Author: Jen

Friction is Always Red

I remember riding in my parents’ car when I was around six years old.  I don’t remember where we were going, but it was dark outside and I was very tired. I was leaning my head against the glass, feeling

Rolling a Marble Down a Ramp

When I was around seven years old, I began to measure things. I would measure the distances between various objects in my room using a piece of kite string. I would measure how long it took for cars to pass

Playing with Sunlight

I’ll never forget when I started playing with sunlight. One day in the spring of my seventh year, I entered a room where sunlight was streaming in through a window; half of the carpet was in the sun and the

Energy, Information, and Geometry

When I was around eight years old, I had a Mickey Mouse record player with built in settings for neutral, 33 RPM, 45 RPM, and 78 RPM in my room. I’d spend hours playing records on that thing. For fun,

Seeing Gear Ratios by Listening

Sometime around my tenth birthday, my dad bought a car with an RPM gauge. Up until that time, I knew that the speed of the car was related to vibration of the engine, but I didn’t know how to measure

Trying to Measure the Speed of Light

I first heard the words “speed of light” when I was ten. Of course, I immediately wanted to measure it. I grabbed a flashlight and a stopwatch and headed to the bathroom. The bathroom in our house had a mirrored

Mechanical Systems and Business Systems

My sixteen-year-old entrepreneurial self started a lawn mowing company with a friend. We had about fifteen customers and we would make the rounds every week. I noticed that a particular aspect of having a “business” had the same pattern as

A Perfect Secret

“A Perfect Secret” is a metaphor for knowing something but not being able to describe it because the words necessary to describe it exist outside of standard verbal language. All of us have things that we know, but can’t describe;

Mapping an Energy and Information System

I was ten or eleven when I decided that I wanted to build a machine that would spin around forever…even though I knew it wouldn’t work. At that point in my youth, I had never heard of “perpetual motion”. Nor