Our Planet and Atmosphere: Ozone – the “Other” Oxygen

Health, Technology
[caption id="attachment_20184" align="alignright" width="440"] The Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia[/caption] Oxygen atoms are very reactive chemically. We call them electrophilic or "electron loving" because the oxygen atom seeks to bind to other electron-rich sources, especially itself. Thus oxygen is present in our atmosphere primarily as the molecular O₂. Another Form A small percentage of atmospheric oxygen exists in another form, ozone, O₃. This less stable form of oxygen is produced by ultraviolet light or high voltage electrical discharge. It's garlicky odor may be discerned after a heavy thunderstorm. Geometry The O₂ molecule consists of only two atoms, and two points make a line, right? So what shape is the O₃ molecule? Unlike its more abundant companion, ozone is non-linear. As a result, it carries partial charges on its constituent atoms.…
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Thumbnail Mystery 2: How the Bee Doth Sting

Entertainment, Technology
[caption id="attachment_15570" align="alignright" width="340"] By Chocolate Horlicks - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0[/caption] It was the beginning of August, the peak of Summer and it was stifling; there was no breeze. If there had been a breeze, the humidity would only have made matters worse. Some had left Chicago because of it. You see, it was the fifth day of an unprecedented power failure. Despite that, the trial was in full swing. The prosecution's key witness was sequestered in the federal building's second floor from the top. Despite the building's state of the art design, because of the power failure, the windows were wide open. Malachi "Ky" Haworth was lone witness to a high-profile assassination. Left unguarded, he'd have been dead before his next breath. The Final Night Ky asked…
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The Truck Jake Brake – Quiet Helpful Technology?

[caption id="attachment_13981" align="alignright" width="480"] “Jake Brake” Image by Sierra Fournier - Jacobs Vehicle Systems[/caption] The time is 1:30 in the morning. My house is along a small highway that carries moderate traffic at certain times of the day. It is graded slightly for about a tenth of a mile and has a bend in the road a few hundred feet past my home. Trucks constitute perhaps 10% of the traffic. As a truck picks up speed due to the grade and enters a straight-away, the driver may notice that curve in the road. Brakes are quickly applied. Diesel trucks have a special means of slowing down in addition to their ordinary braking system. It is called a Jake brake. This name is now generic, but at one time referred to…
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Vintage Movies: Will They Disappear?

The Arts
[caption id="attachment_5554" align="alignright" width="380"] A young Lionel Barrymore.[/caption] Vintage movies - what will become of them? The previous few generations were the first to enjoy movies and television. Video added another dimension previously unknown in recorded entertainment. First there were the silents. Not offering speech, rather than presenting films in dead silence, musical accompaniment, perhaps by an organist, was provided. Later, approximately 1927, “talkies” began to feature human speech. A New Era Black and white films experienced tremendous growth in quality of cinematography, although some of the actors--those with a background in the silents—over-dramatized their characters. In the late 1930’s, basically black-and-white films had embedded within them a few scenes in color. Of course, in time, most motion pictures were entirely filmed in color. Moving On Up Larger screens and…
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