| Saturday, January 15, 2005
| LIFE'S IMPONDERABLES
|WHY DO ROOSTERS CROW IN THE MORNING?
"Most of the crowing takes place in the morning, as
does most singing, because that is when the birds are
most active, and most of the territorial advertisement
takes place then. Many of the other vocalizations heard
throughout the day are for other types of communication,
including flocking calls, which serve to keep members of
a flock together and in touch if they are out of sight
from one another."
(by Rowena Nocom of North Hollywood, CA.)
WHY DO FISH RETURN TO A LAKE OR POND THAT HAS DRIED UP?
"There are ways in which fish can return to a pond after
total elimination. The most common is that most ponds
or lakes have outlets and inlets; fish just swim back
into the formerly hosptile area. They are able to traverse
and circumvent small rivulets, waterfalls, and pollution
sources with surpricing efficiency. If they find a pond
with no fish in it, they may stay just because there's
lots of food with no competition in it."
(by Michael J. Catalana of Ben Lamond, CA)
WHY DO SOME HARD BOILED EGG YOLKS TURN GRAY
OR GREEN WHEN SOFT BOILED EGGS DON'T DISCOLOR?
The discoloring is caused by iron and sulphur compounds that
accumulated when eggs are overcooked. Although gray egg yolks
lack eye appeal, the iron and sulphur don't affect the
taste or nutritional value of the eggs.
Probably the most common way of overlooking eggs is
to leave the eggs in hot water after cooking. The American
Egg Board recommends that after eggs are cook, either
cold water should be run over or they should be put
in ice water until completely cooled. Cooling eggs
in this manner will not only avoid overcooking but
will also make the shells much easier to peel.
WHY ARE TENNIS BALLS FUZZY?
The core of the tennis ball is made of a compound
consisting of rubber, synthetic materials and about
ten chemicals. The compound is extruded into a
barrel-shaped pellet that is then formed into two
half shells. The edges of the two half shells are
coated with a latex adhesive and then put togehter
and cured in a double chambered press under strictly
controlled temperature to thirteen psi(pounds per square inch),
so that the air is trapped inside and the two halves are
fused together at the same pressure.Once the two halves
have been pressed together to form one sphere, the surface
of the core is roughened so that the fuzz will stick better.
The core is then dipped into a cement compound and over dried
to prepare for the cover application.
The fuzzy material is felt, a combination of wool, nylon and
Dacron woven together into rolls. The felt is cut into a
figure eight shape and the edges of the felt are coated with
a seam adhesive. The cores and edges of the two felt strips are
mated, the felt is bonded to the core, and the seam adhesive is
cured, securing all the materials and for the first time yielding
a sphere that looks like a tennis ball. After the balls are cured,
they are steamed in a large tumbler and fluffed in order to raise
the nap on the felt, giving the ball a fuzzy appearance.
The reason for the fuzzy tennis balls is that the fluffy nap
contributes to increased racket control. Every time a tennis ball
hits a racket the strings momentarily grip the ball and the ball
compresses. With a harder, sleeker surface, the ball would have a
tendency to skip the racket and minimize the skill of the player.
Also, when you get hit hard by a fuzzy tennis ball,you may want
to cry, but you don't feel like you're going to die.
(By Dorio Barbieri of Mountain View, CA)
WHY DO CHICKENS AND TURKEYS, UNLIKE OTHER
FOWL, HAVE WHITE MEAT AND DARK MEAT?
Other birds that we eat such as quail, duck, or pigeon, have
all dark meat. Chickens and turkeys are among a small group
of birds with white flesh on the breast of wings. Birds have
two types of muscle fibers: red and white. Red muscles with a
high amount of myoglobin are capable of much longer periods
of work and stress than white fibers. Thus,you can guess which
birds are likely to have light fibers by studying their feeding
and migration patterns. Most birds have to fly long distances
to migrate or to find food, and they need the endurance that
myoglobin provides. All birds that appear to have all dark have
white fibers. But the hummingbird, which rarely stops flying,
has pectoral muscles consisting entirely of red fibers because
the pectoral muscles enable the wings to flip contineously.
Chickens are ground feeders and fly only when nesting. Ordinarily,
chickens move around by walking or running, which is why only
their legs and thighs are dark. They fly so little that their wings
and breast don't need myoglobin. In fact the lack of myoglobin in
the wing and breast are anatomical advantage.
Chickens spend most of their time walking. When danger threatens
they fly in a burst of speed for a short distance and then land.
Thus they need flight muscles which deliver a lot of power quickly
for a short time.
(By Margaret Sooane of Capel Hill, North Carolina, Sara Sickle of Perryopolis, Penn. and Annlisa Weaver of Davis, CA.)
WHY IS U.S. PAPER MONEY GREEN WHEN MOST COUNTRIES
COLOR-CODE THEIR CURRENCY?
Until well into the 19th century, paper money was relatively rare
in the U.S. But banknotes became popular in the mid 1800's. These
bills were printed in black but included color tints to help
foil counterfeiters. However, cameras then in existence saw
everything in black, rendering color variations in bills
meaningless when reproduced photographically. According to the
US treasury, the counterfeiters took advantage:
"the counterfeiters soon discoverd that the colored inks then
in used could easily be removed from a note without disturbing
the black ink, He could eradicate the colored portion, photograph
the remainder and then make a desired number of copies to be
overprinted with an imitation of the colored parts."
Tracy R. Edson, one of the founders of the Amercian Bank NOte Company,
developed the solution. He developed an ink that could not be erased
without hurting the black coloring. Edson was rewarded for this
discovery by receiving a contract from the US government to produce
notes for them. Edson's counterfeit proof ink had a green tint.
In the 19th century, notes were produced by private firms as well
as the treasury. But all notes, regardless of where they were printed,
were issued in green, presumably to provide uniformity.
"the use of green was continued because pigment of that color
was readily available in large quantity, the color was relatively
high in its resistance to chemical and physical changes, and green
was psychologically indentified with the strong and stable credit
of the government"
(by Paul Stossel of NY,NY Charles Devine of Plum,Penn and Kent Hall of Louisville, KY)
(Abstracted from the book. "Life's Imponderables" by David Feldman)
TO BE CONTINUED.....
|posted by infraternam meam @ 5:45 AM