I received this via email and had to post it:
Engineering Word Problem
A Backhoe weighing 8 tons is on top of a flat-bed trailer and heading east on Interstate 70 near Hays, Kansas. The extended shovel arm is made of hardened refined steel and the approaching overpass is made of commercial-grade concrete, reinforced with 1 1/2 inch steel rebar spaced at 6 inch intervals in a crisscross pattern layered at 1 foot vertical spacing.
Solve: When the shovel arm hits the overpass, how fast do you have to be going to slice the bridge in half? (Assume no effect for headwind and no braking by the driver...)
Extra Credit: Solve for the time and distance required for the entire rig to come to a complete stop after hitting the overpass at the speed calculated above.
Posted by Ken at 6:01 PM
Dliveo is a free web-based file delivery tool. Think of it as FedEx for files. Check it out, it's pretty cool, although it does have some limitations, e.g., you have to register a different account for each computer on which you want to use it, rather than being able to tie them all to an individual email address.
An Irish company, Steorn, is claiming that it has stumbled upon a method of creating energy from nothing. According to this article, the company was working on another project several years ago when it discovered a method of creating energy using magnetic fields. It claims that it has thoroughly tested the technology in house and has had outside laboratories test it as well. It is now challenging 12 physicists to test the technology in order to make it commercially credible. Many are skeptical of the claim because, according to the laws of physics, energy can neither be created nor destroyed - it can only change form.
The International Astronomical Union has proposed a new definition of the word "Planet". Under the new definition, which is basically "round and orbity", as this article puts it, there would be as many as 53 bodies in our solar system that would be classified as planets.
What do you get when you take Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, succeed from their respective unions, and form a new country? Yep, you guessed it, the Republic of Cascadia. I highly recommend looking over the website as well as the Wikipedia article.
Posted by Ken at 2:39 PM
In the past, visitors to this blog were about evenly split between Firefox and IE. Firefox was edging out IE by a few percentage points. There were also a few users arriving using Safari and other browsers. Lately, though, the Safari crowd has increased and the Firefox crowd has decreased. A knee-jerk guess is the Firefox users are switching to Safari.
Posted by Ken at 1:20 PM
Apparently, there is a chance that the original recordings of the First Moon Landing have been lost. These recordings were of a much high quality than what the public saw on TV that night, as explained in this article. This may make you think of the situation with the Saturn V plans which were "lost". It turns out that that particular story is untrue.
Posted by Ken at 11:22 AM
Posted by Ken at 6:25 PM
The Palm Islands are a group of three artificial islands being constructed in Dubai. They will be the largest artificial islands in the world and are being constructed as part of an effort to diversify Dubai's economy (in this case, by promoting tourism) before it's oil reserves run out (an event estimated to be due sometime in the second decade of this century). Each island is shaped like a Palm tree (each one is slightly different). Each island will hold multiple 5-star hotels, thousands of resort homes, theme parks, marinas, apartment buildings, and monorails.
Check out this article for more information.
Posted by Ken at 3:00 PM
Kobayashi is at it again, this time in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, at the Johnsonville World Brat Eating Championship. The previous record of 34.5 brats held by reigning champion, Sonya “The Black Widow” Thomas, was smashed by Kobayashi who ate 58 brats in ten minutes. Joey Chestnut came in second with 45.
Posted by Ken at 11:47 AM
Remember that hairy lobster I blogged a while back? And that fact about blue lobsters? Well, now there are yellow lobsters popping up. Apparently, there are also blue lobsters. The odds of finding a yellow lobster: 1 in 30,000,000. The odds of finding a blue lobster: 1 in 1,000,000.