Category Archives: fun

Taking it up a notch: nail beds

About a month ago, I had an extraordinary experience: It was Bill Nye standing on me while I laid on a nail bed. Lots of fun, for sure, and I pointed out to the audience that it was the one … Continue reading

Posted in fun, physics, teaching | 6 Comments

Human loop speed

Rhett Allain’s post about a human running around a loop has really got me (and him!) thinking (click through to see the video). I wondered if there was a more sophisticated way to do the calculation for the minimum speed … Continue reading

Posted in fun, physics, twitter | 3 Comments

Clock hands symmetry

A long time ago, Dan Meyer took to the twitter-sphere with a question: "When do the three clock hands form three 120-degree angles?" Fun problem from Bowen Kerins.— Dan Meyer (@ddmeyer) June 30, 2011 At the time I thought … Continue reading

Posted in fun, math, mathematica | 4 Comments

Rubik’s cube test development

This week I was inspired by this intriguing post by my friend Ian Beatty. He talks about what it might be like to use a test-driven development process for teaching. Here’s the short version of what I got from that: … Continue reading

Posted in fun, physics, physics problem db, teaching | 8 Comments

physics talent show

This week will mark what I think is the 10th anniversary of the Hamline University Physics Talent Show. This is held after our Malmstrom Speaker dinner where we host a big name physics researcher who gives a public talk the … Continue reading

Posted in fun, teaching | 3 Comments

Gyroscopic precession

There have been some interesting things on the interwebs, lately, about rotation, gyroscopes, precession, and helicoptors (all of it brought to my attention, or literally done by, Derek Muller of Veritasium fame). It got me thinking about the modeling I’ve done … Continue reading

Posted in fun, math, mathematica, physics, teaching | 9 Comments

unbalanced 20-sided die?

My son recently bought a 20-sided “spin down” die. Here’s a similar one: It’s really useful in the game “Magic The Gathering” because you use it to keep track of your life points. My other son and I, however, were … Continue reading

Posted in fun, mathematica, parenting, physics | 1 Comment

XKCD optics error

Friday’s XKCD comic was about Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon album cover: I just want to pick on the optics part. Mind you, I think the humor is great! So what’s wrong? It looks like the lens would … Continue reading

Posted in fun, physics | 7 Comments

More brute force probability

Last night a tweep of mine posted this: How many ways can I rearrange the letters ABCDEFGH so that no letter is in its original position? What a deceptively simple question!— R. Wright (@r_w_wright) September 01, 2011 I thought about … Continue reading

Posted in fun, math, mathematica, twitter | 14 Comments

Brownie nuts probability

I don’t like nuts. I really don’t like them in brownies. What I want is a way to tell if a particular brownie has nuts in it just by looking at it. That’s what this post is all about. If … Continue reading

Posted in fun, math, physics | 2 Comments