Friday, December 28, 2012
If you're not familiar with the work of Steven Wright, he's the famous Erudite (comic) scientist who once said: "I woke up one morning, and all of my stuff had been stolen and replaced by exact duplicates." He sees things differently than most of us.
Here are some of his gems:1 - I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize.2 - Borrow money from pessimists -- they don't expect it back.3 - Half the people you know are below average.4 - 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.6 - A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.7 - A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.8 - If you want the rainbow, you have got to put up with the rain.9 - All those who believe in psycho kinesis, raise my hand.10 - The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.11 - I almost had a psychic girlfriend, ...... But she left me before we met.12 - OK, so what's the speed of dark?13 - How do you tell when you're out of invisible ink?14 - If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.15 - Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.16 - When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.17 - Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.18 - Hard work pays off in the future; laziness pays off now.19 - I intend to live forever... So far, so good.21 - Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.22 - What happens if you get scared half to death twice?23 - My mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder." 24 - Why do psychics have to ask you for your name.25 - If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.26 - A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.27 - Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.28 - The hardness of the butter is proportional to the softness of the bread.29 - To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.30 - The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.31 - The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up. 32 - The colder the x-ray table, the more of your body is required to be on it.33 - Everyone has a photographic memory; some just don't have film. 34 - If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.And the all-time favourite -35 - If your car could travel at the speed of light, would your headlights work?
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
HISTORY OF THE CAR RADIO Seems like cars have always had radios, but they didn't.
Here's the true story: One evening, in 1929, two young men named William Lear and Elmer Wavering
drove their girlfriends to a lookout point high above the Mississippi River town of Quincy , Illinois , to watch the sunset. It was a romantic night to be sure, but one of the women observed that
it would be even nicer if they could listen to music in the car. Lear and Wavering liked the idea. Both men had tinkered with radios (Lear had
served as a radio operator in the U.S. Navy during World War I) and it wasn't long before they were taking apart a home radio and trying to get it to
work in a car. But it wasn't as easy as it sounds:
automobiles have ignition switches, generators, spark plugs, and other electrical equipment that generate noisy static interference, making it nearly impossible to listen to the radio when the engine was running. One by one, Lear and Wavering identified and eliminated each source of
electrical interference. When they finally got their radio to work, they took it to a radio convention in
Chicago . There they met Paul Galvin, owner of Galvin Manufacturing Corporation. He made a product called a "battery eliminator" a device that allowed
battery-powered radios to run on household AC current. But as more homes were wired for electricity more radio manufacturers made AC-powered radios. Galvin needed a new product to manufacture. When he met Lear and Wavering at the radio convention, he found it. He believed that mass-produced, affordable car radios had the potential to become a huge
business. Lear and Wavering set up shop in Galvin's factory, and when they perfected their first radio, they installed it in his Studebaker. Then Galvin went to a local banker to apply for a loan. Thinking it might sweeten the
deal, he had his men install a radio in the banker's Packard. Good idea, but it didn't work -- Half an hour after the installation, the banker's Packard
caught on fire. (They didn't get the loan.) Galvin didn't give up. He drove his Studebaker nearly 800 miles to Atlantic City to show off the radio at the
1930 Radio Manufacturers Association convention. Too broke to afford a booth, he parked the car outside the convention hall and cranked up the radio so that passing conventioneers could hear it.
That idea worked -- He got enough orders to put the radio into production. WHAT'S IN A NAME That first production model was called the 5T71. Galvin decided he needed to come up with something a little catchier. In those days many companies in the phonograph and radio
businesses used the suffix "ola" for their names - Radiola, Columbiola, and Victrola were three of the biggest. Galvin decided to do the same thing, and since his radio was intended for use in a motor vehicle, he decided to call it the Motorola.
But even with the name change, the radio still had problems: When Motorola went on sale in 1930, it cost about $110 uninstalled, at a time when you could buy a brand-new car for $650, and the country was sliding into the Great Depression. (By that measure, a radio for a new car would cost about $3,000 today.) In 1930 it took two men several days to put in a carradio -- The dashboard had to be taken apart so that the receiver and a single speaker could be installed, and the ceiling had to be cut open to install the antenna. These early radios ran on their own batteries, not on the car battery, so holes had
to be cut into the floorboard to accommodate them. The installation manual had eight complete diagrams and 28 pages of instructions. Selling complicated car radios that cost 20 percent of the price of a brand-new car wouldn't have been easy in the best of times, let alone during the Great Depression -- Galvin lost money in 1930 and struggled for a couple of years after that. But things picked up in 1933 when Ford began offering Motorola's pre-installed at
the factory. In 1934 they got another boost when Galvin struck a deal with B.F. Goodrich tire company
to sell and install them in its chain of tire stores. By then the price of the radio, installation included, had dropped to $55. The Motorola car radio was off and running. (The name of the company would be officially changed from Galvin Manufacturing to "Motorola" in 1947.) In the meantime, Galvin continued to develop new uses for car radios. In 1936, the same year that it introduced push-button tuning, it also introduced the Motorola Police Cruiser, a standard car radio that was factory preset to a single frequency to pick up police broadcasts. In 1940 he developed with the first handheld two-way radio -- The Handie-Talkie -- for the U. S. Army. A lot of the communications technologies that we take for granted today were
born in Motorola labs in the years that followed World War II. In 1947 they came out with the first television to sell under $200. In 1956 the company introduced the world's first pager; in 1969 it supplied the radio and television equipment that was used to televise Neil Armstrong's first steps on the Moon. In 1973 it invented the world's first handheld cellular phone. Today Motorola is one of the largest cell phone manufacturer in the world -- And it all started with the car radio.
HAPPENED TO The two men who installed the first radio in Paul Galvin's car, Elmer Wavering
and William Lear, ended up taking very different paths in life. Wavering stayed with Motorola. In the 1950's he helped change the automobile experience
again when he developed the first automotive alternator, replacing inefficient and unreliable generators. The invention lead to such luxuries as power windows, power seats, and,eventually,
air-conditioning. Lear also continued inventing. He holds more than 150 patents. Remember eight-track tape players? Lear invented that. But what he's really famous for are his contributions to the field of aviation. He invented radio direction finders for planes, aided in the invention of the
autopilot, designed the first fully automatic aircraft landing system, and in 1963 introduced his most famous invention of all, the Lear Jet, the
world's first mass-produced, affordable business jet. (Not bad for a guy who dropped out of school after the eighth grade.) Sometimes it is fun to find out howsome of the many things that we take for granted actually came into being!
and It all started with a woman's suggestion!
Friday, December 14, 2012
They just recently found over 200 dead crows near Halifax N.S., and there was concern that they may have died from the Avian Flu virus.
A Bird Pathologist examined the remains of all the crows, and he confirmed the problem was definitely NOT Avian Flu, to everyone's relief.
However, he was also able to determine that 98% of the crows had been killed by impact with large trucks, and only 2% were killed by car impact.
The Province of Nova Scotia hired an Ornithological Behaviourist to determine the disproportionate percentages for the large truck versus car kills.
The Ornithological Behaviourist determined the cause in short order.
When crows eat road kill, they always set-up a look-out Crow in a nearby tree to warn of impending danger.
His conclusion was that the lookout crow could say "Cah", but he could not say "Truck."
Now you know!
Thursday, December 13, 2012
Sent from my iPhone
Friday, November 23, 2012
Caught on camera: The 30 metre high tornado of FIRE that whirled around Australian outback for terrifying 40 minutes
· Fire tornadoes occur when a column of warm, rising air contacts with - or creates - fire on the ground
By SOUTH WEST NEWS SERVICE
PUBLISHED: 12:01 GMT, 17 September 2012 | UPDATED: 13:07 GMT, 17 September 2012 An astonished filmmaker is coming to grips with the moment he witnessed one of nature's rarest phenomenons - a tornado comprised entirely of fire- and lived to tell the tale.
Chris Tangey had been out in Alice Springs, Australia, scouting locations for a new movie.
After finishing the task, he went over to help workers at a cattle station when he was confronted by one of nature's most intimidating spectacles.
Fire storm: A filmmaker in Alice Springs, Australia shot some video of a fire tornado that happened on Monday
Distant view: At the time, he was300-metres away from the 30-metre high fire swirl which 'sounded like a fighter jet' despite there being no wind in the area
Destructive: A fire tornado, also know as a fire devil, is caused when a column of warm, rising air comes into contact - or causes - a fire on the ground
Just 300-metres away was a 30-metre high fire swirl which 'sounded like a fighter jet' despite there being no wind in the area.
SCIENCE BEHIND THE STORM
These fire tornadoes are a natural rarity, but when they occur they predictably cause significant damage.
A fire tornado, also know as a fire devil, is caused when a column of warm, rising air comes into contact - or causes - a fire on the ground.
They are known to last for around two minutes on the very rare occasions they take place.
These fire whirls are known to last for around two minutes on the very rare occasions they take place.
But Mr Tangey found himself mesmerized by the tornado for more than 40 minutes.
The 52-year-old said: 'The weather was perfectly still and it was about 25 degrees celsius - it was an entirely uneventful day.
'Then the next thing a man is yelling 'what the hell is that?' and I turned around and saw a 30-metre fire tornado.
'I was about 300-metres away and there was no wind but the tornado sounded like a fighter jet. My jaw just dropped.'
Mr Tangey, who runs Alice Springs Film and Television, in central Australia, described it as a 'once in ten lifetimes experience'.
Brewing storm: The fire whirl occurred in the Australian outback as the red cliffs show the area's trademark look Dangerous conditions: The dry heat in the area made it possible for such a rare fire storm to occur
Rural: Thankfully the fire tornado occurred in the remote Australian outback and no injuries were reported
He added: 'I've been shooting in the outback for 23 years and I have never seen anything like it. We've heard about them but they're never seen.
'If I had known what was about to happen then I would have happily paid $1,000 to watch it.
'At any time there were three different tornadoes, it just kept going and going for 40 minutes.
'The whole experience was staggering and the length and variety were astonishing.'
Predictably, these rare spectacles are extremely dangerous.