# August 2011

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## Cats’ Paws and Catapults

Below is a preview of Cats’ Paws and Catapults: Mechanical Worlds of Nature and People, curtesy of Google Books. A larger version can be found here.

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## Are the Physics of the Farmers Insurance Commercial Correct?

One of the recent Farmers Insurance commercials featuring the Farmers Insurance University shows a professor and students considering hypothetical trajectories drawn on a blackboard of a cow sent flying by a tornado. Here is a picture. As physics students with knowledge of projectile motion, you are equipped with the tools to assess the accuracy of

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## Tips for College Physics Success

1)    Learning physics is not about memorizing facts and equations. It’s about developing problem solving skills that will be a part of your thought processes long after facts like the kinematic equations of motion fade away. 2)    Attend all lectures and read the material BEFORE, DURING, and AFTER it is covered in class. You are

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## Solar Energy and Sun Facts

I stumbled on this infographic at 1BOG.org, a website that specializes in disseminating information about solar power. It is full of fun facts about our sun and solar energy, although I haven’t checked the accuracy of all the claims. An earlier version made the very Copernican statement that the sun sits at the center of

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## Dimensional Analysis: A Powerful Tool for Physics and the MCAT Physical Sciences Exam

In physics, dimensional analysis is a powerful tool for checking relationships between physical quantities. The foundation of the technique is consideration of the dimensions of physical quantities. What exactly do I mean by dimensions? Here the word does not mean the same thing as it does in Euclidean geometry. As a simple example lets consider