Authors Posts by Mike Friesen

Mike Friesen

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Physics and Folly: Vacuum vacuum

When I hear someone talking about a vacuum I get disproportionately excited and start asking them questions about the fundamental nature of the universe....

Physics and Folly: Makin’ nukes

Physics and Folly applies real world science to familiar and fantastic situations. Discover the answers no one has heard, to the questions no one...

Physics and Folly: Snowmageddon

Physics and Folly applies real world science to familiar and fantastic situations. Discover the answers no one has heard, to the questions no one...

Dissecting the science of plummeting whales

Before you start reading, I have a confession to make. My last three Google searches were “asteroids breaking up in the atmosphere,” “aerodynamic heating,” and “surface area of a blue whale.” If you have to know, I am indeed a fan of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, especially the events that led to a whale appearing high up in the atmosphere of an Earth-like planet. And yes, I know what you’re thinking.

The mystery of the winter moon’s shadow

Over the winter break my family and I flew down to San Diego to bathe in the sun’s rays. On the flight, down a few hours past sunset, I realized the half moon that was rising into the sky didn’t look right. Instead of the familiar vertical shadow separating the light side of the moon from the dark, the shadow was more horizontal, making it look like the bottom half of an orange.

Beam me to class, Scotty

Every day I’m one of a few people who decide to walk to school from a free parking area in order to save a few bucks. Recently, I’ve been thinking about Star Trek, and in particular about how nice it would be to have the transporter, especially since it rains literally all the time. When I get to class it often looks like I decided to shower that morning with my clothes on for a change.

Star vs. star: astronomical headbutting

What would happen to us on the blue marble if our closest stellar neighbours ran into each other? And I don’t mean bumping into each other while picking up groceries. Head-on collisions between stars are rare (this is mainly due to space being pretty big) but they do happen in dense globular clusters every once in an astronomical while.

Would we all die if Earth and the sun swapped places?

The question that caught my eye a week ago was "What would happen if the Earth and the sun switched places?" Now, the question doesn't say when this is happening, so I'll pick October 1, at 8:30 a.m., so then I’ll have a decent excuse to sleep in on a Saturday.