Chips, beer, wings, and dip are just a few foods that Americans consume a whole lot of during the Super Bowl. We're talking millions of pounds! If you've ever wondered what the true numbers amount to, then keep clicking for the breakdown.
For a little New Year's Eve prep, we're going to play a game. I'll name a place, and you tell me how a glass is raised there. Do you know how to ring in 2012 with "cheers!" in every language? Let's find out.Take the Quiz
Since the wine — which certainly isn't for snobs — makes such a splash each year, I thought I would throw out some questions and see if you can, ahem, arrive at the answers. What do you know about Beaujolais Nouveau? Let's find out.Take the Quiz
If you're like me, the answer is not much, as I discovered after attending a dinner held by Olive Oil From Spain. At the event, I had the opportunity to taste a number of olive varietals, from arbequina (buttery and delicate) and cornicabra (zesty) to hojiblanca (bitter almond) and picual (grassy), that showed off the oil's wide flavor range. But I also learned something else: until this point, I've been misinformed when it comes to olive oil. Here are four facts about olive oil that might surprise you.
There's more to Michael Phelps's 19 Olympic gold medals and Missy Franklin's spot on the medal podium than their years of hard training. They also have science on their side. In fact, the best swimmers in the world take advantage of fluid dynamics to reach for gold and beat their competitors. Using their strokes and body positions to minimize drag, top swimmers can increase thrust and reduce resistance. With the help of engineers, NBC Learn produced a 10-part video series leading up to the Games called The Science of the Summer Olympics, which features fascinating details about the more technical side of the sports on display. In this video, they explain how swimmers like Missy Franklin win gold using science, specifically fluid dynamics.
- Thrust and overcoming drag are the two key components of fluid dynamics. Thrust is what pushes a swimmer forward. Drag is the resistance of water to the motion of the body.
- Like any object looking to achieve maximum speed, such as cars or airplanes, engineers study swimmers' movements to help them move faster in the water.
- There are three types of drag: frictional drag, pressure drag, and wave drag.
- Strength and power in a swimmer's catch (the moment after your hand enters the water in front of you) are of utmost importance in order to maximize thrust.
Watch the video below to learn how engineers help explain Missy Franklin's quest for gold:
With the best of the best competing against one another, photo finishes are inevitable in the Olympic Games — which makes high-tech, extremely accurate time measurements crucial. How do those highly precise times come about? Thanks to Science of the Summer Olympics, the 10-part series produced by Science 360 and NBC Learn, we've uncovered some fascinating facts about the technology behind the numbers.
- The high-tech Olympic time-keeping system is built using a variety of cameras, lasers, computers, and extremely accurate clocks.
- All the times are measured down to the millisecond, producing results that are exactly 100 times more accurate than those of a stopwatch.
- For the track and swimming events, there are speakers installed behind the starting blocks to make sure all the athletes are able to hear the starting gun.
- Sensors are placed within the starting block to track the athletes' movement, and an electronic signal indicates a false start.
- During track races, runners move through a laser beam, and a high-tech camera captures over 2,000 digital images per second to ensure the most accurate results.
- For races with several participants — like cycling and marathons — the athletes are equipped with small electronic tags that attach to their bikes or shoes.
For more information about Olympic timing, watch Science of the Summer Olympics: Measuring a Champion below:
The big names, bright lights, and fierce athletic competition are enough to make anyone excited for the 2012 Olympic Games. But here is something that trivia hounds and techies will appreciate: the science behind the 2012 Olympic swimming pool. Believed to be one of the most technologically advanced pools ever built, the London Aquatics Centre is just as impressive as the athletes swimming in it.
With the collabortion of top engineers, the pool was designed to help facilitate some of the fastest times the sport has ever seen. NBC Learn produced a 10-part video series leading up to the big games called The Science of the Summer Olympics, which featured fascinating details about the more technical side of the sports on display. We highlighted the most astounding details of this futuristic pool below:
- The bottom of the London Pool has a movable floor. During the games, it will sit about 10 feet deep to negate the waves that swimmers will create while moving through the pool.
- The sides and ends to the pool are lined with a special trough to "swallow waves," preventing them and their energy from rebounding back into a swimmer's lane.
- A lane line's main purpose is to dissipate energy before a swimmer travels into another competitor's lane.