My Photo


  • Jen-Luc Piquant sez: "They like us! They really like us!"

    "Explains physics to the layperson and specialist alike with abundant historical and cultural references."
    -- Exploratorium ("10 Cool Sites")

    "... polished and humorous..."
    -- Physics World

    "Takes 1 part pop culture, 1 part science, and mixes vigorously with a shakerful of passion."
    -- Typepad (Featured Blog)

    "In this elegantly written blog, stories about science and technology come to life as effortlessly as everyday chatter about politics, celebrities, and vacations."
    -- Fast Company ("The Top 10 Websites You've Never Heard Of")
Blog powered by Typepad
Bookmark and Share

« conversations with dead people | Main | connecting the dots »


Such fun. Rode the Tower of Terror when it was just a year or two old, so they may have changed it since. The opening season ads said "faster than the speed of gravity". Yeah sure. I guessed that this meant it did not simply go into freefall, and decided to test it. I had a LifeSaver in my open hand when we got to the top, and it ended up about 3 feet in the air on the first "drop", before landing back in my hand at a normal falling rate.

They pull it down, so it drops at more than 1 g, then quickly settle into constant velocity before stopping.

SPOILER: The 'sick' part is the way they do a short drop, like the cable is failing, before doing the real one. Very nice.

I've never ridden the Cyclone. I like how its twisting first drop has been emulated by many of the "new" inverted coasters. That photo makes me want to drive up there right now! Or to Cedar Point. The best part of Millennium Force is not the 80 degree first drop to 90+ mph, it is the 5 seconds of perfect air you can get on the big hump, floating a half inch above the seat the entire way.

By the way, my understanding is that wooden coasters are not more rigid. The reason you can do more with the steel ones is that the wheels are both below and above the track so the car cannot come off no matter where it stops. Wood coasters are alive, and the ride changes during the day as the nails and bolts loosen and the wood expands or contracts with temperature and humidity. Every ride seems the same on steel, at least to me.

Hey Jennifer! I wanted to let you know that I recently put together a website for cocktail lovers. The idea is "put in the bottles you have in your bar, and find out the cocktails you can mix". I'd love to hear your thoughts about it! Any feedback you may have would be super-useful - I'd love to make the site super-useful for the community.

The site is


A lovely piece of info!

I must recommend Apollo's Chariot, at Busch Gardens, Williamsburg VA. The swoops track the Vomit Comet's parabolic course, so for half the time, you're weightless, and the other half, under a few Gs.

It's *very* different from other coasters I've ridden.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    Physics Cocktails

    • Heavy G
      The perfect pick-me-up when gravity gets you down.
      2 oz Tequila
      2 oz Triple sec
      2 oz Rose's sweetened lime juice
      7-Up or Sprite
      Mix tequila, triple sec and lime juice in a shaker and pour into a margarita glass. (Salted rim and ice are optional.) Top off with 7-Up/Sprite and let the weight of the world lift off your shoulders.
    • Listening to the Drums of Feynman
      The perfect nightcap after a long day struggling with QED equations.
      1 oz dark rum
      1/2 oz light rum
      1 oz Tia Maria
      2 oz light cream
      Crushed ice
      1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
      In a shaker half-filled with ice, combine the dark and light rum, Tia Maria, and cream. Shake well. Strain into an old fashioned glass almost filled with crushed ice. Dust with the nutmeg, and serve. Bongos optional.
    • Combustible Edison
      Electrify your friends with amazing pyrotechnics!
      2 oz brandy
      1 oz Campari
      1 oz fresh lemon juice
      Combine Campari and lemon juice in shaker filled with cracked ice. Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Heat brandy in chafing dish, then ignite and pour into glass. Cocktail Go BOOM! Plus, Fire = Pretty!
    • Hiroshima Bomber
      Dr. Strangelove's drink of choice.
      3/4 Triple sec
      1/4 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
      2-3 drops Grenadine
      Fill shot glass 3/4 with Triple Sec. Layer Bailey's on top. Drop Grenadine in center of shot; it should billow up like a mushroom cloud. Remember to "duck and cover."
    • Mad Scientist
      Any mad scientist will tell you that flames make drinking more fun. What good is science if no one gets hurt?
      1 oz Midori melon liqueur
      1-1/2 oz sour mix
      1 splash soda water
      151 proof rum
      Mix melon liqueur, sour mix and soda water with ice in shaker. Shake and strain into martini glass. Top with rum and ignite. Try to take over the world.
    • Laser Beam
      Warning: may result in amplified stimulated emission.
      1 oz Southern Comfort
      1/2 oz Amaretto
      1/2 oz sloe gin
      1/2 oz vodka
      1/2 oz Triple sec
      7 oz orange juice
      Combine all liquor in a full glass of ice. Shake well. Garnish with orange and cherry. Serve to attractive target of choice.
    • Quantum Theory
      Guaranteed to collapse your wave function:
      3/4 oz Rum
      1/2 oz Strega
      1/4 oz Grand Marnier
      2 oz Pineapple juice
      Fill with Sweet and sour
      Pour rum, strega and Grand Marnier into a collins glass. Add pineapple and fill with sweet and sour. Sip until all the day's super-positioned states disappear.
    • The Black Hole
      So called because after one of these, you have already passed the event horizon of inebriation.
      1 oz. Kahlua
      1 oz. vodka
      .5 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec
      .5 oz. dark rum
      .5 oz. Amaretto
      Pour into an old-fashioned glass over (scant) ice. Stir gently. Watch time slow.