Friday, March 25, 2011

This and That

Larkin started baseball practice a couple weeks ago.

While Larkin has fun practicing, the other kids have fun playing.

We found this white henbit in the field. I've never seen white before, only purple. (Yes, I know the picture is awful. The camera refused to focus on the flowers, but I wanted to show it anyway. Anybody else seen white henbit before?)

We've finished up our study of the American Revolution. Here are the kids in their tri-corner hats.

Jeremiah made the kids some new swords from the limbs he pruned off one of our trees.

We made wreaths out of the pruned wisteria vines, and the little ones painted them.

Finger knitting.

We got together with friends and traded crafty knowledge. We learned straw weaving and how to make friendship bracelets, and Miah taught finger knitting.

Dressing up. (He he!)

Just playing.

Rohan's learning to ride a bike with training wheels.

We've been reading Mathematicians are People Too during our family reading time. Today we read that Blaise Pascal discovered that the fastest distance between two points is a cycloid. I decided to conduct an experiment to see this principle in action.
Drawing the cycloid.

Bending a piece of copper in the shape of the cycloid.

Since we were measuring the fastest distance between two points, I made the starting point and ending point for both wires the same. However, when we did this, the bead on the straight wire won every time no matter what angle I held the wires at.

Then I found this animation and tried setting up my wires differently. We did see the bead on the cycloid beat the straight line bead a few times. Most times, it looked like a tie. So, the reason I'm posting this is because I want to know - Why didn't it work?

Just found this video of the experiment actually working.
Perhaps this video can explain things a little. The balls just travel too fast to really see which one wins until we watch in slow motion. Maybe I just wasn't good at judging the winner? Any ideas?

1 comment:

  1. Cool cycloid experiment! I'll show the boys in the morning... I'm sure they will want to try it.