Sunday, August 30, 2015

Word Puzzle

I'm thinking of two common English words, W1 and W2. W1 is half as long as W2, but has twice the syllables. When combined, the two words form a phrase that can be used to refer to a nonspecific stage of a meal.

The letters in these two words can be rearranged to form two new common words: W3, and W4. W3 is half as long as W4, and it also has half the syllables. The two words, when combined, may be used when telling somebody to draw with a certain art medium.

What are all four words?

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Monday, August 10, 2015

Things in the Sky

The Perseid meteor shower is coming up! After midnight on Tuesday, and again on Wednesday, an observer under a dark sky may see up to 100 meteors per hour - an average of nearly 2 per minute. If you live in a city, the light pollution will wash out most of the meteors, so the countryside or mountains will be a much better place to watch them.

Meteors start as small bits of material floating in space, usually dropped from comets that passed through the area. At this stage, they are called "meteoroids". When the earth passes through a cluster of these particles, they hit our atmosphere and burn up as meteors, and we have what's called a meteor shower. If you're looking up at the sky, and you see a streak of light zip a short distance and then disappear, this is a meteor.

One of the best things about this particular shower is that the moon won't come out all night, so the sky will be darker than usual - making it possible to see more meteors than in most showers.

If you go outside to a dark location, here are a few other things you may see:

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Which Hurts More?

212° F
Let's play a little game. I'll list a bunch of possible actions. Each action will have 2 variations, (a) and (b). You choose either (a) or (b), depending on which would be safer (or less painful). Each of the questions will involve an oven hot enough to bake a cake (350° F), and a pot of boiling water (assume we're at sea level). So... would you rather:

    (a) Stick your hand in the oven
    (b) Stick your hand in the boiling water
  ... for a period of 10 seconds

    (a) Leave a fork in the oven
    (b) Leave a fork in boiling water
  ... for a period of 15 minutes. Then hold the fork tight with your bare hand.

3. Fill a jar to the top with cool tap water. Then:
   (a) Place the jar in the oven
   (b) Place the jar in the boiling water
  ... for a specific, but unknown, period of time. Then remove the jar and put your hand in it.

First see if you can figure these out yourself. They shouldn't be too hard. If you have trouble, heat up your oven and boil a pot of water, and see for yourself what hurts more. (NOTE: I take no responsibility for any resulting injury.)