kottke.org posts about Rhett Allain

Building a scale Lego model of the Death StarMar 13 2012

Rhett Allain from Wired asked and then answered, "could you build a scale Lego model of the Death Star?" Using the scale of the Lego people as a guide, Allain estimated that the Lego Death Star would be much taller than the world's tallest buildings and weigh more than 2 billions tons. My favorite bit: a visual of what the Lego Death Star would look like in low earth orbit. "That's no moon" indeed. (via @educurate)

The physics of Angry BirdsOct 13 2010

Using motion tracking software, Rhett Allain finds out if the flight of the slingshotted Angry Birds adheres to the laws of physics.

The only force acting on the bird (if the bird is not moving too fast) would be the gravitational force from the Earth. This is where I see lots of intro-student mistakes. They tend to want to put some force in the horizontal direction because the bird is moving that way. DON'T do that. That is what Aristotle would have you believe, but you don't want to be in his club. There is no horizontal force in this case -- no air resistance.

He also determines the height of the red bird: about 2.3 feet tall. The big red bird must be at least double that.

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