In his meticulous diaries, written from 1846 to 1882, the Harvard librarian John Langdon Sibley complains often about the withering summer heat: “The heat wilts & enervates me & makes me sick,” he wrote in 1852. Sibley lived before the age of air-conditioning, but recent research suggests that his observation is still accurate: summer really does tend to be a time of reduced productivity. Our brains do, figuratively, wilt. [more inside]
posted by whyareyouatriangle
on Jul 23, 2013 -
On June 11th, 2013, in the wee hours of an early summer night in Nebraska, the temperature shot from 73°F to 99°F in the space of minutes
, accompanied by 50MPH winds. The cause of this weather oddity was the poorly understood Heat Burst
, a phenomenon that sometimes occurs as thunderstorms die out
, usually late at night. The temprature rise can be so extreme that it has been imaged from space
, and there are unconfirmed stories
of heat so extreme that crops were cooked in the fields where they grew, and paint blistered on houses and vehicles. Once believed to be a very rare
event, with the advent of personal weather stations, science may find they are more frequent than was previously believed.
posted by smoothvirus
on Jun 12, 2013 -
You might have heard at one time or another a 60s band called Canned Heat, who made a wee bit of a splash way back when with a little number called Going Up the Country
. The song featured a simple but very catchy little flute riff between verses. If you ever wondered where that riff came from (not to mention the melodic contour of the tune itself) you need look no further than a 1928 recording by Henry Thomas, who played the flute melody on his quills, or, panpipes. The song was called Bull Doze Blues
. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite
on May 24, 2013 -
A five-part series on the ultimate limit on technology, and how that limit could help us find other civilizations: 1 2 3 4 5 [via]
posted by cthuljew
on Dec 12, 2012 -
Most of the talk about renewable energy is aimed at electricity production. However, most of the energy we need is heat, which solar panels and wind turbines cannot produce efficiently. To power industrial processes like the making of chemicals, the smelting of metals or the production of microchips, we need a renewable source of thermal energy. Direct use of solar energy can be the solution, and it creates the possibility to produce renewable energy plants using only renewable energy plants, paving the way for a truly sustainable industrial civilization. [more inside]
posted by Bangaioh
on Jul 30, 2011 -
Solard Death Ray: Power of 5000 suns! [SLYT]
The R5800: made from an ordinary fiberglass satellite dish, it is covered in about 5800 3/8" (~1cm) mirror tiles. When properly aligned, it can generate a spot the size of a dime with an intensity of 5000 suns! This amount of power is more than enough to melt steel, vaporize aluminum, boil concrete, turn dirt into lava, and obliterate any organic material in an instant. It stands at 5'9" and is 42" across.
posted by Fizz
on Jan 30, 2011 -
Odds of Cooking the Grandkids
: "There is a horrible paper in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which looks at how the limits of human physiology interact with upper-range global warming scenarios. The bottom line conclusion is that there is a small - of order 5% - risk of global warming creating a situation in which a large fraction of the planet was uninhabitable (in the sense that if you were outside for an extended period during the hottest days of the year, even in the shade with wet clothing, you would die)." [more inside]
posted by symbollocks
on May 7, 2010 -
The North Hollywood Bank Job. part two part three part four
Inspired by this famous (and NSFW) scene from Heat
, on Feb. 28, 1997, Larry Eugene Phillips, Jr. and Emil Matasareanu attempted to rob a Bank of America in North Hollywood, CA using body armor, automatic weapons and barbiturates. This documentary uses news footage, recreations, interviews, computer animation and a cheesy narrator to explain the chaotic hour that followed. There are some violent images. [more inside]
posted by Bookhouse
on Sep 5, 2008 -
Hooked On Heat
is the two year old foodblog of Meena
, daughter of a Malaysian mom & Indian father, with tons of recipes & food stories for those who love spice in their food; her recent series of posts, Indian Cooking 101
is a must read for those who love to eat Indian food and want to try it out at home.
posted by jonson
on Aug 11, 2007 -
MacBook! Hold the Mayo!
Apple's new MacBook is a hot item. At 65C
internal running temperature, quite hot indeed. A MacNN reader discovered the MacBook service manual and shared the "Thermal Paste Mayo" pictures. Yikes! [more inside]
posted by cavalier
on Jun 6, 2006 -
Another child-bakes-in-car story,
but this one is especially heartbreaking: single mother trying to keep her temp job has no child care for her developmentally disabled daughter and leaves her in the car out of desperation. Every summer there's a rash of these cases, with some
eliciting more hatred and disgust than others. What gives -- the general decline of parenting/morals/personal responsibility, or should we get serious about child care in the land of "family values"? (Thanks to Jim Romenesko.)
posted by serafinapekkala
on Oct 3, 2002 -
"Even the toughest gals need gentle protection when they're in season."
I just love the coy look on the "gal" in the picture. Fetching.
posted by dfowler
on May 29, 2001 -
New Global Warming Threat
In fifty years, computation will be so complex, and so demanding of memory and working on devices of such intricacy" - the sugarcube of Beelzebub - "that a single calculation could change the heat level of the universe."
posted by PaperCut
on Jun 9, 2000 -
I'm a gadget freak and I've got lights in my house controlled by my computer
. But the folks at misterhouse.net
have taken it 10 steps further. There's a web interface to all sorts of things, inlcluding the lighting system, the vcr, and reminders of new mail. That's some pretty nifty geek stuff they have going on there.
posted by mathowie
on Nov 16, 1999 -