It's Friday, time to kick back and let ScienceBlogs do your homework for you. On Cognitive Daily, Dave Munger wonders how outfielders are so good at running to the right spot to catch a fly ball—are they calculating trajectories in their heads, or making optical deductions? To answer this question, researchers put virtual reality helmets on skilled ball players, then made the virtual balls break the laws of physics as the players tried to "catch" them. On Built On Facts, Matt Springer calculates the energy required to raise the mass of the world's tallest building into the sky, all so "you can park your desk and do paperwork in what used to be blank air a thousand feet above the ground." 3.4 trillion joules is a lot, but costs next to nothing compared to the rest of the building. And on Starts With A Bang!, Ethan Siegel sets the stage for the greatest story ever told, filling black holes in our understanding of the universe with explorations of what might have happened before the big bang. Now stick around and enjoy your weekend before Monday brings you back down to Earth.
Links below the fold.
- The outfielder problem: The psychology behind catching fly balls on Cognitive Daily
- Raising the Burj Khalifa on Built on Facts
- The Greatest Story Ever Told -- 01 -- Before the Big Bang on Starts With A Bang!