This blog provides commentary on interesting geological events occurring around the world in the context of my own work. This work is, broadly, geological fluid dynamics. The events that I highlight here are those that resonate with my professional life and ideas, and my goal is to interpret them in the context of ideas I've developed in my research. The blog does not represent any particular research agenda. It is written on a personal basis and does not seek to represent the University of Illinois, where I am a professor of geology and physics. Enjoy Geology in Motion! I would be glad to be alerted to geologic events of interest to post here! I hope that this blog can provide current event materials that will make geology come alive.

Banner image is by Ludie Cochrane..

Susan Kieffer can be contacted at s1kieffer at gmail.com

Friday, March 14, 2014

Happy Pi Day!

Young folks celebrating Pi Day at San Francisco's
Exploratorium. Photo from CNN.com here.
When I saw the wonderful faces of these students celebrating Pi day at the, yes again I'll use the word, "wonderful" Exploratorium in San Francisco, my mind went back to life in the 1950's and the science teacher who inspired me. So, I thought that I'd put up a photo of a 9th grade exam that I've saved all these decades, and hope that these kids get the inspiration that I got from that teacher (in spite of the fact that I wasn't a boy and couldn't be made a knight!!).
     It was 1959, the space race was in full swing, and mimeograp'ing was the technology of the day for producing student exams.  This was a general science class and was one of the physics components. The purple ink questions have long faded away, but perhaps you can guess them from the answers:

32 ft/sec^2
32 ft/sec^2
100 ft/sec
(1/2 provided your initial velocity is zero)
320 ft/sec
160 ft/sec
1600 ft
200 sec
49,000 m
980 m/sec
102.4 ft/sec
100 lbs
37 degrees
45 degrees....

Then there is the comment: "You deserve a medal. If you were a boy you should be made a knight." Gzsh,
shouldn't have at least told me I could be a Dame?

And, in pencil on the left
side of the astronaut sketch written
a bout ten years later when I
had done an internship at NASA,
someone wrote in "An official of
the NASA says there are no
provisions as yet for a woman
astronaut. The exploration
rockets, however, he says,
do provide for 120 pounds
of recreational equipment."

Times have changed, kids, go for it
on Pi Day!! You are great!

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