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 | 11 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