Sliding Scale: The History of Pitch

When I mention to people that I love both the sciences and the humanities, one of the most common responses is that it makes sense, since mathematics and music are intertwined. They absolutely are—like any other sound, music doesn't make sense without distinct frequencies, which we hear and tease apart in our own inner ears. Whether … Continue reading Sliding Scale: The History of Pitch


Is Time Real?

"Time is a distension of the mind." —St. Augustine of Hippo "Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so." —Ford Prefect This is sort of related to my previous posts on French decimal time, time travel, and even time crystals, but in a lot of ways, it's a totally different topic. Scientific ways to measure or deal … Continue reading Is Time Real?

The Best of Time, the Worst of Time: The Failed French Experiment of Decimal Time

If you've traveled internationally or (if you're from the US) taken any chemistry or physics classes, you've probably encountered the challenge of converting between unit systems. Even if you've worked with them before, different temperatures, distances, and masses can all be daunting or at least annoying. At least there's one thing that everyone agrees on … Continue reading The Best of Time, the Worst of Time: The Failed French Experiment of Decimal Time

How Does Radio Transmission Work?

Like many things in our universe, radio transmissions get more interesting the more you think about them. Without them, we obviously wouldn't have radio stations or radar, but they're also behind some of the technologies we take most for granted, like cell phones, satellite navigation, and Wi-Fi (or pretty much anything wireless). At face value, … Continue reading How Does Radio Transmission Work?