Saturday, July 27, 2013

Spoken Word about Bill Blowing up His Miniature House

After talking about the deep dark chocolate for days, it's time that I actually had a taste. The bitter and resentful taste of getting to the end of the long chocolate road; it's delicious to bite into the chocolate at first, but once it all disappears, you feel like a hole in your heart just opened. I don't want to be cheesy, but this experience really has affected me. I feel "sad" that I won't be able to meet Summer Discovery friends on a regular basis. I feel as if I really fit in here, I was able to bring myself out even more than at home. Bonding with people over the course of four weeks may seem negligible, but after the experiences I've had with my friends, it's difficult to think that we won't be able to see each other for a long time (if at all). However, it has been an enjoyable time and it'll definitely be a memory of a lifetime.

Today, Bill demonstrated physics with his glorious ability as a teacher. Unlike any other regular physics teacher, he goes to the extremes of teaching us the concepts and the implications of it. In class, he did the following experiments: soft drink density, rotational momentum, harmonic motion, resonance, cathode ray, and the explosive lightning rod.

In the soft drink density experiment, he demonstrated the differing densities in Coca Cola, Diet Coca Cola, and Pepsi. When all three are placed in water, the level at which they float differ. Diet floats the most because it has a smaller concentration of "sugar". Pepsi has ~10 Calorie difference than Diet Coke, and so it sinks to the bottom of the container. However, regular Coke is in the middle of these cans because it has just the right amount of sugar. By changing the density of liquid in the container itself, we can change the height of the cans. By adding a galactic amount of salt, the cans floated to the top. This is because of the differences in density that influenced the forces acting on the objects. Because the solution was denser, the cans' relative densities were easier to push up, thus its height raised.

He further expanded on density by showing us a beautiful reaction: acetic acid with calcium carbonate (baking soda and acetic acid). The CO2 gas formed is predicted, but we can't see it. However, we can test to see if it is there. Because the bubbles density is not that much different than a majority of the molecules in air, the CO2 molecules stay relatively in the same area. Bill blew bubbles in the tank and the bubbles stayed in place (wiggled around a bit, representing slow Brownian motion). The best logical reason for this is that the CO2 molecules are pushing the bubbles in all directions, and so it doesn't have a net force acting on it that will make it drop to the bottom of the tank.

 He demonstrated harmonic motion through "miniature bungee-jumping". He sat on a spring and bounced up and down to show us what the motion should look like. It oscillates like a sin wave on a graph. An interesting observation: when a force acts on an object that's moving downward when in harmonic motion, it is pushed up. And vice versa when going upward. Bill's bouncing up and down really demonstrated that concept. Also, he had a accelerometer to show us the changes in force up and down when bouncing. He also broke glass by vibrating waves at the same frequency as the glass itself. It broke and everyone yelled...

After Bill did his final experiment where he showed an invention of Ben Franklin - the lightning rod. It leads the electricity to a ground, thus resulting in no human side-effects to the environment. He later blew up the house by sending a current without the lightning rod. It blew up... Badly. You can find a very good picture in Kai's blog.
Nice picture to a great ending of a wonderful class.

Later that day, I presented my spoken word piece. Apparently, the piece was so fitting for the end of the talent show that they put me at the end - I heard from the coordinator David. I wrote it to be fit for an end to the program, but I didn't expect it to be that good. Although, I was content with it at the end. I was praised a lot more than I expected. The highlight of the day: I entered the room that the talent show was being hosted in, and after fiddling around with my notebook, I heard jazz improvisation on piano by Sam and Dan. After nonchalantly listening, an impulsive thought went over my head: "My spoken word would work well with this improv". Then, being a spontaneous person, I asked Sam and Dan to help me out with my performance by playing jazz piano in the background. I went to the stage - at first feeling anxious - but after hearing the chords flying down, I let the rush hit me and I started my poem. I'm surprised at how cohesive the performance was, since it was the first time we went through it, and we received much applause for it. Wish I wrote more, the experience would have lasted longer. Anyways, thanks a lot Sam and Dan for your generous support. The piece was about not crying over the end of the program but use it as inspiration to leap towards your dreams. I wanted to do a piece much more controversial but after the applause and reaction I received afterwards, I'm glad that I performed that piece. Link here for the piece. Although, reading it decreases its value, I feel as if the piece was meant to be spoken. The manner I did it was very good from what I from Molly. Most high-school poetry revolves around emphasis on rhymes, but the style I did it made it much more whole. I'm trying to find a video of me performing, and when I do, I'll be sure to put it in my reflection. Also, I need to make a smaller video of Bill's house blowing up, it's too big. 

After the talent show, I went karaoking (dear lord) and I had a chat with David about college. He gave me an extraordinary amount of information about college besides the educational aspect. I'll talk more about that later as it's very late right now. I hung out with all my friends until 1:00 AM. Can't wait for the next blog! 

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