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Everyday science

Sporty physics, the pub in a Faraday cage, LEGO NASA women and more

05 Aug 2016 Tushna Commissariat

 

By Michael Banks and Tushna Commissariat

The Rio 2016 Olympics will kick off tomorrow and over the next three weeks, while you enjoy watching the world’s top athletes compete in the huge variety of sports, spare a thought for the physics involved. From how to throw a ball to running, from pole vaulting to golf, physics and sport are fellow brethren. Head on over on the JPhys+ blog to read “The big physics of sport round-up!” post and watch our video series above, in between cheering on your favourite teams.

Pokémon GO has been all the rage for the last month as people have been chasing down the little creatures on their smart phones. Not to be outdone, NASA has released its very own social-media game to celebrate the fourth anniversary of the Curiosity rover landing on Mars. Available on iOS, Android and PC, Mars Rover allows players to navigate a rover through the Martian terrain, earning points along the way. You can download it here.

In other space-related news, the “Women of NASA” LEGO set, created by US science writer Maia Weinstock, soared to 10,000 votes on the LEGO Ideas website this week. The set features five women who have each played critical roles in the history of the US space programme, including US astronaut Sally Ride, and Mae Jemison, who in 1992 became the first African-American woman in space. Now that it has reached the magic number, LEGO will conduct a review of the design. If that receives the green light, then the model will go into the “development phase” where LEGO designers will refine the product and develop it for release, including creating the product materials such as the box and instructions and marketing it.

A cocktail bar owner in East Sussex in the UK has gone to extraordinary lengths to make sure that people going to the establishment actually talk to each other rather than just stare at their smart phones. Steve Tyler, who owns the Gin Tub, has installed a Faraday cage by putting a silver foil and copper mesh in the walls and ceiling. The mesh absorbs and distributes electromagnetic waves putting phones and wireless devices out of action. He told the Telegraph that the system is “not military grade“. Indeed, despite going to all the expense of installing the system, apparently some customers have still been able to use their phones.

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