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Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

Posted September 09, 2007 5:01 PM
Pathfinder Tags: challenge questions

The question as it appears in the 09/11 edition of Specs & Techs from GlobalSpec:

You and the family take a trip to the tropics for vacation – a nice change of pace from home in the desert. Arriving at the hotel, the windows in your room are flung open, but the kids won't take the hint and walk down to the beach. When they aren't jumping on the bed, they're dragging their socks across the damp carpet. Fortunately, their attempts to zap each other are futile. Giving up, the youngest finally asks, "Why don't you get a static shock when the air is humid?"

(Update: Sept 18, 8:42 AM) And the Answer is...

In a humid climate, a thin layer of water adheres to solid surfaces – even carpet. Unlike the water vapor in the air, however, this surface water contains minerals such as salts that provide grounding. Although the answer to this challenge question involves humidity, it's not because "humid air conducts electricity". While it's true that humid air contains water, the water in the air doesn't contain minerals. Therefore, humid air is not a good conductor. With the mineral-laden water layer on the carpet, however, even the kids socks don't have a chance to build up enough charge.

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#1

Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/10/2007 4:18 AM

Doesn't all the static bleed away as it's being accumulated amidst all the damp ? This all sounds a bit too like another recent Challenge Question.

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#42
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/19/2007 10:12 AM

The question begs another question - Why are the kids wearing socks in the tropics in the first place....? It is hot and sticky which makes me think that the socks are all wrong in the first place.

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#43
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/19/2007 10:21 AM

the socks help keep the cow patties from oozing between the toes.

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#106
In reply to #43

Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

10/05/2007 12:29 PM

That is the best damn answer I've heard !!!

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#44
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/19/2007 12:08 PM

No, the right kind of socks are very good at wicking away perspiration if you must wear a covered shoe for protection. Obviously, going barefoot or wearing perhaps only open sandals has a distinct advantage in this area, but would you want to be barefoot or wearing sandals if you were engaged in an activity like motorcycling, bicycling, or even a prolonged walk (hiking) or rock climbing? I know that walking on certain beaches can be uncomfortable, due to the number of jagged and broken seashells if proper shoes are not worn. Crew or high-top socks also protect bare feet from injury due to the direct rubbing against skin of foreign objects that happen to get inside the shoe, for a short time at least, perhaps long enough for the walker to find a place to stop and remove the object(s).

Also, don't forget that this family had travelled "to the tropics" from a presumably colder, or at least dryer climate "in the desert" and not had the chance to change (or remove) clothing to adapt to the warmer, or at least "moister" environment.

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#45
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/19/2007 1:16 PM

well, man, Texas has both tropical type climate and a rather long seashore. And to top it off, you have more than enough Texas fertilizer (also known is bullshit)to go around for everyone.

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#46
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/19/2007 1:25 PM

What makes you think that Texas has a tropical climate? Or do you just mean for perhaps three months of the year?

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#47
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/19/2007 1:59 PM

Perhaps he should have said "parts of Texas have a tropical climate". South Padre Island and Brownsville are usually warm year round. I have vacationed there several times, even daring to cross the border on foot with friends and check out Matamoros, cantinas, cafes, drug pushers, peddlers, beggars and all. I told my friends, "don't drink anything served you that is not straight out of a can or bottle," so most of us drank cold bottled beer or warm Cokes. Of course, the girls had to buy fresh fruit drinks made with (presumably) local ice from the street vendors, which they paid for twice. Once, with money that day, and later, on the toilet all night.

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#48
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/19/2007 2:12 PM

Darn, crossed the Rio Grande from Padre Island on foot? Must have been low tide during a drought. HAHAHAHA, a wetback in reverse.

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#50
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/19/2007 2:36 PM

Check your map. We parked in Brownsville and walked over the international bridge into downtown Matamoros.

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#52
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/20/2007 9:50 AM

Hi chtank, where's Texas, must be out in the boondocks somewhere.

"A long coastline," how about that, the coastline of OZ is34 218 miles (excluding islands). Some of that is tropical, and a lot of desert and not much water.

Oh!! Now I think I know where Texas is, because I remember the movie Giant and who could forget the Texas Rangers,I remember seeing them. Also there was that song "There's A Yellow Rose in Texas," sung by Roy Rogers. (Was he a Texan?)

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#53
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/20/2007 10:04 AM

Now, MOBI, "Do't mess with Texas!" After all, the Texas Rangers carry a big iron on their hip and always get their man (unless they play baseball).

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#54
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/20/2007 10:23 AM

Is baseball something like cricket????

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#56
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/20/2007 11:21 AM

More like rounders with a special dose of obfuscation. (Don't know about OZ, but only ladies and very small children normally play rounders in Europe)

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#61
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/20/2007 11:42 AM

"special dose of obfuscation"

Only for those who haven't bothered to learn the rules, most of which are quite simple and straightforward! However, I must say that I do not like the Infield Fly Rule at all, because it is very open to interpretation and personal judgement by the umpire as to whether or not the ball could be "reasonably" caught and whether or not the batted ball a "pop fly" (mostly vertical) or a "line drive" (mostly horizontal).

On the other hand, the Dropped Third Strike rule is very straightforward and makes for a more interesting game.

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#67
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/20/2007 11:57 AM

Yawn

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#69
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/20/2007 12:13 PM

Yawn

I think he plays Center Field for the Yankees! <grin>

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#77
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/21/2007 3:36 AM

Watt's the name of the man on second base?

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#83
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/21/2007 6:38 AM

So who's on first?

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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/21/2007 11:04 AM

STL: What is the name of the guy on second.

ER: That's what I said!

STL: Naturally!

ER: Is he the guy on first base?

STL: Who.

ER: Naturally.

STL: That's right, Who is on first base.

ER: I thought you said it was Naturally?

STL: No, Who is on first base.

ER: That's what I want to know! What's the name of the guy on first base?

STL: No, What's on second. I thought you knew that!

ER: I thought I did but now, I don't know.

STL: Oh, he is the guy on third base.

ER: Who?

STL: No, I Don't Know.

ER: Well if you don't know, who does?

STL: Naturally, how else could Who throw the ball to third base?

ER: Who?

STL: Naturally!

ER: Wait a minute, you got an outfield on this team?

STL: Naturally.

ER: I thought you said Naturally was the guy on first base!

STL: WHO is on first!

ER: That's what I was trying to find out! But tell me the name of the left fielder.

STL: Why.

ER: I just thought I'd ask you.

STL: Well, I just thought I'd tell ya.

ER: Then tell me who's playing left field.

STL: Who's playing first.

ER: I'm not... stay out of the infield! I want to know what's the guy's name in left field?

STL: No, What is on second.

ER: I'm not asking you who's on second.

STL: Who's on first!

ER: I don't know.

STL and ER Together: Third base!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I hope you have enjoyed my short adaptation of this classic bit. For the complete, and original, sketch check out:

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/humor4.shtml

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#57
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/20/2007 11:24 AM

No, its more like Rounders, although there are some similarities to Cricket.

Is your Football something like Soccer? <grin> Over here that is a sport played by young girls and boys. Real men play American FOOTBALL. You might know it as "Gridiron" in Australia and New Zealand. In the US, "Gridiron" is what we call the field it is played on. US professional FOOTBALL teams often recruit top soccer players to be their "Place Kicker", since only accuracy and distance is required for that position, not TOUGHNESS! In fact, a team can be penalize for "Roughing the Kicker"!

Although kicking the extra point (1 pt.) conversion after a run-in touchdown by the ball carrier over the goal line or complete pass caught by a receiver scoring a touchdown inside the end zone, or kicking a "field goal" (3 points), can make the difference in the final score, it is the touchdown (6 points) that makes the crowd cheer madly and which the Defense prepares to prevent. In fact, since it is usually so easy to score the extra point by kicking, the team also has the option of running or passing from 3 yards away for a 2-point conversion instead.

Although American Football is derived from Rugby Football (originated at Rugby College in England), the American game has evolved a lot over the years. Canadians also play a similar game, usually referred to as Canadian Football south of the border, with some rules differences. Is "Australian Rules" Football the same as "Gridiron"?

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#59
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/20/2007 11:29 AM

I thought had the whole point of American Football was that it was a test of "manhood", and skill was not a requirement. I'm now sadly disillusioned .

Fyz

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#64
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/20/2007 11:52 AM

I thought had the whole point of American Football was that it was a test of "manhood", and skill was not a requirement. I'm now sadly disillusioned

Fyz,

Don't be disillusioned! It is BOTH. One must apply skill to achieve your objective (goals) while everyone on the other team is trying to KILL YOU!

ROFL

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#63
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/20/2007 11:51 AM

Haven't we done the baseball / rounders debate somewhere else recently?

And really real men play rugby. All the tackling and tactics of American "Football", but without the sissy pads!

Is "Australian Rules" Football the same as "Gridiron"?

Nope. I don't know much about Australian Rules, and will defer to Mobi & Masu, but I do know that these guys are even tougher (and more vicious) than rugby players. I believe the word "Australian" in the title can be translated as "No"

A nice game of croquet anyone?

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#68
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/20/2007 12:09 PM

"A nice game of croquet anyone?"

Ah, croquet. My grandmother's favorite yard game. A French name for an English game, re-invented by the Irish, and then of course re-appropriated by the English! Then borrowed again by us Americans for some backyard fun <grin>. I wonder, do the Brits pitch horseshoes, or washers?

Always made me wonder how the expression "a sticky wicket" came to be until I learned about Cricket. Interesting similarity in the names, cricket/croquet. Here is what Wikipedia has to say about the history of croquet:

It seems that the origin of this game is found in the game of "mail" (as in "hammer" in old French) played in the french countryside during middle-ages. Borrowed by the British during the 14th century, the modern game was apparently invented in Ireland in the 1830s, influenced by cricket, and as a distant cousin of golf and taken to England as a pastime of the aristocracy in the 1850s, and by the 1870 to its colonies. It may have evolved from the earlier mallet and ball game pall mall.

Croquet made its way to Canada, the United States, Australia, and France, and while never hugely popular has continued to maintain a substantial following.

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#72
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/20/2007 1:45 PM

Croquet - nice - whom are you trying to kid?

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#80
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/21/2007 4:06 AM

Just waiting to see who pegs out next!

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#88
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/29/2007 1:24 AM

It's something you could play in a spare moment.

All you need is 14lb sledge hammer, a stainless steel ball and a couple of large "U" bolts.

Make your own rules!!!

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#89
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

10/01/2007 10:16 AM

OK, for your Industrial Croquet set you would need more than "a couple of large U-bolts". When we used to play croquet in my Grandmother's house, nine wickets (or hoops) were used; two at each post, a center wicket, and two more each between the center wicket and each post. I think 1/4-20 threaded ends with a 5-6 inch ID and extra long legs should do nicely for the U-bolt wickets. 3/8-16 U-bolts might hold up better if play is particularly rough.

You are also going to need one sledgehammer and a large ball bearing (about 2.5-3.0 inch diameter, I believe) for EVERY player. Most backyard sets can accommodate 6 players. Stainless steel balls would be hard to identify, especially when one player hits the other player's ball so as to "send" it off into the rough, so I suggest hardened 52100 chrome alloy steel colored with a good colored steel dye (the kind used to mark ends of steel bars and rods to identify them) since any other paint or coating would probably chip. These should then be given a clear rust preventative coating. The ball colors should be color-coded to match the players sledge handle (colored with paint or tape) so as there can be no mistake as to whose ball is whose.

And finally, you are going to need 2 solid steel rods which can be driven into the ground at opposite ends of the playing field. I would recommend two 1" diameter x 3-ft. long 301 stainless steel rods, with a flat on one end and a ground point on the other for driving into the ground.

Oh, yeah. Don't forget safety glasses, since sparks and/or steel chips may fly when you smash those sledges into the balls or the balls fly into or graze the posts or wickets!

Anyone care to price this out? It is bound to be in the hundreds of dollars, I am sure, perhaps closer to one thousand.

Then again, perhaps you would prefer Mondo Croquet, using sledgehammers, bowling balls, and bent steel rebar for the hoops. Certain to be much cheaper than industrial hardware like large U-bolts and ball bearings!

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#91
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

10/01/2007 10:43 AM

I must say STL Engineer you are very well up on this.

Boy was I supprised to see the "Mondo Croquet" web page............... didn't even know it existed. Must agree with you about the cost.

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#93
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

10/01/2007 11:29 AM

I always played with two croquet balls per player. That allowed the really good players (I never achieved those heights) to finish the course once they had overcome the opponents' defensive strategy. Playing with a single ball per player* would completely change the nature of the game, as even I could sometimes get half-way round during a single turn if the opposition failed to get the defensive placements right.

Fyz

*Perhaps this should be known as "Bogie Croquet", after the Colonel.
(The alternative would be to play as teams, with two balls per team. Technically, this works rather well, but it is apt to get really nasty).

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#95
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

10/01/2007 12:05 PM

Yes, there are many variations in how the game is played. I was describing the equipment which would be needed for the typical "backyard" version popular in the US, usually played with inexpensive wooden balls, stakes and plastic faced mallets with wickets/hoops usually made from thin wire, sometimes covered in vinyl plastic for a small degree of rust prevention and cosmetics.

Games like this with equipment for 6 players (or three for your two-ball version) usually sell for around US$20-50, depending on accessories such as carrying case or even a small cart.

In contrast, I can see the industrial version selling for many hundreds of dollars. There might be over one hundred dollars in U-bolts of that size alone! I wonder if there would be a market for it. Perhaps instead of sledgehammers and steel balls one might substitute a typical industrial hammer with plastic faces and a longer handle, and hard plastic spheres for a more lively game.

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#85
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/21/2007 12:25 PM

Is "Australian Rules" Football the same as "Gridiron"?

Please English Rose, don't dare mention Aussie Rules and "Gridiron in the same breath, it is just not done, even in the best of circles (Oh here we go rounders again).

That would be similar to saying a rose is the same as a dandelion.

Aussie rules is a game of skill and dexterity where as Gridiron what can one say, "brute force and ignorance," and from what I have seen of it, rugby is a far better game to watch, and that's either league or union.

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#86
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/24/2007 4:01 AM

I know - and I said something along those lines in my post. It was STL in post 57 who asked the question - which is why it was in italics, as a quote, in my post.

If we're on the flower analogies, I'd be tempted* to say that "Gridiron" (although here is the first time I've ever heard American football called that) is for pansies, Rugby for roses of the rambling variety (a bit of a thug, but still good to look at ) and Aussie Rules for Blackberries (complete thugs ).

* but only tempted, I wouldn't insult the flower of America's youth in any way

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#87
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/24/2007 9:02 AM

If we're on the flower analogies, I'd be tempted* to say that "Gridiron" (although here is the first time I've ever heard American football called that) is for pansies, Rugby for roses of the rambling variety (a bit of a thug, but still good to look at ) and Aussie Rules for Blackberries (complete thugs ).

Well then, if American football is for pansies, English/Euro Soccer/Football must be for bloody shrinking violets!

As far as Rugby being for roses, (assuming a nice scent and your "still good to look at"), have you looked at a typical Rugby player, or smelled one, AFTER a game? Ugh! Whatever part of their body doesn't bleed is gonna stink! I would change "roses" to "dandelions", at first they are sunny yellow and "nice to look at", then they change and break into little white pieces that get broken up and blown away, leaving nothing but an ugly, empty stalk and stem amongst weeds. Better yet, how about "stinkweed", or more spedifically "jimsonweed" ?

ROFL

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#90
In reply to #86

Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

10/01/2007 10:33 AM

Nice game this rugby!!!!

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#92
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

10/01/2007 11:10 AM

You think Rugby is rough? Look at this:

Kansas City Royals third baseman Alex Gordon lies on the field after getting hit in the face by a ball hit by Cleveland Indians' Kelly Shoppach during the ninth inning of a baseball game Sunday, Sept. 30, 2007, in Kansas City, Mo. The Indians won 4-2. Gordon left the game and was taken to the hospital for undisclosed injuries. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

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#94
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

10/01/2007 11:38 AM

Ye chillen don't know you were born. When ah were a lad, rugby warmup consisted of a cold shower and a beating - that way thee were prepared for the game ahead. It were regarded as a bit erv a pansy game if ye finished with nae concussion or a full set of teeth and all thy limbs in place.

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#96
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

10/05/2007 9:07 AM

I believe one supposed to keep their eye on the ball in baseball, but that is ridiculous.

I'll tell you one thing, he would be no good fielding in slips, in cricket. As a matter of fact you would not want him fielding anywhere near the bat.

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#97
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

10/05/2007 9:18 AM

Hey, these guys are pros. It is very unusual for something like this to happen when one is actually fielding the ball. Players on the sidelines ( a base coach or a batter "on deck" waiting for his turn) have sometimes been injured by a batted ball flying straight at them, since they might not have been paying attention to the ball at that time. Sometimes when the ball hits the ground right before the player catches it, it rebounds at an unexpected angle, what they call taking "a bad hop", making it impossible to catch. I am guessing that is what happened here. Doesn't this happen in cricket sometimes as well?

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#100
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

10/05/2007 9:52 AM

Just being facetious, I used to play baseball when I was in high school and I loved it.

However when I joined the RAN they did not play baseball. The next game I played many years later was at Subic Bay in the Philippines, we played a US Navy team.

I am too embarrassed to mention the score.

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#102
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

10/05/2007 10:44 AM

I am too embarrassed to mention the score.

Yeah, so are the Cubbies after losing two straight to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the National League playoff series!

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#98
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

10/05/2007 9:18 AM

You can do as good a job as that diving?????

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#99
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

10/05/2007 9:41 AM

She should have said, "Hey, I meant to do that. Don't I get high marks for originality?"

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#101
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

10/05/2007 10:15 AM

Also should have received high marks for difficulty

Just going back to baseball, I used to listen to some of the games on short wave radio. One name that springs to mind was Mickey Mantle, a great switch hitter.

For some reason, I know not why, I used to follow the Yankees, now I can watch the World Series on TV.............good stuff.

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#103
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

10/05/2007 10:46 AM

Yeah, too bad about Mickey. A great player, with a messed up personal life.

Do you know the unusual circumstances of his death?

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#105
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

10/05/2007 12:02 PM

Can't say I do ................ please fill me in on that.

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#107
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

10/05/2007 2:45 PM

As I recall, and it was all over the news, Mickey was a chronic alcoholic. He developed liver cancer and, some say because he was a celebrity, received a liver transplant in relatively short order. He supposedly had sworn off alcohol, but apparently the liver cancer had already spread to other parts of his body and the new liver was being destroyed as well. This time the doctors decided that no matter how much money, or how big a celebrity, Mickey was not worth wasting a perfectly good liver on, that could benefit someone else. He soon succumbed to the cancer and passed away.

Wikipedia has this interesting footnote:

In eulogizing Mantle, sportscaster Bob Costas* described him as "a fragile hero to whom we had an emotional attachment so strong and lasting that it defied logic." Costas added: "In the last year of his life, Mickey Mantle, always so hard on himself, finally came to accept and appreciate the distinction between a role model and a hero. The first, he often was not. The second, he always will be. And, in the end, people got it."

* Costas lived in St. Louis for several years as a sportscaster for local CBS affiliate KMOX Radio and returns to our area often to host charitable events and to socialize with family and friends.

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#108
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

10/06/2007 7:08 AM

Thanks for that STL Engineer, much appreciated.

It is interesting, when in the RAN and many years after, I was an alki, two years ago I gave up smoking and heavy or binge drinking. At this point in time no probs. I guess it has to do with an individuals metabolism.............or something.

I must admit I do feel better.........I think.

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#104
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

10/05/2007 10:56 AM

too bad the switches never worked again once he'd finished with them

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#60
In reply to #53

Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/20/2007 11:37 AM

always get their man

I thought that was the RCMP!

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#65
In reply to #60

Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/20/2007 11:56 AM

The RCMP stole the idea from Texas, the little buggers!

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#2

Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/10/2007 7:56 AM

It is possible that the water acts like a lubricant. As static charge is a function of rubbing to materials together to release electrons from one material to another, having a lubricant between the materials would interfer with that process.

In addition the moisture acts like a conductor to effectively short circuit the charge and discharge it.

Actually I am surprised the kids are not complaining about the heat, as the humidity would tend to make it feel hotter that in the arid desert climate.

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#3
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/10/2007 2:04 PM

Yes, water is used as a lubricant in several machining processes. The water in the damp carpet is reducing the friction needed to generate the static charges that produce the shocks the kids expect.

Pure water is a poor conductor, but due to natural ionization and impurities, water often becomes a great conductor. Just think of how much electricty is generated in one thundersstorm.

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#4

Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/10/2007 4:20 PM

OMG!

For this "Challenge", just say "NO!"

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#5
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/10/2007 6:33 PM

I feel your pain, STL. This question isn't much of a challenge. I only posted what I did to clarify some info.

FWIW, I submitted a question a while back, right after they posted my earlier submission. It might not test you based on what you know, but on your ability to investigate. Science is investigation, and sometimes engineers have to investigate things too. At least these questions help with my SDS.

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#8
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/11/2007 7:55 AM

I didn't say it was much of a challenge, but at least somebody has to put two cents in. There have been much much better ones offered in the past!!

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#6

Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/10/2007 7:59 PM

I assume that one needs a dry environment to generate friction and heat, where one can create a voltage between dissimilar materials, and promote some current flow, I therefore think its because the moisture Carry's away the heat of any friction, and as also stated above lubricates the action, thereby further reducing the possibility of any heat?

JD.

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#7

Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/10/2007 8:32 PM

The answer has absolutely nothing to do with humid air being more conductive. Rather it is that the best carpets for doing this have a high wool content. Most tropical resorts were once British possessions and Scottish wool was prohibited them on grounds it would lead to golf courses. This of course happened anyway, but all carpets in the tropics are to this very day made of AstroTurf.

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#9

Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/11/2007 10:00 AM

When the air is humid, water molecules can collect on the surface of various materials, including carpeting. This can prevent the buildup of differential electrical charges generated by friction between dissimilar materials. The reason has to do with the water molecule's atomic configuration, and its inherent electrical forces.

In addition to the humidity, the composition of the carpeting is also a key factor controlling static generation...

More specifically, you should refer to the "standard test method" - AATCC Test Method 134-2006, "Electrostatic Propensity of Carpets"

The two major carpet fibers used in carpet today are nylon and polypropylene (olefin). Without a static treatment nylon can generate up to 6 KV or more of "triboelectric" charge when new. Although polypropylene is known for its natural low initial KV rating, with use static electricity can increase to as much as 7 KV.

Using the above-referenced test, carpets are tested for static generation by step and scuff action using various shoe sole materials at ambient conditions of 70 degrees Fahrenheit and 20% relative humidity. Ratings are then recorded and averaged. According to this test, carpets that do not yield voltages in excess of 3 KV for commercial environments, and 5 KV for residential end-use, yield acceptable static performance.

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#10
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/11/2007 10:41 AM

WARNING: THIS POSTING MAY BE SELF-RIGHTEOUS AND DEMEANING

See my post #4 above.

So, in short, humidity (water molecules) in the air and therefore on the surface of the carpet fibers prevents the build-up of static electricity normally caused by walking on it with hard-soled shoes.

Well,.......duh!

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#11

Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/11/2007 11:23 AM

Water, including water vapor, is conductive, especially if salts dissolved, are and acts as a conduit for any static charge to flow to the ground before any large charge can be built up to give the characteristic snap of a discharge. Dry air is very insulating and very large, high voltage but usually low amperage charges can be built as a result.

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#12

Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/11/2007 2:00 PM

Aw shucks, that is such an easy one I coulda answered it when I was 18 years old (which was 54 years ago!). The humid air bleeds off any charge in either body (rub-er or rub-ee) before enough can build up to create a spark. That last one was really tough though. --jer

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#13
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/11/2007 4:18 PM

Men, you all are forgetting ....

The kids went to beach !!!!

This means salty skins. Marine salt is a very good conductor. It will be impossible to build up static votlage in socks on a salty foot.

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#15
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/11/2007 4:39 PM

Arriving at the hotel, the windows in your room are flung open, but the kids won't take the hint and walk down to the beach. When they aren't jumping on the bed, they're dragging their socks across the damp carpet.

I think you misread the question. They only just arrived and the kids did not take the hint to walk down to the beach (the reason the windows were flung open in the first place, hint-hint). Instead they started jumping on the bed and dragging their socks across the damp carpet.

NaCl is not a factor here, unless you are going to say that salt spray found its way into the hotel and was deposited on the carpet along with the water molecules. But don't say it was because the kids had extra salty skins from walking on the beach. Unless they soaked their socks in salt water, salty skins alone would not bleed off the charge, since it says "they're dragging their (presumably dry and salt-free) socks across the damp carpet". Besides, when would kids who had just run on the beach still have socks on their feet?

Here in STL we have particularly humid summers and NO ocean salt, spray or otherwise, yet, even with A/C drying the air somewhat, we can never get a static buildup in the summer time by walking across carpeting. But in wintertime it is ZAP-CITY!

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#18
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/12/2007 8:04 AM

Zap City!

I do remember as a kid zapping my brothers and they zapping me. Dad even had a bit of a sense of humor, but watch out for Mom!!

The zapping went on until we installed a humidifier on the furnace, then that killed all the fun. Ahhhh, the good old days.

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#28
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/13/2007 6:46 AM

I used to have similar fun building up a charge on my cat and then zapping her ear tips or nose.

Where's Del?

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#32
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/13/2007 9:04 AM

"I used to have similar fun building up a charge on my cat and then zapping her ear tips or nose."

Shocking, especially for the poor cat.

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#33
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/13/2007 11:10 AM

Keep ER away from Del! <grin>

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#34
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/13/2007 12:29 PM

Where's Del?

Hiding with a bottle of fabric softener.

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#35
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/17/2007 5:11 AM

Here kitty, kitty, kitty! Look at all this lovely Swedish fish I brought you...

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#36
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/17/2007 5:23 AM

LOL. He's been out on the tiles, and it looks like he's homeless. Who could be soo cruel to our beloved Kitty ?

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#14
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/11/2007 4:22 PM

Aw, shucks, jer! You didn't read my post #4!

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#16

Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/11/2007 7:51 PM

Static

The static electricity generated by some carpets is aggravated by low humidity. That is

why it is most bothersome in colder weather when the relative humidity is low. The use

of a humidifier can help by reducing the buildup of static and reducing annoying shocks.

One important factor that will determine static generation is room temperature and relative ambient humidity. Studies show static electricity is generally not discernable until relative humidity drops below 40%.

Olefin (polypropylene): Olefin fibers are strong, resist wear and permanent stains and are easily cleaned. These fibers are colorfast. Olefin resists static electricity and is often used in both indoor and outdoor installations because of its resistance to moisture and mildew.

The answer to the question is: Humidty Levels at the beach in a room with open windows will result in ambient levels over 40%.

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#17

Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/11/2007 8:01 PM

Water is a polar molecule. If any charge builds up, the water will stick to it and therefore neutralize it. (In moderation of course.)


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#19

Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/12/2007 8:32 AM

Agreeing with some remarks: at tropical temperatures, even moderately humid air is sufficiently conductive to dissipate static. At higher humidities, there's likely to be a monolayer of water covering every surface, so the "rubbing" is water-to-water, so you don't have systematic polar differentials to generate static.

But, one more important thing to consider - move straight out if the carpet really is damp - tropical fungi are bad news.

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#20
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/12/2007 10:13 AM

Live with it! Neither my wife nor I can be pried away from our sub-tropical Houston, Texas, for any reason. Remember God invented air conditioning for Houston on the promise we would share it with all. Now for a riddle: What fallows two days of rain in Houston, Texas? Of course the answer is "Monday".

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#21
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/12/2007 10:43 AM

You said it - you have air conditioning - so your carpets should be dry enough not to be breeding grounds for fungi. But the carpets in this hotel are described as damp - again not like your environment. Finally, the differences between the humid parts of the tropics and subtropical "steamy" Houston are not insignificant.

The Houston joke seems to be a version of an international standard (maybe, just maybe, from the English-speaking world - I haven't heard it in the other languages I try to speak, but that could just be happenstance).

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#23
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/12/2007 10:56 AM

As we are speaking at this moment, I am watching a tropical depression develop a couple hundred KM offshore of Houston that is casting rain upon us with the possibility of up to 15 cm of rain for today and like amounts for the next day or two. Likely, the rain will be at least 6 to 8 cm for the entire period. Rainfall amounts are so iffy, however, could be more or less, that is why I keep such close tabs on the situation. After all, I do not have my ark built yet.

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#24
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/12/2007 11:38 AM

But do you allow your carpets to become damp and remain that way for significant periods of time. If they are damp in an hotel, I'd be inclined to assume the worst

And, BTW, I've often found that what I thought to be "assuming the worst" turned out to be a relatively optimistic scenario...

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#26
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/12/2007 12:34 PM

The storm is now an official depression and is expected to become a named storm prior to landfall, with winds in access of 50 kph. This will be a major rain event with 8 (20 cm) to 10 (25 cm) inches of rain but not a major wind event. At teh present time, te storm is about 150 km off-shore and moving north at less than 5 kph. It should reach shore somewhere between Matagora Bay and Galveston Bay in next couple of days.

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#22
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/12/2007 10:56 AM

My brother lives in suburban Houston. A few years ago they had severe flooding. The water came up to their front door jamb and they placed towels in the cracks and around the door to prevent seepage. The high water discouraged most through traffic on their street but every so often a big truck would come by and make a wake, just like a cruiser on a lake, sending 2-3 foot high waves crashing against the door.

My brother put his thinking cap on and made a sign just like you see on buoys and posts in marinas, "NO WAKE ZONE". Then he went out and planted it in the yard on a tall stick. He wasn't sure, but it seemed the trucks slowed a little after that.

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#25
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/12/2007 12:26 PM

"The high water discouraged most through traffic on their street but every so often a big truck would come by and make a wake, just like a cruiser on a lake, sending 2-3 foot high waves crashing against the door."

To be honest with you, there are some clods in Texas who delight in racing their flood-proofed truck through high water in order to flood the lower riding autos and homes, thinking it is ?good? sport. They certainly are not cowboys and clearly do not live by the cowboy code.

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#27
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/12/2007 1:50 PM

"there are some clods in Texas who delight in racing their flood-proofed truck through high water in order to flood the lower riding autos and homes"

I wonder if they are breaking the law if they stay under the posted speed limit. And if so, would the ticket be issued by the police or the harbor patrol? <grin>

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#30
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/13/2007 8:08 AM

That is really stupid to be driving around over flooded streets as it is extremely asy to be swept off track by a current into a significantly perilous stituation. It is these types of people you see on TV news being pulled out of vehicles by heliocopters and lossing half their lives in the process.

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#31
In reply to #30

Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/13/2007 8:49 AM

Not to mention all the "stuff" floating around that would/will damage your vehicule anyway...people do stupid things.....

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#29

Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/13/2007 7:17 AM

Stephen Hawking and daughter have a new book out today. It includes static ( with some help from a pig).

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#37
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/18/2007 10:51 AM

Oh goody.................. static. Static is a killer.

Example on left occurred in very cold and dry weather. Motorist had fuel nozzle jammed open and got back into car (because he was cold). Slid out of seat, not touching anything until he grabs hold of nozzle..........static spark.........boom.

The other example, unfortunately, occurs too often, Put container on the ground when filling them..........earth them.............and some of the bottles some people use.......not good.

The only reason there are not more accidents is because of the flammability ranges of fuels.

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#38
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/18/2007 11:29 AM

CR4 has some very good threads on the topic of static (some of the recent Challenge Questions have been directly related). A slightly related field is Bleve which I have not yet chanced upon here. Explosion in flour mills is another interesting one that I've not yet seen here. As with spark to methane igniting coal dust explosions underground, the explanations for these things is often more complex than meets the eye.

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#41
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/19/2007 4:03 AM

Be careful Kris, or you'll have me spouting European Legislation numbers at you and whittering (surely not!) on about ATEX Regulations and DSEAR and Best Practice.

Try 94/9/EC as amended for starters.

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#49
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/19/2007 2:27 PM

Are you still planning to get the e dude ? LOL

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#51
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/20/2007 7:38 AM

you've lost me? What e dude? (I'm thinking that's a puzzled emoticon, 25 years + 2 days old!)

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#55
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/20/2007 10:34 AM

The one who doubted your Swedish exploits. Yes ? ('The Emperors new Bowler hat')

"25 years + 2 days old!" ? Yeah, and I'm really Leonardo De'caprio.

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#58
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/20/2007 11:26 AM

Hi Kris Leonardo DC*

My wife wants your autograph

Fyz

*I imagine that to be nothing like Leonardo diCaprio, nor yet like Chris Leonard. Same principle as Washington DC being nowhere near Washington, I suppose.

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#62
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/20/2007 11:44 AM

LOL. Tell her I'll trade for a suitable letter of credit. I can collect it off the next banker who appears down here. I will, of course, be supplying my autograph in the usual fashion.

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#71
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/20/2007 1:42 PM

Fyz retires, beaten into the ground by difficulties with reset key on PC autograph machine. (Yes, my hair would be pointy if I could lose enough of it)

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#75
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/21/2007 12:48 AM

None of us can retire comfortably untill ER does so and leaves that 'second-best bed'.

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#78
In reply to #75

Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/21/2007 3:56 AM

You're going to have to do some very good explaining, or you'll be higher up on my list than E.

<taps foot>

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#79
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/21/2007 4:06 AM

Oh alright...It was a compliment you see, rosebud. That sled 'em all up the garden path. Such prose as yours is worthy of tribute.

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#81
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Re: Tropical Vacation: Newsletter Challenge (09/11/07)

09/21/2007 4:12 AM

Apologies for my churlish behaviour! I think you may need to borrow that second best bed for a lie down in a darkened room. I'll bring the cold flannel and the rose water.

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