Category Archives: General Science

Rich Not-So-Little

And now for something completely different: elephant impressionists.

Researchers have recorded two African elephants (Loxodonta africana) that are adept mimics. One does a decent impression of an Asian elephant, and another is, remarkably, a dead ringer for a passing truck. The skilful impressions are far from the traditional grunts of an average African elephant.

Look for them to headline at the Sahara next year.

[Via Geek Press]

Physics Reminder

Alan Boyle has a little piece today about the elevators in the tallest building in the world. But this bit is misleading:

Imagine riding in a car going almost 40 mph (60.6 kilometers per hour). Not that impressive, right? But now imagine going that same 40 mph … straight up.

That gives you some idea how elevator riders must feel in the world’s tallest building, Taipei 101.

Actually, you can’t feel speed at all. There is no difference in sensation between a twenty mph elevator and a forty mph elevator, other than perhaps vibrations transmitted through the cables and contact with the shaft. Acceleration is what you feel, so the difference is how long it takes you to get up to speed (and back down from it), not what the top speed is.

Similarly, he writes:

The cars go faster on the way up than on the way down