Wind is a funny thing. It is all around us and we know it is there from what it does. From how it rustles the leaves on a tree, how it feels against our cheeks, to even the destruction it causes through a storm. However, we never know where it comes from. Sure, we can point at the general direction, but we cannot pinpoint exactly what caused the wind and where it started.
Sometimes in life, a similar thing happens to our hearts as well. Sometimes we are smitten with a feeling or emotion. It may be a warm, breezy sensation that makes you feel happy, or it may be a whirlwind that makes you fall head over heels and feel absolutely helpless in the face of it. More often than not, we cannot find the exact reason or source for this. Even worse, sometimes we figure it out, but far too late.
Like the wind, you may never be able to find where those feelings are coming from, no matter how far you travel. But regardless, perhaps it’s not such a foolish thing to follow the wind. You may not find where it’s blowing from, but at least it will feel nice and keep you cool.
Sometimes when you’re lost and don’t know which direction to go, just follow the wind. It might not be the right direction but at least the breeze will keep you cool.
One of the joys of going to a beach is listening to the breaking of waves. Waves are typically associated with the ocean, but can also form on lakes, rivers, canals or any body of water with a free surface.
Waves are caused by wind blowing over the water surface, dragging it in a certain direction. As the wind only affects the surface, the water below rises to fill the space, causing a circular movement. This appears as a wave on the surface. The faster the wind blows, the more the surface is shifted and the bigger the waves become. Other factors that determine the wave size are: water depth, distance of water that the wind blows over (fetch), the width of the area of the fetch and the duration the wind blows over the area. Because of these factors, some lakes may be as wavy as the sea while others are completely tepid.
The waves formed by the wind merge to form bigger waves in the ocean. The resulting wave is known as a swell. When the swell reaches the shore, the depth of the water reduces, causing the wave to rise in height and become steeper. If the wave is high enough, the base becomes unstable and the wave collapses, which is what causes waves to break.
Although it sounds like a simple process, the consequences can be deadly. Wind waves can reach heights above 30m given that the conditions are right (usually during extremely serious storms). Such a wave can flip a cruise ship with ease like a rubber toy.
The story of the Three Little Pigs is a timeless tale of how important good planning and doing things right is. Also, it serves to remind us that good architecture and engineering is key to one’s survival. A key aspect of the story is how the wolf “huffs and puffs” to blow the straw house and the stick house away. However, he cannot blow the brick house away as it is too well-built. Out of scientific curiosity, how hard does the wolf have to blow to destroy the Little Pigs’ three houses?
An experiment was performed to scientifically test this tale. The researchers built a house out of straw, a house out of sticks and a house out of bricks, then set up a fan to test at what wind speed the house was destroyed. The straw house blew away when the wind speed was 11m/s. The stick house lasted a little longer, up to a wind speed of 21m/s. Then what about the brick house? The brick house withstood winds of 35m/s, whereupon the researchers had to stop as the strong wind nearly blew the people away.