Posted May 23, 2011
An application of relative motion:
Physics teachers sometimes have a challenge conveying the idea of a "frame of reference" to students, but I think this video could help. In the frame of reference of the ground, both the camper and the plane are moving, but in the frame of reference of the plane, the camper is stationary. Matching the velocities (both speed and direction) is the key to this spectacular trick.
Posted May 16, 2011
The life of a wildebeest is one of constant travel in search of food and water. Huge herds make a continuous clockwise migration in east Africa, covering nearly 2,000 miles each year. Their path includes parts of Kenya and Tanzania and requires crossing the Mara River, home to hungry crocodiles. The time-lapse portions of this video give a good sense of the sheer numbers of animals involved in this migration. Caution: the final seconds include crocodiles taking down two wildebeests.
Blick's Pick offers a new science video every week (archived here). Visit Blick on Flicks for Prof. Jacob Blickenstaff's reviews of movies and other media.
Posted May 9, 2011
World's tallest tree:
A redwood tree in Northern California named Hyperion is believed to be the world's tallest living tree. At 379 feet (115.5 meters), this tree is about 25% taller than the Staute of Liberty (including her pedestal)! Hyperion is estimated to be 700 to 800 years old, which does not make it the oldest tree in the world, or even close. (A number of trees have been measured to be over 4,000 years old, including some bristlecone pines also in California.)
Posted May 2, 2011
Aleutian Island volcano photographed from space:
It is easy to forget that there are places on the planet that are so remote that we don't know a great deal about what is happening there even in our modern age of satellites and GPS. Cleveland island in the Aleutians is one of those places. The island is an active volcano, but since there are no seismometers close by, geologists rely on the public to report eruptions. This video tells the story of the report they received from the International Space Station.
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.