Dot Physics

Archives for July, 2010

How fast is the Beacon of Gondor?

The Lord of the Rings trilogy came on TV again recently. My wife and I can’t help but to watch this even though we have it on DVD. Anyway, I was thinking about the part where Gondor sends a signal to Rohan asking them for military aid. Since this was before the invention of email,…

Here is part of a picture some of my friends posted from a recent high school reunion. It may be hard to tell, but this is part of a picture of 7 females all wearing black. I just wanted to show you that they were indeed wearing black without giving away anymore details. If you…

I’m going to Salzburg

WOMWorld/Noika has invited me to travel to Salzburg Austria and visit with the Felix and the Red Bull Stratos team. I am pumped up. Why? Why oh why you might ask. Well, I guess it is for several reasons. First, I have several posts about the physics of the Red Bull Stratos jump. (quickly, the…

Paranoia, it’ll destroy ya

Check this out – NY Times: No Motors, but Mistrust at Tour de France. So, the short story is that some people claim that Cancellara is cheating by putting a hidden electric motor in his bike. Now they are going to do random hidden-motor checks. I have analyzed this motor-in-a-bike already: Energy in a hidden…

I nominate Frank

Frank Noschese is a physics teacher and a blogger (and frequent commenter on Dot Physics). And I nominate Frank as the new librarian of videos that can be analyzed for realness or fakeness. Or, as Frank calls them Win-Fail Physics. Note that I sort of changed his theme a little – sorry Frank. Win-Fail physics…

“I hate math”

I don’t hate math, that is just the title of the post – notice that I put it in quotes. As you may know, I teach this physics course for elementary education majors (using Physics and Everyday Thinking – which is awesome). The curriculum has very little math in it. That is not necessarily a…

(alternate title: how to make pretty graphs in vpython) I am happy. Finally, I can use the visual module in python (vPython.org) and plotting with Matplotlib. Maybe this isn’t such a big deal for many of you, but for me, it never worked until now. In the past, I blogged about plotting in vpython vs.…

Allegory of the Grade

I have been thinking about grades lately and I am pretty sure they are dumb. The main problem is that it seems that many many many people (politicians, parents, students, administrators, some other faculty, and zombies) think that the grade is the THE THING to worry about. Really, it is just a pale representation of…

Archive Posts and images

Just a quick note. Some of the images on posts before Jan 2010 might not be loading. I am working on this, but it might take some time. If there is some old post that you need or link to, let me know and I will fix those first.

Mercedes Roll

Here is a commercial for some Mercedes car. The first part is quite boring, but check out the stunt at around 2:00 minutes into the video. I haven’t bothered to check if this is officially fake or not. Instead, I will do what I do – see if this is even feasible. The common question…