Tuesday, April 01, 2014

April stories at The Flying Circus of Physics site

The April stories at the FCP site: (1) The case of the hospital gurneys that would burst into flames. (Ironically, they were holding burn victims.) (2) Novel ways of opening a beer bottle without the normal bottle opener, involving levers and brute force. (Next month, a novel way of opening a wine bottle without a corkscrew. If you have already seen the video, the challenge is to explain the physics.) (3) The collisions of two ships offers a lesson in torques. (4) Rogue waves are rare freak waves that can break a ship apart. Recently a video-recorded rogue killed a passenger on a cruise linear.
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Monday, March 03, 2014

March 2014 stories at FCP

March stories at FCP: (1) The Robert Boyle scheme for perpetual motion, in which water drains from a container into a tube, rises in the tube to above the container, and then pours back into the container. A video appears to show this. (2) Two amusing and clever examples of using leverage to lift heavy objects --- leverage Russian style. (3) Electrostatic floating of food-bag plastic rings. (4) Pub trick: quick pouring of beer or soda with minimal foam, essential to airplane service.
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Monday, February 03, 2014

Feb 2014 stories at FCP

February 2014 stories at FCP: (1) I watched wine evaporate for several days. Yes, I really did. Nothing interesting should have happened but instead a curious pattern appeared, something that had to do with the polar vortex that so dramatically dropped the outdoor temperature. (2) Cats (and dogs) can become electrically charged, making them very annoyed. (3) Beautiful frost flowers covered my windows during the recent cold spell. (4) Large, rotating disks of ice have been seen in various rivers. How can they form?
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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

January 2014 FCP stories

The January stories at the main FCP site: (1) Peculiar behavior of a magnetic toy. (2) Chimney climbing by rock climbers, spelunkers, and even cats. (3) Person exposed to an almost total vacuum. (4) Pub trick --- how many pins can you put in a full glass of water without spilling any water?  10? 20? How about 1000?
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Sunday, December 01, 2013

December stories at the FCP site


The December stories at the main FCP site: (1) After decades of drinking beer from bottles, I finally noticed a peculiar spotting effect on the underside of the bottle caps, especially visible with dark beer. (2) The blind spots in a car’s mirror can easily hide another car or (as seen in the video) something far more valuable. (3) A visual effect I have never seen previously: the shadow of a hair in sunlight is diffuse and vague but move the hair and the shadow becomes dark and distinct. (4) Water is heavy and when dumped onto a forest fire or other objects must be released carefully. Here is an example where tons of water are suddenly pour out.
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Friday, November 01, 2013

November FCP stories


November stories at the main FCP site: (1) Caught in a snow avalanche, you can avoid being buried by immediately inflating a special balloon that surrounds your head and torso. (2) The Kaye effect, in which a falling stream of shampoo can leap up from the mound it forms on a hard surface, has finally been explained. (3) The sounds of “snap, crackle, and pop” made by Rice Krispies breakfast cereal when milk is poured into the bowl. (4) Pub trick: can you lift a shot glass (containing liquid) with just your palm and without using your fingers?

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Wednesday, October 02, 2013

October stories at the FCP main site

October stories at the main FCP site: (1) At night, an sand scorpion uses waves in the sand to precisely locate a beetle (for lunch). (2) The canal effect, in which the passage of a ship on a waterway can drain an adjoining canal and then rapidly refill it (to the dismay of the fish). (3) If it weren’t for mass dampers, people living or working in tall buildings would have motion sickness every time the wind would blow. (4) Pub trick: grab three table knives and then place three pub glasses at the corners of an isosceles triangle, separated by a distance greater than a knife length. Can you balance the knives on the glasses and then a wine bottle on top of the knives?
www.flyingcircusofphysics.com

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