Eclectic Clips

Here are miscellaneous tidbits that I have collected from the net, from printed
media, or calculated over the years. Last updated 9/22/17.

(SN = Science News)

The sun moves north and south every year. At an equinox it crosses over the equator. How fast does the place directly under the sun (the sub-solar point) move in the north-south direction? I’m glad you asked. 43 km/day, 1.8 km/hr, 27 miles/day, 1.1 miles/hr.

Incandescent light bulbs near operating voltage (
  • Light output is approximately proportional to V 3.4
  • Power consumption is approximately proportional to V 1.6
  • Lifetime is approximately proportional to V −16
  • Color temperature is approximately proportional to V 0.42
  • The geothermal gradient of temperatures through the crust is 25–30 °C (45–54 °F) per kilometer of depth in most of the world. The conductive heat flux averages 100 KW/km2 (0.1 W/m2). Compare that to an overall average of about 200 W/m2 from sunlight.
  • To manufacture a roll of toilet paper requires 37 gallons of water, 1.3 KWH of electricity
    and some 1.5 pounds of wood. A typical bidet uses 1/8 gallon per use.
  • Ice gets harder with colder temperatures. Its hardness is 1.5 at 0 °C; 6 at -70.
    (On the Mohs scale, a pencil lead has a hardness of 1; a fingernail has hardness 2.5;
    a copper penny about 3.5; a knife blade 5.5; window glass 5.5; steel file 6.5; diamond 10.)
  • And we’re going to keep having these meetings every day until we find out why no work
    ever gets done around here! -Sally Forth comic strip 6-8-03
  • Gravity slows time – a person on a lower bunk ages several 10-12 s less over night.
  • coefficients of linear expansion (in fractional expansion x 10-6/°C)
    Al     24
    steel  12
    glass  4-6
    water  33 at 10 °C and rises ~linearly up to ~50 °C (=°C x 10/3)

    So, a cold glass of water full to the brim will over flow if warmed; a steel lid on a glass jar will become looser if warmed.

  • Density of water in gm/cc
     °F  °C  density
     32   0  0.9150 (solid)
     32   0  0.9999 (liquid)
     39   4  1.0000 (max density)
     46   8  0.9999
     68  20  0.9982
    104  40  0.9920
    140  60  0.9832
    176  80  0.9718

    So when a cup of beverage cools from very hot (80°C) to hot (60°C) it shrinks
    by about 1% — noticeable (about 1 mm in a 4 inch mug). Going to warm (40°C) depresses
    it another 1%; then another 1/2% to room temperature.

  • Sunrise and sunsets in Seattle:
    At the spring equinox the sun rises 2 min. earlier and sets 1.5 min. later every day.
    At the autumn equinox it rises 1.4 min. later and sets 2.1 min. earlier per day.
    The latest sunset is at 9:11pm on 6/25; it sets at 9:10 on 6/21 (the solstice and
    longest day)
    The earliest sunrise is at 5:10am on 6/16; it rises at 5:11 on 6/21.
    The earliest sunset is at 4:17pm on 12/11; it sets at 4:20 12/22 (the solstice
    and shortest day)
    The latest sunrise is 7:58am on 1/1; it rises at 7:55 on 12/22
    All these asymmetries are due to the Earth’s orbit not being a perfect circle
    and the Earth’s axis being inclined away from the perpendicular to its orbital plane.
  • Most programmers would agree that it is much harder to debug programs than
    to write them. So if you are as clever as you can be when you write. . .
  • There is more water in the water vapor in most clouds than in the droplets!
    water vapor: 1% water if 45°F dew point which is 7*10-6 gm/cc
    (85° dew point is 4x)droplets: a typical cloud has a few hundred droplets/cc 10-15 micron each. This
    yields only 1.5-10*10-7 gm/cc)
  • Humidity: the moisture content of 100% humid air approximately doubles every
    10°C; going from 4.8 gm/m3 at 0° to 30.0 at 30°.
  • Job (from the Bible) was not particularly patient, but he did exhibit extraordinary perseverance.
  • There is no mention in scripture of angels ever singing.
  • The first step in fulfilling your dream is to wake up.
  • To have Jesus go before you, always follow him.
  • This alert is issued jointly by the office of Homeland security, NASA, and
    Although it looks like an innocent, inert substance, sugar is a cunning life
    form engaged in an insidious plot of world domination. It is in league with
    co-conspirator chocolate to first occupy then take total control of vulnerable
    human hosts in its massive reproduction scheme. Compromised hosts will work
    long hours so they can acquire more and make more varieties. Specialized hosts
    design ever more seductive mutations, publicize how much pleasure these will
    give other hosts and construct massive reproduction facilities. Be vigilant,
    though resistance may be futile. DAT 3/03
  • The crawler that moves the space shuttles from the assembly building to
    the launch pad uses 140 gal. of fuel/mile.
  • Climate can change quickly: “Data suggest that at one point, about 11,500
    years ago, global temperatures fell by as much as 16 degrees and rainfall
    was halved in just a decade. Those conditions then persisted for 1,000 years.”
    University Week 1/10/02
  • IMAX movie resolution: 4000 x 3000 pixels.
  • Solar sails: one proposal would use solar photons to push on a half km reflective
    carbon fiber sail (0.1 oz/sq yd (<0.06 average spacecraft surface density
    needed for direct hyperbolic orbit)). The force at the Earth’s distance from
    the sun is 7N/sq km (4 lb/sq mile). The force decreases with R2. The
    spacecraft would eventually reach 90 km/s. (NASA web page 6/00) Another proposal would use the solar wind (typically 6 electrons and protons/cc
    moving at 500 km/sec at Earth’s distance from the sun). The force is smaller
    (by a factor of 3,600), but the “sail” need only be a magnetic field. One
    way to generate it is to use a large (hundreds of km!) super-conducting
    ring. Another way is to use a small magnetic field generator and inflate
    the field with a plasma – making a mini-magnetosphere tens of km across.
    According to estimates by Winglee (“M2P2” U. Wash. ’99), a 100-kilogram
    spacecraft generating a 50 km magnetic bubble would experience 5 N of force
    (1.1 lb) and accelerate at 0.005 g. 3 kilowatts of electricity from solar
    cells would keep the field up; several kg of gas would keep the plasma supplied
    for 3 months and reach a velocity of 100 km/s. The force is nearly constant
    with distance from the sun because as the solar wind gets thinner further
    from the sun, the plasma expands proportionally. The sun’s gravitational
    pull on 100 kg is only 0.6 N at the Earth’s distance.
  • 1500 g is the acceleration felt by an object (like a disk drive) when hitting
    a medium-thickness carpet from desk height. – from info on IBM’s MicroDrive.
  • When I plug in my powered-off cell phone to recharge it, its LCD screen
    says, “Battery is charging. Power is off.” Something is wrong with this picture.
  • Advice to the shy: “You don’t have to be interesting. You have to be interested.
    That’s how you have conversations.” – John Gottman, UW psychology professor
  • “Love always protects, trusts, hopes, preserves.”
    In marriage, being the right person is as important as finding the right person.
  • A prediction: this next decade will see a resurgence of New Year’s resolutions

    all those 0’s (especially ’02) – lots of ought’s:). Made in 1999.
  • “Don’t whine, shine” – David Ring, a man born with cerebral palsy who
    has become a preacher and world renown speaker.
  • Caffeine, sugar, and calerie info coffee, Coke, etc.
  • “A man with a watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never
    sure.” – Segal’s Law
  • “After all, the deepest truth is that the Christ-like life is glorious,
    undefeatably glorious, There is no defeat unless one loses God, and then all
    is defeat, though it be housed in castles and buried in fortunes.” Frank Laubach
  • “If there’s righteousness in the heart, there’ll be beauty in the character.
    If there’s beauty in the character, there’ll be harmony in the home.
    If there’s harmony in the home, there’ll be order in the nation.
    If there’s order in the nation, there will be peace in the world.
    It starts in the home.”
    Mary Crowley (perhaps quoting someone else)
  • Plastic recycle numbers: There are seven types of plastic that are identified
    by a Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) code number ranging from 1 to

    • 1 Polyethylene terephthalate (PET) is the most readily recyclable material
      at this time. It includes soda bottles as well as some bottles containing
      liquor, liquid cleaners, detergents and antacids.
    • 2 High-density polyethylene (HDPE) is currently recyclable in some areas.
      This class includes milk, juice and water jugs, as well as bottles for
      laundry detergent, fabric softener, lotion, motor oil and antifreeze.
    • 3 Polyvinyl chloride (PVC, also referred to simply as vinyl) includes
      bottles for cooking oil, salad dressing, floor polish, mouthwash and liquor,
      as well as “blister packs” used for batteries and other hardware and toys.
    • 4 Low-density polyethylene (LDPE) includes grocery bags, bread bags,
      trash bags and a variety of other film products.
    • 5 Polypropylene includes a wide variety of packaging such as yogurt
      containers, shampoo bottles and margarine tubs along with cereal box liners,
      rope and strapping, combs and battery cases.
    • 6 Polystyrene includes Styrofoam™ coffee cups, food trays and “clamshell”
      packaging, as well as some yogurt tubs, clear carry-out containers and
      plastic cutlery. Foam applications are sometimes called EPS, or expanded
    • 7 Other or a mixture of 1-6.
  • Gasoline is mostly C9 H20 and yields about 125 megaJ/gal. Diesel is mostly
    C14 H30 and yields about 147 megaJ/gal.
  • Exercise chart: Calories burned per hour while walking. Multiply by 1.16
    to get watts.

    MPH   0%   2%   4%   6%   8%  10%  12%  % grade
    1.5  183  218  253  288  324  359  394
    2    215  262  309  356  403  450  497
    3    281  351  422  492  563  633  704
    4    346  440  534  628  722  816  910
  • The Russian Mir space station orbiting at about 370 km is losing altitude
    at the rate of 10 – 20 km per year due to the slight friction with the small
    amount of atmospheric gas at this altitude. [NASA 2/99]
    The drag on the ISS lowers it 10-12 km/mo (it has more surface area).
    It orbits at about 390 km.
  • The Mississippi River only drops 50 feet in its last 500 miles. That slope
    is only 4 arc seconds.
  • Silence may not be golden, but at least it’s quiet. Don’t speak unless you
    can improve the silence. I have often regretted my speech, never my silence.
    – Adam Rifkin
  • “Smart is when you believe only half of what you hear.
    Brilliant is when you know which half.”
  • There about 100 million gigabytes (100 petabytes) of television produced
    each year. There are 2 billion gigabytes (2 exabytes) of telephone audio produced
    each year. (’98)
  • Perfume: it takes 800 lbs. of rose petals to make 1 lb of oil. The oil is
    worth $600 – 3500/lb. Perfume has > 22% oil; cologne has < 5 % (the rest is
    alcohol). There are generally 3 different kinds of oils in a perfume mix –
    one that lasts a few minutes after being applied, one that lasts a few hours,
    and one that lasts about a day. These days a perfume will only have 15% natural
    oil; the rest being synthetic. Nat. Geographic 10/98.
  • Movie theater movie prints cost about $1000 each and last for about 65 showings
    before they show wear and must be replaced. 800 – 6,000 prints are made for
    a release. Studios pay for the prints (not the theaters). Advanced Imaging
  • Gross revenues:
    broadcast television: $32.3 billion (1999, according to Veronis Suhler)
    cable television: $45.5 billion (“)
    newspaper business: $27.5 billion (“)
    Hollywood: $31 billion (“)
    professional and educational publishing: $14.8 billion (“)
    video rentals: $10.3 billion (2000)
    video sales: $10.8 billion (2000)
    movie box office: $7.67 billion (2000, according to the National Association
    of Theater Owners)
  •  Altitude   Pressure  Temp diff from   Boiling temp
    (1000 ft)    (in Hg)   sea level (F)   of water (F)
           0        29.9               0            212
           2        27.6              -7            208
           4        25.8             -14            205
           6        24.0             -22            201
           8        22.4             -29            198
          10        20.6             -36            194
          15        16.7             -54            184
          30         8.9            -108            157
          50         3.4            -128            120
         100         0.3                             50

    The pressure decreases by a factor of 2 every 18,000 ft (the half height).
    Temperature decreases by about 2°C/1000 ft up to 30,000 ft. The boiling
    point of water decreases by about 1°C/1000 ft up to 50,000 ft. Both rules
    of thumb are accurate to within 2%.

  • COMPUTER-WAR.GIF (9k) is a cute little animation
    from Internet Addiction
  • On the other hand,
    you have different fingers.
  • disk drives:
                  1956     1991     1997    2001
    ave. size     5 MB   145 MB   2.6 GB   40 GB
    cost/MB    $10,000    $5.23     $.10  $0.003
  • Number of internet addresses: current system (’98) uses 32 bits; 232 is
    4.3 billion. This has turned out to be not nearly enough (especially when
    they are allocated in blocks that are not totally used). The new scheme uses
    128 bits. 2128 is 3.4 x 1038. That is enough for each atom on the surface
    of the earth to have 500,000 addresses. I wonder what computing will be like
    when that is not enough.
  • It takes 5 recycled 2-liter soft drink bottles to make a t-shirt.
  • Why can’t everyone be like me? – its easy.
  • Every clock is right unto itself.
  • The moon’s path around the sun is always concave toward the sun. (The moon’s
    motion around the earth is slight compared to its motion around the sun.)
  • In frustration the teacher said, “Why do you always answer my rhetorical
    questions?” A student volunteered, “I think I know…”
  • “Experience is a formidable teacher; she gives the test first, the lesson
  • Have you ever imagined a world with no hypothetical situations?
  • Friction from tides is slowing down the earth. A day will be about 0.002
    sec longer every century.
  • Computer lab user: Nothing scares me more than to see a software guy with
    a screwdriver in his hand. (He was looking at me.)
  • In the Hoh valley in the Olympic Peninsula, Washington not only do they
    get 150 inches of rain a year, they also get 30 inches of “fog drip.” Seattle
    Times 3/16/97
  • Impact frequency and effect of different size meteoroids (The NASA Spaceguard
    Survey Report, 1992 and Rare Earth by Ward and Brownlee, 2000)

    • (an average of 40,000 tons of material falls per year; mostly in the
      smaller sizes)
    • 10 micrometer: 1/m2/day; float down through the atmosphere
    • 100 micrometer: 1/m2/year; “
    • 1 mm: 15/100 km sq/hr; burn up in the atmosphere as faint visible meteors
    • >2 cm (~something findable): 1/km2/10,000 yr
    • 10 m: 1/whole Earth/5 yr; energy of 100 kilotons of TNT; most explode
      completely in the atmosphere and produce little damage on the ground unless
      they are rare iron or stony-iron
    • 150 m: 1/5000 yr; 400 megatons of TNT; 3 km crater (stony meteroids
      this size and larger survive atmospheric passage and make craters)
    • 1 km: 1/300,000 years; 100,000 megatons of TNT; 10-15 km craters
    • 2 km: 1/500,000 years; 1 million megatons of TNT; 20-30 km crater;
      this size and larger kick up enough long lasting stratospheric dust to
      cause a “nuclear” winter.
    • 10 km: 1/100 million years; 100 million megatons; one this size wiped
      out the dinosours and over half of all other species 65 million years
    • 100 km: not since 3.9 billion years ago; would destroy oceans, atmosphere,
      and sterilize all life in the top several km of the whole Earth.
  • Recent large impacts:
    • In 1908 in Tunguska, Siberia a ~60 m stony metoroid exploded 8 km high
      with 12 megatons of energy and knocked down trees for a radius of 20-40
      km. No crater; no pieces found.
    • 50,000 years ago a 50 m iron meteoroid hit in Arizona forming a 1 km
      crater with 10-20 megatons of energy.
  • “What happens if a big asteroid hits the Earth? Judging from realistic
    simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we can
    assume it will be pretty bad.”
    Dave Barry, “Well Dressed for Disaster”
  • Supernova explosions within 30 light years of Earth would affect life here;
    within 1 light year would sterilize the Earth. (Rare Earth by Ward and Brownlee)
  • Earthquake info: Seattle Times 5/3/96
    • 3.5 slight; barely felt (100,000/yr world wide mag 3-4)
    • 4.5 moderate; windows rattle (15,000/yr)
    • 5.5 strong; furniture moves; some damage (3,000/yr)
    • 6.5 destructive; some walls fall (100/yr)
    • 7.5 disastrous; most masonry building, bridges destroyed (20/yr)
    • 8.5 catastrophic; near total destruction (2/yr)
    • 11 very bad; collision with a several mile wide asteroid; equivalent
      to 100 million H bombs; most life forms extinct (1 per 100 million yr)
      [D. Levy 5/98]Each magnitude has 10 times the amplitude (31 times the energy) than
      the one before it. Mag 7 is 1018 joules. The actual ground motion for
      a magnitude 5 earthquake is about 0.04 millimeters at a distance of
      100 kilometers from the epicenter; it is 1.1 millimeters at a distance
      of 10 kilometers from the epicenter. (USGS)
  • Big quakes in Wash. every 200 – 1000 yr; last one was about 1660. SN 2/17/90
  • 1 kiloton of TNT releases 4.2 * 1012 J
    1 gm of matter totally converted to energy (E=mc2) = 1014 J
    4.2*1012 J would be released from 0.04 gm ( (2.5 mm)3 of rock) if totally
  • A bomb efficiency: 0.08%
  • H bomb efficiency: 0.4% 10.5 gm for 1 kt
  • 15 inch sphere imploding at 4 km deep in the ocean generates ~1 MJ of energy
    = few kg of TNT ~ 1/10th the volume of the sphere.
  • “Cannot find REALITY.SYS; Universe halted.”
  • You know we have a pollution problem when you can hear the ocean in an empty
    oil can.
  • T-1 phone line: 1.5Mbps
  • T-3 phone line: 45Mbps
  • OC-3 optical line: 155Mbps
  • OC-12 optical line: 622Mbps
  • loan monthly payment=a*i*(1+i)n /( (1+i)n -1); a=amount borrowed; i=interest/month;
    n=number of months
  • air density = .00129 gm/cc= 1/775; 14.7 lb/in2 ==> 1040 gm/cm2.
    If the atmosphere were constant density (= sea level) and had the same total
    mass, it would be 26,500 ft (8.06 km).
  • Height of atmosphere as evidenced by twilight: 39 miles; by meteors: up
    to 124 miles; by aurora: 27 – 224 miles. (Handbook of Chemistry and Physics)
  • Auroras are produced when charged particles from the solar wind compress
    Earth’s magnetic field. Some field lines change connections generating an
    electric field and sending other charged particles towards Earth’s magnetic
    polar areas. All red auroras (unusual) are from oxygen at about 200 miles;
    oxygen at 60 miles produces brilliant yellow-green; ionized nitrogen makes
    blue light; neutral nitrogen glows red. Auroras range from 40 to 600 miles
    above the Earth. []
  • He is .000177 gm/cc; H is .000090; 6 ft diameter weather balloon will lift
    about 7.5 lbs (3.5kg); they go up to about 100,000 ft where they pop after
    reaching 30 ft in diameter. It takes about a 18 ft balloon to lift 200 lb.
  • Physics of Baseball, Seattle Times 3/26/96:
    • 90 mph pitch, 110 mph hit needs 8000 lb force for 1/1000 sec by bat
      moving 70 mph; ball flattens to 1/2; 35% of energy goes into ball motion
    • a 400 ft hit goes 30 ft farther with 10 mph tail wind
    • a 400 ft hit goes 20 ft farther in high humidity (less dense –
      H2O molecules are lighter than N2 and O2 molecules)
    • 90 mph pitch thrown straight drops 3 ft from gravity; takes .4 sec;
      batter must start swinging when it is half way; 1/100 sec. off in batting
      timing results in foul
  • More from “Physics of Baseball” by Robert Adair (1994):
    • Baseball hit 400ft would go 6ft further if 1 in Hg lower pressure or
      1000 ft higher elevation.
    • For every 10°F increase, a 400 ft hit ball goes 4 ft farther
      due to lower air density and increase ball liveliness.
  • water density change 0 to 4°C (about the same as 4 to 8)= 1/7500; 4-24°C = 1/375 ~=0.3%
    ice=0.917 = water at 150°C. (at 4 1/2 atmos absolute pres)
  • gold density = 19.3 gm/cc; lead = 11.3; mercury = 13.5; water = 1
  • UPC code checksum: add odd digits *3; + even digits; tot should end in 0.
    SN 3/94
  • Airline ticket number checksum: take off last digit, mod 7; should = last
  • Exxon Valdez spill 3/89; Sea otters: were 14,000; 2800 died; 357 rescued
    $50k each! 197 survived <~10% of died, ~=1.5% live = insignificant; not worth
  • Grav light deflection by earth: 2in in Earth-Moon distance (240,000mi);
    effect observable if combine measurements of 100,000 stars. Done by Hipparcos
    satellite. SN 9/4/93
  • Water reservoirs have caused the earth to spin 3 x 10-3 sec faster/yr:
    most reservoirs are well north of the equator; closer to the pole than the
    water would have been in the ocean. This is 1/100 of other natural effects.
    Most reservoirs are in western hemisphere, resulting in 60cm shift of earth’s
    axis toward western Canada (= 5% of natural drift over 100 yr). SN 2/17/96
  • Full moon light warms the earth 0.02°C on average – 0.55° at
    the poles; no effect in the tropics. SN 1/11/97
  • genes, human: 3 billion nucleotide pairs, 3% used in 23,000 genes
  • red blood cells: live about 120 days; 200 billion born-die/day
  • If a mirror reverses side to side, why doesn’t it reverse up and down?
  • The great thing about multitasking is that several things can go wrong at
  • “Faith should be our steering wheel, not our spare tire.”
  • Take as much time as you want – you’ve got it all!
  • “Prayer isn’t a time to give orders,
    but a time to report for duty.”
  • No pain, no gain – true too for Christian maturing
  • In God’s service, our greatest ability … is our availability.
  • “Isolation is the darkroom where negatives are developed.”
  • “Temper is what gets most of us into trouble. Pride is what keeps us there.”
  • All generalizations are false.
  • “How can you explain the world without a conspiracy theory?” – playwright
    Eric Overmyer in “In Perpetuity Throughout the Universe.”
  • “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” Winston
  • Everyone is ignorant, only on different subjects. – Will Rogers
  • “Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.” Groucho Marx
  • “Some say, ‘God is my co-pilot.’
    If so, you are sitting in the wrong seat.”
  • You can’t get ahead by always trying to get even.
  • “You’re not ready to live unless you’re ready to die.”
  • “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without
    God and the Bible.” -George Washington
  • motto of Asia-Pacific Nazarene Theological Seminary:
    Educating the mind
    Enlarging the heart
    Transforming the life
  • Man says: Seeing Is Believing;
    God says: Believing Is Seeing.
  • Guaranteed for the life of the product.
  • This line intentionally left blank.
  • It must be smoke that makes electronic things work, ’cause
    when the smoke gets out, they stop!
  • “It all depends, of course, upon whether or not it depends or not, of course,
    if you take my meaning”
  • TIA Thanks In Advance (also AtDhVaAnNkCsE)
  • If the automobile industry were like the computer industry over the past
    30 years, a Rolls-Royce would now cost $5, would get 300 miles to the gallon,
    and periodically would explode killing all passengers inside!
  • Back up my hard disk? I can’t find the reverse switch!
  • If God had wanted us to have elections, he would have given us candidates.
    (applicable all too often)
  • As newscaster Chevy Chase used to say: “This just in from Madrid. According
    to doctors attending Generalissimo Francisco Franco, the former head of state
    remains seriously dead.”
  • This sentnce has threee errors.
  • Q: Why do computer people confuse Christmas and Halloween?
    A: Because oct 31 = dec 25
  • Yesterday I knew nothing; today I know that.
  • Radioactive cats have 18 half lives.
  • What is an inorganic chemist made of?
  • Proofread carefully to see if you any words out.
  • eschew obfuscation
  • Brady Johnson writes to announce a new product that
    might be of interest:
    DayDoubler is a new product from Connectrix [Connectix makes Ram Doubler and
    Speed Doubler] that gives you those extra hours in each day that we’ve been
    asking for. Using sophisticated time mapping and compression techniques to
    double the number of hours in the day, DayDoubler gives you access to 48 hours
    each day. With the shareware hack MaxDay, you can easily stretch your day
    to 60, 72, or even 96 hours! Connectrix warns that at the higher numbers DayDoubler
    becomes less stable and that you run the risk of a temporal crash in which
    everything from the beginning of time to the present would come crashing down
    around you, sucking you into a black hole.
    Should this occur, be sure to reboot with the shift key down.
  • A difficult, first priority’s worst enemy is an easier, second priority
  • On the other hand, there’s nothing like a difficult top priority project
    to make getting to those put-off secondary projects attractive.
  • We never have enough money [or time] to do the job right, but there always
    is enough money [or time] to do it over.
  • Consider a satellite in a geosynchronous (not geostationary!) polar orbit…what
    figure does it trace on the surface of the earth?
  • What is the ratio of the diameters of two circles: one circumscribed around
    an equilateral triangle, the other inscribed.
  • The human eye can resolve two point sources (like a double star) if they
    are separated by about 2 to 6 arc-minutes. A satellite in an orbit of 350
    km (a common height – Mir and the Shuttle use it) would have to be: 2
    arc-min, at 350km –> 200m. The Shuttle is about 35m. A sphere (and few satellites
    are) of diameter of about 0.5 meters at 350 km at full phase would be about
    +6 magnitude.
  • Eastern white cedars growing on Niagara escarpment live 600, even 1000yrs
    because low nutrition and low water slow growth, not get too high to blow
    over; ~10ft. One is 600 yrs, 10 in high, 2 in dia.
  • “I say we should nuke ’em ’til they glow, then shoot ’em in the dark.”
    – comment during Gulf war ’91 (earlier too)
  • water: oceans:          97.3%           1,310,302 km^3
           ice               2.19              29,491
           ground water       .5                6,733
           lakes              .018                242
           soil moisture      .005                 74
           atmospheric vapor  .001                 13.5
           rivers             .000096               1.29
  • telephone sound: 8kb/s; 8bit –> 3.1 khz
  • 3rd deg burns from water, adult: 120°F: 10 min; 130°: 30 sec; 140°: 6
  • cold damage: -58°F air will freeze exposed skin in 60 sec; -67° will damage
    young lungs
  • Make your own universe: 10 kg, (10-24cm)3, cool to 1027 K but without
    precipitating normal mater == false vacuum. gravity is repulsive –> expansion,
    but energy density wants to remain constant so more false vacuum is created…
    Inflationary model of Universe creation. – Guth SN 6/9/90
  • “Secret” of fireworks: (Seattle times, 7/2/90)
    • bright greens: barium
    • deep reds: strontium
    • blues: copper
    • yellows: sodium
    • brilliant orange: mixture of strontium and sodium
    • gold sparks: iron filings and small particles of charcoal
    • showers of silvery-white flashes: magnalium (alloy of magnesium and
  • … oh well. Verbal diarrhea is like that. Alright, since it came out of
    my fingers, it must be Digital. Boo. Hiss.
  • Hanford: estimate is $50 billion to clean 1 cubic km; alternate proposal:
    freeze the ground under and around the area to form a huge bowl: $15m to install
    refig. $2m/yr to opr. ~’89
  • UW: 47 39′ 23″ N, 122 18′ 19″ W; 1″ N = 97.8 ft. (based on 24,000 mi Earth)
  • 1′ = 1.11 miles at eq.; 1″ = 98 ft
  • cooking with alcohol: simmering pot roast 185 F for 2.5 hr removed 95 %
    wine. 25 min baking at 375 retained 45 % in scalloped oysters. 48 sec flaming
    cherries jubilee 75% remained. SN 11/11/89
  • Only dead fish go with the flow.
  • Networking means that you have to say you’re sorry – to many, many
  • How much work would a network net if a network could net work?
  • Don’t repeat mistakes – there are plenty of ones that have not been
    used yet.
  • Gregorian calendar: Briton: 9/2/1752 followed by 9/14/1752; also new year’s
    day moved back to 1/1 from 3/25. ex. George Washington BD from 2/11/1731 to
  • daily water loss from body: 2 c lungs; 2 c sweat (non-active); 6 c urine.
  • 2 c of water from lungs in 24 hours –> 30 mm3/breath (@10 breaths/min)
  • 2000 Kcal/day of food –> 100 watts average; 1/4 of that heat exits the
    head (excluding breath).
  • The heart uses 1/2 – 1 watt. 1 watt = .0013 horsepower.
  • 1 drop of Aldicarb (a potato insecticide) fatal thru skin. UNIVERSITY WEEK
  • SN 2/89: Black Bears: when “hibernating” (denning): no eat, drink, or moving;
    no urinating (–>protein), no defecating; bones do fine. use ~4000 Cal/day
    (=50-80% of summer)
  • Insight 1/9/89:
    • largest hail: 17.5in Kansas 1979
    • lightning kills 77 people/year in US
    • tornadoes + hurricanes 89
    • hurricane has dome of water in center from low pressure ≤ 50 miles
      in diameter, up to 25ft high; called a “storm surge”
  • What happens to a teacher that goes to school during vacation?
    He goes blind – no pupils
  • photograph the past – use mirrors to make extra light path; 385ft gives
    390 nanosec; camera takes 100 ns to activate – 290 ns to spare! (SN 10/1/88)
  • eating cheese first prevents acid in plaque from sweets (SN 10/1/88)
  • 2% honey in raw apple juice makes brown stuff settle out (SN 10/1/88)
  • sucrose = fructose + glucose
  • check bounce 1 in 100 fail 1st clear, 1/5000 really bad.
  • WATER DRIP # drops/min * .75 = # gal./week
  • “`Consider these figures,’ Koop ended. `Last year [1988] in the United States,
    2,000 people died from cocaine. In the same year, cigarettes killed 390,000
  • Death Rates Per 100,000 Users: Alcohol:150; Tobacco:650; Cocaine:4; Heroin:80Cato Institute Data
    [From: Heartland Journal (see file ~/lib/elsalv/guat.nun)]
  • Negotiation should be more like sitting on the same side of the table to
    solve a puzzle together than facing each other as win/lose adversaries. Leigh
    Thompson, UW
  • What?! The North Pole gets more sun in mid-summer than the equator? Strange
    but true. Details.

Questions: (let me know if you know the answers)

  • Do swimmers sweat?
  • car exhaust is more visible when engine is cold; why?Possible answer: The visible emission is (hopefully only) water vapor droplets (fog).
    When a car is cold, the exhost pipes are cold and the vapor condenses to fog in the pipes
    and emerges as a visible fog. When the car is warm, the exhost pipes are hot; the vapor remains
    a vapor until it exits the exhost pipe. There it disperses too quickly to condense to a visible fog.
  • main meal at breakfast?
  • water density in fog, mist, rain, heavy rain
  • – sound breaking glass: freq? vol?
  • why is ice slippery; low pressure (shoes); high pressure (skates)Answered: ice has a thin film of liquid on its surface. (SN /96)


  • Is it effective to pray about events in the past?
    • Does it matter if we don’t know the outcome?
    • If the past did change, would we know it?
  • Maybe the world was created yesterday – our memories could be implanted,
    fossils and radio-active materials could be made to test old, and starlight and
    erosion could be made as observed. Or maybe the world is going to be created
    tomorrow. . .