Chad Orzel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Union College in Schenectady, NY. He blogs about physics, life in academia, ephemeral pop culture, and anything else that catches his fancy.

141/366: Holes

As mentioned last week, SteelyKid is doing Odyssey of the Mind this year, and her team has elected to build a balsa wood structure. The goal for these is to support the maximum possible weight, and the first step of the testing is to put a “crusher board” on top. This is a couple of…

140/366: Dog and Volcano

When I arrived to pick SteelyKid up the other night, she and her friends were light-saber fighting with long balloons, which is fairly typical of that bunch. While I gathered her stuff up, though, she stopped and twisted her balloon into an animal shape: She got a “How to Make Balloon Animals” kit a few…

137-139/366: Vermont

This past weekend, Kate went to Arisia, and in order to get a change of scenery and a bit of adult backup, I took the kids up to visit friends in northern Vermont. They have two boys, the younger of whom is just a few months older than SteelyKid, and I was pretty sure the…

136/366: Gotta Fly

We have a couple of bird feeders near the house, one just outside the bay window in the front of the house, and the other on the side of the house right next to the dining room. (That one used to be farther out in the yard, where it functioned well as a means of…

135/366: Gold Star for Robot Boy

SteelyKid is in second grade, and The Pip goes to full-day day care at the JCC, so we get a LOT of kid work sent home– various homework assignments and class worksheets for her, and assorted art for him. A lot of the art is just a few random crayon scribbles on paper, but some…

It’s been a disgracefully long time since I did a links post covering what I’ve been posting over at Forbes. In my defense, December was a complete mess of a month… Anyway, here’s a great big bunch of stuff: — Football Physics: Can We Do Better Than Tossing Coins? In which I try to ease…

134/366: BalsaKid

Back in the fall, a note came home with SteelyKid about an organizational meeting for an Odyssey of the Mind team for her elementary school. My father coached this for several years back in the 80’s, and one of my sister’s teams went to the World championships (held in Cole Field House at the University…

133/366: No Writing On Paper Today!

This one’s a bit of a cheat, but the only pictures I got Tuesday that turned out well had other people’s kids in them, and I won’t post those. So here, instead, is a picture from over the weekend, mostly because I want to tell the cute-kid story that goes with it. On Sundays, I…

132/366: New Phone Test

Having picked up a new phone last week, it seems sort of appropriate to give a photo-a-day to a picture taken with that phone, as a kind of test. Also, I realized while on the way to SteelyKid’s taekwondo class that I had forgotten to take any photos with the good camera, and wanted some…

131/366: Nott Shots

One of my recurring half-serious grumbles about this photo-a-day business is that our neighborhood doesn’t offer a clear view of the horizon, making it impossible to get nice sunset pictures. On sunday afternoons, though, we have a babysitter come stay with the kids for a while so Kate and I can do some work, and…