Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Practical science 2

So when you were in the shower, did you enjoy playing with the bubbles?  Bubbles are strange things, they prove that air exists, otherwise how could you explain them.  But they are such thin films of water and soap that they burst spontaneously or with a little help.  They form perfect spheres, but when they contact each other they do so according to the laws of 3d geometry.  They form perfect planes between connected bubbles because the air pressure on both sides is equal.  They can be manipulated to form incredibly complex geometric shapes, but always retaining some form of symmetry.
When you get dressed you take for granted the production of the cloth that makes up your clothing, all of it woven on looms.  But, whereas in the historic past the weaving was done mechanically, now of course it is all done with electronically controlled looms.   Not many people realize that the origin of the computer can be traced to the French inventor M. Jacquard, who invented a machine in 1801 that could produce a complex pattern over and over again in any kind of woven material, thus making mass production possible.  The pattern was controlled by a card or series of cards with a pattern of holes that were recycled through the machine to repeat the pattern.  The same kind of mechanical punched cards were used for music boxes and player pianos from the 1850s and census machines, actually the first real computers, were invented by Hollerith in 1890 for the US census.  I remember using packs of punched cards to enter data into large IBM computers even in the 1970s, but their use died out soon after that.
Now we have you dressed in your woven clothes, but what about breakfast?  The idea of a cereal product being good for your health was promoted by WK. Kellog who founded his company in 1897, based on his Seventh Day Adventist vegetarianism.  But, my dietician told me that corn flakes are actually useless for dietary fiber, so I use other kinds of fibrous cereal.  But, most of us believe that cereal for breakfast is healthful.  Have a nice day!


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