Posted January 31, 2011
This video provides a number of neat ways to think about the total global population, where people are living, and how resources are consumed. While conserving energy is important, disposal of waste and provision of clean drinking water are other significant concerns as the population continues to grow.
Posted January 24, 2011
I remember seeing one of these frogs on my trip to Costa Rica a few years ago, but that one did not have a tadpole on its back, so perhaps it was a female. This video caught my attention as I have been a father for less than a year, and the variations on animal "parenting" in nature fascinate me.
Posted January 17, 2011
It is the first month of the year, so let's look at the first element on the periodic table. The most abundant element in the universe, hydrogen is also the simplest, with just one proton and one electron. It also makes a spectacular fireball when you light it (safely, of course).
Posted January 10, 2011
The physics of a counterweight is the reason I selected this video, though the image of a "flying" steamroller is pretty cool, too. The counterweights opposite the steamroller mean that the hydraulic system does not have to provide as much force to lift it, just as counterweights in an elevator system mean that a relatively small motor can lift a large load.
Posted January 3, 2011
The Aurora Borealis occurs in the northern polar region when charged particles of the solar wind interact with the Earth's magnetic field and gasses in the ionosphere. While auroras are generally visible only 60 to 70 north or south (for the Aurora Australis) of the equator, there have been notable exceptions. The Great Magnetic Storm of 1859 produced auroras visible throughout North America.
Jacob Clark Blickenstaff is Assistant Professor of Physics and Assistant Director of the Center for Science and Mathematics Education at the University of Southern Mississippi.