Posts Tagged ‘Science’

Why Real Explosions Don’t Look Like Movie Explosions

March 11, 2021

Explosions on film are made to look good: fireballs and flame. In reality, though, they’re a bit disappointing. Here’s how Hollywood does it.

2019 Best illusion of the Year Contest Winner

December 17, 2019

I really like optical illusions. And this is no exception …

The video above shows the top winner in the annual Illusion of the Year competition. It’s called the Dual Axis illusion by Frank Force. Is this shape spinning vertically or horizontally? You can’t tell, because it’s a 2D image, but your brain makes it seem one or the other, until visual cues help you change the orientation.

A scientist captured an impossible photo of a single atom

October 8, 2019

Using an ordinary camera, with the help of long exposure, a laser, and two electrodes to suspend the atom in the air, a Scientist called David Nadlinger successfully took a photo of a single glowing strontium atom.

How awesome is that!


When illuminated by a laser of the right blue-violet colour, the atom absorbs and re-emits light particles sufficiently quickly for an ordinary camera to capture it in a long exposure photograph. Learn more here.

50 years since man landed on the moon

July 20, 2019

Apollo 11 was the spaceflight that first landed humans on the Moon. Commander Neil Armstrong, Lunar Module Pilot Buzz Aldrin, and Command Module Pilot Michael Collins formed the American crew that landed the Apollo Lunar Module Eagle on July 20, 1969.

Armstrong became the first person to step onto the lunar surface six hours 39 minutes later on July 21; Aldrin joined him 19 minutes later. They spent about two and a quarter hours together outside the spacecraft. Michael Collins was the only one of the three not to walk on the moon.

Check it out:

Have you ever wondered why Neil Armstrong was the first person to walk on the moon, not “Buzz” Aldrin. Find out here.

There are also heaps of archive movies on the NASA page here.

“That’s one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Sleep is your superpower

May 12, 2019

The benefits of sleep are well known. I actually wonder how much a lack of sleep due to our ‘always on’ society impacts on issues like rising anxiety and depression.

Anyway, further evidence of the value of sleep is provided in this TED talk …

Sleep is your life-support system and Mother Nature’s best effort yet at immortality, says sleep scientist Matt Walker. In this deep dive into the science of slumber, Walker shares the wonderfully good things that happen when you get sleep — and the alarmingly bad things that happen when you don’t, for both your brain and body. Learn more about sleep’s impact on your learning, memory, immune system and even your genetic code — as well as some helpful tips for getting some shut-eye.

Life is a battlefield! Fungus vs Ant

April 25, 2019

In the tradition of ‘Killer Whale vs Seal‘, ‘Lion vs Buffalo vs Crocodile‘, ‘Shark vs Octopus‘, ’Leopard vs Porcupine‘, ‘Hornets vs Honey bees‘, ’Salmon vs Grizzly Bear‘, ‘Hippopotamus vs Crocodile’, ‘Polar Bear vs Walrus Colony’, ‘Giraffe vs Giraffe‘, ‘Caterpillar vs Frog‘, ‘Frog vs Poison Newt’, ‘Rubber bands vs Water Melon’,  ‘Sarcastic fringehead vs Sarcastic fringehead’, ‘Jaguar vs Crocodile‘, ‘Snake vs Crocodile‘, ‘Centipede vs Snake‘, ‘Moray Eel vs White Tip Reef Shark‘, ‘Rabbit vs Snake‘, ‘Octopus vs Octopus‘, ‘Rat vs Snake’, ‘Iguana vs Snakes‘, ‘Eel vs Octopus vs Human‘, ‘Red Octopus vs Swimmer Crab‘ and ‘Bombardier beetle vs Toad’, here is ‘Fungus vs Ant’:

Amazingly brutal!

What If We Detonated All Nuclear Bombs at Once?

April 1, 2019

What happens if make a huge pile from all 15,000 nuclear bombs and pull the trigger? And what happens if we make an even bigger pile?

It would be bad, obviously ….

The beauty of curiosity

November 11, 2018

Seemingly pointless scientific research can lead to extraordinary discoveries, says physicist Suzie Sheehy. In a talk and tech demo, she shows how many of our modern technologies are tied to centuries-old, curiosity-driven experiments — and makes the case for investing in more to arrive at a deeper understanding of the world.

Mind spinning illusion

October 14, 2018

I really like optical illusions. And this is no exception …

Mind spinning illusion.jpg

See the image above, and how the shapes seem to move and slither around? It’s not a GIF or other type of animation — it’s 100 per cent static. In reality, your visual cortex is doing all the work.

If the image doesn’t appear to move for you, you’re probably not using a big enough screen (so those on mobile phones, basically). To get the proper effect, try looking at the image out of the corner of your eye, or view it on a PC monitor or TV. Learn more here.

Year 8 Chemistry is available

June 20, 2017

My latest book, Year 8 Chemistry, is now available for free download for Mac, iPad or iPhone.

Yr8 Chemistry Cover sml

Check it out here.

See more books here.