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Discussion Starter #201

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Discussion Starter #202
9-year-old Mexican girl wins prestigious science award for invention that benefits the world





If you’re wondering who is one of the most talked-about inventors these days, you might be surprised to find out she’s a 9-year-old girl from Mexico. Her name is Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz Lopez.



WLRN in Miami reports:

The young indigenous girl from Chiapas state in southern Mexico built a solar-powered water heater from recyclable materials - an invention that promises to do more than just give folks in that poor rural region better access to hot water.
According to Mexico News Daily, Xóchitl’s solar heater contains a “15-meter black hose, 10 PET bottles that she painted black, plastic cable ties, a wooden base, black nylon and recycled glass.” Xóchitl says she used the glass doors of a broken cooler to create a greenhouse effect. The solar heater is installed on her home’s rooftop.

Xóchitl’s invention caught the attention of Nuclear Sciences Institute at Mexico’s National Autonomous University, or UNAM, from where she was awarded the ICN Women’s Recognition Award. The young inventor won the award last year when she was eight, but the news is just making the rounds in America, where she is receiving more accolades. UNAM helped her complete her project through their Adopt a Talent Program (PAUTA).

The brilliant young mind told Mexico’s Imagen News that “people won’t have to chop down trees to heat their water anymore,” as she demonstrates the box-like glass-and-wood device. She said she was inspired to invent the solar water heater because of the cold climate in her hometown.

“In San Cristóbal it’s very cold most of the year so if people shower with cold water they can get sick with respiratory illnesses and constantly have to go to the doctor,” she said.
The invention is important on a massive and global level, as well. Its economic and environmental benefits will help to develop deforested countries throughout the world.

The now-famous inventor has been entering science competitions since she was four. In between her brilliant innovations, Xóchitl loves soccer and mathematics and plans to gain her doctorate in the latter.


Great things lie ahead for this young lady. Congratulations to Xóchitl Guadalupe Cruz Lopez. And special thanks to her for helping to promote and open more doors for the science education of girls around the world.
 

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Discussion Starter #203
How much (trip) range would an EV need for me to consider buying one?

If I drove for 9 hrs at an average speed of 68 mph, I’d cover 612 miles.

OK, so far. But, I have driven for much longer at significantly higher speeds. So, if we use 12 hrs @ 80 mph, that would be 960 miles.

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First day at Yoga

At end of class we have a few minutes to rest in the dark. Trainer comes over, kneels and whispers “Do you want lavender oil for your forehead?”

“No thanks. I use only Mobil 1.”
 

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Discussion Starter #204
Lorraine tows the Lotus


My Elan crapped out near my house. I called Lorraine bring another of our cars to tow it the 3 blocks home.

Unfortunately, it was rush hour and we lived on a tiny street off a main thoroughfare through Short Hills, NJ.

We were at a stop sign at an intersection leading a much-used shortcut.

Friends of my parents had a daughter who lived on the street we needed. Mom had told us the daughter was shocked that this little street carried so much traffic. (I didn’t point out the double yellow lines down the center.)

We were waiting quite a while. Lorraine sometimes grew panicky.

But, we had to be careful. Another driver may not notice the tow cable or see that the Elan was close behind her car. I’d explained this.

We waited some more. We were in no rush.

Then, seeing what she perceived as an opening, she took off like Don Garlits in his Top Fuel dragster.

MUCH TOO FAST!!!!!!.

I envisioned a car crashing into our tow cable and then the Elan. In that moment, I was scared. Really so.

As luck would have it, the tow cable had slipped off her car and I didn’t move at all.

I decided to try starting my beloved Elan again. It started and I safely drove home.

(An hour or two later, I realized that the issue was the hidden alarm switch in the glove box. I pulled that and bypassed it. What was the clue? The horn sometimes honked when trying and failing to start the car.)
 

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Discussion Starter #205
When the Prius (updated model) was released, GM had a bunch of people spreading rumors of problems. C&D's Brock Yates was one of those. This was around the time he began suffering from dementia. That was showing up in his columns and I didn't understand how C&D ignored it.

Yates pushed a story of a NYS (?) EMT guy trying to cut someone out of the crashed car, with Jaws of Life IIRC. Yates tried to hammer this lie home.

My friend Bob was on TV a lot as he was the Toyota engineer who introduced the Prius to the US. He was asked too often about this bit of bullshot. He'd ask the "reporters" where was that incident? Who was actually hurt and how? They never knew one thing about the contrived incident. Bob would then often say, "So news reporting now is simply repeating what you saw on the internet??"


Now, I invite you to read this cool story:

These Small Explosions Help to Keep Electric Cars Safer after an Accident

Auto supplier Bosch's new system disconnects the battery pack by blowing apart sections of wiring immediately following an accident to help make rescue and escape shock-free.





  • "Explosions that save lives" is how automotive supplier Bosch describes a new component that can quickly disconnect the battery pack in an electric vehicle in case of an accident.
  • The pyrofuse technology cuts off electrical current to other parts of the vehicle so first responders or vehicle occupants won't get an electric shock.
  • This system, which serves a similar function to an inertia switch that stops the fuel flow in a gas-powered vehicle, is triggered by Bosch's microchip that's already widely used to deploy airbags

Whether you're talking about gallons of combustible fuel or explosive airbag inflators, potentially dangerous items are commonplace in cars. Bosch is taking this old idea to electric vehicles with a new technology designed to make batteries safer in a crash. And it includes a component with a cool name: pyrofuse.

That sounds . . . explosive, and it is. According to Bosch, this is how you keep an electric or hybrid vehicle's batteries safe. The Bosch-developed system uses tiny, controlled explosive charges on an EV's battery to isolate the power supply if there's a collision. When the car's sensors detect a crash, the pyrofuse (technically known as a pyrotechnical safety switch system) will use its miniature explosive charges to physically blow apart sections of wiring between the high-voltage battery unit and the rest of the vehicle with up to four small wedges. These wedges sever the wires and thus cut off the current flow, making it safe for vehicle occupants or first responders to touch the car's metal without the risk of an electric shock caused by a short from accident damage.





Pyrofuse serves the same function as the inertia switch in a gas-powered vehicle, which shuts off fuel flow following an accident, although Bosch's EV application isn't reversible like hitting the simple reset button on an inertia switch. This new system obviously doesn't do anything to dissipate the energy stored in the battery pack, and if the pack itself is breached there's still a very real threat of a fire.

The Bosch semiconductor chips used in this technology are smaller than a fingernail and are what Bosch calls application-specific integrated circuits (ASIC). Each ASIC has millions of transistors and will respond "within a fraction of a second," according to a statement by Jens Fabrowsky, member of the executive management of Bosch's Automotive Electronics division.

The ASIC used in the pyrofuse system is called CG912, and Bosch has been using a version of it in airbags for years. The battery-safety version of the CG912 was introduced at Electronica 2018, a trade show for electronics, last November. Bosch says the airbag version of the CG912 "has been proven in the field a million times over."

Bosch isn't saying which automakers are using these safety pyrofuses in their cars, which partially minimizes the value to first responders knowing which EVs might be more dangerous than others when approaching a crash scene.
 

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Discussion Starter #206
At the House Closing

I met the sellers’ realtor for the first time at the closing. She was pretty old, blue hair and all.

Writing big checks makes me nervous, so while the group did some paperwork, I went outside for a smoke.

When I returned, the realtor was on her way out. As soon as she left, there was a lot of giggling in the room.

“What’s so funny?” I asked.

“She wanted to know if you were single!”

“Well, sometimes you can tell a lot about a person based on the car they use.”

“Really? What did she come in?”

“AN AMBULANCE!


--

Note: I was being nice. I could've said "A HEARSE""......
 

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Discussion Starter #207
Startled Marmot and a Fox Lead the Way at Wildlife Photography Awards





Yongqing Bao’s photograph of a Tibetan fox and a marmot in the Qilian Mountains in China won the grand title at this year’s Wildlife Photographer of the Year contest.
 

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Discussion Starter #208
Civilians

Most of us get our car (or any) projects done pretty well. This, though, is about those who do not.

There are a few TV shows where “civilians” get in over their heads trying to repair or restore cars. Sometimes the owners’ dreams are crushed and that strikes me as sad.

Often, they are carrying this weight around all the time; they see the cars every day in their garages. Sometimes, the cars sit for 20 years.

But, this leads to some questions.

1. Why not get books on what they’re trying to do? Or, take a class or two?

When I was charged with getting the Lotus 7 running well, I read a book on Weber carburetors, which helped with the Alfa and Elan also. Now, I love Webers. They used to scare me.

I think some men think that being born with a penis automatically gives them car skills.

2. When working on the house, we’re told to not work on more than 1 room at a time. Yet, I see these cars with nearly everything taken apart. Bad idea, psychologically and clutter-wise.

3. Why don’t they get an expert to check out the vehicle they want to buy? Especially if it’s a long-distance internet sale?

If they had a fellow locally, he could help when they got stuck (on day two).

4. Compression and leak-down tests are easy enough to do, but I don’t see them being done.

5. I also don’t notice these guys joining their local car clubs to look for help.

I think that’s because they don’t want people to see their lack of competence. Not sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #209 (Edited)
Teenager Wins $25,000 for Science Project That Solves Blind Spots in Cars

Alaina Gassler, 14, got the idea for her science project after noticing how her mother didn’t like driving the family’s S.U.V.

1255341



laina Gassler often saw her mother growing frustrated with blind spots when driving the family’s old Jeep Grand Cherokee in their Pennsylvania neighborhood.

The issue inspired Ms. Gassler, 14, to design a system that uses a webcam to show anything that might be blocked from a driver’s sight.

A panel of scientists, engineers and educators was so impressed with her prototype that she won the $25,000 top prize at the annual Broadcom MASTERS competition in Washington last week.

“I was shaking so much when they called my name because I did not expect it at all,” Ms. Gassler said Wednesday.

She beat 29 other middle school students in the science and engineering competition, which drew 2,348 applicants nationwide. The Broadcom MASTERS, or Math, Applied Science, Technology, and Engineering for Rising Stars, is an annual competition from the nonprofit Broadcom Foundation and the Society for Science & the Public.

In addition to the science fair project, students were also evaluated on their performances during peer challenges that included coding, engineering and designing.

Ms. Glasser’s mother, Meagan, said the award showed her daughter “is a well-rounded individual, and not just someone who had a good idea.”

“It felt like you were in a cave, the windows were small, the pillars were large,” her mother said of the old Jeep. “You could lose a person or a car in your line of sight.”

Maya Ajmera, president and chief executive of the Society for Science & the Public, said Alaina stood out, not only for the project but also for her leadership, communication skills and teamwork with other students.https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/17/sports/tennis/serena-williams-racket-auction.html?fallback=false&recId=290770342&locked=0&geoContinent=NA&geoRegion=NJ&recAlloc=random&geoCountry=US&blockId=home-featured&imp_id=17858678&action=click&module=editorContent&pgtype=Article®ion=CompanionColumn&contentCollection=Trending

“Everybody hates blind spots. A lot of accidents happen because of blind spots,” Ms. Ajmera said. “She took something very personal to her — ‘How do I make this easier for my mom’ — and from there it became an incredible science project.”

Ms. Gassler, now a freshman at Avon Grove Charter School in West Grove, Pa., said she wanted to improve automobile safety by removing blind spots created by vehicles’ A-pillars, which support the car’s frame and hold windshields in place.

“There are so many car accidents and injuries and deaths that could have been prevented from a pillar not being there, and since we can’t take it out of cars, I decided to get rid of it without getting rid of it,” she said in her award video.

Her materials included a projector, a webcam and reflective fabric. After attaching a webcam on the outside of a car’s A-pillar on the passenger side, a projector was mounted underneath the car’s roof “to project the image onto the pillar or the blind spot,” she said.

To help the image become clearer and brighter, she applied reflective fabric on the pillar so that the image can be seen only by the driver.

She added that the system worked during test drives with her father, Paul. The family posted a video of the design on YouTube, where it had more than two million views by Wednesday night.

For her next prototype, she plans to use LCD screens instead of a projector, because the screens would allow the driver to adjust the brightness and orientation of the image, she said.



Ms. Gassler hopes that her prototype will be used by car and tech companies someday. (Her family no longer has the Jeep that was used in the project.)

“I would love to show my project to Tesla, because they are always looking for ways to make their cars safer and they are always looking for more futuristic features to put in their cars,” she said.
 

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Discussion Starter #210
The Horrible History of Thanksgiving

Before you fill your plate, please remember why we mark this day.



By Charles M. Blow





“The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth,” 1914, by Jennie Augusta Brownscombe.



When I was a child, Thanksgiving was simple. It was about turkey and dressing, love and laughter, a time for the family to gather around a feast and be thankful for the year that had passed and be hopeful for the year to come.

In school, the story we learned was simple, too: Pilgrims and Native Americans came together to give thanks.

We made pictures of the gathering, everyone smiling. We colored turkeys or made them out of construction paper. We sometimes had a mini-feast in class.

I thought it was such a beautiful story: People reaching across race and culture to share with one another, to commune with one another. But that is not the full story of Thanksgiving. Like so much of American history, the story has had its least attractive features winnow away — white people have been centered in the narrative and all atrocity has been politely papered over.

So, let us correct that.

What is widely viewed as the first Thanksgiving was a three-day feast to which the Pilgrims had invited the local Wampanoag people as a celebration of the harvest.

About 90 came, almost twice the number of Pilgrims. This is the first myth: that the first Thanksgiving was dominated by the Pilgrim and not the Native American. The Native Americans even provided the bulk of the food, according to the Manataka American Indian Council.

This is counter to the Pilgrim-centric view so often presented. Indeed, two of the most famous paintings depicting the first Thanksgiving — one by Jennie Augusta Brownscombe and the other by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris — feature the natives in a subservient position, outnumbered and crouching on the ground on the edge of the frame.

The Pilgrims had been desperate and sick and dying but had finally had some luck with crops.

The second myth is that the Wampanoag were feasting with friends. That does not appear to be true.

As Peter C. Mancall, a professor at the University of Southern California, wrote for CNN on Wednesday, Gov. William Bradford would say in his book “Of Plymouth Plantation,” which he began to write in 1630, that the Puritans had arrived in “a hideous and desolate wilderness, full of wild beasts and wild men.”

Mancall further explained that after the visits to the New World by Samuel de Champlain and Capt. John Smith in the early 1600s, “a terrible illness spread through the region” among the Native Americans. He continued: “Modern scholars have argued that indigenous communities were devastated by leptospirosis, a disease caused by Old World bacteria that had likely reached New England through the feces of rats that arrived on European ships.”

This weakening of the native population by disease from the new arrivals’ ships created an opening for the Pilgrims.

King James’s patent called this spread of disease “a wonderfull Plague” that might help to devastate and depopulate the region. Some friends.

But many of those native people not killed by disease would be killed by direct deed.

As Grace Donnelly wrote in a 2017 piece for Fortune:

The celebration in 1621 did not mark a friendly turning point and did not become an annual event. Relations between the Wampanoag and the settlers deteriorated, leading to the Pequot War. In 1637, in retaliation for the murder of a man the settlers believed the Wampanoags killed, they burned a nearby village, killing as many as 500 men, women, and children. Following the massacre, William Bradford, the Governor of Plymouth, wrote that for “the next 100 years, every Thanksgiving Day ordained by a Governor was in honor of the bloody victory, thanking God that the battle had been won.”

Just 16 years after the Wampanoag shared that meal, they were massacred.

This was just one of the earliest episodes in which settlers and colonists did something horrible to the natives. There would be other massacres and many wars.

According to History.com, “From the time Europeans arrived on American shores, the frontier — the edge territory between white man’s civilization and the untamed natural world — became a shared space of vast, clashing differences that led the U.S. government to authorize over 1,500 wars, attacks and raids on Indians, the most of any country in the world against its indigenous people.”

And this says nothing of all the treaties brokered and then broken or all the grabbing of land removing populations, including the most famous removal of natives: the Trail of Tears. Beginning in 1831, tens of thousands of Native Americans were forced to relocate from their ancestral lands in the Southeast to lands west of the Mississippi River. Many died along the way.

I spent most of my life believing a gauzy, kindergarten version of Thanksgiving, thinking only of feasts and family, turkey and dressing.

I was blind, willfully ignorant, I suppose, to the bloodier side of the Thanksgiving story, to the more honest side of it.

But I’ve come to believe that is how America would have it if it had its druthers: We would be blissfully blind, living in a soft world bleached of hard truth. I can no longer abide that.


 

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Discussion Starter #211
Excellent documentary:

"Shelby American"

Just saw this on Netflix. Really enjoyed it and learned a lot.




You can download for $13.

 

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Discussion Starter #212
 

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Discussion Starter #213
Movie Recommendation:

"THEY SHALL NOT GROW OLD"


RT Critics Consensus 100%
RT AUDIENCE SCORE 91%

An impressive technical achievement with a walloping emotional impact, They Shall Not Grow Old pays brilliant cinematic tribute to the sacrifice of a generation.


Peter Jackson directs this homage to the British troops of the First World War with never-before-seen-footage of soldiers as they faced the fear and uncertainty of frontline battle in Belgium. Digitally remastered and now in color, the footage has been studied by lip reading experts whose transcripts were recorded and used as audio for the film. Overlayed by a narrative of those who partook in the war from interviews made in the 1960s and 1970s, this historic revisiting marks one hundred years since the end of the Great War.


Rating:R (for disturbing war images)

https://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/the...l_not_grow_old
 
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