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{ Category Archives } factoids

Is methane poisonous?

An old Perry Mason show, the Case of the Bogus Books (first aired 9-27-62), has a murder caused by natural gas or methane. It seems the criminal turned off the gas to kill the pilot light and then turned the gas on again so it would kill the occupant of the room as gas from […]

Now vs then on gift costs

When you look at the price of things, say a new high end radio, it may be tough to think you get more for the money. But there’s a lot to be thankful for for how much you can get for how little compared to what was. Professor Perry describes Christmas shopping: 1958 vs. 2012. […]

Know a geek?

xkcd has a bunch of posters and T’s at the xkcdstore. Some of the posters have very educational charts taking a look at party representation in Congress over time, launch vehicles, online communities, lakes and oceans, and other stuff. T’s allow you to wear your Linux cheat sheet or make the threat that you know […]

Personal defense pistol caliber

Strategy Page describes Why the .45 Matters but misses one critical fact. The military is restricted by the Geneva conventions which allow only ball ammunition. Civilian self defense is a different matter than military action and that means that using the military experience needs to be properly qualified. “A smaller, faster bullet has a tendency […]

My, but I feel old: the TRS-80 anniversary

“The Model I was invented by Don French (A buyer for Tandy) & Steve Leininger (The head of the Homebrew Computer Association) and first announced on Wednesday, August 3, 1977, in Radio Shack Press Release 7741-A, at a press conference at the Warwick Hotel in New York City.” [TRS-80 website] 35 years ago … The […]

80 years on: the neutron

It was only 80 years ago – one human lifetime – that Sir James Chadwick discovered the neutron. PhysOrg has the story. “In 1932, Chadwick’s work led him to the discovery of a previously unknown particle in the atomic nucleus that was crucial to the fission of uranium 235. It became known as the neutron […]

Power levels

The comparison of the LHC beam to the power levels of an aircraft carrier or a locomotive raised a question for me. So I looked around to see if that was indeed the case. The power levels of the LHC are the subject of an answers page. That calculates the beam power at something like […]

The CERN LHC beam in human terms

Somebody asked: What would happen if you put your hand in front of the CERN LHC? [Video]. The scientists hadn’t really given this idea much thought, it seems. PCBheaven has a video with ideas about what would happen. Some of the trivia exposed is that the beam is about a millimeter in diameter but carries […]

Discovery of the elements – timeline

There is an electropaedia with a tabular timeline for the discovery of the elements. This has fascinated me since I investigated the introductory physical science course developed by the PSSC. That course traveled the history of separating things to learn about molecules and atoms and their relative sizes. You can see the impact of technology […]

What do you do with your own R/C model construction company?

Joe, a retired Canadian rancher, has a hobby that keeps him busy down in the basement. See The Story Behind Joe, the Man who Excavated his Basement Using Only R/C Scale Models Joe: “First, I would like to make a correction as I have not been digging the basement for 15 years as reported but […]