Winning Science April 30, 2014

Today is the launch of Amazing Spider-Man #1 and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 comes out in theaters tomorrow. How fitting, then, that Wired gives us a great article about the physics behind Spidey’s most famous piece of paraphernalia, his webs. Being an engineer, I’m familiar with most of the equations used in the article, but I had never put much thought into what the physical requirements must be for the webs. To pull of some of Spidey’s more impressive feats, the webs would need to be five times stronger than a steel cable.

Nobody does Spider-Man's webs quite like Todd McFarlane.

Nobody draws Spider-Man’s webs quite like Todd McFarlane.

I also really enjoyed the preemptive comment responses. This man has dealt with the internet before.

Observing un-contacted native tribes has always been a tough thing to do. Frequently contact eventually results the destruction of the very culture that is being observed. In an effort to prevent this from happening but still learn about the tribes, researchers are turning to Google Earth to monitor the behavior and activity of some tribes. This form of observation will also help set up buffer regions around the tribes to prevent inadvertent contact.

I see you...

I see you…

While this is a pretty great use of technology, it’s also a high tech form of voyeurism. Just a little creepy.

NASA has chosen to honor none other than William Shatner with their highest award, the Distinguished Public Service medal. This is a real no brainer. I’d bet considerable amounts of money that you couldn’t walk twenty feet in a NASA building without finding someone who has been inspired by the adventures of Captain James T. Kirk and his successors. Shatner has also been a vocal supporter of the NASA and of space exploration in general.

William Shatner with Ricardo Montalban in the episode Space Seed.

William Shatner with Ricardo Montalban in the episode “Space Seed”.

I had no idea he was Canadian. Guess I’m not quite the trekkie I thought I was.  😦

 

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