Nutty Bites 34: Physics, Newton’s Three Laws, a panel hosted by The Clockwork Doctor

The Clockwork Doctor Presents - Newton's Three Laws - Nutty BitesBack during Labor Day Weekend NIMLAS Studios participated in the virtual uncon Dragon*Cant. The Clockwork Doctor Hosted a panel on physics and Newton’s Three Laws.  I’ve edited the recording and am releasing it as a Nutty Bites episode.  If you’d like more shows like this, please let us know, and tell The Clockwork Doctor to get on that.




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Answers from the Vault: I answer YOUR questions….on Mars!

A beautiful view of Mars, from Wikipedia and NASA

“What would the wingspan of a glider on Mars be?”

Flying on Mars is tricky.  I know, I’ve done it.  Well, that is to say, I’ve done it in a simulator.  Because a flight simulator is nothing but a giant physics engine with a bunch of mathematical constants plugged in, its possible to have the simulator spit out the atmospheric conditions of almost anywhere, and then re-create it.  X-Plane, by Laminar Research is perhaps the best such flight sim available on the commercial market, and using some NASA atmospheric and geographical data, allows you to recreate flying on Mars in a pretty believable way.

Wings (airfoils) only work when the air current flows over them at a certain speed.  That speed is dependent on the airfoil shape, and is subject to a lot of heavy math well above my humble head to try and figure out.  If the speed of the flow over the airfoil gets too low, it stops generating lift.  This is called a stall, and is generally bad news for whatever the airfoil is attached to, that is: the rest of the plane with you in it.  So a certain speed needs to be maintained in order to stay in the air.  With a powered airplane, the engine provides that forward speed.  In a Helicopter, the rotation of the blades provides the lift, and in a glider it is gravity pulling the plane downwards that provides the lift.  Let’s throw a theoretical number out there.  Imagine that Glider X needed to maintain a minimum speed of 20 miles per hour in order to stay airborne.

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Can a Kukri cut through a rifle scope?

After my tour to Afghanistan in 2003, I came home with a Nepali Kukri that I was given from one of our Nepali Kitchen workers.  He was a former Gurkha, and came back from vacation to Nepal with some for us.  It’s been sitting on my shelf in it’s place of honour ever since.  While watching some cartoons earlier this week, I saw a character cut through someone’s rifle scope with a Kukri, and decided to try it for myself, and share it with you all.


Of course, I have to add the standard disclaimer that I should have been wearing safety glasses, and so should you should you choose to ignore my safety warning, and try it at home for yourselves.

Dont try this at home, kids.

In conclusion, there’s a reason the kukri is a feared and respected weapon in the hands of a Gurkha.  The reputation is well earned, even if it didn’t succeed in this challenge.

Custom NERF Creation: Charity Gun

Fredericton New Brunswick will be having its annual zombie walk downtown this labour day weekend to benefit the local food bank.  I’d been planning to participate anyways, but then heard they were looking for donations for prizes to hand out to the participants.  I went to our local toy store, bought a NERF Raider, dusted off my tools in the basement, and came up with this!

Please click through the gallery for further details.  Thanks again to Nuchtchas for painting that incredible looking Biohazard symbol on the ammo drum!

So after an evening’s work, this weapon is now ready to be carried through the streets and hunt down the Horde!  I hope its new owner is as happy with it as I am.  It’s almost sad to give it away, but it’s all for a good cause.  If anyone reading this can make it Fredericton for the Zombie Walk, bring your best zombie gear, shamble over and say hi.  Look for the beak.  I plan to be in full Plague Doctor gear, taking my pets for walk.

The Man of Steel picks a new Arch-Enemy: Sir Isaac Newton!

“Stronger than a locomotive, Faster than a speeding bullet, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound…. Look, in the sky! It’s a bird! It’s a plane!  IT’S SUPERMAN!!!!”

We should all remember those immortal words announcing the arrival of one of the world’s most beloved superheroes.  Like him or not, his books have been selling well for D.C, for over the last 80 years.  Following the trend of other super hero franchises of the past few years, Superman is getting another reboot movie coming out next year.  Titled The Man of Steel and directed by Zack Snyder it promises to be a good time at the movies.  The teaser trailer was recently released, and although I’m very much looking to this movie, there was one error of physics that just confused me, and let me down.

Let’s all take a break and watch the clip, and then come back and discuss it.  Let’s pay careful attention to about the 1:12 mark, where we see him flying through the clouds.

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