Carnivalia, and an open thread

Perusable blogaliciousness for your Friday morning:

The Tangled Bank

The Hairy Museum of Natural History has put out a call for submissions to the Tangled Bank, with an early deadline. If you want a shot at maybe seeing your link with a custom illustration, send it in by Sunday evening. He’ll try to accept stuff up through Tuesday, but make life easy on the guy, OK?


  1. says

    First comment in an open thread! OK, I was wondering if anybody out there in blog-land knows of a place I could go to ask really basic Physics questions, like “Why is it easy to balance a bicycle in motion, but difficult to balance a bicycle when stopped?”

    Either an answer to the above, or a link (or URL) to a Physics website (blog?) that might help would be appreciated.

  2. Magnus Malmborn says

    The explanation for a moving bicycle is wrong, and in reality it’s more control theory than physics. I’ll skip the details, but the simple answer is this:

    A bike has this property, that if you lean it to one side, the front wheel will turn to that side. This is caused by the design of the front fork, not by gyration or other exotic effects, and works equally for a standing bike and a moving bike.

    Now, when the bike is moving and start to fall to one side, the turn will counter the fall by simply moving the wheels in under the center of gravity faster than the bike falls. This effect is automatic and does not require any action from the rider.

    In practice the bike always overcompensate, and thus initiate a new turn back to the other side, this is why bicycle tracks are never straight.