July 4th Weekend Roundup!

Happy Independence Day everyone!

Jacob here, filling in for Ryan as he flies back and forth across the country, trying to decide if he wants to go to graduate school or become a homeless hippy on the streets of Santa Cruz.

If you get bored during your long weekend and/or visits with family, here are some links from the PaleoPals to keep you occupied.


Last week it was jet packs, this week it’s flying cars. Forget the Joneses, time to keep up with the Jetsons.

Acid Queen:

Adopt a Microbe from the Deep Biosphere!
The project in a nutshell: Adopt a microbe from the deep biosphere. Get to know your microbe through exciting weekly activities. Submit your weekly projects online to qualify to win one of our fabulous prizes! http://sites.google.com/site/adoptamicrobe/


I decided to search for the physics of Nunchucks. They’re kind of interesting. they amass a lot of speed through the conservation of angular momentum. so, with a little trickery, they can be moved in clever, counterintuitive ways, like the small arm of a double-pendulum. also, they should precess.

anyway, this is the only relevant link i found: http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/index.php/t-244793.html

and it degenerates pretty quickly into people debating katanas and viking axes pretty quickly. also, no one really talks about the physics of the nunchucks. it almost might be worth learning to use them so that i can write about them :p
[Note from AcidQueen: “I broke my wrist with some nunchucks once… be careful.”]


Fiberglass Origami!
In the world of Aerospace Structures, a good 75% of what we build is made from flat sheets of metal (or fiberglass or carbon) that we bend, layup, bond, etc… into the shapes that we want for our design.
Well, MIT scientists have discovered a way to make the material shape itself.  By connecting the edges with a special piezoelectric “tape”, the material can fold itself up when a current is applied.  Check out the video at http://arstechnica.com/science/news/2010/07/programmable-matter-can-fold-itself-into-various-shapes.ars


In 1962 the US of A launched a thor rocket with an H-bomb 250 miles up into the atmosphere, that is, into space. They launched it a night and created a stunning light show. Yeah Nukes.

Have a good holiday everyone!

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