We might not always think about it, but every day gravity keeps us pulled to the Earth. It’s what brings us back down when we jump on a trampoline. It’s why a Slinky tumbles down stairs.
Now think about what it would be like to live in a place with very little gravity. Let’s say you were 200 miles off the ground, orbiting earth in the International Space Station. Here, the idea of up and down really gets flipped around.
On Earth, the human balance system helps the head figure out how move up and … » More …
Next time you eat an orange, try getting the peel off in one piece. Next, try to flatten out your peel. You’ll likely find it a bit tricky to make something round perfectly flat.
The same is true when we map our three-dimensional world onto a flat surface. It doesn’t work very well. That’s what I found out when I went to visit my friend Rick Rupp, a Washington State University researcher.
Rupp is an expert on geographic information systems, which can help us capture and analyze the geography of our planet. He explained that maps can show us all kinds of … » More …
Spiders can do some amazing things with their sticky, stretchy, and super-strong silk. Us cats are pretty curious about these little silk-spinning machines, too. Besides chasing spiders around, I’ve watched them use silk to build webs, catch bugs, and protect their young spiderlings.