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Popular Science

edited February 2012 in Science
Science is awesome. Science is what advances human society. It gives us the ability to understand the world around us. Unfortunately, for a lot of people science is also very boring. Thus, I welcome every effort to make science more interesting to common folk.

And thus this thread. Post videos, articles, books, documentaries, etc. which portray science both accurately and entertainingly.

Two YouTube series I love in that regard are the Periodic Table of Videos, and Sixty Symbols, which both are produced by the University of Nottingham and its Chemistry and Physics departments respectively.

A new one I was made aware of through the Things of the Day thread here was Crash Course, which also seems awesome.


  • Or in reverse:
    What is this nonsense? Most movies coming out in 3D have alternative showings in 2D, so why would you pay for these glasses and then buy a more expensive movie ticket? Unless, of course, it's a situation like the creator describes, in which only one member of the party has a serious problem with 3D. But that's not what this little comic illustrates:


    In short: these are dumb but I also think they are cool so maybe I will buy a pair because I'm a hypocrite.

    Also, here's a fun 1-star review of them on Amazon:
    Stopped me from getting laid. Last week i had a date with a girl, i took her to starbucks and i wore these glasses. When I reached up her skirt to comfort her, she slapped me on my face. I want a refund.
  • I still find it interesting that all appearances are that the people who can't watch 3D movies wtihout getting a headache by and large have undiagnosed vision problems.
  • I still find it interesting that all appearances are that the people who can't watch 3D movies wtihout getting a headache by and large have undiagnosed vision problems.
    Or diagnosed ones. :P
  • I like Minute Physics - they're quite akin to xkcd in video format, just with less humor and more physics teaching. For example:

  • I got this via Minute Physics (thanks for the heads up btw, CCM):

  • I can understand the 2D goggles for the stated purpose on the website of the guy wanting to go see a 3D film with someone else.

    One of the problems I've heard is that, as the stereoscopic 3D is taking control of what is in focus and what isn't, you have to keep your eyes from wanting to look at things in the background, otherwise your eyes will try and focus on it when they can't.
    This can be alleviated through proper direction.

    Only seen Avatar in 3D myself. Kinda wanted to see Drive Angry 3D after listening to the BME podcast about it though.
  • Has there ever been a movie that has been truely ruined by being seen in 2D as opposed to 3D? I've never seen a 3D movie and I've heard that a few movies do supposedly lose something in 2D but I feel like that will mostly be icing on the cake, the cake itself has to be tasty first for the icing to be worthwhile. Citizen Kane's visuals were breathtaking for the time but that's not the reason we keep returning to it, for example.
  • Avatar was showcase for how 3D could be awesome and does lose a bit from being in 2D but that is more of fail for the movie than a win for 3D. I will say that Up was amazing in 3D but that is a great movie regardless.
  • Why 1 is not a prime number:
  • Hm... I might just used that to make a case for my arduino.
  • I will seed this for the rest of my life.
    My wife used to work on a Bill Nye show for Discovery. She claims that on the unedited tapes in her office they had a treasure trove of Christian Bale-style Bill Nye gems such as "who the hell wrote this shit? I'm not reading this." Despite all of my pleading she would never bring a copy hope, so I cannot confirm or share with the world!
  • That was neat.
  • edited July 2012
    Very informative...and amusing.

    Post edited by Reol on
  • edited July 2012
    That guy's voice sounds a lot like Nelson's.
    Post edited by lackofcheese on
  • That guy's voice sounds a lot like Nelson's.
    Or maybe I'm confused. I don't know now :(
  • edited July 2012
    I get where you're coming from. Here is Nelson for reference. Skip to 7:20
    Post edited by Victor Frost on
  • My gawd, I sound like I stayed up till 2AM after a full day of partying at the beach incl. sauna.
  • And yet still the physics flowed. ;^)
  • edited July 2012
    Okay, I have a question for Timo, or somebody else who knows this stuff because I don't, but first the setup: I watched the Demolition Derby special of Mythbusters today. One of the stories Adam and Jamie are looking into is called "Compact Compact" in which a compact car was sandwiched in between two semi-trucks that collided head on. Supposedly the two truck cabs "fused", sealing in the compact car in between them and that this compact car was in between them should go unnoticed by a person who didn't know what exactly happened.

    This is actually re-visit as they already tested this once several years earlier. However, again they didn't succeed as the compact car squeezed out from between the trucks during the collision. And so ramp it up with a rocket sled traveling at the speed of sound. This is the result:

    Now I would have assumed that the car would fold together like an accordion during the impact. However, as you can see in high speed footage, the sleed "eats" the car from front to the back. While the front of the car continuously disappears, the back remains untouched until the sled reaches it.

    Why is that?
    Post edited by chaosof99 on
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