This week’s challenge is all about things you admire, so I decided on something a little less..conventional. Do not adjust your set; that is a realhuman brain, preserved in epoxy and currently on display at the Exploratorium. Take step back and consider all that a human brain does. Controlling your body’s functions, from the senses and sleep to memories and sheer, raw emotion. Keeping you breathing and balanced. Reading this sentence and processing the little squiggles into letters and words, and thus their meaning. A complex organic machine connected via trillions of synapses. For all the dangers out there, it’s allowed us to become the dominant species on the planet. We survive, thrive, create, accomplish, and it’s all because these little clumps of matter are developed just enough to make it happen. Yeah, it’s worth admiration. A larger version is viewable here.
This week’s challenge is all about forces of nature, so I thought I’d post something about light and its effects of animals. Here’s another Exploratorium exhibit. Basically, zooplankton can distinguish different colors of light. In the ocean, it helps them swim toward the surface, where their food is located. Blue and green lights shine deeper in the water than the other colors, hence why the plankton are attracted to these ones; they think the sun is shining through the water, and that they’re entering the photic zone for a meal. Large version available here.
Do not adjust your set; that really is a wave suspended in a kind of glass! One of the exhibits at the Exploratorium, the Confused Sea shows how the wind affects the motion of the ocean. You can change the speed and direction of air, thus creating some choppy water!
This week’s photo challenge calls for something blurry. I recalled something I saw at the Exploratorium on Pi Day: People could take large metal rings and spin them on a curved table. As a result of the altered surface (thus influencing the balance and center of mass), the spinning ring maintained its energy for much longer than it would have on a flat surface. Having a bright light made this physics exhibit a little more stylish. Since this is for a photo challenge, here’s a single shot of the ring in motion:
Hey, wait a minute! That’s not the Golden Gate Bridge! It’s the wrong color, it’s too small, and it’s on the wrong side of Coit Tower. What devilry is this? Yeah, this awesome little replica is on display at the Exploratorium.
A little something I came across during Pi Day. One of the optical effects exhibits at the Exploratorium features toy robots, mirrors, and a spinning table. You wish your old flip books were this cool.
I spent Pi Day 2015 at the Exploratorium, which is pretty much the place to celebrate. The Exploratorium is always awesome, but there’s something special about seeing all these people turn out for the occasion. The line to get in was ridiculous (I’m used to just walking inside) but it was far less tedious thanks to the Pi Progression. Each person was given a yardstick with a number; then put in the order of pi’s never-ending digits. It’s impossible to have a full progression – there aren’t enough people on Earth – but these folks made a valiant effort. I wanted take part as well, but they were out of yardsticks by the time I got there. At least I got to record it all. Guess I’ll have to wait for next year…
I took this one a while back during a street fair at the Exploratorium. It’s a reasonably close-up look at a large Newton’s cradle. You know, that little ball/pendulum thingy you sometimes see on office desks? It’s really a demonstration of the conservation of momentum and energy on a smaller, hands-on scale. Physics is cool like that. As for the photo, it doesn’t really fit into any category, so I thought it’d be perfect for this week’s Odd Ball Photo Challenge.