I love this piece from Scientific American, written in the format of a teaching lesson, instructing you how to perform a science experiment: How Fast Can You React?
Think fast! Have you ever noticed that when someone unexpectedly tosses a softball at you, you need a little time before you can move to catch it (or duck)? That’s because when your eyes see an incoming signal such as a softball, your brain needs to first process what’s happening—and thenyou can take action. In this activity, you can measure just how long it takes for you to react, and compare reaction times with your friends and family.
Materials · Ruler (inches or metric) · Paper · Pencil · Chart (below)
Any computer gamer old enough to remember floppy disks probably paid at least a fleeting visit to SimCity, the legendary franchise that let players build — and destroy — the metropolises of their imaginations. After passing through half a dozen incarnations in the two decades since its debut, the game is back, and its creator, Maxis Studios, says that this time, it’s putting more than bricks and mortar into the mix.
Slated for release in 2013, the new SimCity invites players to grapple with tough choices about energy generation, environmental costs and the responsibilities shouldered by inhabitants of a planet with finite resources — choices faced by real policymakers on the very real planet Earth.
To the game’s original repertoire of fire stations and governor’s mansions, power lines and city budgets, Maxis is adding a cocktail of new challenges, including limited resources and the spillover effects of pollution.