Week of November 5, 2012

What a week this past week! Obviously we’ve had to make adjustments due to surprise guests, a calamity day, and the ongoing power outages that so many of you endured and are continuing to endure. As discussed in class, we’ll take things on a day-by-day basis and try to be flexible when necessary. However, please DO aim to do what you are able to do.

Remember that this week is a shortened week, as there is no school for students on Tuesday. Here’s the plan, which is almost exactly last week’s plan…

This week in physics:

  • OK, I’ve made a tough decision that you will likely love (but that I don’t…) Given the fact that so many have struggled with power (or just Internet) outages and will likely continue to do so into next week, and given the fact that the lab report was already postponed once, it’s not reasonable to stick with our revised November 7 due date. However, I am concerned that if I delay it past this it will have been a month since you did the lab, and you likely will have forgotten what the lab was even about and therefore will have difficulty writing correctly. Sigh. I’m saying it. The lab report is now optional and due on November 15. This has been a difficult week. Let’s move forward. There will be plenty of opportunities to practice lab report writing. Parents who are concerned about this, please encourage your kids to write the report. It is good practice. I can make adjustments in the GBW to account for those who opt to do/not to do the lab.
  • Podcasts: IF you can view them, please do so. You will do better, and we will be able to move at a faster pace that allows us more time in class to do assignments. However, we will adjust as needed. Please view three podcasts as homework for Monday: Force Podcast 1 – Net External ForceForce Podcast 2 – Weight, and Force Podcast 3 – Normal Force. (Note: These podcasts are may take a bit longer than usual to load.) We will do practice problems in class followed by assignment 1, and then we will take a quiz. Next up you’ll need to watch three more podcasts as homework by the date announced in class, likely Wednesday: Force Podcast 4 – Introduction to FrictionForce Podcast 5 – Static Friction, and Force Podcast 6 – Kinetic Friction. Following this we’ll do practice problems in class and assignment 2. After that we’ll do an awesome lab on friction…and then write a lab report no matter what!!! 🙂  (Well, barring further unexpected major chaos.)

This week in astronomy:

  • The unit 2 outdoor lab is due Monday. You also should be working on the unit 3 outdoor lab, which is due the day after Thanksgiving break.
  • We will be covering solar eclipses with notes and activities, followed by a quiz.

Cool science of the week: Not remotely cool, but informative nonetheless…This is a montage video from NASA satellites showing the formation of Hurricane Sandy.

Also, last year in August Hurricane Irene impacted the East Coast on a similar path as Sandy. This interactive map shows you the difference between the two storms. Note, in particular, how different our town looks from one hurricane to the other. It also gives you an idea of how our lake-front town got hit so hard. (Look at the direction of the storm over Lake Erie, where warm waters fed the storm and offered no obstacles to absorb the energy for us.)

Finally, Daylight-Saving Time ends this weekend, which means, among other things, people will play on their phones for an extra hour overnight on Saturday. This awesome article from Wired magazine discusses the physics of DST. (Did you know there was physics to it!?!? YAY!) What’s especially cool, astronomy folks, is the author uses the Stellarium software to puntuate his points, and he talks about many things we’ve learned in class. Y-A-Y!!!