Dot Physics

Wired Science Blogs

Maybe you have already seen an announcement, or maybe this is the first time you heard that wired.com is starting a new science blogs section. Oh yeah, and they invited me to join. So, I did. This brings a couple of important notes. First, this will obviously be my last post at scienceblogs.com. You might…

What the heck is this? (4)

Here is the next item. There is a threaded plug on the top. I took it off so you could see inside. The whole thing is pretty heavy. Good luck, and let’s be careful out there.

Watermelon Collisions – ouch

Through random surfing, I found this clip from The Amazing Race (which is apparently some type of reality show). Don’t really know the set up except that it appears some girl is trying to launch watermelons with a slingshot. This looks bad, but she seems to not be seriously injured. Watermelon smashed on face. Wow.…

Happy g day

Actually, it should be called Happy “Magnitude of the local Earth gravitational field” day. You know, 9.8 N/kg on September 8 (9/8). Get it? Well, the idea was for the physics students and faculty to build some stuff to do outside – projectile motion type stuff. Well, we had the idea a while ago and…

What the heck is this answer 3

Congratulations Fran. Not only did she answer the “What the heck is this?” correctly, she was the first commenter. Here is the original item: It is of course a gas discharge tube. You put these tubes in there (as shown above) with helium or neon or whatever in there and it excites the gas to…

The Curving Soccer Ball

You can call it football if it makes you happy. Anyway, this is a popular story going around. The physics of the magic curving soccer kick. Here are two ends of the spectrum. First, there is the lower, easier to consume version from io9.com Physics forced to come up with whole new equation to explain…

What the HECK is that? Number 3.

Please note the official change of the title of this game, it is no longer “what is this”. Here is the item: I suspect someone will know what this is. Honestly, I didn’t figure it out right away. However, I have found that the readers as a group generally are more knowledgeable than me by…

Some Python notes

Yes, I love python. However, I am no expert. Most of the stuff I write in python is dirty and ugly code. Sometimes I figure out new things (things that programmers already know) and sometimes I forget these things. So, here are a few tips and tricks that I use from time to time. Really,…

Could I build a lightning detector?

A while ago, we had a ton of lightning. As a bonus, it always happened in the middle of the night. I love sleeping where it sounds like I am on the front line in WWI – no, I don’t. But, while lying awake waiting for the next BOOM I thought of something. Instead of…

Another look at evaluating teachers

The first thing that I saw was this article from nola.com (The Times-Picayune) “New teacher evaluation method being proposed in Jefferson Parish”. Let me summarize this article. Basically, one of the local School Board wants to use a learning tool (Interval Testing) as a teacher evaluation tool. The Interval Testing program gives students spaced out…