Posted: May 23, 2012 in Wisdom Nook

·         Western Electric successfully brought sound to motion pictures and introduced systems of mobile communications which culminated in the cellular telephone.

·         On December 23, 1947, Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill, N.J., held a secret demonstration of the transistor which marked the foundation of modern electronics.

·         The wick of a trick candle has small amounts of magnesium in them. When you light the candle, you are also lighting the magnesium. When someone tries to blow out the flame, the magnesium inside the wick continues to burn and, in just a split second (or two or three), relights the wick.

·         Time slows down near a black hole; inside it stops completely.

·         Tiny dust particles surround a comet. They are swept into a long tail by the solar wind, which consists of subatomic particles speeding from the sum at speed of hundred of miles per second.

·         To an observer standing on Pluto, the sun would appear no brighter than Venus appears in our evening sky.

·         Traveling at the speed of 186,000 miles per second, light take 6 hours to travel from Pluto to the earth.

·         A brown dwarf is a very small, dark object, with a mass less than 1/10 that of the Sun. They are ‘failed stars’, globules of gas that have shrunk under gravity, but failed to ignite and shine as stars.

·         A bucket filled with earth would weigh about 5 time more than the same bucket filled with the substance of the sun. However, the force of gravity is so much greater on the sun that the man weighing 150 pounds on our planet would weigh 2 tons on the sun.

·         A car traveling at a constant speed of 60 miles per hour would take over 48 million years to reach the nearest star (other than our sun), Proxima Centauri. This is about 685,000 average human lifetimes.

·         A cosmic year is the amount of time it takes the sun to revolve around the center of the Milky Way, about 225 million years.

·         A day on the planet Mercury is twice as long as its year. Mercury rotates very slowly but revolves around the sun in slightly less than 88 days.

·         A dog was killed by a meteor at Nakhla, Egypt, in 1911. The unlucky canine is the only creature known to have been killed by a meteor.

·         You know the three physical dimensions, and the fourth dimension, time. For years, people have speculated about other dimensions. Experts in theoretical physics now say the major theories about the universe make sense together – and all the math seems to work – if there are 10 dimensions.

·         A scientist at Michigan State University has calculated that the production of a single hen egg requires about 120 gallons of water, a loaf of bread requires 300 gallons, and a pound of beef, 3,500.

·         Portland cement is used for underwater work. It hardens because of a chemical reaction it has with the water, not because the water mixed with it evaporates. The amount of water that reacts with the cement is crucial for this process, and the physical structure of this cement enables it to control exactly how much water gets into the reaction. So it doesn’t matter at all how much water surrounds the cement as long as it has enough to set.

·         Dating back to the 1600’s, thermometers were filled with Brandy instead of mercury.

·         The first “technology” corporation to move into California’s Silicon Valley was Hewlett-Packard, in 1938. Stanford University engineers Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard started their company in a Palo Alto garage, with $1,538. Their first product was an audio oscillator bought by Walt Disney Studios for use in making Fantasia.

·         The first U.S. census to be tallied by computer was in 1950. UNIVAC did the tallying.

·         Rain contains vitamin B12.

·         ENIAC, the first electronic computer, appeared 50 years ago. The original ENIAC was about 80 feet long, weighed 30 tons, had 17,000 tubes. By comparison, a desktop computer today can store a million times more information than an ENIAC, and 50,000 times faster.

·         From bridges to rebar, rust is everywhere. According to a recent study, the annual cost of metallic corrosion in the U.S. is approximately $300 billion. The report, by Battelle, Columbus, Ohio, and the Specialty Steel Industry of North America, Washington, D.C., estimated that about one-third of that cost could be avoided through broader application of corrosion-resistant material and “best anti-corrosive practice” from design through maintenance.

·         From the smallest microprocessor to the biggest mainframe, the average American depends on over 264 computers per day.

·         The first man-made item to exceed the speed of sound is the bull whip our leather whip. When the whip is snapped, the knotted end makes a “crack” or popping noise. It is actually causing a mini sonic boom as it exceeds the speed of sound.

·         The hardness of ice is similar to that of concrete.

·         A full moon always rises at sunset.

·         A bowl of lime Jell-O, when hooked up to an EEG machine, exhibited movement which is virtually identical to the brain waves of a healthy adult man or woman.

·         If the world were tilted one degree more either way, the planet would not be habitable because the area around the equator would be too hot and the poles would be too cold.

·         The opposite of a “vacuum” is a “plenum.”

·         In 1980, Namco released PAC-MAN, the most popular video game (or arcade game) of all time. The original name was going to be PUCK MAN, but executives saw the potential for vandals to scratch out part of the P in the games marquee and labeling.

·         Clothes that are dried outside DO smell better because of a process called photolysis. What happens is this: sunlight breaks down compounds in the laundry that cause odor, such as perspiration and body oils.

·         Clouds fly higher during the day than the night.

·         Dirty snow melts faster than clean.

·         Back in the mid to late 80’s, an IBM compatible computer wasn’t considered a hundred percent compatible unless it could run Microsoft’s Flight Simulator, probably because of the fact that it is one of the hardest programs to get running.

·         Some early TV screens did emit excessive X-rays, as did computer monitors, but that was fixed long ago. Doctors suggest that at worst, sitting too close might cause some temporary eye fatigue—the same for reading with insufficient light—but no permanent damage, no matter what your mother claimed.

·         A “fulgerite” is fossilized lightning. It forms when a powerful lightning bolt melts the soil into a glass-like state.

·         STASI, the East German secret police organization, devised a devilishly clever way to prevent someone from giving them the slip during the Cold War: they managed to synthesize the scent of a female dog in heat, which they applied to the shoes of the person under surveillance. Then they simply had a male dog follow the scent.

·         Experiments conducted in Germany and at the University of Southampton in England show that even mild and incidental noises cause the pupils of the eyes to dilate. It is believed that this is why surgeons, watchmakers, and others who perform delicate manual operations are so bothered by noise. The sounds cause their pupils to change focus and blur their vision.

·         A downburst is a downward blowing wind that sometimes comes blasting out of a thunderstorm. The damage looks like tornado damage, since the wind can be as strong as an F2 tornado, but debris is blown straight away from a point on the ground. It’s not lofted into the air and transported downwind.


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