Category Archives: She blonded me with science

maybe they are wind panels

So we were at the Space Center last Friday for the World Space Expo, and Frank and I were walking by the model of the International Space Station.
wind panels

FRANK J.: What are those things hanging down from the Space Station?
SARAHK: I don’t know. Maybe they’re solar panels.
SARAHK: No, those are solar panels up above, I think. I don’t know, maybe they’re wind panels.
FRANK J.: Wind panels. Okay, what would be the purpose of wind panels in space?
SARAHK: Um… I don’t know. To help move it along.
FRANK J.: Is there wind in space?
SARAHK: Um… maybe. Maybe it can catch a draft from the Space Shuttle when it flies by.
FRANK J.: Is that likely?
SARAHK: I don’t know.
FRANK J.: What’s in space?
SARAHK: A vacuum.
FRANK J.: Uh-huh…
SARAHK: And there’s no wind in a vacuum?
FRANK J.: Very good!
SARAHK: Well, you don’t know that. Have you ever been in one and tested that?
FRANK J.: What do you need for wind?
SARAHK: Stuff… and air…

Then the conversation moved to how Mythbusters should do a show on that scene from Armageddon where the ISS blows up, and there’s a big outward explosion. And Frank became the cutie head:

FRANK J.: Yeah, how would they do that experiment?
SARAHK: Uh. They can create a vacuum and explode a model inside the vacuum.
FRANK J.: Oh yeah, they have the equipment for that.

So. What are those things hanging down? Best I can tell from looking at the interactive model on NASA’s website, they’re radiator panels.

baseball Mythbusters

We love Mythbusters. We didn’t get into it until this year, so we’re so happy they’re showing reruns all the time. We put those on while we’re eating lunch or working. Over dinner tonight, we watched the baseball special. I was sad that they concluded that the knocking-the-rawhide-off-the-baseball myth was busted. Wah. I love The Natural. One thing we weren’t pleased with was the cork-bat myth. Did they use the same amount of force with the cork bat and the regulation bat? I know they used the same amount of speed, but was it the same amount of force? I think they’ll have to revisit this one. Also, I was wondering about the dry v. humid balls. Why did they call it plausible? I thought it was definitely confirmed…

I loved that the sliding myth was confirmed. I told Frank that sliding isn’t so much about speed as it is about avoiding the guy with the ball. You get low, because the infielder with the ball is going to catch it around chest height, and if you’re at foot-level, you have an advantage, because he has reach down after he catches the ball… unless the throw is low. But it turns out that you slow down when you’re approaching the base standing up so that you don’t overshoot the bag, and when you’re sliding, you go in faster because you’re not trying to stop yourself. That is so cool.

Anyway, while we were watching the show, I remembered how much I love baseball. I paused the DVR to go onnnnnnn and onnnn about baseball. I can’t wait till we’re back in Texas and can go to the occasional Rangers game.