[ home | contact dr. berk | archive | science q&a ] Updated: Niko-Niko Punsuka Hamuemon

Please Pass the Science
by dr. scott berk

Simplistic, misleading, and somewhat condescending. . . but never boring!


Hello, I'm doing a researching about bowling ball's structure and I need to know what is it made of? PVC?

There are many web resources which will give you all the information you need to know. The structure of a bowling ball can be quite complex. check out:


for some good basic information.

From there, you can go to some bowling ball manufacturer sites, such as:

http://www.columbia300.com/products/products.htm [contains very detailed information about the composition of all the bowling ball materials!]

and for some of the most mind-blowing web content I've seen, check out the Shockwave presentation from Storm Products:

apparently, AMF (http://www.amf.com) and Brunswick (http://www.brunswickbowling.com) also have Shockwave presentations. Competition!

Finally, how about:
http://www.vertex.com.tw/ "manufactures time clocks, electronic/manual recorders, check writers, laminators, and bowling balls."

WHAT?!? Office supplies. . . and bowling balls. Of course.

Do a web search on "bowling ball" to find these and other delightful links.


Does the weight of a bowling ball affect how many pins it knocks down? (The speed and where the ball will hit will be the same)

Absolutely. Knocking pins down is all about a transfer of momentum from ball to pin, and momentum is directly proportional to both velocity and mass (p=mv in physics parlance). Thus, a heavier ball traveling at the same speed as a lighter one will pack a bigger punch. Note that this will not necessarily lead to more pins being knocked down, but there may definitely be a difference. Bowling is a complex and beautiful sport.


Had read about your glowing pickle, and felt inspired. Thought that I would share with you what came to mind:

Precautions to be taken when electrocuting a pickle (a viable entertainment option):

#1) When plugging in your pickle, make sure to use a properly insulated extension cord and do not electrocute your pickle with more than 220 volts.

#2) Do not attempt to read by your electrocuted pickle, for this may lead to eye strain.

#3) Avoid leaving your pickle plugged in for more than 15 minutes at a time.

#4) Do not try to fool your pickle... it is a big gherkin now, and should be allowed to face its electrocution with dignity.

#5) If the pickle begins to move after electrocution, clear the area... pickles were never intended for such things, and only God knows what an electrocuted pickle is capable of.

#5a) Hence, always keep a baseball bat handy. You never can tell when one of those pickles is going to come back to life.

#6) Never use a pickle more than once, otherwise you may experience unpleasant 'pickle burnout'.

#7) Make sure to always wait until the clock strikes the hour, for the governor may call, and grant your pickle a pardon.

#8) Be sure that the electrocutioner wears a black mask... if you are identified, it is a sure thing his gherkin kin will hunt you down, being more than glad to ram an extension cord up your ass and plug you in.

#9) If your pickle takes two "AA" batteries, that isn't the right kind of pickle.

#10) Do not attempt to substitute a sea cucumber for a pickle, or you will have drastically less appealing results (seen the Exorcist?).

#11) Make sure there are at least 3 electrocution levers, pulled by three different people. I don't know about you, but I couldn't live with the guilt of knowing that I was the one that did the pickle in.


---- Spikydog & Big Ed

Insofar as any guilt felt by electrocuting the hapless gherkins, or any fear of retaliation, psychological or otherwise, from their 'kin' (is that a thinly veiled pun?), I can wholeheartedly assert that the destruction of vinegar soaked cucumbers in any way, no matter how cruel or inhumane, does not register the slightest amount of deflection on my moral compass whatsoever. I am, and shall continue to be, an unrepentant pickle electrocutioner.

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