Archive for January 2009

Physics of Music

I’m starting my third quarter physics course off with a few weeks on waves, so I was excited to find The Physics of Music and Musical Instruments, a neat online book by David R. Lapp of Tufts. It’s got some exercises and projects I think I’ll have my students do. Now, if only I could [...]

Hooray, Science!

After Obama’s inaugural, the opinions fly about the “rightful place” of science in US society. A few interesting ones: New York Times: Essay – Elevating Science, Elevating Democracy Uncertain Principles: Science is What Makes Us Human Scienceblogs: Rightful Place Project Nanoscale Views: “Science” and Inaugural Addresses I’m sure there are others… point me to ‘em [...]

Google Ocean: Really?

Reports circulating in the blogosphere (summarized at Ogle Earth) indicate that Google will make a big Earth-related announcement on February 2 at the Cal Academy in San Francisco. These reports say that oceanographer Sylvia Earle will top a list of luminaries including Al Gore and some of the bigwigs from Google. Earle’s presence may mean [...]

Kurt Finds an Easter Egg in Google Earth

Kurt Schwehr (blogging at Kurt’s Weblog) posted something a couple of days ago about the recently updated pseudo-bathymetry on Google Earth (see the graphics and broader discussion at Ogle Earth, too). Dave Sandwell (David T. Sandwell, to be precise…) wrote to Kurt with some clarifications about data sources. In passing, Sandwell mentions an easter egg [...]

Bridget Mason Blogging at the Huffington Post

Along with Kareem Abdul-Jabar, Hilary Clinton, and RFK Jr., UWT’s own Bridget Mason has a Huffington Post blog. I was at the MLK day Giving Garden work party that Bridget talks about in her post: it was a resounding success. Congrats, Bridget and Kayomi! Bridget Mason: Obama’s Call to Service — The Garden We’re Growing.

Paper Chikyu!

Sweet! Build your own riser drilling vessel. Guaranteed to take less time to build than the actual ship. Warning: does not float. Or drill. See also: paper models of deep-sea creatures, the Shinkai-6500 sub, and the “Earth Simulator” computer. ペーパークラフト図鑑.

Toys for Physics

So, among other projects, I’m putting together a proposal to buy toys for physics demos. We have some simple ones already – nerf soccer balls, for example (one of which I want to cut up to install a wireless accelerometer… more on that later).  I’m making a wish list, and have decided on a few [...]

Is the Earth’s Magnetic Field Going to Reverse – Post Postponed…

Family responsibilities and other craziness have forced me to put off my Wednesday post on research… look for more on the magnetic field next week, same bat-time, same bat-channel.

Student Evaluations

My evals came back from last quarter. I won’t tell you “how I did”, but I will tell you that neither I nor anyone I know takes the numerical evaluations very seriously, at least without a lot of context (how students usually feel about the class, what else is going on in the instructor’s academic [...]

Why Do I Need to Know This?

Do your students ever ask you why they need to understand math/physics/chemistry? Ask them if they like ice cream. At workbook, Michael Laiskonis of Le Bernardin explains how careful planning – thanks to some chemistry and math – makes for good ice cream. Workbook: Doing The Math.