The Action Lab Man starts this video by pinning his hand between a large neodymium magnet and a bunch of 1943 steel pennies. He repeats the demonstration with a Stretch Armstrong toy in place of his hand and sharp screws and hardware in place of the pennies. Spoiler alert: Mr. Armstrong does not survive the ordeal. Read the rest
UPDATE 1/22/19 2:27pm:Nathan Phillips, who was participating in the Indigenous Peoples March when he was surrounded by jeering Covington Catholic High School students over the weekend said he is willing to meet with the students. From his statement:
“I have read the statement from Nick Sandmann, the student who stared at me for a long time. He did not apologize, and I believe there are intentional falsehoods in his testimony,” Phillips continued. “But I have faith that human beings can use a moment like this to find a way to gain understanding from one another.”
Phillips expressed appreciation for the statements from the school and the mayor of Covington that mockery and taunting are not representative of the compassion, respect, and other inclusive values they want to teach. “So, let’s create space for the teaching of tolerance to happen,” he said.
Phillips, in collaboration with the Indigenous Peoples March and the Lakota People’s Law Project, is also seeking a meeting with Vatican officials—ideally Pope Francis himself, who has apologized to American Indians for the “grave sins of colonialism”—to discuss what role the Church might be willing to play in reconciling the Catholic community worldwide with Indigenous people.
“We feel that there is a distinct lack of understanding and appreciation of Native peoples and traditions worldwide. It’s time to address the indecency of culturally appropriating our ritual movements and songs for the enjoyment of non-Native peoples,” said Phillips.
UPDATE 1/20/19 7:25pm: Statement of Nick Sandmann, Covington Catholic High School junior, regarding incident at the Lincoln Memorial
The story about an encounter between a group of high schoolers at a March for Life rally and Native Americans at an Indigenous People's March in Washington DC appears to be more complex than what was seen in a three-minute video and from news reports in the Washington Post, CNN, New York Times, and other major news media. Read the rest
Chris Notap used a small, cheap vacuum pump to suck the air out of a variety of plastic containers ranging from bread bags to 55 gallon drums. Read the rest
Somebody put liquid mercury in a balloon, then dropped it on the ground to see what would happen. Read the rest
GE hosted a contest to make super-short science videos for Vine and the results feature some really clever, nifty little clips. Read the rest
In this video from Grenoble, France, two teams of people attempt to separate the halves of a metal ball. Spoiler: The ball wins.
There are no magnets involved, nor are the two sides of the ball locked to each other with any physical device. Instead, what you see here is a classic, hands-on physics demonstration that's been a crowd-pleasing favorite since 1654.
Magdeburg Hemispheres is the fancy name for the two halves of a hollow metal ball that you see in this video. You hold them together, hook them up to an pump, and suck out all the air from the cavity in between. What you're left with is a vacuum ... and a great way to show people the power of atmospheric pressure. At Skulls in the Stars, Greg Gbur explains:
All objects within the atmosphere are under constant bombardment from air molecules traveling every which way; this atmospheric pressure is not noticeable to us because our bodies have an internal pressure that matches and balances it.
When the hemispheres are first placed together, the air pressure within them balances the air pressure outside, and they are easily pulled apart. When air is removed from the interior of the hemispheres, however, there is no longer any force pushing outward: the atmospheric pressure outside dominates, pushing the hemispheres together and keeping them from being separated.
In the original Magdeburg Hemispheres demonstration, teams of horses couldn't separate the vacuum sealed ball.
Read more about the history and science of the Magdeburg Hemispheres at the Skulls in the Stars blog. Read the rest
Astronaut Don Pettit is a national treasure. He's been to space three times—once for a six-month stay on the ISS. On every mission, he's found time to make huge contributions to the public communication of science, including making a series of amazing "Science Saturday" videos and inventing (from spare parts he found lying around the ISS) a system to help the space station take clearer, sharper pictures of the Earth at night.
Pettit went to space with an international crew in December 2011 and is currently in space. This new video—where he demonstrates the way a small electric charge can manipulate the behavior of water droplets in microgravity—is a great addition to his oeuvre!
Thanks for Submitterating, James!
Invention of the space-coffee-cup
Saturday Morning Science Experiment: Gravity Is For Suckers
Saturday Morning Science Experiment: Gyroscopes in space
HOWTO Drink Coffee in Space (video demo)
Astronaut in Antarctica to conduct fun experiments for the public
Soap bubbles in space: cool online experiment logs from the ISS
Astronaut describes what space smells like
Five questions with astronaut Rex Walheim Read the rest