Over fall break, Dr. Tim Van Dyke dropped by my office to say hi, and I complained briefly about how boring it is around here on breaks without any students or faculty in the building. (Well, minus Dr. Van Dyke; he was here for at least a little bit.) So, I guess to take mercy on me while I was sitting alone in my office all day, Dr. Van Dyke sent me a link to the podcasts he has done for his Mechanics of Materials students.
These are funny.
To be fair, you probably won’t get much out of them unless you are an mechanical engineer or at least have a decent understanding of topics like statics and materials engineering. Also, to truly appreciate some of the humor you have to be an insider: you have to have taken Mechanics of Materials or otherwise seen the fabled Strain-O-Matic device which is referenced in some of the pocasts. I found them pretty funny anyway, even though as a graduate with a lowly electrical concentration I did not understand all the high and lofty ideas addressed. (It’s ok, we still build the computers that mechanical machines rely on to run.) My personal favorite was the Better Living through Mechanics of Materials Minute. Listen to the rest of them here.
The really great thing about these podcasts is that because they are funny, a lot of engineering students listen to them. And by listening, it actually helps (to a small extent) for them to retain information about the subjects covered. Which is a cool way to help students learn.