Sunday, August 31, 2008

Saturday, August 30, 2008

\rih-DRES\, transitive verb:

1. To put in order again; to set right; to emend; to revise.
2. To set right, as a wrong; to repair, as an injury; to make amends for; to remedy; to relieve from.
3. To make amends or compensation to; to relieve of anything unjust or oppressive; to bestow relief upon.

Before adjourning in October 1774, the First Continental Congress called for the convening of another congress at Philadelphia on May 10, 1775, only if Britain had not redressed the Americans' grievances.
-- Pauline Maier, American Scripture :Making the Declaration of Independence

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Scott Russell Sanders:
There is a mystical virtue in right angles. There is an unspoken morality in seeking the level and the plumb. A house will stand, a table will bear weight, the sides of a box will hold together only if the joints are square and the members upright.
When the bubble is lined up between two marks etched in the glass tube of the level, you have aligned yourself with the forces that hold the universe together.

- The Paradise of Bombs

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Phelps 100 Meter Fly Photo Finish

Also, Sports Illustrated has a very good frame-by-frame sequence of pictures that show the finish.

Also of interested is this article on how Omega, the official timekeeper of the Olympics, keeps time in the Water Cube. Here's a neat excerpt:

OMEGA touch pads and starting blocks are part of an integrated timing system capable of recording times to the nearest 1/1000th of a second. However, because it is not possible to build swimming pools in which each lane is guaranteed to be precisely the same length, Olympic and World Records are still recorded to the nearest 1/100th of a second.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

List of Common Misconceptions

Per one of my favorite web resources, Wikipedia. Here are a few examples:

1. Christopher Columbus's efforts to obtain support for his voyages were not hampered by a European belief in a flat Earth.[3] In fact, sailors and navigators of the time knew that the Earth was spherical, but (correctly) disagreed with Columbus' estimates of the distance to the Indies (see Flat Earth). If the Americas did not exist, and Columbus had continued to the Indies (even putting aside the threat of mutiny he was under) he would have run out of supplies before reaching them at the rate he was traveling.

2. The Coriolis effect does not determine the direction that water rotates in a bathtub drain or a flushing toilet. The Coriolis force is relatively small; it appears over large scales (like weather systems) or in systems such as the Foucault pendulum in which the small influence is allowed to accumulate over time. In a bathtub or toilet, the flow of the water over the basin itself produces forces that dwarf the Coriolis force. In addition, most toilets inject water into the bowl at an angle, causing a spin too fast to be affected by the Coriolis effect.[33]

Monday, August 11, 2008

Monday, August 04, 2008