Archive for September 10th, 2007
Countries that do not provide paid leave for new mothers. Of 173 countries, only 4 fail to provide this benefit: Papua New Guinea, Swaziland, Liberia and the U.S.A. More here. (Liberia, you’ll recall, is also tight with the US in not using the metric system.)
Good hobby for young hands: learning to fold napkins to help set the table. Here’s a guide.
Interesting post from Daily Kos:
The deaths this week of former Russian President Boris Yeltsin and renowned Russian cellist and conductor Mstislav Rostropovich reminded us all of the heady days of the collapse of the Soviet Union and its empire. With astonishing abruptness the West had won the Cold War by the end of 1991.
But recalling those exhilarating days also raises a more introspective question: is America in turn now experiencing its own systemic crisis, and is it lurching toward an imminent imperial collapse?
For obvious reasons, scientists long have thought that salt water couldn’t be burned.
So when an Erie man announced he’d ignited salt water with the radio-frequency generator he’d invented, some thought it a was a hoax.
John Kanzius, a Washington County native, tried to desalinate seawater with a generator he developed to treat cancer, and it caused a flash in the test tube.
Within days, he had the salt water in the test tube burning like a candle, as long as it was exposed to radio frequencies.
His discovery has spawned scientific interest in using the world’s most abundant substance as clean fuel, among other uses.
Rustum Roy, a Penn State University chemist, held a demonstration last week at the university’s Materials Research Laboratory in State College, to confirm what he’d witnessed weeks before in an Erie lab.
“It’s true, it works,” Dr. Roy said. “Everyone told me, ‘Rustum, don’t be fooled. He put electrodes in there.’ ”
But there are no electrodes and no gimmicks, he said.
Dr. Roy said the salt water isn’t burning per se, despite appearances. The radio frequency actually weakens bonds holding together the constituents of salt water — sodium chloride, hydrogen and oxygen — and releases the hydrogen, which, once ignited, burns continuously when exposed to the RF energy field. Mr. Kanzius said an independent source measured the flame’s temperature, which exceeds 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit, reflecting an enormous energy output.