Think about the last time you threw a baseball or kicked a soccer ball. Did it follow a straight-line path through the air? No, it probably had more of a curved or arclike path. In fact, any projectile follows what is called a parabolic path. A parabola is really just a fancy name for a symmetric bump, or arc. The bump can be upside-down or sideways, as shown in Figure 2.5, but one side is always a mirror image of the other.