LIGO - A Tale of Great And Small

By now everyone has heard of the recent detection of gravitational waves produced by two black holes colliding a billion miles away. By the time those waves reached us here on Earth they moved us (you, me, everything, the entire planet) a tiny fraction of the diameter of a proton. A. Proton. Not a fraction of an atom. A tiny, tiny fraction of a proton.


Prince Rupert's Drop

Prince Rupert's Drop is a piece of glass formed by droping the liquid glass directly into cold water. The resulting piece of glass is highly stressed, so much so that the whole thing eplodes when the delicate tip is broken. At the same time, the larger bulb is extremely strong, able to survive striking by a hammer. Pretty fun physics. Here's a nice video on the subject:

Further details, and the home of the above video is here, and a Wikipedia entry is here.


A bowling ball and a feather walk into a vacuum chamber...

"Physicist Brian Cox of the BBC Two program Human Universe recently visited the world’s largest vacuum chamber at NASA’s Space Power Facility outside of Sandusky, Ohio, to demonstrate the effects of air on falling objects. In the video, a feather and bowling ball are dropped at the same time in normal Earth conditions and after the air has been removed from the room.



Science vs. Religion, and a clever graphic

I heard today there are some 3 billion internet users in the world. I've heard similar numbers before, but when I heard it today I thought: hey! There's only a bit over 2 billion Christians! Maybe Science is winning this thing after all! Particularly when you consider Christ had a nearly 2000 year head start!
But here's really why I'm writing. Pull up this web page:

Asteroid's hit earth regularly

From the B612 Foundation:

Between 2000 and 2013, a network of sensors that monitors Earth around the clock listening for the infrasound signature of nuclear detonations detected 26 explosions on Earth ranging in energy from 1 to 600 kilotons – all caused not by nuclear explosions, but rather by asteroid impacts. These findings were recently released from the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty Organization, which operates the network.


The Bigfoot Prize

Everyone talks about Bigfoot, but nobody ever does anything about them. Until now.

The Olympia Beer, the brewing company is offering a very generous $1,000,000 for "irrefutable evidence" for the existence of Bigfoot. They've set the bar pretty high. You need DNA and visual proof of a live physical body. Basically hair and a photo.

I'll post again if I hear about an award being made. Here's the full story:


The Large Hadron Collider

In the event you haven't heard, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) was fired up yesterday.  The popular press seems to fixate on two things about this experiment: 1) it may tell us something about the origin of the universe and 2) it may tell us something about the end of the universe.

The best comment I've seen in this respect is the website, which consists of a single word:  "NO".