The Scientific Arts

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Devotional: Threads in the Tapestry

Now as we have many parts in one body, and all the parts do not have the same function, in the same way we who are many are one body in Christ and individually members of one another.

Romans 12:4–5

When animators work on a cartoon, thousands of drawings are needed to create the illusion of motion. In fact, the more drawings that are used, the better the illusion. When too few drawings are used, the animation looks choppy, and you see each individual drawing instead of one fluid motion. When more drawings are used (up to 24 per second), you may not see each individual drawing, but the whole animation looks better as a result.

Similarly, a musician rarely plays a single note, but typically plays multiple notes together that make harmonies. These harmonies are pleasing to the ear, and if any one note is missing from the harmony, it affects the quality of the music.

The Body of Christ is like that—made up of many people, each individual person has their role to play and is an essential thread in the tapestry of God’s kingdom. Take away any one person, and it is not nearly as strong or beautiful.


Dear Lord, we are honored to be a part of your body. We are humbled to know that you love someone even as small as us, and to know that you love us just as much as everyone else. Thank you for your love and care. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Moving Pictures


How do animators make their drawings move?


Optical illusions happen when your brain is tricked into seeing something that is different from what is actually there. In animated cartoons, one of the most popular optical illusions in America, your brain is being tricked into thinking the drawings are moving, when really it is just seeing a series of drawings. Scientists call this type of illusion “apparent motion.”


Can you trick your brain into thinking a stack of pictures is moving?



Moon flip book, printed on cardstock


Cut apart the moon cards and stack them in order. Holding one side of the cards, flip them with the thumb on the other side. Does it look like the moon is moving?

Analysis and Conclusion

The moon looks like it is moving when you flip the cards faster than your brain can process each picture and the illusion of apparent motion is created.


Try this experiment again using a flip book you make yourself! It can be as simple as two pictures slightly different from each other that you flip back and forth, or as intricate as hundreds of pictures (a full-length feature animation uses thousands of pictures!). The more pictures you draw, the longer your animation will be.

String Harmonics


How does a musician get different sounds from a single string?


Have you ever wondered why some stringed instruments have different string lengths and some have strings all the same length? Or have you ever watched someone play the guitar and wondered how they can get so many different notes from just six stings? In today’s experiment, we are going to learn how to find harmonics on the ukulele. A “harmonic” is a group of notes that are mathematically related to each other.


How does changing the string length change the sound of the string when plucked?



  • Ukulele (make sure it is in tune)
  • Tape measure
  • Adult helper (optional)


  1. Strum each the strings to hear what a harmonic sounds like (they should sound like a bell).
  2. Select a string and touch it lightly with a left finger at the twelfth fret (the “frets” are the spaces between the silver lines on the neck of the ukulele; start at the nuts and count to the twelfth fret). Strum the string again with the right hand, lifting the left finger immediately. If a bell-like sound is heard, you have found a harmonic! If not, try at another fret.
  3. When a harmonic is found, measure the string length, and compare it to the length of the string up to the fret.


What is the fraction of the fret length compared to the whole string?


Harmonics are found when the string is held down in equal fractions: 1/2 string length, 1/3, etc.

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