Another Thing

The water runs in streaks of glass,

A rippled, undulating sheet.

Beneath it, stones in earthy mattes

Of taupe, bleached ochre, and cerise.

In empty streams, reflections fade, Continue reading


Nothing Makes Sense, and That’s Life

What’s the ratio of boys to girls in a given town? Infiniti. *Evidence in hot-hand link

If someone with two children tells you they have a son born on a Tuesday, what’s the probability that their second child is a son? Well…one half, one third, or thirteen twenty-sevenths—the problem is under-defined.

Is there such a thing as a hot hand in basketball? Everyone knows that one: it’s an illusion! Actually, no, it’s not. There is such a thing (and its got nothing to with athletic hand temperature).

If your friend flips a coin three times, you ask whether she got any heads, and she replies, Continue reading

Diseases Stink…Literally

If you could have any super power, what would it be? The ability to fly? To be invisible? Super strength? Super speed?

How about super smell?

No? No takers? I understand—it’s not the most appealing power. But maybe it’s the most realistic.

Meet Joy Milne. She’s, to my knowledge, the world’s first real superhero (we’re excluding firefighters, police, mothers, and the like for lack of actual superhuman abilities). Now Joy can’t fly faster than a speeding bullet. She can’t stop a train with an outstretched forearm or make breakfast with her mind, but boy, can she smell. Continue reading

Exploding Glass Never Disappoints

Few people experience science with as much joy and love and enthusiasm as Destin Sandlin. His Smarter Every Day YouTube channel is a medley of head-scratching, “huh”-inducing, brain rattling videos about science, all of which he presents with delightful ease and clarity. He’s a rocket scientist who makes rocket science, among other things, as easily digestible as algebra (and infinitely more fun).

Now all that being said, this video still confounds me. I understand how it works, but each repeated viewing boggles my mind in equal measure. That’s the great thing about Destin’s videos and maybe about science more generally: the wonder doesn’t stop once you know the trick. So take that, magic. This round goes to physics.