Eiron’s Archives 03

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If one were to make an impact on any of the atoms in your body however, you should bear in mind that because of their extremely high energy ( source unknown ) they would be capable of serious atomic and nucleic disruption ( on a very localised scale ).

Were this astonishingly unlikely scenario to take place, you could well lose an atom.

Dear blooTuuub

Yes, I did hear the news that dozens of new species have recently been discovered in New Guinea.

Whilst I am most gratified that some new species have now been logged by personkind, I should point out the following :

If you were to swat a mosquito*, and had sufficient time, enthusiasm, and equipment to analyse the contents of the resulting goo – you would find within it dozens – hundreds – or even thousands of bacteria and viruses as yet unclassified by the scientific community.

If you wish to, you could carefully describe the novel creatures which you discover – and possibly even have them named after you.

*Note. If you can’t find a mosquito, any other type of fly will suffice.

Dear La_cluster

You certainly have a point when you ask ( the rhetorical ? ) question “ What happens when homeopathic pharmacists wash out their flasks ?

As I’m sure you are aware, the process of preparing homeopathic medicines encompasses a counter-intuitive methodology which involves progressively diluting the compound in question – at each dilution ’ the preparation becomes more potent ’ . . .

So, ( I am fairly certain that ) if the homeopathic philosophy is a solid one, then washing out the flasks in which the remedy has been prepared will be a highly problematic – if not downright hazardous undertaking. Heaven only knows what degree of ‘potency’ the preparations will reach during the process.

I confess I can see no solution to the dilemma which you have uncorked.

Dear Clingkr_billt

You enquired why it seems to be so much easier to heat things up than to cool them down.

The answer is by no means as simple as would first appear. It has nothing to do with the mechanics and relative efficiencies of refrigerators and cookers. Instead, the answer lies in the abstractions of entropy and the second law of thermodynamics.

The principle reason is the same one which dictates that it is far easier to stir a portion of milk into a cup of tea than it is to stir it back out again.

Dear Jaspa_44

Yes, what you have read is correct. It is a commonplace occurrence for top of your head to have a very large electrical potential difference with respect to your feet. Many tens of thousands of volts in fact – often ( erroneously in my view ) referred to as ‘static’ electricity.

There, is however, nothing whatever ‘special’ about static electricity. It is 100% identical to any other form of electrical current – in other words, it relies on the presence ( or not ) of large numbers of free electrons.

Should you be concerned ?


But, if your worries persist, I could suggest that you run a thin electrical cable from the top of you head and attach it firmly to one ( or both ) of your feet. This will go a long way towards equalising the voltage differences.

Dear lang_378hown

You are rightly concerned with global energy use when you enquire whether it is better “ to take the elevator to the tenth floor of your apartment block, or walk up the stairs “.

The answer is by no means as clearcut as one would prefer.

You must ask yourself how much energy you would ‘burn’ , in terms of calories, in your ( surely exhausting ) foot-powered ascent. Since I do not know your weight, I cannot calculate the result with any accuracy, but I should point out that you will most certainly need a lot of energy to lift your weight up ten floors.

You must take into account how this energy ( in the form of food ) is provided for you. In a typical scenario, it has to be grown, fertilised, irrigated, tended, harvested, transported to a distribution centre, then a supermarket, and finally to your apartment. All of this is highly energy-intensive.

I hope you will not mind me tactfully pointing out that, at the same time, your self-assisted scaling will certainly induce a certain amount of (ahem!) sweating. You will need to replace this water at some stage. The water which you drink in your apartment will, in all probability, have been pumped for tens – maybe hundreds – of Kilometres, and then up ten floors. A significant amount of electric power is required for this purpose.

I would suggest then, that, counter-intuitive as it seems, you may well be using-up less global resources if you take the elevator. Even better if you share the elevator with others ! Might I suggest that you wait on the ground floor, and ask all the people who come into the building to which floor they are travelling. If you can persuade them to wait with you, then, when you have built up enough ‘passengers’ you can all take the elevator to the tenth floor together, and thus help towards ‘saving the planet’.

( p.s. be careful not to exceed the elevator’s carrying capacity )

Dear CooC_2_inthebag

You enquired “ Why is it that when I look into a mirror, the ‘person’ in the mirror has left-and-right reversed ; but not up-and-down

I am very fond of this question, which crops up from time to time in my intray.

I like to answer by alluding to further confusion.

If you lay down horizontally and then look into your mirror, you will see that ‘left-right’ are still reversed, and that up-down ( which has now changed its plane of reference to what was ‘left-right’ ) is still unchanged.

This suggest to me that either mirrors are highly intelligent and can change their modus-operandii according to the viewer’s orientation – or, it’s a psychological problem rather than one for the physicists.

Dear CollarAspenRado

Actually, there are quite a number of ‘edible reptiles’.

Think Alligator, Rattlesnake, Turtle etc etc. It is also very common to find numerous small (dried) lizards for sale in Chinese food markets.

I strongly suspect that many others are edible too – but I heartily recommend that you do not experiment – especially if you happen to live in Komodo.

Dear sgfsaig_the_bell

Thank you for brightening up my afternoon. I had quite forgotten that there were so many [ ████████ ] about – until your query appeared in my virtual in-tray.

I am delighted that you used to find the ‘Office Assistant’ paper clip a.k.a. ‘ Clippy ’ of great help – but as you correctly point out, he was retired in 2001 after four years.

In answer to your question, I believe that there are currently no plans to revive Clippy, which is a great shame – because he / it provided a valuable and searingly accurate insight into the mind-set of the top-level managers who commissioned his / its creation.

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