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KSP For Dummies - Lesson 2: Design Tips

In my previous blog post, I discussed the overall interface you'll be using in Kerbal Space Program. If you don't know what you're doing, I recommend reading that first before continuing on with this post. Before I even start with actual designs of rockets, I'm going to teach you how to build quickly and efficiently. To start, you'll need to place down a part. Keep in mind that the first part you place down is the part you're going to have to build off of. Whenever you pick up this par

Bogart

Bogart

 

KSP for Dummies - Lesson 1: The Interface

I wasn't here at all last week during APs, so I have no idea how well prepared everyone is. The next few blog posts I'm going to make will be some simple lessons on how to play Kerbal Space Program, since I have had... some experience. That's a clip from my steam profile, and although I haven't really played in about a year or so (Ignore the fact that it says "Last Played: Today", I was getting some pictures to use in this post), I still remember how everything works. Mostly.

Bogart

Bogart

 

Siphoning Fluids

If you haven't read my last 2 blog posts, you should. They both directly relate to what I'm talking about in this one. Alternatively, if you have even the slightest understanding of fluid dynamics, you don't need to read my last 2 posts. In reality, if you've never even thought about fluids, you don't need to read my last 2 posts, because this is actually pretty simple, especially when compared to what we've done in class this year. Right now, our goal is to get fluid from one cup

Bogart

Bogart

 

Under Pressure

The system above shows a cylinder with a small diameter (Gutter) connected to a cylinder with a larger diameter (Barrel). The force due to gravity by the liquid in the small cylinder is less than the force due to gravity by the liquid in the larger cylinder, since there's much more liquid in the larger cylinder. Shouldn't this make the liquid in the small cylinder rise, until the forces equal each other out? In reality, no. The fluids in a system always like being at the same height. This m

Bogart

Bogart

 

That Good Ol' Straw Trick

Everybody on the planet probably knows this simple trick. All you do is take a straw, submerge part of it inside of a liquid, cover the top hole of it with your finger, then take it out, and voila! The liquid stays inside of the straw rather than draining out, as gravity intended. But how does it work? It's actually pretty simple, but most people don't really think about it. If you just stop reading for a minute and really just think, you'll figure it out. I didn't just make this

Bogart

Bogart

 

Physics of Vertical Recoil

Last week I made a blog post about how muzzle brakes on a firearm help reduce vertical recoil by venting the pressurized gas horizontally outside the barrel. But that still leaves the question as why vertical recoil still occurs. Obviously it isn't perfect, but human error can't be the only factor to why firing a gun lifts the barrel upwards. Funnily enough, we've actually talked about this in class. It's just a simple torque diagram. Firearms are designed with the grip of the gun plac

Bogart

Bogart

 

What Will a Muzzle Brake Break?

A muzzle brake is a firearm attachment that extends the barrel of the gun. Below is a picture of a muzzle brake. The point of a muzzle brake is to help increase accuracy by reducing vertical recoil when fired. It does this by venting out the gas horizontally in the muzzle brake, rather than letting it spread out in all directions as the bullet exits the barrel. When fired, a large amount of pressurized gas is created within the barrel, and immediately tries to escape, launching a bulle

Bogart

Bogart

 

Recycling Rockets

NASA wanted their space shuttle program to be completely reusable. Sadly, due to budget cuts, only the actual shuttle was reusable, and the boosters were ditched. On the other hand, Space X wanted to save as much money and as many resources as they could. On the right is a picture of Space X's Falcon Heavy rocket, designed to, as the name suggests, lift a large payload into space, and on the plus side, at a much cheaper cost than before. On the left is a clip of the two "small" side bo

Bogart

Bogart

 

The Slow Mo Guys

On the left is Gav. On the right is Dan. They are the Slow Mo Guys. As you can probably tell, they make YouTube videos of stuff in really slow motion, and are probably my favorite YouTube channel to watch. Not only is some of the stuff that they do really cool, but they're also quite entertaining. They're both British, and in the past few months, have sadly not been releasing that much content. But very recently, they revealed that they had teamed up with YouTube, and were given a much more

Bogart

Bogart

 

Viscosity

Let's say that you're at IHOP, and you ordered a nice pancake. Or, if you're one of them, then you ordered a waffle. Despicable. Anyways, when your delicious meal arrives, you reach over for the syrup container, and spread it over your meal. Every time, the syrup will spill out, and slowly spread out, as shown below. Most simpletons would describe the liquid as "thick." A less "thick" liquid, such as water, would rapidly spread, ruining your meal. This property is called, as

Bogart

Bogart

 

Think, People! Think!

Look at this picture, because there is something horribly, horribly wrong with it. See it yet? It isn't the fact that there's a child shooting, and it isn't the fact that she's shooting in a backyard. It's the fact that she's shooting at targets on a fence, with nothing to stop the bullet behind it. There's a house there: Glass could break, and people could get injured. Maybe their television or their car will be destroyed. This picture comes from a tweet of somebody tea

Bogart

Bogart

 

Short PSA: Be Smart Around Firearms

If you look real close, you can see that the shotgun won't function anymore. This is what the muzzle looks like after the shot. Now, if you don't know firearms, that isn't good. At all. And that isn't even mentioning the sharp metal bent backwards, which could stab you in the head if you tried to fire this. THIS is why you don't obstruct a firearm when firing. THIS is just one reason why you clean your gun often. Obstructions can significantly alter aim, or completely destroy a fi

Bogart

Bogart

 

Importance of Weight Distribution

There is one massive issue that I've noticed with this demonstration: that car wouldn't be able to tow anything. If it was an truck, van, or even SUV... It'd depend on the size of the trailer. Anyways, this could be the difference between life and death, especially when you add in malfunctioning parts, bumpy roads, high winds, ice, larger turn radii, and the leading factor of road accidents: bad drivers (I would know, I'm one of them). Whenever you move, there are reasons that you put

Bogart

Bogart

 

Cats: The Ultimate Being

Cats have evolved to be the ultimate being. They have evolved to disprove somebody when they say "Nothing living can do that." Surely you've heard that "cats have 9 lives." Let's take a quick look at the cat. As you can see, this is a cat. Fluffy, adorable, evil little thing. It looks harmless. It looks "cute." You wouldn't want to harm it, and you think it wouldn't harm you. But that's where you're wrong. Those paws have hidden claws in them, and whenever the cat wants, it can take th

Bogart

Bogart

 

The Flat-Earth Theory

"Everybody your entire life has been lying to you: Your parents, your friends, your teachers, and your coworkers. It's time to know the truth: The Earth is actually flat. It has been this whole time, and the government has been lying to you. So why has nobody fallen off of the edge? Well the edge of the Earth is very cold, so all of the water is frozen. We call this Antarctica, and it's so cold that modern technology doesn't work there, so we can't explore it. Every single picture

Bogart

Bogart

 

Gauss Rifle/Coilgun

Who doesn't like magnets and shooting things? Thankfully, a Gauss Rifle includes both! This is a simple demonstration of a Gauss Rifle - it's safe, and provides a great visual of what's happening.  Quick disclaimer: I'm not what most people call a "smart" person, so chances are I don't actually understand what's happening, but I'll explain it best I can (I think it's simple enough that I shouldn't screw it up too badly, though). The setup includes multiple magnets fixed in pl

Bogart

Bogart

 

A Valuable Lesson

Last week, I went on vacation Monday-Thursday, and missed school. Friday, I had no idea what was going on, partly because of my usual lack of sleep, and partly because I was missing most of a very busy week of classes. Why was that week so important you ask? It was the week before midterms, where the classes which only last 1 semester have a sudden rush of work before they end, and it was the end of the quarter, where you suddenly realize you didn't hand in that essay that you should'v

Bogart

Bogart

 

Railguns

Guns have vastly improved since their invention, but typically still use a chemical reaction to produce a rapidly expanding gas that shoot a projectile wherever it's pointed. What's the issue with this? Currently, nothing. They're still some of the best weapons in our arsenal. But in the near future, there could be better alternatives: railguns. A railgun is, as it's called, a gun. The main difference with it is that the force it uses to fire projectiles comes entirely from electricity rath

Bogart

Bogart

 

The Wonders of Time Dilation

Making my last blog post left me bewildered about the wonders of time dilation, so I decided to Google it and make another post. Apparently there's different kinds of time dilation: velocity time dilation, the one I mentioned in my previous post, has to do with the difference in the perception of time relative to something else. The other kind of time dilation is gravitational time dilation, which I'll get into later. Velocity time dilation suggests that objects moving faster in relati

Bogart

Bogart

 

Why We Can't Travel the Speed of Light

I spent a decent amount of time browsing the internet for an answer on why we can't travel the speed of light, and have found many different answers contradicting each other. I'll try my best to explain them. The first explanation I saw began with a reminder of equations: How force is proportional mass. In order to travel faster, you must accelerate an object in order to obtain a higher velocity. The main issue begins when the video I was watching started to explain that the faster you move

Bogart

Bogart

 

Bullet Fired vs Bullet Dropped

Mythbusters, despite its ridiculously corny commentary, was one of my favorite shows. In case you've lived in a cave for the past few decades and don't know what Mythbusters is, I'll explain it to you: Two people, Adam and Jamie, took a bunch of questionable myths or movie stunts and remade them in real life to test and see if they actually work. It was great: explosions, car crashes, gun shots, and more. One of their episodes was testing a myth that has to do with kinematics: They had hear

Bogart

Bogart

 

Momentum and Collisions

Let's say that there's a car parked in the middle of an airfield. It's a decent size for a car, and conveniently, there's a couple big line of cones making a lane directly towards the side of the car. Somebody sees this setup, and decides to hop into their dump truck, and drive quickly down the lane, and into the side of the car. Who wins? The dump truck. Obviously. Why? It has more mass, and therefore more inertia. But it also has more speed, and therefore more momentum. As you s

Bogart

Bogart

 

Units of Energy

You've probably noticed that on the side of your cereal box or milk carton, there's a big table of nutrition facts. In this table, it shows the quantities of vitamins, fat or sodium, but most importantly, it shows how many Calories the food has per serving. You've heard about Calories before, and know that you gain weight if you consume a lot of it, but probably don't know exactly where the measurement comes from. A dietary Calorie is always spelled with a capital "C" while a physics calori

Bogart

Bogart

 

Losing Weight Can Save Lives

So over the weekend, I've been thinking about how much worse my grades have become recently. Long story short, this got me thinking about retarding forces, and a wonderful example to share with you all. Now let's say that there are 2 people sitting in a helicopter with their legs hanging out the side, having some lunch. One of them is ridiculously overweight, let's call him Big Mike, and the other is ridiculously skinny, let's call him Nick. Mike weighs around 300 lbs, which is the equivale

Bogart

Bogart

 

Inertia in Sci-fi

Recently, I've been replaying one of my favorite sci-fi video games, and came across a pretty amusing conversation. For some quick context before I post the video, the game is in the future when humanity has advanced enough to have efficient space travel, allowing them to colonize other planets. They also advanced enough to have giant spaceships with giant guns on them. How fun. In the exact scene in the video, there's a drill sergeant yelling at 2 cadets about firing nuclear-grade armament

Bogart

Bogart

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