Baby Octopus

John D. Clark's Ignition

It's a book written in the early 70's by a rocket propellant scientist. While it's full of technical chemistry and basic rocket physics, it's written in a funny, personal style that makes the chemistry unimportant. It's very funny if you find stories of really smart people doing things that could almost kill them funny.

A quote from the book (and these sort of asides are on every other page):

The highly volatile trimethylamine sticks tenaciously to the skin and clothes, and smells like the Fulton Street fish market on a hot Saturday morning (although some of us used a more earthy comparison) and poor Roger Machinist, who had the job of making the salt, was saluted, for some weeks, by people who held their noses with one hand, pointed at him with the other, and shouted, "Unclean, unclean!" We called that propellant "Minnie," for reasons which now escape me.

Another one I liked:

Burning it with ozone in a laboratory expirement, Professor Grosse of Temple University (who always liked living dangerously) attained a stead state temperature of some 6000 K, equal to that of the surface of the sun.
Baby Octopus


Work has been a big downer lately. The work itself ain't bad, but the travel and being away from home is just soulcrushing.

Anyway, i'll see if i can get a break after this project wraps up. I need some me time.

Posted via LjBeetle
Baby Octopus

relaxing in Maine

You know...I'm having a "Just fuck it" week.

I guess I've been working a bit too much because I've hit a big ol' wall...

Anyway, I had a great weekend of doing nothing and finishing Dance with Dragons...
Baby Octopus

Science metallurgy and science skills have long ago atrophied.  But this looks pretty interesting.

Basically, it's a Nickel alloy that produces a magnetic field as it absorbs heat...or it become electromagnetically active as it absorbs heat...I'm not really sure.

There's a 4 second YouTube Video... The video claims to show the Nickel compound being heated and then leaping onto a powerful permanent magnet.

The authors claim that a small amount of heat absorb by the material changes makes the material more magnetic and somehow you can turn that into electricity.
Shooting Star - Kawaii Not

June 1st tornado

This was filmed by a friend of a friend...lots of good ol' Massachusetts profanity.

It starts with them pushing their way out of the wreckage of the garage where they work...
Balls - Kawaii Not

Death and Taxes

Megan McArdle shows the numbers and how they don't add up. Our commitments for Social Security and Medicare will soon outpace the revenue the government can raise through returning taxes to the pre-Bush tax cut levels.

Ending The Bush Tax Cuts Won't Save Social Security

The pain is going to start really soon...

(BTW, the government still hasn't put together a 2011 or 2012 budget, in case you haven't been paying attention. The 2011 budget should have been completed in September of 2010...before the elections. You know, when the Democrats were firmly in charge of both chambers of Congress.)