Tag Archives: sun

Einstein, ACME, and science

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A while back I read an article about the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), and it had a few statistics that seem somewhat embellished to me.  Now, I’m no scientist, but I have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.  And because of the anonymity of the Internet, I could be the smartest person in the room (as far you know).  Whether any of that is factual or not is largely irrelevant to this discussion, because we’re going to have fun with it.  Let’s get started, shall we?

Winding the solenoid coil of the CMS [Compact Muon Solenoid] took five years to complete. When it is fully operational, it will generate a magnetic field 100,000 times stronger than the one produced by the Earth.

What could possibly go wrong?  I first think of a super magnet that Wile E. Coyote bought to catch Bugs Bunny.  It was a 10,000,000,000 volt electric magnet, in a do-it-yourself (DIY) kit sold by ACME (of course).

Actually, there’s a structure made with 12,000 tons of iron to bridle the lines of the magnetic field in the LHC so normal stuff won’t get disturbed.  So they say…  Next!

Components are assembled for A Large Ion Collider Experiment, a.k.a. ALICE, an experiment to measure the matter created in the extraordinarily high temperatures — estimated at 100,000 times hotter than the sun — that existed after the Big Bang and that will be created by the particle collider.

The Earth picks up only 0.45 billionth of the sun’s daily energy output, yet that is more than 239 trillion horsepower each day.  I realize there’s more to energy than heat, but I still question their estimate.  And even more so, I wonder what their electrical bill is…  And upon further thought, would a device creating heat that’s 100,000 times hotter than the sun contribute to global warming any?  Something has to happen to the heat — you can’t just flush it down the toilet — there are those pesky laws of thermodynamics…  🙂

Speaking of ACME, they had everything, didn’t they?  Did you know that the Animaniacs helped Einstein figure out the theory of relativity by singing the ACME song to make him feel better about himself?  I never learned that in school…

But wait, there’s more!  While watching the Wile E. Coyote video with the super magnet, I noticed it said “Zajaxi Dynamos” on one of the boxes instead of ACME.  Maybe it was a subsidiary?  I have no idea.  I’ve never noticed that before and never heard of that, so I googled it, and would you believe my search returned ZERO (0) results?  There is something that’s been around for decades for which Google had no answer whatsoever!  I’ve always figured you could find anything on the Internet, but I just proved otherwise.

So now let Buffet o’ Blog be the FIRST WEBSITE EVER to mention “Zajaxi Dynamos”!  How many times can you say your website is the first to ever do something in the history of the Internet?  We should win an award…  🙂

And since there’s no reference to what that phrase stands for, I suppose we can make it up.  Any ideas?

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Aside

Here in Arkansas, it’s been over 100 degrees every day, and it was for much of June, too (which is not normal and ain’t right).  In case you’re wondering why, here’s a picture that was taken today.

Apparently the Earth is about 12 feet from the Sun now.  That must explain why it’s crazy-mad hot now.

why it’s so hot

You can decide how the world will end!

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Recently I came across a news article called Five Ways the World Can End.  (No, I wasn’t searching for it on purpose!   I just happened across it while surfing around. The title drew me in.)

Earth melting from the SunThe picture represents what may happen in about 5 billion years, when the Sun grows so large that it’ll be this close to Earth.   Obviously this will cause the ultimate global warming, and all life will end.  (Ironically, there are scientists already working on this problem, even though we have 5 billion years before it’s an issue.  While it’s good to prepare for the future, there are some other issues we might ought to work on first…)

The article lists some of the standard hypotheses, like a massive asteroid impact, massive volcanic eruptions, nuclear war, black holes, and the expanding sun.  Most of those sound like natural disasters which we would have little control over, except nuclear war, which hopefully won’t ever happen.  But then the article really surprised me.  There’s a link in the article that says:

YOU DECIDE: How Do You Think the World Will End?

We get to decide?!?  Awesome!   I always figured the end of the world would happen when God brings His final judgment to humanity.  Plus, I thought the end of the world was detailed in the book of Revelation in the Bible.  But this is on a news site, so it must be factual, right?  On a side note, I wonder how FOX News got exclusive access to let us vote on how the world will end…  They must’ve paid a LOT of money for the rights to that!

Anyway, I wanted to cast my vote, so I clicked on that link, but unfortunately the comments were already closed.  So I suppose the fate of the world has already been decided…  And that page didn’t even tell us what the winning option was!  Now we’re just left to wonder…

viewer mail, issue #15

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It is time for another issue of viewer mail.  (I really should do these more often; they’re fun.)  As always, these are actual search terms that brought people to this website, followed by my own leading brand of analysis, commentary, and rambling.

* buffets make people fat — Buffets don’t make people fat — people make people fat.   Actually, you make yourself fat.  But that’s not meant in a derogatory way.  I mean, if you want to be fat, then you have that option.  But let’s not blame buffets, or the “politically correct” crowd will try to ban them.  Besides, even if all-you-can-eat buffets went away, there would still be fat people.  It’s just a matter of semantics or somethin’…

pickles are evil* pickles diarrhea — I haven’t heard of such things, but I also don’t research it in any way, because pickles are evil.  Some have posited that eating pickles will turn you into a zombie (which probably could lead to diarrhea as your body tries to reject that).  I don’t think that’s completely proven yet, but some important people are working on it.  We’ll keep you updated.  But in the meantime, avoid pickles at all costs, unless you’re throwing them into the sun to destroy them.  That would be okay.  (FYI, there’s a very funny discussion on pickles at that link.)

* shampoo fraud conspiracy — I have no idea about this one…  Does anyone have any clue what this could be referring to?

* potassium nitrate side effects — Potassium nitrate is an interesting compound.  It is used in fertilizer, amateur rocket propellant, smoke bombs, food preservation (in old days), cigarettes, tree stump remover, the heat treatment of metals as a short-term rust inhibitor, the manufacturing of ice cream, toothpaste, and it’s one of the three ingredients in black powder.  So if you were to eat it, who knows what the side effects could be?  There’s a lot to choose from among that list.  But given those options, I don’t recommend eating it.

* burn calories poop — Well, just about any activity burns calories, even tapping your finger on your desk, so I reckon pooping would, too.  I did a quick search, and someone estimated the process burns between 19 and 70 calories.  I don’t know how scientific and accurate that is, but that site claims to be the #1 source for #2.

* can the sun be dangerous — Certainly!  In case you weren’t paying attention in science class, here’s a brief recap.  The sun has constant fusion, where hydrogen atoms fuse together to form helium atoms and release energy.  Or in other words, it’s a constant explosion.  So you don’t play with it!  IT IS NOT A TOY!  You wouldn’t want to put the sun in your pocket, because it would burn your butt.  Fortunately we’re 93 million miles from the sun, and Earth’s atmosphere refracts the direct sunbeams so it’s not instantly lethal.   But using a magnifying glass you can refocus the beams of sunlight and see just how dangerous it is — it creates fire.  So obviously it’s quite dangerous — sunlight plus curved glass creates fire.

That’s all the time we have for today.  I hope you learned something, or at least laughed.  (Laughing burns calories, y’know.  I’m not sure about learning, but it’s still good for you.)