Stories tagged walk

Jul
13
2007

Brendan Fletcher and Emma Nicholas: At the end of their road.  Courtesy Brendan Fletcher and Emma Nicholas.
Brendan Fletcher and Emma Nicholas: At the end of their road. Courtesy Brendan Fletcher and Emma Nicholas.
With all of this talk about world wonders lately I thought I should post about some fellow museum bloggers who have just completed an amazing feat. Brendan Fletcher and Emma Nicholas, working with the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, Australia just finished their 3000km (1864 mile) walk along the entire length of the Great Wall of China. Blogging the entire way, they were helping to add a unique perspective to the Powerhouse Museum's exhibit on the Great Wall and I should say they were quite successful.

Make sure to check out their Walking the Wall blog, which has some very interesting stories about what they found along the way.

I'd like to see more museums trying out adventurous blogs like this. We've featured some of our staff out in Antarctica, Madagascar, and I even got to bob along on a scientific drilling ship in the Pacific. What sort of web journals would you like to see from science museum folks, out in the world, adventuring along? Dino dig blog? Astronaut blog? Underground science blog (science of spelunking)? Nuclear reactor blog?

Jul
12
2007

A man toys with evolution: For God's sake, sir, stop before you wear yourself out!
Courtesy CB Photography
A man toys with evolution: For God's sake, sir, stop before you wear yourself out!
Courtesy CB Photography
Sometimes, at least.

A recent study, outlined in this article, has reached the audacious conclusion that people walk the way they do because it’s efficient.

Well.

The “inverted pendulum” motion of the body (the way we walk) is the most metabolically efficient way for us to move at low speeds, and the parabolic arch motion (the way we run) is most the most efficient for higher speeds.

The same article points out that this is why “silly walks” are, in fact, so silly: because they are inefficient.

So it turns out that evolution is practical, but not particularly funny.

I have found, however, that almost all walks are funny, if you can just watch them from an upside-down perspective. This can be tricky, but if you find yourself at the science museum any time soon, I recommend you check out the “eyepod” (our camera obscura) in the Big Back Yard. It projects an image of the prairie maze, upside down, on the wall of the room. When you see people moving through the maze from that unusual perspective, they do look pretty silly.

As he put his left foot down first Armstrong declared: "That's one small step for man but one giant leap for mankind." July 21, 1969 - humans step onto the moon.