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Saturday, April 30, 2016

Triangle with Three Right Angles

They said - "Impossible!"

Forget high school geometry. A triangle can have more than on ninety degree angle.

Here's how it was done:

"Caution!!!! Some of the optical illusions on this blog may cause dizziness or possibly epileptic seizures. The latter happens when the brain can't handle the conflicting information from your two eyes. If you start feeling unwell when using this website, immediately cover one eye with your hand and then leave the page. Do not close your eyes because that can make the attack worse."
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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Paper Power

What do steam and paper have in common?

I find origami and paper sculpture intriguing.

Ed Bertschy provides a template that can be downloaded and printed on good paper to be used in the construction of a paper steam engine.

This paper steam engine is based on a Riches and Watts nominal 2 1/2 horsepower vertical A-frame double acting simple slide-valve steam engine circa 1870-75. The original engine was used to drive a water pump to irrigate the fields of Norfolk. If this model had a scale, it would be roughly 1:19. I had to double the size of the eccentric and strap in order to make it buildable. Everything else is close to scale, but changed in design and appearance because, well, paper isn't iron.

Everything will work on this engine, the flywheel turns, there really is a slide valve in the valve chest, the piston works, the cranks and the connecting rods, eccentric and strap all work if built carefully. The final model stands about 12 inches high. I hope you have as much fun building it as I had designing it.

Paper Steam Engine

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Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Your Grand-cestors Swore

Your Grandmothers told them to stop

What is there about a well placed curse that spices a novel or a conversation?
Perhaps it's genetic or evolutionary.
"The Jacobean dramatist Ben Jonson peppered his plays with fackings and "peremptorie Asses," and Shakespeare could hardly quill a stanza without inserting profanities of the day like "zounds" or "sblood" - offensive contractions of "God's wounds" and "God's blood" - or some wondrous sexual pun.

Even the quintessential Good Book abounds in naughty passages like the men in II Kings 18:27 who, as the comparatively tame King James translation puts it, "eat their own dung, and drink their own piss."

Almost before we spoke

Refered to by:
The Antiquity Of Cursing

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Thursday, April 07, 2016

Plain Numbers

I'd Like to Make It Clear

Plain Figures is a method of transforming statistical and financial data into figures, tables and graphs that people readily understand.

Have you ever:
  • squinted your eyes trying to see the numbers in a PowerPoint presentation?

  • scratched your head at a charity leaflet with an indecipherable pie chart titled 'Where your donation goes' ... and set it aside?

  • missed discussion at a meeting because you were busy trying to figure out the figures?

  • put aside a graph or table, thinking "I'm not good with numbers."?

Then you know how important the clear display of numerical information can be. Common problems People have trouble using numerical information for many reasons. Most commonly, authors don't know:
  • what to include: when unsure what numbers are important, people frequently display them all, overpowering the reader with irrelevance.

  • which format to use: the choice between text and table, table and chart, bar and pie.

  • how to use the technology effectively: computer software generates graphs easily, but the results hide your point behind incomprehensible chartjunk.

  • how to explain the information: selecting the right words for titles, columns and captions.

Plain Figures is a partnership between Sally Bigwood, located in Wakefield, Yorkshire, UK, and Melissa Spore, who divides her time between Toronto and Saskatoon, Canada. Sally and Melissa are sisters and both have dual citizenship in the United States.

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Saturday, April 02, 2016

What if the Truth Teller Fibs

Who ya gonna believe? is a great source for answers about urban myths, legends and computer hoaxes.

These articles appear on the Snopes site:

TRUE: The Mississippi state legislature removed fractions and decimal points from the mathematics curriculum of public secondary schools.

FALSE: The restaurant chain formerly known as "Kentucky Fried Chicken" changed its name to KFC to eliminate the word "fried" from its title.

TRUE: At the moment the Titanic hit an iceberg in the north Atlantic, the silent version of the film The Poseidon Adventure was being screened aboard ship.

After you stop shaking your head, look at the bottom left corner of the page and click on "More information about this page."
False Authority Syndrome

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