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People around the world have reported hearing strange sounds from the skies over the past month. Sometimes they describe it as a hum or low rumble; other times it’s a whine, thump, or even a melody. Often the sounds have been recorded and posted online, fueling rumors and conspiracy theories.
One blogger wrote, “either the world is ending, aliens are landing or everyone is getting hoaxed. Or, possibly, there’s an actual scientific explanation for the mass amount of YouTube videos capturing bizarre sounds that are being heard around the globe. Are we witnessing the beginning of a full-scale alien invasion?”
Halloween is approaching fast so I thought I’d repost an article from two years ago on how to build an effective, low-cost fog chiller.
Coming up to Halloween 2007 I finally tackled the task of creating a homemade fog chiller that I had been wanting to do for at least 10 years. There are plenty of sites that offer how-to’s on this topic, and I used a combination of them to reach my final design, which came down to these key points:
It had to be easy to make without any special tools.
It had to be inexpensive.
It had to be quick (because I waited until Halloween day to make it).
After some research, I designed a chiller that met all of my criteria.
Tools: Screwdriver, utility knife
Cost: Approximately $14
Time: About 30 minutes (not counting the return trip to the store for paint, but more on that later)
8 Gallon Plastic bin from Walmart
1 Can of Krylon black matte paint
8 foot long dryer vent kit
First, I had to figure out where to put the holes in each side of the bin. I placed my fogger next to the bin to see where they lined up and marked it. I then took the tubing and placed an end surrounding the mark and drew a circle around the tubing. Using a utility knife, I cut the circle. It wasn’t perfect and didn’t need to be, but it does need to be tight enough to hold the tube.
I used the cutout as a template to make a hole on the other side for the fog to exit. This also didn’t have to be perfect because it was going to have the vent cover placed over it.
Once the holes were cut, I painted the bin and the external dryer vent cover and let those dry for about 15 minutes. Krylon is the best paint to use. I first tried some cheap spray paint, but it just wiped off the plastic. The Krylon bonded well and was the choice I should have made instead of trying to save 30 cents. I had to repaint with the Krylon after the chiller was built because I didn’t have the paint and wanted to build this thing before running back to the store in case I needed additional supplies. (All of the pictures show the cheap paint. You can see how it didn’t adhere properly and barely looks black.)
Next, I threaded the tube into the entry hole (where the fogger would be). I brought the tube about 8-10 inches out from the bin. The end of the fogger gets very hot, so make sure nothing touches when aligning the pieces.
I then screwed the vent cover over the other hole and attached the other end of the tube using the enclosed aluminum connector which I duct taped together and used the cable ties to hold the tube in place as shown in the picture. I’d recommend switching out the enclosed screws with machine screws so that there are no sharp points on the inside.
One thing I learned from reading other posts on this task is that the longer the fog is in contact with cold, the better it performs, so be sure to expand the tubing out the full eight feet. If I were to redo this, I would attach additional tubing to make the trip longer.
The bin holds two big bags of ice and will last an entire night (a Texas Halloween can get pretty hot, too).
Finally, I put the lid back on and hid the bin and the fogger in the bushes by the house and waited until night to come. (You can see the back of the fogger in the picture.)
Below is a picture of the test before nightfall and a video I put together from some random bits I recorded.
Come on. You know you’ve always wanted to insult someone with the style and verbal eloquence of Shakespeare. Well now you can with this handy Shakespeare Insult Kit. Give it a try thou fobbing, rump-fed nut-hook!
Get this one before it disappears. The new timeline feature has a friend summary for each year that shows how many friends you made in that year. When you click the list, you will see who friended you for that year. If next to any of their names is an “Add Friend” button, you know that they unfriended themselves at some point.
Here are the steps
If you don’t have access to the timeline feature, get it. It takes about five minutes to set up (it’s beta so it might have a bug or two).
Select one year in the time selector on the right side of your profile.
Scroll through the year until you find the Friends summary box. Click the number of friends.
Scroll through the list. Anyone with an “Add Friend” button next to their name is now due for some rotten eggs and TP this Halloween.
Halloween is approaching fast. Have you even thought about costumes yet? Don’t worry because Angry Birds are here to help. There are full body costumes for Yellow bird, Red Bird, Black Bird and King Pig for both adults and children. Or, if you don’t want to totally commit, there are just the headpieces.
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Polymers that light up in the presence of bacteria could offer a new way to quickly detect infected wounds.
When contained in a gel and applied to a wound, the infection’s severity can be detected by the level of fluorescence, helping clinicians decide whether or not to use antibiotics, and the most appropriate type of antibiotic treatment to prescribe.
“The polymers incorporate a fluorescent dye and are engineered to recognize and attach to bacteria, collapsing around them as they do so,” says Sheila MacNeil, a professor at the University of Sheffield and an expert in tissue engineering and wound healing.
Someone in the Obama campaign team thought it would be a good idea to create a way to collect negative comments made about the president and to challenge them.
So someone created the website, AttackWatch.com, complete with a Third Reich color scheme and a form to report those who are making “attacks.”
They didn’t count on the response.
On Twitter, the hastag #AttackWatch is overrun with reports, but not the kind the Obama campaign was hoping for. This tweet by thorninaz has been retweeted by hundreds of other users: “Hey #attackwatch, I saw 6 ATM’s in an alley, killing a Job. It looked like a hate crime!”
Around this time of year the question of whether to get a flu shot is upon us. Many people are confused about this issue because they are bombarded from advertising and even doctors who were trained to administer medicine to fix problems.
However, in our family and within our group of in-the-know friends, the choice isn’t difficult at all. Should you be concerned about injecting you and your family with toxins and additives? Yes, absolutely. There continue to be studies on the effects of influenza vaccines that show cognitive and behavioral impairment. On the not scary side, the side effects can be the development of flu-like symptoms which is what you were trying to avoid in the first place.
According to the Center for Disease Control, “seasonal flu vaccines protect against the three influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season. The viruses in the vaccine can change each year based on international surveillance and scientists’ estimations about which types and strains of viruses will circulate in a given year.The ability of a flu vaccine to protect a person depends on the age and health status of the person getting the vaccine, and the similarity or ‘match’ between the viruses or virus in the vaccine and those in circulation.”
It’s estimated that the flu vaccine is effective just 59% of the time.
Boost your immune system naturally.
There are natural defenses against the flu that can protect against all strains of the flu virus.
Immune boosting supplements can make all the difference in not only protecting yourself from the flu, but from other problems such as allergies or the common cold.
OPC-3 is a powerful antioxidant that is 50 times more powerful than vitamin E and 20 times more powerful that vitamin C. It has been shown to boost the immune system as well as reduce or eliminate allergy symptoms (it’s a natural antihistamine).
Probiotics, especially ones that offer high strain and colony counts, boost the immune system by maintaining a proper bacterial balance and a healthy gastrointestinal tract. You want to make sure that you have a probiotic that delivers the bacteria to the digestive track while it is still live.
Vitamin D3 with K2 has been shown in studies to combat the flu. Maintaining a proper level of this form of vitamin D can also reduce in the incidences of breast cancer, type 1 diabetes, Multiple Sclerosis and colon cancer.
Ask your physician to check your vitamin D levels to ensure they are at least 50 ng/ml. Most people are below 25, which is enough to prevent rickets.
We use and recommend OPC-3 and 5,000 IU’s of Vitamin D in isotonic form. The isotonic state allows nutrients to pass directly into the small intestine and be rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream. It is bio-available within 5 minutes and the body receives the maximum potency as opposed to pills or capsules.
Dr. Steven Hotze writes “Contrary to popular belief, good health cannot be obtained through vaccinations. Being injected with an unknown substance which contains ingredients foreign to the human body is not the best idea, particularly when there are simpler solutions that are much safer and effective in warding off the flu.”
Rice University graduate student Melissa Duarte with a "full-duplex" test device. The technology, which allows wireless devices to "talk" and "listen" to networks on the same frequency, could double throughput on wireless phone networks. CREDIT: Jeff Fitlow/Rice University
Engineers at Houston’s Rice University have developed “full-duplex” technology that allows wireless phones to “talk” and “listen” on the same frequency. This would allow phone companies to double network throughput without adding additional cell towers.
“Our solution requires minimal new hardware, both for mobile devices and for networks, which is why we’ve attracted the attention of just about every wireless company in the world,” says Ashutosh Sabharwal, professor of electrical and computer engineering. “The bigger change will be developing new wireless standards for full-duplex. I expect people may start seeing this when carriers upgrade to 4.5G or 5G networks in just a few years.”
In 2010, Sabharwal and Rice colleagues Melissa Duarte and Chris Dick published the first paper showing that full-duplex was possible. That set off a worldwide race to demonstrate that the technology could actually be used in a real network. This summer, Sabharwal and Rice’s Achaleshwar Sahai and Gaurav Patel set new performance records with a real-time demo of the technology that produced signal quality at least 10 times better than any previously published result.
“We showed that our approach could support higher throughput and better link reliability than anything else that’s been demonstrated, which is a plus for wireless carriers,” Sabharwal said. “On the device side, we’ve shown that we can add full duplex as an additional mode on existing hardware. Device makers love this because real estate inside mobile devices is at a premium, and it means they don’t have to add new hardware that only supports full duplex.”
To explain why full-duplex wireless was long thought impossible for wireless networks, Sabharwal uses the analogy of two people standing far apart inside an otherwise empty arena. If each shouts to the other at the same time, neither can hear what the other is saying. The easy solution is to have only one person speak at a time, and that’s what happens on two-way radios where only one person may speak at a given time. Cell phones achieve two-way communications by using two different frequencies to send and listen.
Rice’s team overcame the full-duplex hurdle by employing an extra antenna and some computing tricks. In the shouting analogy, the result is that the shouter cannot hear himself, and therefore hears the only other sound in the arena — the person shouting from far away.
“We send two signals such that they cancel each other at the receiving antenna — the device ears,” Sabharwal said. “The canceling effect is purely local, so the other node can still hear what we’re sending.”
He said the cancellation idea is relatively simple in theory and had been proposed some time ago. But no one had figured a way to implement the idea at low cost and without requiring complex new radio hardware.
“We repurposed antenna technology called MIMO, which are common in today’s devices,” Sabharwal said. “MIMO stands for ‘multiple-input multiple-output’ and it uses several antennas to improve overall performance. We took advantage of the multiple antennas for our full-duplex scheme, which is the main reason why all wireless carriers are very comfortable with our technology.”
Sabharwal said Rice is planning to roll its full-duplex innovations into its “wireless open-access research platform,” or WARP. WARP is a collection of programmable processors, transmitters and other gadgets that make it possible for wireless researchers to test new ideas without building new hardware for each test. Sabharwal said adding full-duplex to WARP will allow other researchers to start innovating on top of Rice’s breakthrough.
“There are groups that are already using WARP and our open-source software to compete with us,” he said. “This is great because our vision for the WARP project is to enable never-before-possible research and to allow anyone to innovate freely with minimal startup effort.”
Sabharwal’s team has gone one step further and achieved asynchronous full-duplex too – that is one wireless node can start receiving a signal while it’s in the midst of transmitting. Asynchronous transmission is import for carriers wishing to maximize traffic on their networks, and Rice’s team is the first to demonstrate the technology.
“We’ve also developed a preliminary theory that explains why our system is working the way that it is,” Sabharwal said. “That’s also important for carriers and device makers, because engineers aren’t likely to implement something like this without a clear understanding of fundamental tradeoffs.”
Rice’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Roberto Rocca Education Program and Xilinx Incorporated.