Built on Facts

Archives for November, 2009

Re: Nidal Hasan’s Weapons

God help me, I resisted mightily. If my fellow SB friend Greg wants to spin the Ft. Hoot shooting as a cause for gun control then frankly there’s pretty much nothing further to say. You’d think a @#$% major in the @#$% army on a @#$% army base just might not have been terribly inconvenienced…

On Veterans Day we commemorate the living veterans of the American armed forces. On Memorial day we commemorate those who lost their lives. We should also spend a moment to remember those who helped make sure more soldiers fit into the first category. Though I’ve made the point before on this blog, I’d like to…

Sunday Function

Again I have to apologize for the sparseness of posting lately, but I’ve got two research projects going full blast and time has not been something I have a lot of. I’ll still be writing at least a few times a week, and you can’t beat the price. In any case once things cool down…

Being an Absentee President

Of late president Obama has taken a little bit of heat for his frequent (and mostly male) golf outings. Before him, president Bush took the same sort of heat for his golf and vacations. If you were willing to dig a bit through the news archives, I’d bet you could find similar tut-tutting about previous…

Cars and Crashing

Here’s a question which pretty much everyone gets wrong. But the readers of this blog aren’t just a random sample, so I bet most of you will get it right: Two identical vehicles A and B, both traveling at speed V directly toward the other vehicle, collide exactly head-on. At another test track, car C…

For most of human history, our ability to perceive and understand very fast optical events has been limited by the temporal resolution of the human eye. Things that happened too fast were a blur, and all we had to go on was guesswork. Take, for instance, this 1821 painting of a horse race: If it…

Mass, Energy, and the Sun

These days pretty much everyone knows that mass and energy are two sides of the same coin, as discovered by Einstein. In fact this is so well known that the average man on the street – knowing nothing at all of physics – would still recognize the expression even if he didn’t know what it…