Our resident Hollywood physicist takes on The Dark Knight and comes up victorious
By Adam WeinerPosted 08.15.2008 at 12:22 pm 12 Comments
With The Dark Knight, the action-infused sequel to Batman Begins, dominating the box office in recent weeks, it's clear that the revitalization of the new Batman franchise is no fantasy. In my opinion, The Dark Knight doesn't quite come up to the level of its predecessor—its relentless action sequences left me a bit numb after a while, and the constant quick cutting in these scenes gives the audience too much to absorb all at once.
Here we have a clip from the excellent movie adaptation of Tom Stoppard's play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. In addition to engaging and nuanced performances by Gary Oldman, Tim Roth, Richard Dreyfus, and Iain Glen, the script is full of thought-provoking metaphysical introspection, and some delightful physics introspection as well. It's well worth renting.
When is a daredevil stunt jump actually a "jump" and when does it become a form of ill-advised rocket flight? While we enjoy the dramatic and circus-esque musical soundtrack in the video, let's also appreciate some interesting physics issues relevant to Kenny Powers' unsuccessful jump. I'm not sure how carefully they thought this one through, but I suspect at least they must have recognized that their "souped-up" Lincoln Continental had to be under rocket power not only during the approach and up the ramp but during the jump (flight) as well.
Learn how to destroy expensive glassware with the power of sound
By Adam WeinerPosted 07.08.2008 at 10:52 am 1 Comment
A few weeks back we looked at the phenomenon of resonance with oscillating metronomes. As a follow-up to that meditative and Zen-like video, we've included a crystal-clear demonstration of that favorite old opera singer's trick: shattering a wine glass with resonance.
When a 747 gets struck by lightning, it might be more shocking for the onlookers than the passengers
By Adam WeinerPosted 06.30.2008 at 6:13 pm 1 Comment
If the passengers on that airplane felt their collective hearts stop for a moment, it wasn't due to the electric current from the lightning strike running through their bodies. In fact, airplanes getting struck by lightning is a fairly common occurrence -- more common than you might realize.