I’ll have a splash of everything.
I have never liked fizz. My experience with fountain machines usually involves the leftover residue of pink lemonade enveloping my cup of water like Saran Wrap. Still, I’ve held on to a childlike fascination for far too long. Two flavors from one nozzle! Syrup that reacts with water and makes it fizzy! How do they do it?
Continue reading The Soda Fountain Of Civilization
In the spirit of Earth Week, I wanted to share with you a story of recycling. The USS
Squalis Squalus first launched in mid-September 1938. As the fifth Sargo class submarine, there wasn’t too much unique about her. She, like her classmates, had four General Motors Model 16-248 V16 diesel engines. Two of these engines drove the hydraulic drive system, and two drove electric generators that charged the two 126-cell Sargo batteries. There were four high-speed GE electric motors with gear boxes to drive two screws. What is interesting about the USS Squalus is what happened shortly after she was commissioned.
Continue reading Recover Refit Reuse
Today is Tax Day here in the US of A. This means that many people are grumbling about the complexity of our tax code. Even the simple 1040 form, which most taxpayers will use, now has three variants and a ridiculous number of schedules that you must fill out depending on where you [...]
This afternoon I am going to run the first of a couple of posts that I have been kicking around for quite some time now, but just have never gotten around to. (Be sure to tune in next week for more!) The Professor’s User Input on the question of the current state of NASA and the future thereof reminded me of them. First up, when we remember back to the space race it’s culmination with the Moon landing, I think that we tend to view it as a period of triumph and success. But I think it is important to recall that at the time, the neither the success of these ventures nor the victory over the Russians in the Cold War were in any way assured. When it came to the Moon landing, did you ever wonder what sort of back up plans might have been in place in the event of mission failure?
The possibility had been considered that a problem with the lunar lander could have stranded the intrepid astronauts on the Moon, and a memo outlining actions to be taken and the speech that the president would make if such an unfortunate incident occurred were written. The previously unpublished documents were found by LA Times columnist Jim Mann, in a file titled, “IN THE EVENT OF MOON DISASTER.”
President Richard Nixon would have informed the country that night on television:
Before giving the speech, the President would have made telephone calls to the “widows to be” to offer condolences. After final goodbyes, and perhaps recommendations to the astronauts on how to close their lives, the plans called for Mission Control to “close down communications” with the Lunar Module. In a public ritual likened to burial at sea, clergyman would then have commended their souls to “the deepest of the deep”. (motherboard.vice.com)
Continue reading Mysteries of the Moon
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Here we see the RMS Titanic and the RMS Olympic under construction at the Harland and Wolff yards in Belfast, Ireland, in 1910. Their sister ship, RMS Brittanic, wouldn’t be built until 1913. Looking at all of the rickety scaffolding in evidence, shipbuilding must have been quite exciting in those [...]
What do you do with leftover wartime explosives — including bombs, mines, depth charges, and sea rations? If you’re the Brits, you take out your aggression on an uninhabited German island in the North Sea. That island, Heligoland, was forever changed.
Continue reading Heligoland and a British Bang
Some of us out there have perhaps been lucky enough to always get just exactly what we want for whatever winter holiday we happen to celebrate. If you were not so lucky, you might have an item that ranks as your most wanted gift never received. Once upon a time (1992), the city of Las Vegas, the downtown area in particular, had a chance to get a gift of absolutely awesome proportions, that likely has to rank pretty high on the list of ‘What Might Have Been’. Amazingly, this project was very close to coming to fruition, achingly close, but was not to be. The company behind it was The Goddard Group, is an entertainment design firm that does design, production and operations work for theme parks and other such tourist industries. Last April, on the design firm’s blog, Gary Goddard looked back on this project, and the events of 1992 that led up to both the creation and demise of the idea of building a full size Starship Enterprise in downtown Vegas. Hit the jump to read the story, and see more concept drawings!
Many of us here in the Toaster Universe love coffee. That succulant, rich beverage full of caffeine and other elements essential to our survival is consumed and enjoyed on a daily basis for some of us. This is why, every morning when my lips touch the brim of the cup and the coffee crosses them on its way into my body, I thank God that I did not live in Sweden in the 18th Century.
Continue reading Swedish Scientific Study of Cinnamon-Colored Swill
On my honeymoon, Mrs. engineerd™ and I had the fortune to visit two very historic cities — London and Paris. My wife, hardly a nostalgic person, noted that her favorite of the two was London. Part of this was a language thing, but the other part was, and I quote, “Paris is so old.” I pointed out to her that if Britain had capitulated, they would have kept most of their old buildings as well.
Continue reading Blitz Bombing
This year passed a quite milestone, for it always seems that 51 is never quite the event that 50 makes. A single year can make quite a difference in the ways of the world though. Our very own engineerd™ gave us this retrospective last year on the statement that the simple technology of concrete could give to the world in a look at 50 years since the first Berlin Wall. Just recently I came across this newsreel from the one year anniversary of that wall, and since it is the 50th anniversary of that particular milestone, it seems appropriate to get a feel for how the Western World viewed it one year in.
Continue reading The Difference of a Year