Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Just fix the damn thing already!!

August 13, 2007

You know, with all the jackass heming and hawing NASA has done about the damaged tiles on the space shuttle, they could have sent someone out there to either repair or replace them by now. Argh! This reminds me of those stories you occasionally hear like, some one is trapped in a car or falls into a river and it takes forever and a day for rescuers to pop the door open or throw a rope. Boneheads! (Although they do seem able to keep the flashing lights on the entire time) I heard one of the “officials” say that the tiles were very fragile and so they needed to be very careful. What?! So I’m to believe that with all the advancements in ceramic science, they haven’t been able come up with a tougher tile? And wouldn’t this have been factored in when they were coming up with the protocols for fixing/replacing these things? Sounds to me like a few people are at NASA are, how shall we say, drunk?

Hmmm, laminar reverse doughnuts (I mean, flooww)

August 5, 2007

homer.jpg 240px-jupiter.jpg

So have you ever wondered why those bands in Jupiter exist? More to the point, why they don’t go away? Shouldn’t they just mix together into one gaseous cloud? Well, the answer could be laminar flow. Laminar just means non-mixing flows. It actually does occur here on Earth. Flows of water, such as in rivers or oceans, where there is a difference in temperature and salt concentrations will barely mix. This can be demonstrated in the lab. The linked video actually shows laminar reverse flow. Basically three blobs of colored corn syrup are placed between two cylinders (one inside the other). The space between the cylinders has been filled with clear syrup. The inner cylinder is then turned to “mix” the three blobs in one direction, then turned in the reverse direction to un-mix. The video can be found here and a more detailed explanation can be found here. Warning to those of us who use dial-up, this vid does take a few minutes to download, but I think worth it.