popular science

Dropping Science: What Would Happen if You Fired a Gun in Space?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYf6av21x5c&w=853&h=480]


Two of our favourite youtube channels are vsauce and minutephysics so when those two channels team up to give us a pair of videos about shooting guns at space and digging holes through the earth, we take notice. I’ve only thrown up the first video because you can jump directly to the next one by clicking the link at the end unless of course you’re viewing on an ipad in which case the second video is here. Either way you’re about to get enough physics trivia to keep your drinking buddies enthralled for the rest of the month. You’ll also learn how to go about destroying the sun and ending all life on earth so if you’re a super villain or trouble youth with access to several solar masses of water, please don’t watch it.


Dropping Science: The Science of Spider-man

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o40wD7Nf9oY&w=853&h=480]

Spidy fans are enjoying the brief window of press time for their favourite wall crawler before everything goes a bit Gotham and science is never one to miss out on a good party. In their latest video ASAP Science are looking at the actual science behind Peter Parker’s crazy powers.

Amazing stuff.


Dropping Science: 121-Megapixel Earth

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6twFHqJ03_k&w=853&h=480]


I just got back from the Eagle Awards. I’ll write a proper report up about it at a later date but for now it should suffice to say that they were a lot of fun and there was a lot of free beer. With that in mind, I’ll refrain from going into anything too complex on this week’s DS.

Here is a super high res image of our planet looking all sexy and stuff. That’s pretty much all you need to know about it other than it’s Russian.

Yeah, science.


Dropping Science: What Would Happen If You Put Your Hand Into The Large Hadron Collider?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVefgfmFg9o&w=853&h=480]

Scientists generally don’t like being asked silly questions, so when the guys from Sixty Symbols asked several scientists what would happen if you stuck your hand into the beam of the Large Hadron Collider, they were given pretty short shrift. Most of us would have simply left it there, however the Sixty Symbols guys are not most of us and so they travelled to CERN to ask the people behind the LHC what they thought would happen. Turns out that the CERN scientists were more than happy to chat about crazy theoreticals. I imagine that’s why they work at a giant super collider beneath Switzerland.

In case you’re wondering, putting your hand in the LHC would be a bad idea.


Top 5: Dropping Science

I started Dropping Science back in April as a way of sharing science & space stories that were of interest to me. As you might imagine for someone who writes a comic about the Moon, science is a pretty big part of my writing process and it seemed like it would be cool to share some of that stuff with fans of the book. 8 months on and it’s become one of my favourite parts of the whole site. I spend hours some weeks, scouring the net for interesting stuff to post here and in doing so I’ve discovered some amazing vidoes. Some are crazy, some are inspiring but they’re all a tonne of fun to watch. So without further delay, on to my top 5 Dropping Science posts of 2011:

5. The Ghost Rocket

This video is a short documentary by Coffee and Celluloid Productions which tells the story of Florida’s short lived space program. During the space race a company called Aerojet-General built the world’s largest solid fuel rocket at a facility deep in the Everglades. The rocket was intended for the Apollo program but Aerojet lost the contract and the base has just sat quietly rusting away in the swap ever since.

4. How Much Does The Internet Weigh?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaUzu-iksi8&w=853&h=480]

 has fast become one of my favourite stops for zaney science facts. In this video, Michael walks us through one of the great questions of humanity…just how much do all those cat videos weigh?

3. The Physics Of My Little Pony

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muVfidujxRg&w=853&h=480]

While a lot of the science covered on DS is about astronomy, we do occasionally like to branch out into other fields of science such as magical flying ponies. Physics student, Stephen Magnet put together this presentation for his class, in which he examines just how faithful to the laws of physics those damn ponies are. He became my new hero overnight.

2. Time Lapse Video of the Milky Way

I have a bit of a habit on Dropping Science of being sidetracked by pretty timelapse videos of the night sky. These films don’t necessarily teach us anything new about our galaxy but as an inspirational tool I think they more than earn their place among the other offerings. This video by the incredibly talented Terje Sorgjerd was the first such film that I came across and it remains my favourite.

1. The Pale Blue Dot

This is the video that made me want to start Dropping Science in the first place, so I think it’s only fair that it takes then number 1 spot here. Adam Winnik‘s gorgeous animation accompanying the timeless words of Carl Sagan. I still get goosebumps when I watch it.

Dropping Science runs every Saturday here at Beyond The Bunker. You can find the full archive by clicking here