The Surprisingly Cool Physics of Pushing a Block Against a Wall

WIRED

This is a cooler physics problem than I initially realized. It goes something like this. A block has a mass of 1 kg and is placed on a vertical wall such that the coefficient of static friction is 0.5. With what magnitude force do you need to push on the block perpendicular to the wall to keep the block from falling? Here, a picture will help.


How to Hoist Yourself Out of a Hole With Physics

WIRED

No one can deny that there are some great physics videos out there in the wild internet. Today, I found this one floating around--featuring what appears to be a worker that needs to get out of a cone-shaped hole. Oh sure, he could possibly climb up the side or maybe even use a rope as an assist. This guy studied his physics. He knows a great trick to get out of this hole--by running in circle. But how does it work?


No, Gotham, That's Not How Tightropes Work

WIRED

I don't really watch Gotham, but it looks interesting. It chronicles the events in Batman's city before he became Batman. That's about all I know. However, when I saw a recent commercial for an upcoming episode, I had to do something. I'm not sure what's going on here, but from my research this appears to be Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne doing something with a tightrope.


This Tug of War With a Lion Isn't About Strength--It's About Friction

WIRED

Apparently you can battle a lion at the San Antonio Zoo. There is a thick rope passing through a hole. On one end, there is a lion cub. On the other end of the rope there could be three professional WWE wrestlers. Well, the wrestlers don't win.


This Crazy Slide Is Either Evil or Funny

WIRED

Why would you build a slide like this? When humans get to the end, they can't stop. I don't know what the designer was thinking--maybe the intent was to build a slide that would produce excellent videos of people crashing at the end. If so, well done designer. I will start with some questions and answers.