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Urban Legends

emoticon:home It's 2.21 am in the morning and I can't sleep. Sad

As a result I'm randomly surfing the internet. We all carry around a lot of mental baggage, (as well as the emotional kind) you know like little factoids you heard when you were a kid and just always assumed were true.

Well a lot of these turn out not to be true, but every now and then you get proved right.

When I was a kid I got told (by my Dad I think) that they redefined the inch to 25.4mm to bring it more in line with the metric system. When I repeated this at a public gathering recently, it sounded kind of dumb. Luckily google has vindicated me and my father. (Well, sort of.) Razz

From a Nist Publication :

In 1959 the definition of the yard was changed to bring the U.S. yard and the yard used in other countries into agreement. Since then the yard has been defined as exactly equal to 0.9144 m, and thus the foot has been defined as exactly equal to 0.3048 m.

Cool. Next one, and I don't know where I heard this one, that hot water cools down faster than cold water. That isn't quite right, but it does turn out that water that has been heated freezes faster than cold water. This was noticed by Aristotle (and more recently by a school kid called Erasto Mpemna). It is only today [1] that an answer to this riddle has been proposed :

[unheated water contains solutes like calcium and magnesium bicarbonate, heating causes these to precipitate out] Water that has never been heated still contains these solutes. As it freezes, ice crystals form, and the concentration of solutes in the remaining water becomes ever higher up to 50 times as high as normal. This lowers the freezing point of the water, just like salt sprinkled on a road in winter. "The water therefore has to cool further before it freezes,"

So a couple of the more minor urban myths remain un-slain. I wish I could sleep though. sigh

[1]May 31st 2006, and I'm supposed to cite New Scientist as the source.

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2006-06-01 02:20:44 | |


The Eternals

emoticon:movpy2 My favourite graphic novelist (who also happens to be one of my favourite authors) has a new series coming out. Of course I'm talking about Neil Gaiman, (the writer of MirrorMask).

Marvel Comics has released preview pages from "Eternals" #1, and it is due to ship on June 21st.

The Eternals

You are thousands of years old. You have amazing powers. You have watched civilizations rise and fall-- so why does no one remember any of this? Bestselling Author Neil Gaiman (Marvel: 1602, Anansi Boys, Sandman) is joined by superstar artist John Romita Jr. (Amazing Spider-Man, Wolverine) to bring you the eagerly-awaited event of 2006-ETERNALS!! Ike Harris has dreams of adventures, love affairs and betrayals, but no one involved remembers or believes him. And who is trying to kill him to keep him from talking about it?


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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2006-06-01 01:48:59 | |


Mobile VoIP

emoticon:mobile Rene Tse has written a new article on VoIP.

Mobile VoIP - Voice Over Wi-Fi

VoIP really is about mobility. This article is about using Wi-Fi enabled devices capable of Voice Over IP. It provides a mini tutorial on how to install four VoIP applications on Linux, Apple Mac or Windows operating systems.

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2006-06-01 00:02:34 | |
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New RSS Feeds

emoticon:firedrop2 Thanks to work by Davy Mitchell on Firedrop2, this blog now has separate RSS feeds for each category. Very Happy

RSS Feeds by Category

I have also setup Planet Firedrop. This is an aggregator showing posts from blogs powered by Firedrop2.

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2006-05-30 01:08:40 | |
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Cyberpunk in the Library

emoticon:drive The excellent Bridge Trilogy by William Gibson has long been available from the Cyberpunk Library. Now thanks to the work of Joao Lobato and Vicente Espinoza, they have been proof read, and are available for download separately :

The Work of William Gibson

If you've never read Virtual Light, Idoru and All Tomorrow's Parties, then they're well worth a read. Excellent stuff. Smile

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2006-05-27 21:20:56 | |
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The Old Blog Archives

There was so much ancient wisdom distilled into my old blog, that I couldn't let it just creep ignominiously into the pages of cyber-history. More to the point I'm still getting some hits from google with the old entries. Here are the archives of my previous Blogger based blog.

The Old Voidspace BlogThe Old Techie Blog

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