Internals of a Music Box

Labmate shared this with me today when I showed him my Music Box kit. The beginning is pretty basic but then it goes onto some cool details on how the comb is cut and the inner workings of the wind-up mechanism. Cool stuff. =]

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Chicken/Pigeon Heads and Stabilization

Sitting at a train station today I watched a pigeon walk about bobbing its head. Why does this happen? According to leading theories, it has to do with the need to stabilize their visual surroundings when they move. In contrast, we depend on our eyeballs not our heads to move and stabilize our view. I found this interesting link that explains it a bit with more references linked. This isn’t a new fact to me; a classmate actually told me about this last year.

But here are some fun examples of it in ads!

An LG camera parody:

A Mercedes-Benz car commercials:

Spiders in High Rises

It’s been a couple months short of a year since I’ve last posted here. Yikes. Well, here’s to the first post here at Stay Curious for 2014.

This summer I have the awesome opportunity to work in Chicago. And for a brief week, my company paid for me to live in a high rise, which was really cool. I know full well that nice high rise and recent college graduate don’t go together. But while I was there, I noticed a bunch of spiders on my balcony. I wondered about them: do these spiders just crawl up to the 25th floor for giggles? What’s their deal?

photo-6

It turns out skyscrapers, which Chicago has no shortage of, act sort of like mountains and create upward drafts that blow all sorts of insects to the upper walls of the high rises. This abundance of bugs create a sort of haven for the spiders: plenty of food and less predators. So spiders gravitate there. Some spiders, especially the baby ones, even create balloon like webs out of their silk to take advantage of the same drafts that suck their natural preys to the upper echelon of Chicago. Nature!

(Reference: http://chicagoist.com/2012/07/12/baby_spiders_ballooning_post.php#photo-1)

Harvard FootBridge/Monsters University Bridge

One of the first things I said to my sisters after I saw Pixar’s Monsters University was that the bridge in it looks very much like the Harvard footbridge. This week, I got a chance to take a photo of the Harvard footbridge.

Here’s the Comparison:

Havard Footbridge

Harvard Footbridge taken with my Canon eos M

Pixar’s Monsters University Bridge by Pixar, provided by Business Insider who shares the same opinions as me. Click on the image to view their article.

Looks pretty similar to me: red and white with three arches and circle crests in-between. It’s not as similar as the Earth Kingdom Royal Palace (from Avatar the Last Airbender) and the Meridian Gate (Forbidden City Gate) in Beijing but it’s pretty close!