When asked what the creepiest thing he’s encountered on the job, Kelly admitted, “Generally it has to do with the toilet.” Considering the previous horror stories we’ve heard of floating messes or broken toilets creating a vacuum seal, we’re not surprised. But he still managed to add something novel and gross to the collection: “Recently I had to clean up a gallon-sized ball of urine mixed with acid.” Why acid? It’s added to the urine to keep it from clogging the system or damaging machinery. Ew.Read the whole thing here.
Was this the face that launch'd a thousand ships,And I remember a brief scene where Faustus is showing off, using his devilish powers to perform parlor tricks for a Duke and Duchess. The Duchess asks for a dish of grapes even though it's the dead of winter. No mortal could produce fresh grapes at that time of year, but Mephistopheles leaves and returns a moment later with the fruit, which the Duchess says are "the sweetest grapes that e’er I tasted." When the Duke asks how he did it, Faustus replies, Mephistopheles sped to the far east where it was summer and brought back the grapes.
And burnt the topless towers of Ilium—
Sweet Helen, make me immortal with a kiss.
Jones, an associate professor in the University of Arizona's College of Optical Sciences and head of the Jones Research Group, knows a thing or two about lasers. And although he is a "Star Wars" fan who received a toy lightsaber for his birthday, he says laser swords are easier said than done for a couple of reasons — battery power and light physics chief among them.Jones says that battery power would also be a problem:
Curiously, although they emit light, the lightsabers in "Star Wars" aren't made of it. They are said to be made of plasma — a hot, gassy blend of ions — wrapped in a "force containment field," which is probably some kind of electromagnetic field, Jones says. He adds that the lightsaber might be better off if it were made of, well, light.
Light is made of photons, which "don't like to interact with each other," so sword fighting with light would be futile. The physics just aren't there. But, say, cutting off a hand with it? Tricky, but not impossible.
This should be the most important global gathering in history: the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) — COP 21. But, barring surprises, COPOUT 21 is closer to it.
Scientists’ repeated urgings to cap carbon emissions are not even on the table. Proposed action is nowhere near enough, even if implemented. National commitments are voluntary, subject to waffling and political opposition at home.
Last night, amid the blaze of Christmas lights on the Champs-Elysees, I watched a funky little wind turbine crank out a few kilowatts. In a small rink, some people rode bikes rigged to generate a dribble of clean energy.
Then, walking home, I stopped for an eight-car motorcade, with wailing motorcycle outriders, bringing the Korean delegation from the airport in a cloud of exhaust fumes.
For the big picture, too complex to summarize, here are some keywords: Kyoto Protocol, Copenhagen COP 15, Al Gore, George W. Bush, China, India, just about any other country, corporate greed, stupidity, bullshit.
The heart of it is simple: If we do not stop spewing carbon into the air, nothing else matters. Unless those who will suffer – all of us – push governments to real action, the planet we leave behind will be uninhabitable.
Linda Kohanov shares the experiential wisdom she has gained by studying the nonpredatory power of horses and… More