# Ask a ScienceBlogger: Drying dishes

As part of the Ask a ScienceBlogger series, reader Jim Swanson asks: When I open the dishwasher after washing and the contents are still hot, why do the glass and ceramic items dry off more quickly than the plastic items? This is a great question. Great because it is something most everyone can relate to…

# How hot would the space jumper get?

A new video from the Red Bull Stratos Jump guys came out. Here it is: This reminds me of an unanswered question about the Stratos jump that I didn’t address on my last post on this topic. Commenter Long Drop asked about how much Felix would heat up as he falls from 120,000 feet. This…

# Power source for a lightsaber

This one has been on my mind for quite some time. What kind of power source would you need to run a lightsaber? I was actually worried recently about this post when I saw the Discovery Channel show “Sci Fi Science“. In that particular episode Michio Kaku talks about how you would actually build a…

# Energy in an exploding water heater

The more I think about the last MythBusters’ exploding water heater, the more cool things I see. How about I look at the energy of the explosion. There are three things I can look at: How much energy went into the water heater from the electric source? How much kinetic energy did the water heater…

# Labs to not do – mechanical equivalent of heat

Note to self: don’t do the mechanical equivalent of heat lab again. It doesn’t really work that well and there are better labs to do. So, what is the mechanical equivalent of heat lab? It is actually a pretty cool idea. Take and object and drop it. What happens to the kinetic energy the object…

# Thermal expansion of water in a pool

I already talked about increasing the temperature of a pool. My father commented that he thought the pool level rose by like half an inch when the temperature increased (by about 10 degrees F). So, this leaves the question: Is my father crazy, or is this possible? Or are both true?

# A power estimate for heating a pool.

It is spring break, so we are at my parents house for a couple of days. The kids like it because there is a pool, a heated pool even. It really isn’t that cold outside, but yesterday the water measured at 62 oF. So, with some help from the kids, we cleaned out the pool…

# A blanket and cold stuff

There are some really cool questions out there. Questions that do not require a lot to ask and do not require a lot to answer. Here is one such question (I can’t remember where I first found this question or something like it): Suppose you put take two identical cans of soda out of the…

# Temperature – weirder than you think

Temperature is a pretty weird thing if you think about it. How do you best define temperature? Let me go ahead and give you my favorite definition: Temperature is the thing that two objects have in common when they have been in contact for a long time. Yes, that is a good definition. Maybe now…

# Fetch with Ruff Ruffman uses a laser to measure temperature?

I am sorry to point this out, but I can’t help it. My kids watch this show “Fetch with Ruff Ruffman”. It’s mostly an ok kids show. However, there was a problem. In one episode, some kids were in the desert and measuring temperature with (they said it several times and it was even a…