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Qwayway

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  1. Computers are good at math, right? So it follows that video games should be able to do plenty of physics calculations while you run around shooting zombies and stuff, right? Well, the thing is, they have to do a lot of calculations - and they have to do them really, really fast. Take, for example, some game based on a large map, with somewhere around a hundred players, all trying to shoot each other to death. Handled naively, every time a player shoots, the game would have to continuously test if the bullet is intersecting any player on the whole map at any given point along its path. And even
  2. Electricity is cool. Electricity travelling through air is cooler. Well, it looks cooler at least. It's actually really hot. Jacob's Ladders are neat little devices that send a roughly-horizontal electrical arc travelling upward between two electrodes. Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spark_gap#Visual_entertainment This is a long exposure picture of a Jacob's Ladder - there's actually only one arc at any given time. The mechanism behind the ladder effect is actually pretty simple. When the arc initially forms, it heats the air up quite a bit, as is evident from t
  3. Pendulums seem fairly simple, right? You take some mass, you take some string, throw them in a gravitational field, and bam! It goes back an forth, back and forth, back and forth. Without any kinds of friction, this will continue forever! But, what if you take a pendulum, and then stick a pendulum on the end of that pendulum? Well basically, things get incredibly more complicated. For a single pendulum, especially one that has a small angle of oscillation, you can predict exactly where it will be in its cycle virtually infinitely far into the future. However for even a double pendulum, th
  4. Cheetahs. They're pretty fast, right? There's no way a human could ever catch one, right? Wrong. Humans are evidently not the fastest creatures to roam this planet, but we are pretty good at getting anywhere we want to be, no matter how long it takes us to get there. Many creatures rely on hind legs to thrust them forward - have you ever noticed how a cat's or a dog's back legs are practically springs? They push themselves forward, accelerating incredibly rapidly, but at the expense of quite a bit of energy - and all that muscle movement in the abdomen can make it difficult to breathe eff
  5. Magnets. They're pretty cool. If you connect a magnet to some thin cone, and run just the right currents through a wire somewhere in the mix, you can even get them to make weird noises. And that's what we call a speaker! But, for an class of Physics C students, that's probably fairly common knowledge, right? After all, I'm sure we've all seen the speaker contraption floating somewhere around the room. But wait - there's more! As a matter of fact, some speakers and headphones (and microphones for that matter) don't actually use magnets to make their funny sounds! "What?! How can you make s
  6. Yeah, he was a pretty cool dude. Shame he couldn't be alive now, now that we have so much amazing technology to study the universe with. At least he left a huge mark on the world. Who knows where we'd be if Newton wasn't so curious. Probably not taking Physics C. :P
  7. So, in economics, we read this thing about someone who took all the mints from a restaurant cashier. He was subtle at first, but eventually he just shoved them all in his pocket and left. So that was pretty funny, I'd like to dare one of my friends to try it some time. So I just finished that, and then I remembered I had to do a blog post (whoa, bye fourth wall), and it got me thinking about something I learned not to long ago. It's about napkin rings - more technically, spherical rings. I thought about them because, well, mints are toruses, as are napkin rings. That's about it. A n
  8. Video 1: A ) Learning is fast Knowledge is composed of isolated facts Being good at a subject is a matter of inborn talent I'm really good at multi-tasking (I, personally, suck at multitasking) B ) The one that resonates the most with me, is that I do often think learning is fast. Although, I have come to terms with the fact that it's not as fast as I think it is. In reality, it's more that I wish learning was fast, but I know it really isn't. As for the other three, I know knowledge is an interconnected web of ideas and understanding, I know that strength
  9. Yeah, I'm definitely with you on the procrastination bit. It's quite a bad habit of mine. Although, I really think this class will be interesting enough to keep me on track, I hope it's the same way for you!
  10. I'd like to think I'm a pretty cool dude. Okay, maybe not. I'm maybe, like, slightly below-average coolness. That's okay though. I am a nerd, after all: I like math and science (why else would I be in Physics C?), and I'm really good at both of them too. Most of the time. I also really like video games. I'm about average at those. Maybe a tad bit better than average. I'm taking Physics because, well, I like math and science, and I'd like a challenge this year. I also really like the discover and learn about things that I've never seen, and might never see, like galaxies billions of light
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