Physical Science

How Fast Is SteelyKid’s Nerf Gun?

SteelyKid is spending a couple of days this week at “Nerf Camp” at the school where she does taekwondo. This basically consists of a bunch of hyped-up kids in a big room doing martial activities– taekwondo class, board breaking, and “Nerf war” where they build an obstacle course and then shoot each other with dart…

“I’ve done the calculation and your chances of winning the lottery are identical whether you play or not.” -Fran Lebowitz It’s a thought that’s occurred to almost everyone at some point or another: what each of us would do if we happened to hit the lottery Jackpot. Have a listen to Camper Van Beethoven sing about…

What Survives from 2013’s Blogging?

Continuing the weekend theme of meta-blogging, one of the questions I’ve occasionally wondered about in doing top-posts lists for a given year is the problem of a bias against recency– that is, that posts put up toward the end of the year are inherently at a disadvantage because they’ve had less time to integrate up…

“Life is strong and fragile. It’s a paradox… It’s both things, like quantum physics: It’s a particle and a wave at the same time. It all exists all together.” -Joan Jett We’ve reached the end of yet another week here at Starts With A Bang, which means it’s time to take a look back at everything we’ve covered. It…

Top Blogging Actually Done in 2014

As a follow-up to yesterday’s post about what draws the most traffic here, I went through and pulled out the top 20 posts from the blog (by traffic) for the calendar year 2014 that were first published in 2014. Numbers after the links are the fraction of the total pageviews for the year that each…

“We like to admit to only that which already glows, although it is nobler to support brightness before it glows, not afterwards.” -Dejan Stojanovic When we look back to greater and greater distances in the Universe, we’re looking back to earlier and earlier times as well. At some point, we can see far enough back…

The Golden Age of Blogging Was 2010

When I was writing up the state of blogging post last weekend, I thought about pulling together a Top Ten Posts thing, but didn’t have time. also, Google analytics moved a bunch of stuff since the last time I used it, so I had a hard time locating the right options. Having tracked it down,…

Whose DNA is that?

Dr. Christopher Mason (Weill Cornell Medical College, Manhatten, NY) decided to sequence DNA found in NY subway stations…468 of them to be precise. At each station, his research team collected DNA samples by swabbing the kiosks, turnstiles, benches, railings, trash cans as well as the subway cars. Along with finding abundant Pseudomonas bacteria (also found…

“According to the special theory of relativity nothing can travel faster than light, so that if light cannot escape, nothing else can either. The result would be a black hole: a region of space-time from which it is not possible to escape to infinity.” -Stephen Hawking The idea of a black hole, of a region…

Rhett Allain has a list of 5 Things Every Human Should Know About Light, to tie in with the International Year of Light, and it’s a good list with lots of .gifs. Of course, there are some gaps, so let me offer some additional things that everyone ought to know about light: — Light Is…