Last week I received a collegial e-mail, noting that our recent Friday videos were increasingly bleak, and that sometimes we can all just use some cute cats to get through the end of the week. As a natural contrarian, my immediate thought was to respond with the video below (warning, those with high blood pressure may wish to abstain from viewing):
But in the end, the e-mailer was right. These are challenging times in so many ways. So instead, here’s a fun video with some science behind it. Likely you’ve seen these drinking bird toys your whole life (it was invented in 1946 by Bell Labs scientist Miles Sullivan). But have you ever wondered how they work? Apparently, even Einstein was stumped, but here, Bill Hammack does a beautiful job breaking down the thermodynamic principles that make it bob back and forth.