Physical Sciences

Category archives for Physical Sciences

Intelligent falling, redux

A few weeks ago, the makers of water-rocket launcher the Aquapod sent me a review copy of their device. It’s a plastic tripod with a bike pump nozzle and a pressure valve to prevent your pressurized water bottle from exploding on the launch pad. A string and simple latch hold the bottle in place, and…

Last night I didn’t get to bed until 4 am. Along with a couple hundred other people, I hung out at the Chabot Observatory, watching the Earth slide in between the Sun and the Moon. One of the Observatory’s telescopes was open, and several people brought their own ‘scopes, some homemade. The viewpieces were big…

Total eclipse tonight

At around 3:37 am, Pacific time, the moon will be entirely swathed in Earth’s shadow. If you live in the right areas, and are prepared to stay up late, you can watch it happen. Oakland’s Chabot Space and Science Center and Wichita’s Lake Afton Observatory are both holding special events all night long. You can…

Reposted from the old TfK, while I Travel from Kansas. Everyone is answering Seed’s Question of the Week: If you could shake the public and make them understand one scientific idea, what would it be? I’m down with this answer: I want people to understand that there is no law of averages. There are no…

Statistics in sport?

Chad is bemoaning the increase of “stat-geekery” in sports: I’ll admit that I’m somewhat torn about this. I am, after all, a professional nerd, and enjoy working with numbers, so I can see the appeal of quantitative data. And a lot of the regular statistics used in basketball are pretty crude measures, so I can…

Damn you Steve Jobs!

In your astounding brilliance, you’ve managed to make the coolest thing ever. Again. The iPhone has an 8 gig hard drive, a 2 megapixel camera, and OS X. It can play video, it can connect to WiFi networks and view normal websites. In my bag, I usually carry my laptop, a black and white Palm…

Belated Friday Find: Helium shortages

Little known fact: Kansas is (apparently) the world’s leading producer of helium, accounting for 4 billion cubic feet per year out of the world’s production of 6 billion cubic feet. Alas, production problems in Algeria and Qatar are leaving global shortages, as are problems with the helium pipeline leading from Bushton, KS to Amarillo, TX:…

Where it comes from

Papa TfK sends this video of a real live music visualizer.

Beware

Thanks to A Voyage to Arcturus for this reminder: