Diamond Dust Not From Diamonds – What’s That?

Meteorology, Transportation
[caption id="attachment_26565" align="alignright" width="480"] A halo produced by diamond dust. Image by Oimheidi[/caption]The words "diamond dust" are likely to bring to mind either very tiny jewels or the industrial grinding medium. However, there is another, entirely different kind of diamond dust. It involves weather. A Weatherman Speaks For a quick description, watch the first 1 minute 15 seconds of this 3-minute video... Sounds interesting? But what does DD look like? Diamond Dust - Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder This 26-second video shows DD falling in Japan... Diamond Dust: Filling in a Few Blanks Fog is a common occurrence. It's like clouds descended to Earth's surface. It consists of miniscule liquid water droplets coating particles of dust¹. Diamond dust is somewhat similar in its description, except the droplets…
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Hazardous Black Ice – One Source You May Not Anticipate

Meteorology, Transportation
[caption id="attachment_26551" align="alignright" width="480"] It's night. It's foggy. Is it freezing fog?[/caption]Life is good. Nevertheless, dangers affect everyone - seasonal dangers. In Summer, we may face bees, snakes, rabid animals, poison ivy, deer on the road, chain saw incidents. To name a few. In Winter In winter, the elements become especially problematic. Something as beautiful as snow can sometimes kill. Blinding blizzards, excessive drifts, snow-blinded drivers, even avalanches. One particular danger is not so dramatic. In fact, it is downright sneaky. Black ice. Black Ice Black ice is not actually black, of course, but the word black suggests darkness. Darkness so deep a person with the best of vision can see nothing. One may go outside and fall or drive and have an accident, simply because he does not take…
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Garlic Dietary “Spokesperson” Allicin Speaks Out

Uncategorized
[caption id="attachment_26504" align="alignright" width="480"] Basket of Garlic Bulbs[/caption]Garlic is considered by the majority as a healthful food. By nearly every person, it is recognized for its pungent, odor. Most will humbly admit the odor is disagreeable. Garlic Question Since the odor of a clove of garlic is pretty nearly non-existent, it must be wondered: Why does garlic produce so noticeable an odor when it is crushed? It is because the odor is produced by a chemical reaction, the combining of two substances within the garlic. The Two Substances The two substances are alliin and alliinase. Whenever the suffix part of a compound name ends in -ase, suspect an enzyme. Perhaps you've heard of laundry detergents that are said to be "enzyme cleaners". What is an enzyme? An enzyme is a…
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I “Discover” The Chestnut Weevil Maggot

Biology, Nature
Sitting at my computer desk one day, I spotted a small maggot crawling along. Now a couple of hours earlier, I had a couple of apples sitting there, so I wondered if they were the source of the maggot that came from those, possibly a fly maggot. No, they were not. Now in the fall, which this is, I gather seeds from various plants, to dry them and put them away for next year. Among these are sunflower, hot pepper, and zinnia seeds. I know no maggot in its "right mind" would make its home in a Serrano pepper. And I hadn't gathered the zinnia seeds yet. Then again, there was no evidence of maggots in the thousands of sunflower seeds. Source of the Maggot What was left? Well, I…
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Donkeys, Burros, Mules, Jackasses – What’s the Difference?

animals, Biology
[caption id="attachment_26416" align="alignright" width="480"] A beautiful young horse.[/caption]From youth till only recently, I've wondered "What's the difference between donkeys, burros, mules and jackasses?" Perhaps it's crossed your mind as well, yet you've never sought an answer until now. Hopefully, you will find the answer you seek in this article... What's a Donkey? [caption id="attachment_26419" align="alignleft" width="440"] A domesticated donkey.[/caption]The donkey is said to come from the African wild ass. It has been used as a work animal for ages. It is a fertile animal, multiplying in the usual way. And What's a Burro? A burro is a small, wild (rather than domesticated) donkey. And burro is Spanish for donkey. Here is a 38 second video of wild burros outside Las Vegas, Nevada... [sc name="MidArticleAdsense"] What's Different About a Mule? [caption…
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Is It a Honeybee? Is It a Bumble Bee? No, It’s a Carpenter Bee

Nature
Many people love Summer, perhaps with certain reservations: excessive heat and humidity, mosquitoes, snakes, ticks chiggers, hurricanes, power outages, and certain bees. What kind of bees? Well, they're not sure altogether. There are honeybees – they're OK. Wasps and hornets are not beloved. Yellow Jackets are a no-no. Bumble bees are usually not too much of a problem, even though they can sting. Yet there is a kind of "bumble bee" or perhaps a look-alike that does not sting. In fact, it seems downright friendly! The only problem with these guys is they drill holes – the most perfect holes – in wood. Once in, they build tunnels. This also is a no-no. They're Carpenter Bees These hole-drilling bees are carpenter bees. No one wants holes in their outbuildings. If…
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Spring Webworms, Fall Webworms – What’s the Difference?

Biology, Nature
[caption id="attachment_26380" align="alignright" width="480"] Fall web worms in nest.[/caption]You've seen or heard of webworms? Well, there are Spring webworms and there are Fall webworms. What's the difference? In some people's minds, there is no difference. Let's illustrate why that is by comparing it to the world of crime. When someone perpetrates a series of crimes, TV police closely consider the "Perp's" modus operandi, or method of operation. This is of some value in understanding the thinking of the criminal so they can better identify him or perhaps anticipate his next victim. Another person might choose to commit a crime using the same modus operandi so his crime will be blamed on the serial criminal. That way he, this other person, will not be held accountable for the crime he committed.…
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The Chemical Structure of the Anti-Fungal Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate

Chemistry, Health
Ever purchased wipes or some other product that was labeled hypoallergenic? Why did the label say that? Hypoallergenic is defined as: relatively unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. So all the ingredients in such a product must have a well-established safety record. Even if a few individuals experience difficulty, it would be mild, perhaps superficial. There is a compound that, despite being hypoallergenic, fights mold successfully. Its name? Iodopropynyl butylcarbamate. The achieved objective requires only a very slight amount of IPBC. Effective at minimal concentrations and water-soluble, IPBC is a cost-effective anti-fungal preservative. A Closer Look at IPBC Notice the chemical structure of iodopropynyl butylcarbamate in the illustration. The portion of the molecule encircled by green is the carbamate portion of the molecule. It is a derivative of carbamic acid…
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Odor Chemistry: Lady Beetle Vs. Marmorated Stink Bug

Chemistry, Nature
It was the ol' one-two. First we were attacked by Asian Lady Bird Beetles, Harmonia axyridis, then the brown marmorated stink bug, Halyomorpha halys. The Lady Bird Beetles were detected first in Louisiana in 1988. Close on its heels, the Stink bugs were detected in Pennsylvania in 1996. Both exude horrible odors when provoked or crushed, though the constituent chemicals are entirely different. Stink Bug Chemistry The stench of the Stink Bug is actually rather simple, as far as stenches go. Two organic compounds, each a "first cousin" of the other, are the culprits: trans-2-octenal and trans-2-decenal (see image). These two compounds are classified as both aldehydes (-CHO) and alkenes (-C=C-). Let's first examine how they are named. Notice both compounds have a straight chain or backbone of carbon atoms…
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In Simple Terms: The Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle

Nature, Physics
[caption id="attachment_26306" align="alignright" width="480"] L to R: Niels Bohr, Werner Heisenberg, Wolfgang Pauli[/caption]Werner Heisenberg (1901-1976) was yet another bright German physicist. He was a "founder" of quantum mechanics, the physics of the subatomic. As with astrophysics, behavior at this level appears to vary from the physics of the everyday world. A Brief Description The velocity of an auto of mass m can be measured accurately. If its velocity remains constant, its location over time is predictable. This is the norm according to ordinary human experience. Yet, at submicroscopic levels, physicists experienced something different. For certain measurements, various pairs of variables could not both be accurately known simultaneously. Simultaneous measurement is only precise to a point. These pairs of variables are termed conjugate variables. The Standard Example The simplest example is…
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