Sunday, November 30, 2014

FCP stories for December 2014

December 2014 stories at FCP: (1) Do you need a gift idea? Here is musical wineglass with the required fill levels marked on the side for several of the musical notes. I use stout in my glass and then rub the rim with a wet finger. Lovely. (And the music is good too.) (2) Upward streamers in an electric storm is a little-known way that someone can die, more likely that a direct hit by lightning. (3) Floaters in your eye --- those little spots that float around in your field of view. (4) Techniques for standing or walking in a strong, gusty wind --- they work sometimes but frequently fail in amusing ways.

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Saturday, November 01, 2014

FCP stories for November 2014

November 2014 stories at the FCP main site: (1) The traditional physics demonstration of a ball moving through a vertical loop-the-loop has graduated to real-life examples involving waterslides, motorcycles, skateboards, and cars. It has now been done by someone simply running into the loop! (2) The hula hoop toy has also graduated into beautiful dance routines and not-so-beautiful hooping with a heavy truck tire. (3) Some materials become semitransparent when wet, which has now been employed in children’s coloring books. My granddaughter Olive is using one in the photo. (4) Pub trick: somehow getting a spoon into a mug without picking either up.
main FCP site

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

October at the main FCP site

October stories at the main FCP site: (1) As a World Series game was to begin in 1989 in Oakland, seismic waves hit the area. Part of the Nimitz Freeway collapsed, with an upper deck falling onto a lower deck. But the rest of the freeway did not collapse even though the design was similar. What happened? (2) Pub trick: several more ways of opening a wine bottle without a corkscrew. You know, when you suddenly need a drink while trapped in a hotel room after the hotel bar has closed. (3) The physics that explains the warmth in a greenhouse also explains why children die when left in a closed car in sunlight. While I was writing this story, CNN published yet another story about a child left in a closed car. (4) Friction welding, in which two metal surfaces are rubbed together hard enough to melt the surfaces, so as to form a bond between them when they then cool. Main FCP site

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Tuesday, September 02, 2014

Sep 2014 stories at the FCP site

September 2014 stories at the main FCP site: (1) Physics for the first date --- wintergreen flashes. (2) A new record for a deadlift power lifting, but an astounding old lifting record still stands. (3) Pub trick --- a mathematical way to fix a wobbly pub table. (4) When you heat a room, the total energy of the air does not change. So, why then do you feel warmer? ALSO: I have greatly expanded the index at the FCP site. The red links take you to stories at the web site. The blue links take you to the references and Youtube sites for the stories in the paper book. You will find links for individual terms but also for collections of related items, such “Pub physics,” “Accidents,” “Art,” and “Closet, physics to do in a.” (Well, I am still working on that one --- I like closets. The motto for FCP is that “Physics is everywhere,” including closets.)
main FCP site

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

FCP stories for August 2014

The August stories at the main FCP site: (1) cow tipping, real or fictitious? Here you see Sheldon arguing that it is fictitious and, as you know, he is right about everything. (2) Crooke's radiometer --- does it rotate because of pressure from light or because of a thermo effect? (3) The ouzo effect, in which water added to ouzo dramatically transforms the alcoholic liquid from being transparent to being milky white. (4) Shooting a rifle bullet into a wood block --- a very popular video skillfully lures us into a violation of the law of conservation of energy.FCP main site

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Tuesday, July 01, 2014

July 2014 stories at the main FCP site

The July stories at FCP: (1) The physics of surfing and avoiding a wipeout. (2) Take off your glasses or contacts and look through a small opening in order to read clearly. (3) Pole climbing, both the standard way used to repair overhead lines and a novel way to get up a palm tree. (4) Pub trick --- set a matchstick on fire and watch it leap upwards.
FCP main site

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Monday, June 02, 2014

FCP stories for June 2014

June stories at FCP: (1) If a slice of toast slides off a table, why does it always end up jelly-side down? (2) On a traditional roller coaster, which gives a more frightening ride, the first car or the last car? I do a calculation to get the answer. (3) The church Saint-Sulpice in Paris has an obelisk and a long brass strip to mark a meridian. A spot of light passes over the meridian at solar noon each day, and through the year, the passage point moves along the obelisk or along the strip. (4) In the pub, how can you tell if the eggs on the counter are fresh or hard-boiled?

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