Mythbusters, Superman, and the Ocarina of Time

There’s a great new blog at Scientific American you might enjoy, written by a graduate student at Marquette. Kyle Hill likes to answer ridiculous questions about his favorite shows, games, and superheroes. Could you actually build the floating city from Bioshock in real life? Can you learn science from watching the Mythbusters blow stuff up? Is the time travel in Zelda: Ocarina of Time be possible? The answers are fun- you should check him out!

His blog is called Overthinking It.

Google the past

Check out this visualization tool that Google has pulled together (along with the United States Geological Survey). It allows you to view a couple decades of satellite images anywhere on Earth, which makes changes to the landscape easy to see. Watch, for example, as Las Vegas expands before your eyes.

What do you get if you put mercury on a speaker?

If you take the proper precautions, the answer isn’t “mercury poisoning”. It’s “a weird, dancing, geometric, metal, alien, techno thing”. This is really fun to watch.

(And of course, don’t try it at home…)

Boom goes my brain stuff

Yeah, so, this is insane. Absolutely incredible. It’s the coolest thing I’ve seen in a while. Folks at IBM have created a short animated movie of a character “drawn” with individual molecules. Like, fewer than 100. Just think about that for a minute. And then go watch it. There’s a video there about how they made it as well, and for a little more explanation you can see this BBC story.