Why do coffee stains always have a dark ring around the edge? It’s because the water’s surface is curved: it evaporates more quickly near the edges, causing it to flow outward from the middle, carrying coffee particles with it. We cited some early research demonstrating this effect in our 1997 watercolor paper, but now there’s video that actually shows the process happening at a microscopic scale. (Thanks Eric for the link!)
It’s a shame my generation has so badly overused the word “awesome”, because we no longer have a word for something as genuinely awe-inspiring as this. Watch it full-screen if you can.
This was fun! I was interviewed by the National Science Foundation for a short video about the physics of animation. A bunch of my colleagues are in there too, including Alejandro Garcia, who teaches physics to animators at SJSU.
Physics of Animation (video link).
Looks like our How to Make a Baby video has gone viral. It’s been on Boing Boing, Neatorama, Geekologie, Cartoon Brew, MSN.com, and about a zillion other blogs. In the mainstream media, it’s been on Canal Plus, Metro (UK), Epoca, Glamour, and ESPN of all places.
As of today, our original video has been watched over 400,000 times. (I’m still trying to figure out how much popcorn that would mean if all those people had to go see it in a movie theater.) Meanwhile, an unofficial copy on YouTube has garnered another quarter of a million views (although for some reason my “official” YouTube copy has a scant 10,000… go figure!) And I guess the lack of dialog gives the short some kind of global appeal, because it’s been blogged in Catalan, Chinese, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, French, German, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Malay, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, and Turkish. Whew!
Here are some of the best comments I’ve seen so far (in English, anyway…)
“The pope was right – condoms ARE useless. Rubber gloves, however!”
“Excellent! I played it for my 5 year old daughter and her 5 year old cousin before they left for school. I’m sure it’ll make for an interesting day for their teachers :)”
“Scientifically inaccurate – fails to show the crucial contribution made by the stork.”
“Now that is dedication! I’m watching this on the set of a stop-motion film, and it certainly puts our long waiting times between takes into perspective.”
“Adoption is much easier and less stressful on the lungs/stomach.”
“That is exactly how my wife and I did it. By the way, NEVER blow on two fingers at once. Yep … twins!”
“My girlfriend is inflatable, too. God, I’m so lonely.”