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Everything posted by ScienceNostalgia101

  1. 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?
  2. Why not suspend travel until adequate facilities are built?
  3. 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.
  4. I like to bring my toothbrush to work and brush my teeth at work, but sometimes I forget to bring my toothbrush. I was going to leave one at work, but I can't leave it in an airtight safe or it won't dry properly, and I can't just leave it on a cup in the office because I don't know if my coworkers might use it and I might catch whatever diseases they may have. Is there any lockable container I can put something in, that I need a key and/or combination to access, but that allows anything put in it to dry out?
  5. Disclaimer: I do NOT presently intend to actually attempt this myself, NOR would any future attempt at this myself hinge exclusively or even primarily on the direction of this thread. Obviously if I were to ever become a stuntman in the future I would consult with actual experts. For now, this is intended primarily out of curiosity. I do not recommend this for anyone without consultation with actual experts as even to a layman there are a bunch of obvious issues (debris on the road, tripping up and falling face flat on a moving road) that could go wrong. Suppose someone wearing roller blades, or riding a skateboard or bicycle, or whatever else (presume an abundance of safety gear; and perhaps some springs between their multiple suits of armor) attached a spring, or a bungee cord, or a spring attached to a bungee cord, so as to connect themselves or their bicycle to a motor vehicle like a car. Whether for the thrill of it, or as a semi-convenient means to transport their bicycle for lack of room in the car, or both. I presume the non-motorized vehicle would get infinitesimally closer and closer in both acceleration and velocity to that of the motorized vehicle, as there is only so much a spring or bungee cord can stretch. But I'm kind of stuck on how to figure out what the acceleration would be as the vehicle begins to move. Obviously there would be a major gap in both acceleration and velocity as the bungee cord and/or spring stretched to accommodate the fact that the vehicle in front is driving the motion and the non-motorized vehicle is just acting as a load. How much of a gap will that be? All I have right now is that the only force acting forward on the non motorized vehicle is F=-kx; and that the only one acting backwards on it is friction. I have no idea how to figure out what the next step is. I presume from the nature of the question that it's plentifully obvious this is neither a homework question nor a lesson planning question.
  6. So I was recently thinking about this P&T:BS episode from a few years ago. Having been an environmentalist in childhood, I at first found it jarring, but eventually refreshing, to see perspectives openly dissenting against the conventional wisdom on environmentalism with which I had been brought up. Is Penn Jillette right on this one, though? I'm just thinking if you're going to be growing trees to make paper, and if those trees are going to die anyway if not chopped down to make paper, then one might as well combust the paper underneath a kettle to boil water in a rural/suburban setting. Still not sure what the best possible use of waste paper would be in a more urban setting, though. For the record, this same episode endorses aluminum recycling, and doesn't weigh in specifically on glass or plastic recycling. However, it does end on a scene about a landfill in California that uses the methane from active decomposition for energy. Would this be comparable to, better than, or worse than, the idea of combusting the waste directly? I would guess it would be at least slightly better, if only for the fact that energy from combustion doesn't have to be consumed by the need to dry out wet organic waste before it can catch fire. But if so, how come this isn't the norm for landfills, if only to address landfills' collective reputation for being a climate hazard?
  7. So recently I was watching a movie (I'll not specify which in the interest of avoiding spoilers) where a character claims she'll curse another character's name until the day she dies, and then the character dies that same day. I know it sounds pedantic as all hell, but it got me wondering whether what she said was technically true. For the word "until" to be applicable in a discrete context, would more than one day have to be involved, or would one-day intervals also count? More generally, would "until" have to include the end date in the interval? I'm going to leave this thread open to other words as well, in case others are wondering about how other words' mathematical definitions compare/contrast with their common ones. (Although I probably will wonder about them myself.)
  8. Good to know, thanks. Does anyone have a source in mind confirming as much such that I can cite it elsewhere if need be?
  9. Roads are often the go-to example of things that need to be a public service. I've always thought health care was a stronger example, given what happens in countries where it's public vs. where it's not, but I'm willing to entertain the idea that roads are a better one. For the purposes of this thread, I want to put aside all concerns about whether toll roads are unfair to the poor in and of themselves. It's not that I want to trivialize that; I'm absolutely concerned about it and I think both Canada and the USA could do with a stronger public sector; but there was one specific aspect of road privatization that stands out to be more than its effects on the poor: what happens when you have a grid structure in a city? Let's say, first street, second street, etc... intersecting with first avenue, second avenue, etc. Assume each of these roads are built by a separate company. Who then gets to run the intersections between these roads? Would it have to be a venture done jointly? If so, who gets to decide who gets the final say in some paving/streetlight placement/etc... decision in the context of these intersections? Would territory be demarked in an sealed-letter-like pattern? Even so, what rules would govern left turns, right, turns, etc...? And at the end of the day, what's stopping the company behind, let's say, first street, from colluding with the company behind, let's say, first avenue, to make their intersections with second street or second avenue harder to use?
  10. So when crude oil is refined, it is separated into different products. Some of it is used to make gasoline, some of it is used to make plastic, and I assume the rest of it us used for everything in between. And yet, I often hear of how gasoline is "not the best use" of oil and how plastic would be so much more reusable. But if different parts of the oil are used to make different products, how can that which was not channelled toward making gasoline be repurposed toward plastics?
  11. https://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/nerd_sniping.png So this XKCD comic got me thinking... can the resistance of an electrolytic solution in water can be modeled as infinitely many resistors of infintesimal resistance? After all, the distance between the ions of electrolyte is a discrete quantity, but so is the number of said ions; or the number of water molecules between them; and we still model these things as continuous fluids. So obviously the resistors are in parallel; there are pseudo-infinitely many paths they can take. But no matter what path they take they have to jump between ions several times, so it's also in series. Is there any formula that could account for the combined series-and-parallel nature of a circuit through an electolytic solution? . . . Why yes, I did dream last night that I was caught in a thunderstorm with the car windows only partially rolled up, how could you tell?
  12. Encouraging alternatives to meat until we improve our healthcare system then sounds like it's a good way to make a dent in climate change and new pandemics alike.
  13. Got it, thanks! Speaking of The Simpsons... DISCLAIMER: I would not try this at home. NOR at any convenience store, for that matter. However, it reminds me of my curiosity about the issue of cryonics. I'm not sure who to believe on this issue. There are those who claim there are ways to survive being cryogenically frozen, if society would invest in them. Others dismiss it as hopeless. Are the former just wishfully thinking? Are the latter just trying to stop cryonics from cutting in on religion's afterlife action? If I found a professional service to freeze my body, would it be safer to do it immediately after death, immediately before death, or significantly before death in the context of some terminal illness or whatever? (Obviously I'm not going to cut drastically short whatever life I have now just on the offchance of being revived later.)
  14. Man, so many of the things I thought were no-brainers were a hell of a lot more nuanced than I thought. Very well, then. So what's the real solution to the current forest fires? More prescribed burns? More permanent firebreaks? Or just leaving California permanently and putting a giant pot of water over it hoping the boiling will make it pay for itself?
  15. Once again, California is on fire. Apart from the threats to property and safety, that's a lot of chemical energy in nature that is being squandered on a fire that isn't occurring underneath a boiler to boil water for food or electricity. I wonder, now... if society were to hire more of the recently-unemployed as loggers, and have them cut down enough trees that the wood could be burned in lieu of fossil fuels, (and/or be converted to paper and used as such before being burned) would this double as a way to make forest fires less severe, by the fact that there are fewer trees available, per square kilometre, to catch fire in the first place?
  16. But in many smaller cities, where space is not as limited, two-way streets are still the norm, not the exception. Might lives be saved in the long run if we switched to one-way and took away the "basic human judgment" factor on when/where it's safe to turn left?
  17. So long as two-way roads have a grid structure, every intersection will include an option for turning left a green light. And every time a driver makes a judgment call on whether or not it's safe to do so, this risks getting them killed. I'm just wondering, wouldn't one-way streets create fewer options, per intersection, on which way to turn? For instance, if a north-heading street met an east-heading street, the north-heading cars could only turn right onto the east-heading street, not left. The east-heading cars could only turn left onto the north-heading one, sure, but you could also reserve one lane for traffic that is "joining" the street, such that they only merge into the traffic when they've caught up. Is there anything to go on as to whether or not replacing our existing grids of two-way streets with grids of one-way streets would constitute a net improvement in safet?
  18. Incidentally, I'm type 1 diabetic myself. So frequent eating of sugars and starches without protein to go with it contributes to type 2 diabetes even if the person eats in moderation and/or exercises to burn it off?
  19. I hear of dispute on the nutritional value of protein. Some say it's good for you and helps sustain sugars and starches for longer periods of time; others say it inhibits calcium absportion and Google suggests the truth is if nothing else in the same general direction. If the issue were the need to sustain sugars and starches for longer periods of time, would it be comparably healthy to eat sugars and starches in more frequently, but in smaller portions, such that the sugars and starches are sustained by the fact that you're eating them a little bit at a time?
  20. So last night I threw away some aluminum foil. It was in contact with food I was using it to keep warm, I didn't think I'd have much use for washing it and saving it, and I thought nothing of it until afterwards. I just realized... if there were some program to collect everyone's pre-washed aluminum foil, and/or wash it after collecting it, it could be arranged in an increasing variety/size of concave shapes, be used as a solar collector, and boil water, whether to distribute energy directly as heat, or to turn turbines and generate electricity. So why aren't we doing this? Have the fossil fuel and nuclear industry lobbies bribed politicians into not going for it or something? How expensive can it be to arrange aluminum foil in a concave shape, or find an absorptive, water-storing material to put at the focal point, especially compared to the lengths a nuclear or fossil fuel power plant goes to for the same water-boiling turbine-turning purposes?
  21. At this point, it's a thought experiment, though if it goes anywhere I'm considering writing my representatives about this. I want to impede waves because a lot of boats, even boats going through narrow straits in the ocean, encounter rough waves. I want to cut down on seasickness, but I don't know what will do the trick against ocean waves and ocean currents. Does it depend on whether the water is shallow or deep?
  22. So I'm just wondering, short of building an outright bridge, what would it take to impede waves travelling through a strait? If one were to build barriers around the strait, would floating ones be adequate, or would they have to extend all the way to the ocean floor? Would they need to be on both sides, or would just the one upstream from the highest waves be enough to block out those particular waves?
  23. Yeah, convection sounds like it could only do so much good if there is an actual difference in dewpoint to allow sweating to help. Just so we're clear I'm referring to dark clothing in a hypothetical circumstance where all other considerations are already addressed. (Eg. Taking public transit everywhere you go, or not going out at night except through walking trails to which motor vehicles have no physical access at all, let alone lawful physical access, etc...)
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