11 September 2001

Notes Prepared by Porter Johnson

**Don Kanner (Lane Tech HS) Summer Vacation in New Brunswick, Nova
Scotia, and Prince Edward Island**

He showed a video that he made on the North Cape of Prince Edward
Island. First he showed a Windmill Farm, and then we saw the wave
interference pattern set up [in late June] by waves coming in from the
Atlantic Ocean that interfered with waves from the Gulf of St
Lawrence. Don is working on an edited version of his tapes, which
will be useful in the classroom. If anybody can make multiple
copies, Don will share this.

Don described his theory of wave formation by wind blowing toward the shore, and raised the question of why don't you see big waves going out from the shore into the sea? He also described seeing a Bore Tide at the Bay of Fundy, between Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, home of the world's largest tides. It was pointed out that the second largest tides occur near Anchorage Alaska. Also, see the website http://www.iit.edu/~johnsonp/smart00/lesson4.htm.

**Bill Colson (Morgan Park HS, Mathematics)**

passed out copies of a page from Popular Science Flash Forward Summer
2001, entitled **Famous Last Words**. It contained such
entries as the following:

- "Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction." --Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse University, 1872.
- "My personal desire would be to prohibit entirely the use of alternating currents. There are [as] unnecessary as they are dangerous. --Thomas A Edison, North American Review, 1998
- "Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value." -- French Marshal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy École Superieure de Guerre.

He also passed around a copy of the book **Flatterland: Like
Flatland, only More So **by Ian Stewart [Perseus Publishing 2001
ISBN 0 - 7382 - 04420]. This book stands as a sequel to the
classic book **Flatland** by Edwin Abbott [Dover 1982 ISBN:
048627263X ]. Like its predecessor, it delves into travel from
one dimension to another, including the "fractal forest", or the
"Mandel Blot". **Porter Johnson** pointed out that theories
involving gravity in ten dimensional spacetime are currently under
serious investigation.

**Monica Seelman (Williams and St James Schools)**

Discussed an example of a Venn Diagram. In Particular, she
considered the following sets:

**A**: set of all integers from 1 to 1000**B**: set of all multiples of 11**C**: set of all numbers below 500 with identical digits; eg, 11, 66, 111, 444

She pointed out that all two-digit numbers in set **C** are also
in set **B**, but that the three-digit numbers in **C** are not
in **B**, because they are not divisible by **11**. But
the four digit numbers with identical digits **are** divisible by **11**
[**5555 = 101 ´ 55**]. As an extension,
all numbers with an even number of identical digits are divisible by **11**,
whereas those with an odd number of digits are not.
Interesting results in "eleven-ology"!

**Ann Brandon (Joliet West HS, Physics)**

took a transparent plastic tennis ball tube, and attached washers from
its inside bottom end with rubber bands. The rubber bands were
then stretched so that the washers lay outside the open top end.
She stood on the lab table and dropped the system. **Surprise!**
As it fell, we saw that the stretched rubber bands pulled the washers
back inside and went limp. She dropped it several times, so that
we could be certain of what we were seeing.

**Bill Blunk (Joliet Central HS, Physics)**

made another pilgrimage this past summer to his favorite*** toy store,
namely

Amazing Toys

319 Central Ave

Great Falls MT 59401

[406] 727-5557 [Bob Pechlin]

http://www.amazingtoys.net/

There he discovered a new plaything, called a Sonic Lightning Ball,
which he showed to us. When you drop the plastic ball [with
electronic components clearly visible inside], it makes different
sounds and colorful light flashes when it bounces up from the
floor. The sounds and lights change with the orientation of the
ball, as well as the drop height. Thus, the magnitude and direction of
the impact force are relevant for the effects that follow the
rebound. The device was passed around the room, and some of us
got sounds by squeezing on the ball.

***In the interest of full disclosure, Bill indicated that he had no
commercial interest in the store.

**Roy Coleman (Morgan Park HS, Physics)**

indicated that an up-to-date **SMILE CD ROM** is available
from him for $10, plus any shipping costs. You may send him an
email at coleman@iit.edu.

**Earnest Garrison (Robeson HS, Physics)**

handed out a write-up of a **Paper Clip Lab**, in which fatigue and
fracture of solids was studied using paper clips. The idea is to
determine the distribution in the number of times one must bend a paper
clip back and forth in a controlled fashion to get it to break at the
"little loop", the "big loop", and on the "straight
section".

Earnest also showed us an exercise in estimating the area of an irregularly shaped lake on a map, by overlaying a square lattice of dimension 1 cm. The idea is to estimate the area as follows:

**J:**Number of squares completely covered by the lake**K:**Number of squares more than 50 % covered by the lake.**L:**Number of squares 50 % covered by the lake.**M:**Number of squares less than 50% covered by the lake.**N:**Number of squares not covered at all by the lake.

The area of the lake is estimated to be **J + K + L/2**.
This estimate is fairly accurate, in practice! And, students ware
surprised at how closely their results agree with one another.

**Fred Schaal (Lane Tech HS, Mathematics)**

suggested that "conditional logic" should be considered as an
alternative to "deductive logic", and "inductive logic". In
conditional logic we have the statements **A ®
B** and **B ® C**, from which we
conclude that **A ® C**. As an example,
he considered the syllogism

**All animals named Flicka are horses.
All horses have four legs:
\ All animals named Flicka have four legs.**

Note that **A ® B** and **C ® B** does not permit the conclusion **A ® C**, so that the following syllogism is**
incorrect.**

**All horses have four legs.
All animals named Flicka have four legs:
\ All horses are named Flicka.**

See you **Tuesday, 25 September**!

Notes taken by **Porter Johnson**