# Could cars slow down the Earth?

Time for another Fermi problem. There was a recent story in Science News that talked about the effects of the Chilean quakes on the Earth’s rotation. The basic idea is that some ginmourmous amounts of rock moved closer to the Earth’s center. Since the angular momentum of the Earth is conserved, the angular rotation rate…

# What could you do with 54,000 watts?

I already looked at ESPN’s Sport Science episode where they calculate that Marshawn Lynch produces 54,000 watts when pulling some tires. Yes, that is way too high. However, what would happen if some was actually that powerful? What could that person do? How fast could they run 100 meters? That is what I am going…

# More ESPN Sport Science Goodness

Let me be clear. I am not really an attacker. If someone wrote a report about ski jumping or something and misused the word “momentum”, no big deal. However, if you have a show that claims to be about SCIENCE and you are obviously putting a lot of money into this show AND a whole…

# Activities for Pi Day

Oh, I know you missed it. Really, it wasn’t your fault. Pi day fell on a Sunday, so how are you supposed to have pi-day activities in class? Don’t let it stop you. You are better than that. Do the activity anyway. What to do? Here are some suggestions. (Suggestions aimed mostly at the high…

# Scratch version of Pi estimation

I already went over a Monte Carlo method for estimating Pi – you know, for Pi-Day (March 14). Well, here is a small addition. This is the same thing done in Scratch. If you create an account on Scratch, you can download the code of any project. I like Scratch.

# On the 8th Day, God made Pi

Pi day is March 14th – get it? (3.14) I am a big fan of Pi. Here is my first post to celebrate the awesomeness of Pi (I know this is early, but I was too excited to wait). How can you determine Pi? Oh sure, tons of high schools do the classic experiment. Measure…

# Estimation Contest at Diary of Numbers

I know many readers like the fermi questions (like how much would it cost to review all youtube submissions). Well, you are in luck – Diary of Numbers is having an estimation contest. Here is the question: Mario has appeared in over 200 video games as Nintendo’s main mascot. He has starred in TV shows,…

# RP: Cat in the Hat comes back and gets small

Note: The following is a repost from some time ago. Today is the officially day to celebrate Dr. Seuss, so here is my Seuss-related post. Enjoy. In the second Cat in the Hat book (I think it is the second one), the Cat reveals that he has more smaller cats under his hat. They are…

# How many people to review youtube videos?

There was a Buzz Out Loud episode in the not-to-distant past where the discussion of youtube came up. I can’t remember the exact details, but the main point was that it would be impossible for google (the owners of youtube) to review all of the videos that were submitted. And here is my calculation. How…

# The wind giveth a little and taketh away a lot

I ride my bike and mostly the wind makes me unhappy. On a very few days the wind is with me on the way to work and then changes so that it is with me again. But most days the wind is fairly constant. So, if the wind is constant then shouldn’t everything even out?…