soap, the bubbly barbarian

You’ve probably heard much talk this year about washing your hands with soap. Perhaps you’ve heard that soap is better at removing the COVID-19 coronavirus than hand sanitizer. (There is a myth out there that hand sanitizer is better, perhaps because it’s not “old-school” like soap.) But do you know why soap is better?

If you haven’t thought much about it, you might assume that soap helps wash away the germs on your hands. It probably does help with it. However, its effectiveness against COVID-19 (and other sickness-causing germs) is much darker than you would imagine: Soap is not just washing it away — it’s ripping it apart, destroying it violently. If you want to read how and why it does that, read this: How soap absolutely annihilates the coronavirus. If you don’t have time to read/watch it, here’s important info you should know: Just washing your hands with water does not wash away the coronavirus or other similar germs. Also, you need to have soap on your hands for 20 seconds for it to do its thing. That’s not just a made-up number (like the suggestion to brush your teeth for two minutes) — it actually takes 20 seconds.

The next time you’re washing your hands with soap and have them lathered up really good and are waiting 20 seconds before rinsing, take a look at the soap bubbles on your hands and think of how they are single-handedly destroying COVID-19 germs. (Oops, that was almost a pun… there’s probably one you could make by changing a word or two, but I’m not going there.)

Einstein, ACME, and science

A while back I read an article about the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), and it had a few statistics that seem somewhat embellished to me.  Now, I’m no scientist, but I have stayed at a Holiday Inn Express.  And because of the anonymity of the Internet, I could be the smartest person in the room (as far you know).  Whether any of that is factual or not is largely irrelevant to this discussion, because we’re going to have fun with it.  Let’s get started, shall we?

Winding the solenoid coil of the CMS [Compact Muon Solenoid] took five years to complete. When it is fully operational, it will generate a magnetic field 100,000 times stronger than the one produced by the Earth.

What could possibly go wrong?  I first think of a super magnet that Wile E. Coyote bought to catch Bugs Bunny.  It was a 10,000,000,000 volt electric magnet, in a do-it-yourself (DIY) kit sold by ACME (of course).

Actually, there’s a structure made with 12,000 tons of iron to bridle the lines of the magnetic field in the LHC so normal stuff won’t get disturbed.  So they say…  Next!

Components are assembled for A Large Ion Collider Experiment, a.k.a. ALICE, an experiment to measure the matter created in the extraordinarily high temperatures — estimated at 100,000 times hotter than the sun — that existed after the Big Bang and that will be created by the particle collider.

The Earth picks up only 0.45 billionth of the sun’s daily energy output, yet that is more than 239 trillion horsepower each day.  I realize there’s more to energy than heat, but I still question their estimate.  And even more so, I wonder what their electrical bill is…  And upon further thought, would a device creating heat that’s 100,000 times hotter than the sun contribute to global warming any?  Something has to happen to the heat — you can’t just flush it down the toilet — there are those pesky laws of thermodynamics…  🙂

Speaking of ACME, they had everything, didn’t they?  Did you know that the Animaniacs helped Einstein figure out the theory of relativity by singing the ACME song to make him feel better about himself?  I never learned that in school…

But wait, there’s more!  While watching the Wile E. Coyote video with the super magnet, I noticed it said “Zajaxi Dynamos” on one of the boxes instead of ACME.  Maybe it was a subsidiary?  I have no idea.  I’ve never noticed that before and never heard of that, so I googled it, and would you believe my search returned ZERO (0) results?  There is something that’s been around for decades for which Google had no answer whatsoever!  I’ve always figured you could find anything on the Internet, but I just proved otherwise.

So now let Buffet o’ Blog be the FIRST WEBSITE EVER to mention “Zajaxi Dynamos”!  How many times can you say your website is the first to ever do something in the history of the Internet?  We should win an award…  🙂

And since there’s no reference to what that phrase stands for, I suppose we can make it up.  Any ideas?

Jetman, flying cars, the future

In the news recently was someone called Jetman, who built his own jetpack with four rockets on it.  Supposedly he can go 190 mph.  Here’s a video:

That would be awesome to have.  I wonder if we’ll ever have flying cars or something like that.  There are still companies working on it, and every few years there’s news that it’s almost ready.  I’m thinking it won’t happen until computers are controlling them.  That may seem kinda scary, but even more scary is bad drivers and drunk drivers in a flying car.  Crashes would be even more dangerous, causing much more collateral damage.

He uses a parachute to land, which might seem lame for a jetpack, but I bet landings would be really tricky to maneuver, as well as extremely dangerous.

FYI, computer-controlled cars are already on the road — just not available for purchase yet.  Google has been testing them in certain areas.  So far, with hundreds of thousands of miles, they appear safer than the average human driver.  I’m not sure how I feel about that.  I actually enjoy driving; however, if I’m able to do other stuff during road trips, like video games, reading, sleeping, etc., then that would be awesome.

diet colas with artificial poop

The other day I wrote about a spa using bird poop in facials, and at the end of the discussion I joked about what would be the next use of poop.  At the time, I was unaware of a breaking news story about diet colas that is somewhat related.  (Are you getting scared yet?)

diet cola - now with more artificial poopRecently the patent details for the artificial sweetener aspartame became available online, and well, it’s made with a certain byproduct.  (Are you sure you want to keep reading?  It might get even worse.)  Obviously it’s an artificial sweetener, which has certain connotations, but there’s more than you’d expect.  Some versions of aspartame are made by harvesting the protein waste (i.e., poop) of genetically modified E. coli bacteria, then adding methanol to it.  (On a side note, how someone invented this process is beyond my imagination, so I looked it up.  In 1965 a chemist was trying to create an anti-ulcer drug, and while generating a hormone for it, he licked his finger and accidentally discovered the sweet taste of aspartame.  Go figure…)

Aspartame is one of the most common artificial sweeteners, and it’s sold under the brand names NutraSweet® and Equal®.  It’s used because it’s about 200 times sweeter than table sugar, so less can be used, which lowers the calories in the food or beverage.  It is used in thousands of different food products.  The FDA maintains that it is completely safe.

It may be safe, but this is one of the those things that I kinda wish I didn’t know…