I have a toy, radio-controlled helicopter. It is very difficult to fly. You are in control of everything and for those of us with limited manual dexterity, the result is always a side-slip and crash into the nearest solid object. Modern quadcopters, generally considered to be drones these days, are easy to fly. They have…

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The Lost World is a science fantasy novel written by A. Conan Doyle in 1912. It features my favorite character, Professor G. E. Challenger, and an adventure to find dinosaurs in the modern world. Doyle may have been inspired by the real-life expeditions of Percy Fawett who was seeking a lost civilization called Z in…

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The current pandemic has shown us the real value of educating the public about how scientific principles are applied to practical matters. Social distancing, masks, vaccines, tracing via testing are all practical steps to take in preventing the spread of diseases and all are the product of scientific research. The steps in moving a basic…

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I recently wrote a column on pendulums and another on navigation that included mention of the Global Positioning System (GPS). The latest issue of the American Scientist has an article that connects pendulums with GPS. I thought that was a cool coincidence and the discussion about GPS got me thinking about one of my special…

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