I hear that phrase pretty regularly. I’ll pose a question — the topic isn’t really important here — but after posing the question, somebody will say, “You can’t do it. That’s impossible!”
In the mean time, I’ve already accomplished the impossible and delivered it to the customer. “But it’s not possible. No matter what you do, it won’t work.”
I’m sure everybody can come up with their own examples of first-hand or observed experiences like that.
That’s why I find this video and the concept to be most intellectually stimulating. The concept is Directly Downwind Faster Than The Wind.
The question goes something like this: Is it possible to construct a vehicle that is capable of traveling faster than the wind, but to be powered directly by only the wind?
At first, one would probably think, “Impossible! If the wind is the only power source, then obviously nothing can travel faster than the wind.”
Here’s the video to prove that not only is it possible, but it’s also possible to travel two to three times faster than the wind is blowing:
For that reason, I shall never again say to anyone, “That’s impossible!” without first pondering the concept, doing the research, and examining the facts.
Update: Here’s a page from MAKE that goes into greater detail about the project as well. As an aside, I think the name Black Pearl would be a more appropriate name for a ship that runs faster than the wind.