Aerobie

Stumbled across one of these in a small gift shop and picked it up. I have to admit my ignorance at not coming across this before, but it flies amazingly smooth.

I mean frisbees fly too, but you have to flick it just right, and you have to teach kids how to throw it level. This in the other hand, flies pretty much however you throw it.

I was wondering why it does, and came across this old news article (1985, so 34 years old today!) about its invention.

As he looked into the Frisbee, Adler discovered that no one knew exactly why it flies as well as it does. The thick edges create turbulence which somehow makes the platter fly in a stable fashion (if you throw it correctly). But the edges also create considerable air resistance, or drag.

Apparently, The only way to fly straight and level is to get the center of lift over the center of the disk !!

The current form of the “Aerobie” is a later iteration of one big change: replacing the frisbee design with a shallow cone !

Feynman FTW

After a few minutes, Feynman had worked out the process of spontaneous emission, which is what Stephen Hawking became famous for a year later. Feynman had it all on my blackboard. He wasn’t interested in copying down what he’d written. He just wanted to know how nature worked, and he had just learned that isolated black holes are capable of emitting energy when you take into account quantum effects. After he finished working it out, he brushed his hands together to get the chalk dust off them, and walked out of the office.

(From http://nautil.us/blog/the-day-feynman-worked-out-black_hole-radiation-on-my-blackboard)