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Everything posted by Flashman

  1. Well for a one shot deally, pure O2 and a metal powder that's a little larger than normally pyrophoric might work. Possibly fine iron filings. O2 can be got at welding places, or hardware stores that sell welding kit. Should be easy enough to electrolyse some into a test tube, to drop sprinkles of powder in to test. Anyone ever hit fine steel wool with pure O2?
  2. Supposedly modern synthetic engine oils have clever stuff to keep particulates in suspension, so possibly that might work nice as a ferrofluid like that. However, I don't know if the anti-oxidant additives etc will mess with it.
  3. As in evaluating the energy budget of your typical worm? Or as in seeing if they squeal when you use a burning glass on them?
  4. Hmmm interesting, the way those guys spell out the properties of bismuth, I wonder if you can get it combusting by electromagnetic means. Like if you shoot it through a high intensity field, do eddy currents in it cause enough resistive heating to kick it off??? Then is it possible to arrange that your field is provided by a high inductance coil, and your oxidizing bismuth, shot at a high enough speed, provides an ionisation pathway for a followup electrical spark from your coil as it discharges... Then you might get fizzy sparkly sparks, followed by a 2 foot long bolt of lightning, that would be somewhat unpossible without insane voltages if you had to give the coil enough joules to ionise 2ft of air by itself. (Okay yes I'm also having insane ideas about metal powder coated BBs in a Daisy air rifle and projected energy weaponry now)
  5. You folks got me thinking. I came up with one scenario for a dominant life form being 3 legged. If there were seal-like or dolphin-like critters, air breather that returned to the sea, and there was a global inundation... the descendants of those might recolonize the land. They might not need high speed locomotion, and develop a single large back leg, on which they can balance a bit and use their front legs to manipulate stuff, but also require front legs for locomotion still, though they might be able to carry stuff "one handed".
  6. Yup the only reason I'm so certain is because I've seen it plenty of times before. Now if you want really spooky, wait until a spider builds a web across the lens, you get this black misty Cthulic shadow-being effect every time it saunters across.
  7. If the camera had infrared LEDs on it, and the moth was close it would glow like that, probably inside the focus range, a foot or so away.
  8. I did some quick research on my idea above, the only metals that isn't toxic, or too expensive, oxidises at a reasonable temperature and has some catalytic oxidation activity with ethanol, seems to be Bismuth. However it's pyrophoric as a fine powder. So you'd have to find a powder size that was too large to be dangerously pyrophoric, but small enough to burn when heated on contact with ethanol vapor due to oxidising it. Cerium might also work, but is regarded as potentially toxic, it could be got as lighter flints and crushed. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ferrocerium Not entirely sure how good an oxidation catalyst those are for ethanol, compared to say platinum, when you can get a fine platinum wire to glow when exposed to ethanol vapor. I guess the easy way to test the ferrocerium is to get a small glass of warmed vodka or other spirit, or even pure ethanol if you've got that around, and spark a lighter over it, to see if you get a more impressive display over the ethanol than just sparking it normally, or see if light grinding of the flint with the wheel then shaking it over the warmed ethanol will do anything. Be prepared of course for the likelihood of setting the alcohol on fire! As for the other, no I don't know how to get Bismuth powder out of PeptoBismol. Edit: Ah, I see lead free fishing sinkers may be made of bismuth
  9. Hmmm, I had thought that large diameter turbofans minimised the tip losses that would otherwise be seen with propeller blades. I also assumed that the cowlings would be taking advantage of Coanda effect forces.
  10. Is 2000 bar assuming a constant 9.8 m/s^2 all the way to the core?
  11. There's one form of arthritis (There are many), thought to be caused or aggravated by calcium deposits in the joints. Formic acid is used for removing limescale. Put those two together and you can imagine that it might be possible for low doses of formic acid to assist in removing calcium deposits that aggravate the condition. However, rather than getting yourself stung, there might be something in the "An apple a day keeps the doctor away" proverb, since ripe fruit will have small quantities of methanol in, (Competitively inhibited by larger quantities of ethanol, thankfully, or we'd all die of methanol poisoning from eating fruit), one of the metabolites of which is formic acid... and the Vitamin C would probably also help with calcium metabolism, which may be faulty if it's depositing in joints.
  12. First off, scratch anything needing insects for pollination... Second, consider conditions, cold, fairly arid, alkaline soil, possibly on the salty side. Third, look for areas on earth where those conditions occur. Fourth, investigate native flora of those regions. Fifth, evaluate candidates for vigor, water retention/economy, and spread of leaves for making most of meager solar energy density. Sixth, test! Try growing candidates in approximately similar atmospheric, soil and illumination conditions.
  13. I'm thinking of some kind of catalytic metal powder that also oxidises and ethanol. You dip your fingertips in ethanol, and when they're allllmost dry, shoot the metal powder past them. The ethanol vapor created by your body heat reacts on the surface of the particles, causing them to get hot, and because they are tiny particles they then oxidise in air.... Not anything that will give you metal fume fever though!!! However, you'd have a 9/10 chance of setting fire to your fingers but due to the cooling effect of ethanol evaporating off skin as it burns you should be able to extinguish them before you do yourself damage... maybe, or you could die a firey death and have three headed children.
  14. I've got this WAT where you could have a cryostatic liquid H2 distribution system with a superconductive maglev transport system built on top of it... or half inside it.
  15. Call me a Luddite, but I'd be deeply suspicious of most automated systems, even ABS tries to kill me practically every other time I drive a car with it. Driving completely safety is as much about prediction and projection as it is about reaction, I think it's an AI complete problem. Thinking of some of the accidents I was nearly in, I'm thinking that about half of them could have resulted in impact with any automated tech foreseeable in the next 5 years. These were situations where an absolute minimum of clues were available, just the tilt of another driver's head, the slight angle of another car in it's lane, seeing an object rattling loose on a truck in front, hence I performed almost gut feeling instinctive reactions that kept me out of trouble, possibly up to a full second in advance of what any reactive system would be able to achieve. I don't see an automated system being able to react to mere nuances and predict behavior like that. It would wait until vehicles were actually out of their lane, or objects off trucks actually hit the roadway. However, I could see the development of a kind of "roadtrain express" lane on highways/freeways, where you could link up to a close coupled group of vehicles, maybe even docking magnetically, and being pulled by a master unit tractor that had inductive pickups or something to run electrically. To join up, you'd match speed in the next lane over 100ft behind maybe, switch to auto, and it would join the train. This lane would be exclusive to the system and would have sensor networks along it in case there was accidents that blocked the lane, allowing forewarning to the master unit.
  16. Ah yes, I was thinking about the older lithium manganese dioxide cells, (Typically button type, N, half AA and other strange sizes) the newer lithium iron (not to be confused with lithium ion) cells are much better in high discharge, have long storage life but have no advantage for low discharge use (Energiser Lithium and competitive products are of this type)
  17. Lithium have long shelf life but deteriorate rapidly when asked to deliver high currents. Hence they are better in very low current draw applications. If they merely run the timer then they'd work very well, if they need to switch a relay, then they might not be so good. Alkaline last quite a long time even for high current draws if used for brief periods and allowed recovery time. Therefore I'd imagine that with periods of very low current draw interspersed with holding a relay or solenoid open would make alkaline close to ideal for the application.
  18. Actually if you look at the humungous error bars on the aerosols column there it could as easily be no net anthropogenic effect.... It does actually concern me that huge reductions in particulate emissions of all kinds will reduce available condensation nucleii. This causes losee of cloud cover which causes loss of cloud albedo, resulting in more solare surface energy absorbtion, this in turn puts yet more water vapor in the air, which is a worse greenhouse gas than CO2, which also just hangs around without condensing out due to reduced condensation nucleii. Add to that forest fire suppression efforts and that we haven't have a good humdinger of a volcano in a few years and you've gotta be wondering if that warming is CO2, or lack of particulates. Hmmm by my figuring the error range on that "total" goes from about -.5 to near 4. I guess being honest about how your errors add up isn't good when your error range is 3x your result like that. Or "Hey, this makes the result look like crap, let's average them out instead."
  19. Make a carbon nozzle and heat it red hot before you mix those two????
  20. Does one need to fully melt the silica or silicates? My first thoughts are that pottery kiln range temps for vitrification would suffice.
  21. Balloon will get you about 10-20M CO2 "sparklet" bulbs will tend to clog with dry ice after brief rapid discharge. Indoors is a bit of problem... I'd say that limits you to something that makes large volumes of steam or CO2 or something like that.
  22. Which end is most loaded? I'd like a book about primes but if it takes 7/8th of it up with ancient history and just skims through the last 2 centuries in the last chapter I'd be rather disappointed. Read a book like that on electromagnetism earlier this year, Galvani practically got a chapter to himself and Maxwell got 3/4 of a page.
  23. Greetings all, I am nominally a middle aged primate of the species homo sapiens, and still trying to figure the rest out. I like screwing around on the fringes and thinking of things in different ways. I got a degree in Physics and then got lost, because where I wanted to go didn't have any directions posted back then. So feeling mildly annoyed that those fields are just beginning to get respectable about now. I'm more of an intuitive type, my math is weak I like to think of myself as innovative, and hope that some day I'll make a contribution to technology. 99% of my energy at present seems to go into the day to day trivialities of living and bootstrapping myself to a point where I can "get stuff done". Occasionally my brain will catch fire for a couple of weeks and I can't think of a damn thing else until it goes out. My forum name comes from the George McDonald Fraser/Thomas Hughes figure.... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flashman Psychoanalyse that how you will Flashman
  24. Thanks! Gah, those finishing industry types are alchemists I swear, "Add only zinc oxide at the full of the moon" why they wouldn't frigging tell me that just dumping zinc in there makes the same solution I don't know.
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