# ZZ's Blog

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## Water Skiing

Like many other students, I am looking forward to summer. One activity many people enjoy is water skiing! Water skiing has a lot of physics involved. The basics are essentially based on angles and gravity. When you get up from the start, your ski must be at a certain angle so that the water pushes down on the ski, creating a downward force that enables you to stand up (otherwise you'll just fall flat on your face). Once the forces up from the water and down on the ski are equal, you're set for t

## Tis' the season

Greetings Comrades, Fall has many seasonal activities that come with it. One of these that I find rather unpleasant is raking/blowing leaves, due to its apparent futile nature. This past weekend, since my dad purchased another leaf blower, we were both able to use one and cut the time in half nearly to do our house's leaves. However, using a leaf blower can be frustrating due to the forces of air resistance and wind, which take away a substantial amount of kinetic energy from the leaves.

Most people have played with a slinky before, it goes down as one of the most classic yet simple toys of all time probably. My dad told me the other day about it being the 70th anniversary of the slinky being up for public sale. The story goes, the inventor - Richard James - thought of the idea when he was using springs to create instruments to stabilize boats in rough seas. While doing this he accidentally knocked a spring off of a shelf and watched as it fell down the stairs in a graceful mann

## The Element of Curve Explained

There is a video from awhile back that always makes me think about how good some soccer players really are. One skill that I believe exhibits complete mastery is curving or "bending" a soccer ball from a stationary free kick (at rest). Obviously this is not just some weird thing that happens, there must be a reason that physics can explain behind it. Upon further research there is; it is called the "Magnus Effect." This is done when either a clockwise or counter-clockwise spin is imparted on the

## The Black Mamba jumps a pit of snakes

Kobe Bryant just retired after 20 years at the Lakers. As a player straight from high school into the NBA he has set many records and is arguably one of the best basketball players of all time. One thing that him and other basketball players are known for is his jumping (which might not be as good as it was 10 years ago). I figured this would be as good a time as ever to analyze his jumping skills in two videos - one of him jumping a pit of snakes and dunking a ball, and of him jumping over a ca

## The Big Race

Just yesterday in class it seemed everyone had a good time racing some cans that they though would go the fastest. However, there were a few unexpected victors in the bracket as we saw the two walk-ons: Orange Gatorade and Mr. Temple's water bottle reach the finals, with the Orange Gatorade getting the dub in 3 matches. Why was this? In general, we know that the higher the mass and radius of the can, the faster it will go (i.e. its Moment of Inertia). We know the moment of inertia of a cyli

## The art of being a goalkeeper

Yesterday I was watching soccer on TV and saw Ronaldo notch a hat trick...yet again. However, I rather began to ponder the physics behind being a goalkeeper to stop shots - maybe not as perfect as Cristiano Ronaldo's. Physics can separate the good from the great goalkeepers. Here are some factors in being a good goalkeeper: 1. Momentum- A goalkeeper must have his/her weight shifted forward, standing on their toes. When a shot comes, the goalkeeper will try to save the ball while moving

## Take a Trip Once

It has come to my attention that the lunches I bring to school each day are fabled to be one of the best around. This however does not simply just happen. It requires an extensive shopping trip to none other than the Irondequoit Wegmans to collect everything I might need to keep me focused during the day. I'm not going to describe all of the food I get because that would be weird and unecessary, however there is one aspect of my journey in getting the food to my house that I had never really pon

## Stuck in a "Pickle"

Recently I've had a little bit of a pickle fetish. However, one of the things that is inevitable for us regular pickle-eaters is the difficulty in taking of the lid of the jar. One tip I have is to run the jar under hot water. This way the lid will become easier to turn. This is because metal has a higher coefficient of expansion than glass does. Thus, as the jar stays under the hot water, the metal expands a tiny bit, and the glass stays the same (I also find it easier to use my left hand

## Spitballs

So the other day at lunch when a couple of us were spitballing ideas for blogs, I figured what's better topic than spitballing itself. To test the physics of this I took a straw from the lunchroom and a smaller one from a different chocolate milk container of mine, with a similar radius. I blew projectiles (not at anyone) and found that the larger straw sent them further and faster than the shorter one. This is most likely because the longer the force I exerted on the spitball was, the larger th

## Slingshots

Something I used to love using as a kid was a slingshot. It's so fascinating that a mechanism as simple as one of these can shoot something so fast. I thought I'd go through some of the physics behind this. As the elastic band is stretched, the potential energy stored is similar to that of a spring. However, the longer you take to aim the slingshot, the more potential energy you lose due to heat loss (aim fast!). If you happen to be making your own slingshot you would think that using a thi

## Sledding

Since we finally have snow and I plan on going out sledding to maintain some sort of sanity through midterm week, I thought I'd go over some of the basic physics involved.  In a way it's kind of like those ramp problems that we've seen far too many times with a block sliding down it. I usually enjoy building a jump about 3/4 of the way down the hill, where I will have reached a high velocity. This allows me the greatest X and Y displacement which I could indeed calculate if I measured how f

## Rear Ending Someone

I realize that when someone refers to a vague scenario about a "friend" who did something, people often jump to conclusions and assume they are sharing an embarrassing personal anecdote. However that does not apply at all here. Recently, I was in a little fender bender with one of my friends (his/her identity remaining undisclosed) and it was unfortunately a rear end collision. I'm not sure if I could've been in a scenario that screamed momentum any more that this one. If we treat this like

## Pizza Tossing

Pizza tossing is something that looks absurd at first - throwing dough into the air and spinning it around like a basketball on your finger. As it clearly takes a lot of skill, it also possesses several aspects about physics. Most obviously the pizza is given a centripetal acceleration of v^2/r and a force of mv^2/r and it can be treated as an object in uniform circular motion. The most  ideal motion for a single toss is a spiral trajectory. When this dough is at rest the tosser must apply

## Ping Pong Physics

This past Halloweekend, I enjoyed playing a game of ping pong (or table tennis for you nomenclature inclined folks) with one of my fellow compadres, despite the result not ending in my favor. While some might dispute my strategies, claiming them as "unorthodox," I consider them successful for the most part and would definitely employ them to any worthy challenger. However, I will just do a basic overview on the physics that came to mind the other day when I was playing.  First and foremost,

## Physics of FIFA

Like Nate Charles, I too enjoy the game of FIFA that Electronic Arts puts out every year. As a soccer player, I'm not quite sure how much of it translates into real life, as many of the players are capable of things they can only wish to do in real life. While fidgeting the other day I managed to score a goal with Cristiano Ronaldo, one of the most famous soccer players, from 42 yards away. If you know anything about soccer, you'd be pretty impressed as most goals are scored inside 18 yards. I d

## My Lack of Basketball Skills Explained

Tonight our CYO basketball team had its first practice and it looks like this year we'll be a force to be reckoned with amongst the other schools in our vicinity. However, I'm not sure if I can claim any part of this team's skill. I may account for 1/100 of our team's entire skill. In order to make myself feel better, I can explain why this is so using some fairly simple physics. Some undesirable facets of my game include: My layups I have a tendency to miss shots that some might consi

## Mousetrap

The other day I went to do my weekly chores, one of which was picking up and setting new mouse traps if needed. It turns out that today was an unlucky day for a certain rodent. I grabbed myself a new mousetrap after cleaning up the carnage from before, and began to set it. Now that I've set many before it does not seem too hard anymore, but it still requires a lot of care when handling one, since it could seriously injure an appendage if set off accidentally. I thought about it and realized that

## Leaf Blowing (Pt. 2 - C.O.G.)

In my last post I discussed the physics of leaf blowing, in the theme of the fall season we are experiencing currently. This weekend, while I continued the struggle of doing leaves at our foliage ridden house, I had to blow off the roof and clean the gutters using the leaf blower. While I'm not afraid of heights like some people are, I do realize the danger of being 20-30ft above the ground on a surface sloped toward my certain demise. In addition to the force I feel down the slope, which w

## Kobe Jumps a car

In my previous blog I discussed the physics behind Kobe jumping a pit of snakes, which I believe is legitimate (or at least physically possible). Now I'd like to discuss another instance of Kobe's famous athleticism: him jumping over a car moving towards him. This one seems fake to me in theory because the consequences of the stunt are too much to warrant him doing it. However, I still think it'd be cool to think about the physics of it. This one is definitely faked. If you were t

## How to Bowl a 300

Not too long ago, over Christmas/Hannukah break, I decided to go out with a few friends and their significant others to go bowling. I went into this experience with extensive Wii bowling experience, however I hadn't touched an actual alley for about a year - the formula for success.  It has come to my attention that I might have been our team's downfall (we played in collective teams of 3). As I gave my ball of inertia (2/5 MR^2) an impulse to send it down a low friction alley for (hopefull

## Do you wanna curl a "snowman"?

Recently my social interactions led me to watching an invigorating game of men strategically sliding stones of inertia 0.5MR^2 on an iced lane with a low coefficient of friction: Curling. It's probably a sport that most of us in New York have not tried since it's not very mainstream. However, I may have to consider making a guest appearance at the most prestigious Rochester Curling Club. Watching this sport on television led me ponder the physics behind it. Curling may be the only sport whe

## Do you wanna curl a "snowman"?

Recently my social interactions led me to watching an invigorating game of men strategically sliding stones of inertia 0.5MR^2 on an iced lane with a low coefficient of friction: Curling. It's probably a sport that most of us in New York have not tried since it's not very mainstream. However, I may have to consider making a guest appearance at the most prestigious Rochester Curling Club. Watching this sport on television led me ponder the physics behind it. Curling may be the only sport whe

## Crazy Magnets

Recently while fishing for some blog-worthy material I stumbled upon one of my favorite youtube channels that posts cool videos on all sorts of sciency stuff. Since magnetism is not the most heated of debates amongst us students for some odd reason, I figured a video on magnetism might spice things up a bit for me. I learned about a whole new type of manufactured magnet that I thought would look really interesting to a technology guy like me.  Now we all know about magnets, right? One end i

## Breaking Down Doors

Recently I was catching up on watching The Big Bang Theory. While the show rarely actual physics aside from the main character, Sheldon Cooper, I did witness something the other day that I thought might be a good topic to research. In the show, one of the characters, Howard Wolowitz's, mother fainted in the bathroom after receiving some bad news, and he had to break down the door, and he had to break down the door to get her to the hospital. His approach: run at the door full speed, shoulder fir

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