Posts Tagged ‘Science’

And I Still Smell Faintly Of Our Fuel To Prove It

December 24, 2021

By popular demand, we had another series of launches (some successful, some not) of our vinegar and baking soda powered rocket in honor of the scheduled launch of the James Webb Space Telescope tomorrow.

May This Be A Favorable Omen For Things To Come

December 17, 2021

Today in honor of winter break and the upcoming launch of the James Webb Space Telescope, we did a little launch of our own using a vinegar and baking soda powered rocket. Conditions were favorable, and the rocket was kind enough to give me just enough time to remove my hand before launching. (Thereby demonstrating the importance of our pre-launch safety preparations in the process.)

When You’re Right, You’re Right, Son (Albeit For The Wrong Reason In This Case)

November 12, 2021

Today my son and I did several impromptu (but safely controlled) experiments with fire. Most notably, we discussed how wax provides the fuel in a burning candle, and we showed how a piece of twine is quickly consumed by fire when the twine itself is the only fuel.

My son’s reaction: “It’s a good thing my mom isn’t here while we’re doing this!” (Thinking that she might “freak out.”)

His mother’s reaction upon hearing of our experiments: “If I’d been here, I’d have soaked the twine in alcohol and shown how much faster the twine burns!”

Proof That A True Scientist Must Be Patient

November 8, 2021

Today I told my son about the University of Queensland’s pitch drop experiment, recorded in Guinness World Records as the world’s longest continuously running laboratory experiment. Started in 1927 to demonstrate that some apparent solids are actually highly viscous fluids, the seemingly solid pitch has to date produced nine drops since the start of the experiment. I read somewhere, but couldn’t find confirmation in the limited time I have today, that no one has yet to be physically present to see the moment when a drop actually falls (in one case due to an ill-timed trip to get a cup of coffee), but it has been recorded on video.

I’m only giving the short form here, but more information is out there, and if you want to check out the live feed of the experiment in progress . . . there might be something wrong with you, but if so, there’s something wrong with me too because it’s still running in another window on my computer right now and not just because I was saving the link so I could write this entry.

It’s Something To Keep In Mind

October 11, 2021

Now I consider this a touchstone, not a truism, but a phrase my son has heard from me a lot lately in our science discussions is, “If it’s not testable, it’s opinion.”

What Did You THINK I Meant?

October 12, 2017

“Right,” I said out loud this morning.  “Time to get the tape and the coconut oil.”

It was at this point I became aware of questioning adult eyes upon me.

“They’re needed for a science project demonstrating why spiders don’t get stuck to their own webs,” I clarified with a chuckle.

And A Penalty Flag To “Modern” Arrogance

July 8, 2014

Yesterday I read an article about recent research showing that the right amount of water added to sand makes it easier to slide things, a little fact that could be important if you happened to be in the habit of building large stone structures in the desert. Since this is such a useful thing to know, you’d think the Ancient Egyptians would have recorded it somewhere.

Guess what? They did. (If you follow the link, note the guy pouring the water in front of the big statue on the sledge.)

So why didn’t anybody really notice this before?

Well . . . it was noticed, but it was dismissed by modern scholars as some sort of ritual action with no other significance.

Score to the Ancient Egyptian engineers on this one.