Sunday, 3 December 2017

Science in the everyday

This video, sent to me by The Boy's friend Eoin, is almost a definition of science. Observing / discovering something approaching magic, here a screw-driver floating in the air, he then thinks about how this could work without the intervention of pixies, forms a hypothesis, tests that thang, modifies the design in subsequent experiments to help work out the detail, makes other related systems to see if the phenomenon has wider applicability . . . and also gives previously unconsidered examples (golf and tennis balls) in real life to show that it's not just lab true. If you teach science 'dry' with white-board and powerpoint, you need to sit down and fire up some video like this.

And this illustrated explanation of the Fermi Paradox comes from The Boy recommending WaitButWhy. The blog is a sort of cross-over between science, philosophy and chat. Here's one which gives all a normal person needs to know about the brain - skip the first part about flatworms and frogs? And here's one I sent to a palomino who has a teenage boy exploring The Teen Condition: Quote
2) Don’t be such a dick to your parents, you entitled little shit. You live in a world where 99.9999999% of humans care more about how their hair looks than whether you live or die, and then there’s this person, or two if you’re lucky, who’d give their lives for you.

Here's Prof David "Numberphile" Brailsford talking about the rise of PDF.

I mentioned water-hammer before. Here's an engineer talking about it with equations and practical ways to mitigate it.

Ovo-tech = industrial processing of eggs. A food engineer's gloopy dream.

Pushing the envelope in figure skating - if everyone is doing triple, someone will attempt the quad [see also yest]

Water, you say? When the Panama Canal opened in 1913, hundreds of hectares of old growth tropical hardwoods were flooded where the stood. The anaerobic conditions have helped preserve the timber for 100 years. They are now being harvested.

Shared Space at Vox: the idea that removal of road-signs will make the interactions of cars, bikes, walkers, buses and wheelchairs paradoxically safer. One aspect of it is that, if there is a forest of signage you don't see any of it. No signs means that each actor has to take responsibility for their own safety / killing power and slow down. Needless to say, a single anecdote of a blind person killed is largely over-riding a huge amount of data showing the signless streets are safer.

Whalefall. It's a thing, here acknowledged by someone from the Arts Block.

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