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Practical Science

This category contains 11 posts

Historic Appendix – Timeline of Interest

The latest installment for my book…. Historic Appendix This list of scientific advances since 1800 is meant to give more insight into how recently in human history we developed the foundations for understanding quantum mechanics. A few historic references are thrown in for perspective. For more detail, I heartily recommend Dr. Asimov’s “Chronology of Science … Continue reading

Earth Day – April 22 or the March Equinox

We celebrate Earth Day as if Mother Earth was a person, sometimes called Gaia, worth recognizing. This analogy between the interconnected ecosystems of the Earth and person is actually a pretty good one. We have many internal systems in dynamic equilibrium, that is to say, held in place between a balance of forces. We get … Continue reading

Arithmetic, Population, and Energy

This talk by Dr. Al Bartlett is both a lesson in simple consequences of growth rates, and a discussion of historic consumption of resources such as petroleum, coal, and space.  It’s an hour and a quarter, but it kept me riveted.  It is clear that humankind’s situation is far worse than we’ve been led to believe by … Continue reading

Our Herbal Irritant

Here at MOI Labs, we’re trying to find better, greener alternatives to the way things are done now.  One biggie is the use of very strong herbicides, some persistant and get into your garden compost, some that kill bees and other beneficial insects. There is a recipe floating around the internet, which is mostly vinegar, … Continue reading

Environmental Crisis

Scientists and the media have been batting around all kinds of doomsday scenarios from global warming to asteroid strikes.  Let me throw out another one that I haven’t heard people focus on.  I first threw this idea out in my book “People of the Red Tide”, a middle-shool work of fiction about an environmentally concerned whale, … Continue reading

Coping with Toilet Paper

As a child I was told to take 3 squares of TP and fold them over parallel, so that they overlapped perfectly.  This would be the right amount to get the job done, without breaking, and not waste excess.  In the golden age of consumption, that worked well. Fast forward 50 years.  Now, while I … Continue reading

Cleaning Clues

This piece of literature was worked up for our Green Technology cleaning and floor care product line. ——– Cleaning Clues Here we talk about everything from soap bubbles to brighter whites.  Just a start to get you thinking about what the different cleaners do. Soap and pH The earliest soaps were made by breaking up … Continue reading

Veggie, Vegan, or Green?

This blog is inspired by an article in the May 2014 National Geographic titled “The New Food Revolution”.  It’s about how we might hope to feed the 2 billion additional souls we expect the planet to support by 2050.  I’ll give you the raw scores first, then the commentary. In the USA we eat about 18% … Continue reading

An Ogre’s Guide to Quality Systems

Found this old gem in my archives: MISSING  OCTAVE  INSIGHTS,  INC. Newsletter 1/24/07 © 2007, All Rights Reserved http://www.MissingOctave.com An Ogre’s Guide to Quality Systems To misquote a famous green ogre, Quality Systems “are like onions.  They have layers.” We’ve all seen management try to force-fit a one-size-fits-all quality system on a business or product, … Continue reading

Mutilate the Corpses – An Organic Gardening Strategy

Despite the sound of this, it is not out of that farcical fantasy game Munchkins(™).  It is a genuine way to control pests.  It sounds like putting the remains of executed criminals on display as a warning for others, but the way it works runs much, much deeper than that. I first heard of this … Continue reading

Mutagenic Chemicals: The Ames Test

Dr. Ames invented a test to determine how mutagenic any given chemical was.  He introduced it to a bacteria culture and looked for upsets.  This is almost the same as looking for carcinogens, except that our metabolism changes one chemical into one or more others, and the bacteria don’t mimic this.  But it is a … Continue reading