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About ScienceNostalgia101

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  1. I wasn't referring to the weight load, but to whether or not vertical oscillation hampers the way in which helicopters generate lift.
  2. Sorry about that. Does it belong in biology instead? I brought up NGE because it drew my attention to the topic in the first place. I figure it'd be better than leaving everyone wondering what my intentions were in bringing up the topic at all. In any case, thanks for pointing out the lack of precise way to detect genetic relatives.
  3. I originally was going to make it only about this NGE scene, but I think using TV as a jumping point for talking about real-life medical issues would be a worthwhile theme to repeatedly revisit, so I'd like to make this a megathread if moderators are okay with this. Without giving too much away, one of these characters is a clone of a member of the other character's immediate family, but neither of them knows it yet. One would think that genetics alone would prevent that kind of attraction that... seems to be what's being portrayed here. And yet, it occurs. It makes sense evolutionarily that something with risks of birth defects would generally be not sought after. But how much of this is down to ability to detect genetic similarities with someone and circumstances in life establishing their relationship as a strictly non-sexual one? Or is there something else I'm missing? (Incidentally, the same episode features the guy featured in that scene being averse to the sexual advances of the purple-haired woman shown in that scene, even though she's not related, but had been his legal guardian formonths by then. Yeah, it's that kind of show. But obviously the "circumstances, not genetics, lead to this aversion" claim seems to be a recurring theme here.)
  4. So I'm trying to picture a scenario here. (Not a homework scenario, just a hypothetical I thought of years ago that came back to mind recently.) A bunch of people need to be rescued from a fire, but there isn't enough room in the helicopter, and the only thing attached to the helicopter they can grab onto is a spring. As they all leap onto the spring, the helicopter begins oscillating vertically; as in, they rise when the helicopter falls, the helicopter rises when they fall, etc. Presuming they didn't otherwise exceed the helicopter's weight load limit, would the vertical motion prevent the helicopter from achieving the kind of lift it would need to achieve in order to move forward without falling to the ground?
  5. Got it, then. So is there some sort of optimum density? I assume it being TOO light means it won't stop you in time to prevent you from hitting the ground. Is there some function relating density to the rate at which it slows you down?
  6. This is an occasional activity from my childhood. Whenever my backyard would be filled with an abundance of snow I'd dive off the patio into the snow. I am curious now how much of a risk I was assuming when I did that. I didn't jump from a very high height, but I am curious now how the ability to be safely slowed to a stop by the snow; without hitting the ground underneath and without accelerating fast enough to injure myself; relates to factors like the wetness of the snow, the snow pack, and the snow depth.
  7. Okay, another question now. What would be a good foundation for such a solar collector? I'm hearing that a halfpipe costs a minimum of $800 to build. Is there any cheaper alternative onto which I can place the tinfoil and still concentrate sunlight comparably well?
  8. So last time I was in China (more than a year ago, I assure you) I noticed what appeared to be farmland from the balcony of an apartment building more than a dozen stories high. This apartment building wasn't exactly in the middle of town, but it was along the outskirts of a major city, with a major supermarket nearby, so it was clearly in an at least somewhat urban setting. This is weird because from debates over big cities vs small towns, you always see advocates of the latter say things like "we farm your crops!" So I'm wondering; is this done for medical reasons, or just economic ones? Is urban land too polluted for any first-world democracy to find it acceptable to get our food from it, (China isn't known for food safety as recent events have shown) is the crowding considered a pathogen-spread risk, or is it just a matter of first-world urban land values being too expensive for farming? Or is there something else I'm missing?
  9. What if I had a smaller dish (ie. 1/4 cup metallic measuring cup) in which to put the hot water? Could the effect of covering most of the top surface with a spoon almost as large as the top surface, and filling the spoon with olive oil, still be considered negligible then?
  10. Well, for starters I live in a town where the solar noon is presently 24 degrees and decreasing. So... sin(24)=0.4, about. Multiply that by 1368 watts per square metre and you get 556 watts per square metre. I most definitely wouldn't go for the Fresnel-lens approach, more like, approximating the shape of a concave mirror through several flat mirrors. (Ie. Half an octagonal prism instead of a half-cylinder... or something like that.) So obviously all 8 sides of an octagonal prism wouldn't equally reflect light onto the water boiler, as they wouldn't have the same angle with the sun's rays. So it'd be not less than or equal to 556, but strictly less. Where would I find information on the rate at which wood absorbs energy from sunlight? Of course, thus far this is presuming I bring the concave mirror/solar collector back inside by February, which I doubt. Odds are I'd need to use a solar angle corresponding to sometime between February and May, as I don't want to have to put away a valuable source of heat energy. This is just more so to figure out whether or not I'm on the right track before I take this idea any further.
  11. So I've recently been getting back into my fascination with concave mirrors, and was considering using them and/or some other means of a solar collector for boiling water as we get closer and closer to those winter months. However, before I float this with my landlord and/or boss for my home and/or workplace, I want to make sure I can keep potential fire hazards to a minimum. A. If I make a concave mirror whose focal point is inside the mirror (ie. half-sphere concave mirror) does that mean that there is no risk of it causing a fire if it falls off the balcony or comes loose? B. If I were to instead of using a concave mirror, use a marginally less efficient arrangement of several flat mirrors pointed at the same water-boiler, would that be free of potential for fire hazard? Would it depend on whether I used an actual mirror or just covered several flat surfaces in aluminum?
  12. So recently I've been putting olive oil in a spoon floating in boiling water in a metal dish so that it gets warm enough to put in my ears. I assume the oil will warm as the water transfers heat to it, then cool as the water cools, (or at the very least is not transferring enough energy to the oil to outweigh the rate at which the oil loses heat energy) but I don't know how to predict when the oil will hit its warmest temperature. I figure I could one day set aside the spoon and put a thermometer in boiling water in a metal dish (though I keep forgetting to buy an actual themometer) to gauge how long it would take to cool without having to heat up the olive oil at the same time. However, I'm also wondering... is it possible that instead of cooling slower, the water cools faster, as there's no spoon or olive oil to "insulate" the temperature drop? What factors would need to be taken into consideration in determining how long it takes to max out in temperature, and how that differs between with or without a spoon with olive oil?
  13. Disclaimer: If I ever try this, I will try it only on a teaspoon at a time, and ensure adequate time to be as certain as possible I am not getting severely intoxicated off the vapour. I do not recommend vaping alcohol in a general sense; this is more about the scent than the extent of drunkenness. There are some interesting smells from some alcoholic beverages, but leaning in the scent is only so strong. I've heard the boiling point of pure ethanol is 78.37 degrees centigrade... probably boiling point elevated when it's part of a solution, but still I presume from Clausius-Clapeyron that its vapour pressure increases more rapidly than that of water when heated. I'm curious whether increasing its temperature; such as, let's say, from a spoonful of liquor floating in hot water; would, as per Clausius-Clapeyron, increase the extent of the scent, but I'm also a little concerned about whether any of the other chemicals present than just the water and the ethanol could theoretically also be increased to harmful concentrations, with less pleasant effects. Does it depend on the liquor involved? Would doing this with, let's say, rum, work differently than doing this with whisky?
  14. Why not suspend travel until adequate facilities are built?
  15. So seeing as how international travel helped spread coronavirus in the first place, obviously the most practical measure would've been to cut off the disease at the source. But I'm wondering... if instead of an outright ban, international travellers were met with a tunnel directly from the airplane to a series of quarantine rooms; with one entrance from the tunnel, and one exit into the rest of society; and no access to the exit until one has gone through a 14-day quarantine, then a first hermetically sealed door, gotten tested for it, tested negative, then a second hermetically sealed door and then out into society; would that have been just as effective in spreading the disease in the first place? If so, does that mean those who failed to implement this policy should be ignored on what to do about future pandemics or no? Because we tried the "self-isolate when you come back" thing, and because of a few reckless scumbags who didn't actually DO that, hundreds of thousands of people are dead. We'll need something more foolproof next time.
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