Pesky dishwasher

We’ve had our dishwasher for a couple of years, acquiring it after the one we inherited with the house went out with a bang (and shot sparks the entire length of the kitchen.) It’s a nice dishwasher – that is, it washes dishes nicely, but it’s got an annoying habit that I have just experienced […]

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Coffee cup physics

I’ve noticed that when I get a cup of coffee out of our machine, and walk with it back to my office, the small amount of froth on it can start forming patterns. A stripy one is quite common – I get alternate stripes of froth and no froth – maybe about six stripes in […]

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Thermal expansion

Here’s a nice experiment to carry out on a freezing cold morning. Before driving to work / school / shopping centre / Auntie Betty’s, look under the bonnet of your car and make a note of the level of coolant in the expansion tank. Chances are its fairly low. After you get to work or wherever, […]

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Biomechanics

I might have had a bit of a sarcastic tone in my last entry about kicking football penalties, but we shouldn’t jump to the idea that sport science isn’t proper science. After all, it’s what has given Australia three zillion more gold medals than is warranted by its population. Have a look at the Australian Institute […]

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Slippery ice

First – sorry blogging has slowed down a bit in recent days – busy time at the university having to teach courses and prepare for next semesters courses and get ready for a major conference all at once. So I’ll keep this one short. The wild weather over the last couple of days has brought […]

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Here come the advertisers again

Buried in my junk mail this weekend was a catalogue containing all those gadgets that might come in handy once in a lifetime – you know the sort – solar powered tea strainers and personalised tin-openers – that kind of thing (I must get some to give out as Christmas presents…)  One was a water-powered calculator. I haven’t seen […]

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Waves

It’s amazing what you can see on Google Earth.  Take a look at the sea around the Raglan to Kawhia coastline, for example. You can immediately see why it attracts surfers – on the day the current satellite image was taken, there was a near-perfect set of waves rolling in off the Tasman. There’s a lot of […]

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Seeing underwater

I read a very short news snippet in Tuesday’s NZ Herald that said that a British nuclear submarine had collided with a French counterpart. Admittedly, the source quoted is ‘The Sun’ newspaper in the UK – which is not best known for its accuracy in reporting – but leaving that issue aside, you have got […]

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