Eiron’s Archives 02

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You will then note that :

By examining the information presented on your ‘local’ clock, you can instantaneously also know the exact state of the second clock – no matter how far away it is.

We can say then, that the two clocks have become ‘ entangled ‘.

The ‘information’ ( in our example 5:04 ) will have been ‘transferred’ to the second clock – without any delay whatsoever – even if your second clock is a hundred lightyears away – thus, it appears that the ‘information’ travels faster than lightspeed.

( Note : Sticklers for detail may complain that, due to relativistic effects, the second clock may ‘slow down’ if transported vast distances at very high velocities. No problem. Just offset the time on your local clock to take account of the difference. )

Wherever you are in the universe, you will always know the precise time showing on the ‘entangled’ other clock. ( until your batteries run out of course ! )

Hope that clears it up for you.

Dear Mooth_a_heed

You enquire whether I think there is any negative environmental impact caused by large ships flushing their ballast tanks.

To answer, I would urge you to consider the question from a semantic viewpoint. The word which is most often used to describe the practice is ‘flushing’ – not ‘emptying’ or ‘draining’.

Think of some other occasions when it would be appropriate to use the verb ‘ flush ’ – and you won’t be very far short of the mark with regard to clues as to the environmental acceptability of this all too common practice.

Dear ziglophat

No, I’m sorry to say that I cannot offer you any practical advice on the subject of ‘drawing a perfect circle’.

Many have studied the subject, and many, such as Leonardo da Vinci, wasted ( in my view at least ) a significant proportion of their time on what must – by definition – have been utterly futile attempts.

You should not, however, become despondent. You can console yourself with the fact that there is no known physical method for doing so – and there never will be. The only way to describe a perfect circle is in the non-physical realm of mathematics.

By the way, it’s also impossible to draw a straight line.

Dear Kling_2_alog

How kind of you to send me a sample of Gadolinium. ( Nice to receive a real letter as opposed to electronic-comms too ! )

How did you know I am a keen enthusiast of the Lanthanoids ?

I have filed the sample in its rightful place between Europium and Terbium.

By the way, if, by any chance, you have any Dysprosium could I obtain a small amount ? I need some to fill a gap in my collection.

[ Eiron. Please bear in mind this is a column, not a classified ads page. Ed. ]

Dear NortonCommand

The word ‘ Glocalised ’ is a hybrid of ‘Local’ and ‘Globalised’ . It has been proposed as a description for a ( new ? ) phenomenon whereby small groups of electronically linked individuals ( say, a blog-ring ) perceive that they are part of a small local meeting group or clique – whereas they are, in fact, separated by vast geographical distances.

Personally, I prefer the use of ‘ Disparochial ’ for the same purpose.

Dear Vince_the_Mince

Your query “ How much does a cloud weigh ? ” has been covered many times by various commentators. Unfortunately, depending upon where you look, and whom you ask, you will get very different answers.

That fact, in itself, may provide a substantial clue for you – for there is no one finite answer.

Firstly, one could argue that a cloud ‘weighs’ nothing. In the same way as a balloon filled with helium ‘weighs’ nothing as it floats through the air. The ‘mass’ of a cloud though is an entirely different matter.

With just a few litres of water ( a mass of a few Kilograms ), one could of course produce a very substantially large cloud – providing that the droplets were miniscule enough.

On the other hand, a large Cumulo Nimbus with forceful high speed internal updrafts can support an enormous mass of large water droplets – running into perhaps tens of thousands of tonnes.

Without in any way wishing to be evasive, your answer is, therefore, – somewhere between next-to-nothing and a hell-of-a-lot.

Dear Kaddyhacker

You would like to know under which criteria I would recommend the use of ‘ fake grass ‘.

I wouldn’t of course.

Except perhaps as a material for making suits ( a technique pioneered by David Byrne of Talking Heads fame.)


Dear BzinBzin_32_again

Regarding “ the medical reasons why hair starts to twist “ . . .

Can I perhaps look at this question from the other direction, and ask ‘ wouldn’t it be a miracle if a hair remained straight for any appreciable time ? ‘

I would urge you to always bear in mind the Second Law of Thermodynamics, which implies – amongst other things – that if the possibility for something to ‘go wrong’ exists – it will.

Dear 88_affetos

You enquire as to the ‘ equipment needed to raise minnows ’.

I am delighted to inform you that investment in the the equipment is rather minimal – bordering on non-existent. All you need to raise minnows is a loaf of bread, which you can scatter in small pieces on the surface of an unpolluted small pond, river or stream. The minnow family ( which, as you will be aware, include Chubb, Dace, Carp, Goldfish and the Comely Shiner ) will be delighted with your assistance.

If your question, however, concerns raising them in captivity, then of course you will appreciate that a keen ichthyophile such as myself will refrain from offering any encouragement in the matter.

Dear Twinpicks

Yes, of course Botox™ can be used to stop twitching. You should consider things very carefully though, and never underestimate its extreme capacity for blocking motor/muscle neural pathways.

I self-administered some recently and regretted doing so almost immediately. Luckily, the effects are not usually permanent, and my physician informs me that I should be able to ride my bicycle again within six months at the very maximum.

Dear Plige_o’mara.

I will admit that I was on the verge of routinely dismissing your question as jejune, bodering on the otiose, until I realised that you may be intending to augment the general reader’s appreciation of metallurgy.

There are several metallic alloys available ( based on the somewhat unpleasant element bismuth ) which soften and melt at surprisingly low temperatures. For example, ‘ Lens Alloy 117 ’ melts at only 47C, and so would be ideal for the spoonbending activities about which you enquire.

Dear Myst_22_underscore

How curious that you should mention the subject of sunsets just as I was thinking of acquiring my next Turner !

The reason that you can never capture the true majesty of a magnificent sunset by the use of your 12MB digital camera is simply explained thus : Which do you prefer – a rose – or a photograph of a rose ?

No matter how sophisticated your gadgetry becomes, the answer will always be the same. Trying to apprehend the magic of nature in a little silver box is like attempting to distil sunlight and keep it in a bottle. ( Mind you, a chilled carafe of Labrusca ‘73 comes close in my opinion )

Dear Gold_Thrown

No, [ name of medicinal compound ████████ ] is meant exclusively for horses, and should never be used by humans. I did experiment with it at one stage – purely from a scientific standpoint of course – and I can assure you that all it will do is provide an entirely alarming experience for you and your partner. Do not ‘go there’ under any circumstances.

Dear Deep_C_Smoker

Asks whether it is better to buy one of the new ‘Hybrid’ cars as opposed to the more conventional internal combustion engine (IC) variety.

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