I've made a few more videos: In early internet days I looked around the vast empty space and decided to become "Johnny Apple-meme" to try to trigger some infectious ideas in any normal people who dare to come use this "www" thing.
Some ideas were my own invention, while others were just cool things I'd found in obscure articles. Let's see how they're doing: Forming some new science nerds Since the Scientific American ended "The Amateur Scientist" column, and Popular Electronics magazine died off again, the kids of the s have no chances to encounter any wicked-cool DIY science hacks. Our whole culture is going to be taken over again by sports and TV shows, with all the nerds hiding out in libraries.
What can be done? Actually I just want to turn lots of kids into loner weirdo physics-geeks. Hey, this "internet" thing might be big. Since I'm here early before everyone else discovers it, and since the entire www is boring and empty, I can post articles on the best science projects I've encountered.
My site should end up as some of the only interesting "content" on the entire internet. Porn isn't available yet, so they'll have to come to me for twisted online entertainment! Electrostatic pop bottle motor! Maybe more than just hundreds. Millions of fanatical Nikola Tesla worshippers As a kid I was one of these myself. Tesla fanatic, s, seeing those vacuum-tube T. Made a 1" spark using a flyback xformer, when I was Now, if my website is going to attract vast numbers of innocent little kids doing science fair projects, I can infect them with Nikola Tesla, introducing them to a whole resource page about some unknown Serbian high-voltage weird inventor which earlys internet has never heard about.
Get them all subscribing to T. A and Pupman forum. Ooops, it worked far better than I expected. Nowdays I'm more of a Tesla-skeptic myself, but faced with ravening hoards of fanatical Tesla Believers which I helpted create.
Sorry about that everybody. Leaf-blower hovercrafts I saw an article on " human air hockey pucks " in Physics Teacher magazine. Rather than letting physics teachers have all the fun, I started pushing it via Jim B's science outreach company.
I modified the plans: I was hoping to post the plans via Gopher hypertext on something called "The Internet," but fortunately the WWW appeared, so I didn't have to figure out how Gopher works. The science fair community became infected by those plans, and now leaf-blower hovercrafts are competing with volcanos and solar-system models to be the most common science fair project. Yes, it really does lift an entire crowd of high-school kids.
In the Mythbusters tried to "bust" it, see episode 17 "Levitation machine. Based on my vast collection of student misconceptions taken from those K6 textbooks, I worked out a cure: Compared to the distorted stuff in K12 textbooks, mine was certainly Alternate. But unlike the gradeschool stuff, my version is just like university physics: Not just a list of disconnected Important Facts to memorize.
Now that the internet suddenly has appeared, how many other minds will pick up my infection. Neodymium Supermagnets While working on science exhibits in we had some large, dangerous "neodymium" magnets. I'd worked with tiny SmCo supermagnets, and these Neos were the same. But they were cheap! There were all sorts of weird new physics demonstrations you could perform. But the magnets were only available from China imports Tridus International.
When Gopher changed into Web in , I started pushing this as science fair projects. Arbor Scientific then started selling cm-sized magnets for only five bucks, so soon the public could start messing with these. The word started spreading. Then Wondermagnet started selling them. Wow, this one took off like wildfire. Would it still have happened if nobody intentionally contaminated the online amateur science community with neodymium? Scientists don't use "The Scientific Method.
That stuff about hypothesis-experiment-conclusion? Real scientists don't work that way. There's lots of articles about this, but nobody gathers them together in one place online. They're too dilute, and have no impact. If I add a small "scientific method" section, maybe I can light a few fires and get some changes happening.
A small war erupts on Wikipedia definition of The Scientific Method. Scientific Method becomes the enemy, all the grade school textbooks are turning against it! Neodymium sphere-magnet beads toy The neo magnets craze caught fire. Can I do it again, a different one? Well, as part of Seattle Weird Sci. Salon we make bulk purchases for the group.
One popular item has been supermagnets. In this case, our bulk purchase had an interesting result. Round supermagnets had no use I was making Bucky-spheres, nanotubes, and finding cool patterns possible using long chains. These would be a hot-selling toy item, and I showed them to one toy company but they weren't interested. Way too expensive, and far too dangerous as a toy for little kids.
I realized that I didn't have ambition to start a company selling them. They're not a toy for little kids. Also, way too much work: So I finally decided not to patent the magnet-beads puzzle toy, but instead to break secrecy and put the idea in the PD public domain. I could use them as an "internet meme. I decided to test the waters by describing them on my Neodemo page around Years later in I split off a webpage just for neo spheres. I started selling them at the yearly Mike and Key ham radio fleamarket , and later at my table at Freemont Sunday Market see 2: No matter how cool they are, they just don't attract attention.
Finally towards the end of I posted some youtube videos. Apparently some "seeds" are too small, and just won't sprout! You can't light a forest fire with matches that go out. Then in March I posted the coolest secret: Apparently that triggered it!
The "neocube" video was posted on youtube, and suddenly the idea caught fire all over the place. A few months later there were Neocubes and Cybercubes and QQmag and Magcube and Magbead and Buckyballs and Cubercube and Nanodots, and many un-trademarked magnet blobs on eBay none patentable you see!
I put it into in the public domain, anyone can pick a new product name and start selling them. They even might end up outselling all other shapes. Probably the sales volume in spheres is supporting entire towns in China.
The indie toy companies can go wild, with no Mattels or Hasbros coming in to take over everything. I posted an entire page of links, articles, and a pro literature search printout. Hey, maybe if I can get the garage science crowd to mess with it, then some hobbyist will make the breakthrough and create it on demand.
Then guys on vortex-L figured out how to make microwave oven Plasmoids on demand. That did it; interest soared although microwave Plasmoids probably aren't thunderstorm BLs. I'd been vaguely aware of some sort of problem with these explanations, and argued about it with Larry Bell, the exhibits director.
Jan-Olov Newborg was a fellow troublemaker. We pushed and pushed the issue of misconceptions, got it into everyones faces, triggered repeated flamewars on the RC-modelers and professional pilot forums. My airfoil misconception page attracted much traffic. I found Jeff Raskin's treatment of the issue, and Gail Craig's book. Pilots started photographing the vortex-downwash penetrating cloud layers. Online I met the author of the NASA GRC education site and, during a big nasty private fight between three physicists, apparently convinced him to deeply research the issue and to post misconception-fighting articles on the NASA site.
Soon major news services picked it up! Note again that this one was not my invention. I was just "Weltner's bulldog. After looking at it for years, I slowly see that a second hidden misconception is behind all this.