Smish
11-10-2010, 01:52 AM
When I was a kid, we used to jump from the second story regularly. There was a landing area outside the window, which made it appealing to jump from. Looking back, it was rather stupid... and kids are probably more springy/flexible than adults, but we were never injured.

JimmyB27
11-10-2010, 09:14 PM
Second storey, like - eight feet off the ground? (I know there's some sort of British/North American difference between what counts as the second story, but I can't remember just what it is).
In America, you go; first floor, second floor...etc. In the UK, and I think Australia too, you go; Ground floor, first floor, second floor...etc.
I don't really have an answer, but I think you're all thinking too low.

Keyan
11-11-2010, 02:31 AM
The second storey is the upstairs in any reckoning. The first storey is the ground floor (UK) or first floor (US).

So she'd be about 10-15 feet up, depending on how high the ceilings were downstairs. If she's climbing out a window, add another 2-3 feet (unless it's a full-length window). If she's letting herself down (hanging out the window by her arms) then her feet would be say 6 feet closer to the ground.

So for the purposes of your plot - you can have whatever answer you want.

Shakesbear
11-11-2010, 02:45 AM
What would she be wearing? Victorian era has a whole load of fashion - if she was in a crinoline she might not fit through the window! Her clothes might also cushion her landing - though if she were wearing a corset she might get a nasty scratch if one of the bones broke.

RJK
11-11-2010, 06:59 PM
As a 190 pound adult, I fell off a steep garage roof, landing on my side on concrete. It hurt like the dickens, and I was all scraped up from trying to hang on to the roof, but I got up and walked away with no serious injuries.

whacko
11-11-2010, 11:36 PM
Victorian houses have rather high ceilings, so your character will be dropping about 16 feet. Which is fine. Unless she bumps her chin on the hot bed frame.

The sheet wouldn't do any good because a) it would break on impact, and b) reading between the lines here, to get some sort of trampoline effect she'd have to nail it into the said framework.

Jumping into a mulch bit is fine.