Science Friday: Geek Physics With Rhett Allain (audio)

For a certain type of physics geek, questions that keep them up at night might be: How much bubble wrap would you need to break a 60-foot fall? Or how cold would ice cream need to get to be zero calories? Rhett Allain, blogger for’s Dot Physics blog and author of Geek Physics, asks—and answers—these bemusing questions, with the help of physics. Read an excerpt from his book here. Plus, Allain answers a few of your questions.

Rhett Allain, Associate Professor of physics at Southeastern Louisiana University and Wired physics blogger, talks about black holes and the gravitational waves that Einstein predicted a century ago.

12/15/2015: How Twitter handles state-sponsored attacks on Tor advocates, R2-D2 flies wrong, hoverboards for Einstein enthusiasts, new EU privacy regulations, Netflix re-encodes everything for better viewing, ‘Floppy Candidates’ is an 8-bit game to bring humor back to the US elections, and who is the VTech hacker?

Angry Birds isn’t just a video game. It’s an educational movement. The franchise’s parent company, Rovio, hopes to foster learning for young children in developing a curriculum for Chinese schools, as well as Angry Birds “activity parks” around the world that teach children and engage their minds while entertaining them. The company’s Chief Marketing Officer and “Mighty Eagle,” Peter Vesterbacka points to Finland’s boys as an example that video games can be educational: more of the country’s young boys speak English than girls, because the boys tend to play more video games. And physics professor Rhett Allain tells Boyd that the game’s mechanics force children to think about physics; the angle of the birds as they bomb the egg-stealing pigs, the speed and arc of the projectiles all encourage experimentation and manipulation of a world consistent rules that mimic those that govern our world. Listen here.

National Geographic: What Makes Angry Birds Soar?

Revenge of the Angry Birds (Rovio)