On the Gentle Art #14

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What are you afraid of? Are you scared of things that go bump in the night? Monsters? Demons? Serial-killers? Clowns? Serial-killer clowns? Or worst of all, spiders? Maybe you are the type of person who is scared by the more mundane: heights, water, flying, subway travel, or mystery meat school lunches? (I always stuck with the PB&J myself. I didn’t trust the Soylent Green Sloppy Joes. Badly behaved kids had a strange way of disappearing. They said to the “alternative school”, but I never trusted them either.)
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On the Gentle Art #13

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I must begin this post by offering my sincerest apologies to my readers. I have not written an article in this blog for too long a time, and maybe some of you think that I’ve caught the Blue-belt Blues. Well, I must admit that I have been battling life for the last couple of months juggling a never-ending contract obligation, working on my second novel, and other writing projects. Most important of all however, has been my battle with a current crisis of faith, one that grows out of nagging injury, aches, pains, bouts of G.I. issues, depression, restlessness, and never-ending doubt while the certainty of time keeps conspicuously tick, tick, ticking away. My thoughts have been a tumult as of late, and then as a steadying anchor in a choppy sea this came to me:
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On the Gentle Art #12

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How do you go about making the perfect nozzle for a non-Newtonian fluid? Got the answer? I’ll give you a minute or two to come up with it. Now that you have it, how would you make that perfect nozzle work perfectly if you needed to dispense the fluid under high-pressure? Oh, and now for the catch. You need to figure out how this is going to work in a vacuum in microgravity. What the heck am I talking about? Let me clarify. NASA has put out an RFP for Oobleck dispensers to run cutting-edge experiments on the International Space Station. (The astronauts are bored, and they want to play practical jokes on their cosmonaut counterparts.) Continue reading “On the Gentle Art #12”

On the Gentle Art #11

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“Pressure pushing down on me; Pushing down on you; No man ask for” – David Bowie

We may not ask for it, but we are, at all times, under pressure. Pressure is a fascinating phenomenon. Pressure can be a positive or a negative (I couldn’t resist the atmospheric joke). Pressure, say at 14.7 psi (or 1,013.25 millibars for you communists) can be a nourishing soup of nitrogen and oxygen for your lungs at sea level, but go a couple of miles up or down, and you’ll be in a world of trouble. You could hyperventilate and pass out from lack of oxygen at altitude, or be crushed by the pressure of water in the depths of the ocean. Continue reading “On the Gentle Art #11”