Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Cleese on Terrorism

 The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror 
 alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France 
 are "Collaborate" and "Surrender." The rise was precipitated by a 
 recent fire that destroyed France 's white flag factory, effectively 
 paralyzing the country's military capability.
 The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent events in Libya 
 and have therefore raised their security level from "Miffed" to 
 "Peeved." Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to 
 "Irritated" or even "A Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit 
 Cross" since the blitz in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out. 
 Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody 
 Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning 
 level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.
 The Scots have raised their threat level from "Pissed Off" to "Let's 
 get the Bastards." They don't have any other levels. This is the reason 
 they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 
 300 years.
 Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" 
 to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective 
 Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."
 The Germans have increased their alert state from "Disdainful 
 Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also 
 have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbor" and "Lose."
 Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only 
 threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels .
 The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to 
 deploy. These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new 
 Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.
 Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from "No worries" 
 to "She'll be alright, Mate." Two more escalation levels remain: 
 "Crikey! I think we'll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!" and 
 "The barbie is canceled." So far no situation has ever warranted use of 
 the final escalation level. -- John Cleese - British writer, actor and tall person

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Microwaving Water

A  26-year old man decided to have a cup of coffee. He took a cup of  water and put it in the microwave to heat it up (something that he  had done numerous times before). I am not sure how long he set the  timer for, but he wanted to bring the water to a boil.. When the  timer shut the oven off, he removed the cup from the oven. As he  looked into the cup, he noted that the! Water was not boiling, but  suddenly the water in the cup 'blew up' into his face. The cup  remained intact until he threw it out of his hand, but all the  water had flown out into his face due to the buildup of energy.  His whole face is blistered and he has 1st and 2nd degree burns to  his face which may leave scarring.

He also may have lost  partial sight in his left eye. While at the hospital, the doctor  who was attending to him stated that this is a fairly common  occurrence and water (alone) should never be heated in a microwave  oven. If water is heated in this manner, something should be  placed in the cup to diffuse the energy such as a wooden stir stick, tea bag, etc..., (nothing metal).

General  Electric's Response:
Thanks  for contacting us, I will be happy to assist you. The e-mail that  you received is correct. Microwaved water and other liquids do not  always bubble when they reach the boiling point. They can actually  get superheated and not bubble at all. The superheated liquid will  bubble up out of the cup when it is moved or when something like a  spoon or tea bag is put into it.

To prevent this from  happening and causing injury, do not heat any liquid for  more than two minutes per cup. After heating, let the cup  stand in the microwave for thirty seconds! Before moving it  or adding anything into it.

Here is what our local science  teacher had to say on the matter: 'Thanks for the microwave  warning. I have seen this happen before. It is caused by a  phenomenon known as super heating. It can occur anytime water is  heated and will particularly occur if the vessel that the  water is heated in is new, or when heating a small amount of water  (less than half a cup).

What happens is that the  water heats faster than the vapor bubbles can form. If the cup is  very new then it is unlikely to have small surface scratches  inside it that provide a place for the bubbles to form. As the  bubbles cannot form and release some of the heat has built up, the  liquid does not boil, and the liquid continues to heat up well  past its boiling point.

What then usually happens is that  the liquid is bumped or jarred, which is just enough of a shock to  cause the bubbles to rapidly form and expel the hot liquid. The  rapid formation of bubbles is also why a carbonated beverage spews  when opened after having been  shaken

Monday, 18 April 2011

Garage Doors

I wish I had a garage so I could get one of these. Which one do you want?

Are you fed up with looking daily at your boring garage door?  
Just stick a new decal on your door!
You should see the looks on the face of your neighbors!

Friday, 15 April 2011

Video Awesome: Forest xylophone

Video Awesome: Forest xylophone

Forest Xylophone Video

Beautiful video on Kenzo's blog

Everything Under the Sun: Inspirational Quotes from Albert Einstein

Everything Under the Sun: Inspirational Quotes from Albert Einstein


Orientalism, the book by Edward Said that marked the popular d├ębut of postcolonial discourse theory, was published in 1978, at the end of a decade in which Pol Pot had unleashed another violent postcolonial conflict, while meanwhile in Africa Idi Ahmeen was coming to the end of his rule of terror.  In the case of India, the 1970’s had been the decade of the Emergency which Rushdie saw as the dreams and possibilities of independent India had being mutilated by Mrs Gandhi. Postcolonial studies emerged predominantly in liberal western academies, linking with studies of other marginalised groups, such as women and gay studies, with the goal of understanding the causes of the continued global imbalances of power, capital and knowledge. At this time, the ideals of independent nations were failing with the rise of Rajiv Gandhi bringing about the economic liberalisation of India, facilitating multinational corporations and spurning the goals of equitable socialist economic development so desperately sought by his grandfather, Jawaharlal Nehru. With this in mind, it is easy to question the success of the challenge to the postcolonial imbalances that were maintained by the new imperialism, with the United States of America as the chief imperialist.
One of the main criticisms of postcolonial theory is the accusation that it is Eurocentric but given the very nature of the colonial experience and the creation of colonial knowledge, a Eurocentric view is necessary to make Europe the object of study. From the medieval period, and even before, the west created itself in relation to the others it portrayed as opposites. The rational basis of western thought made the east irrational; the moral character of the European made the Asian immoral and when the Occident was placed at the centre of the world the Orient was marginalised. Viewing Europe as the centre of the world was not merely a self-aggrandising delusion as Europe came to dominate the world economy, subjugate other political systems to its own and to determine the criteria by which the value of knowledge was judged through the dominant discourse that rose to hold global sway under colonialism and after. The study of this discourse is the focus of postcolonial theory, and the resistance and removal of the dominance of enduring colonial discourse that is the goal of postcolonial studies and politics.