What’s that buzzing?

(Amended to correct major factual blunder – whoops – and more details added from original post of earlier today). I was fascinated to read in the Herald this morning about the anti-teenager sounds that are being used to deter graffiti artists. High-pitched sounds that only the young can hear are being used to deter people […]

Continue reading

Fishics

Eco-systems are of course very complex things – the success of one species is linked to the success of another, which is linked to another, and all of which are linked to outside factors such as climate etc etc.  Now there is direct evidence of another degree of complexity in the ocean eco-system, namely that […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading

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, […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading

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 […]

Continue reading