Posts Tagged ‘three mile island’
Two extraordinary repositories; two extraordinary new web visualization tools…
From The Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, the 3D Collection:
Date of Discovery: 1961
Discovered by: Hisashi Suzuki
Age: About 41,000 years old
Fossil Name: Amud
Location of Discovery: Wadi Amud, Israel
The purpose of this collection [of 3D fossils and artifacts] is to allow you to view your favorite objects from our David H. Koch Hall of Human Origins and to help you share your museum experience with your friends and family. Before our exhibit opened, the objects on display were either CT or laser scanned. The scanning process enabled Human Origins Progam staff to generate 3D models of each object that you can view, rotate, and interact with online. It may take a minute or two to load depending on your computer, but after it is loaded you will be able to move the 3D object around by holding down the left-click button and moving your mouse.
And from the Vatican, the Virtual Reality Tour of the Sistine Chapel:
A virtual tour of Michelangelo’s masterwork — move around the space and inspect from any angle, using your mouse– designed by the Augustinian computer scientists at Villanova University.
As we marvel at time, at space, and at the technology that aims to tame them, we might recall that it was on this date in 1979 that operators failed to notice that a relief valve was stuck open in the primary coolant system of Three Mile Island’s Unit 2 nuclear reactor following an unexpected shutdown. Consequently, enough coolant drained out of the system to allow the core to overheat and partially melt down– the worst commercial nuclear accident in American history.
182 years earlier, on this date in 1797, Nathaniel Briggs (of New Hampshire) patented the first “washing machine,” known as the Box Mangler– a heavy frame containing a large box filled with rocks, resting on a series of long wooden rollers. Washing was laid flat on a sheet and wound round one of the rollers, then two people pulled on levers to move the heavy box back and forth over the rollers. While it was expensive, heavy, difficult to operate, and even then, jammed often, its failures never led to the evacuation of major population centers.
The culinary curators at This is Why You’re Fat (“Where dreams become heart attacks”) have collected scores of calorie-laden, fat-laced dishes for the reader’s edification… if not, indeed, delectation. Consider, for example:
A quarter pound hot dog with cheddar cheese and bacon wrapped in a mixture of beef and sausage.
The Elvis Donut
Peanut butter glazed donut topped with bananas and bacon.
More such delicacies– indeed, enough calories to nourish a small city in Burkina Faso for a couple of months– here.
As we loosen our belts and wonder at too much of a good thing, we might recall that on this date in 1979 the worst accident in the history of the U.S. nuclear power industry began when a pressure valve in the Unit-2 reactor at the Three Mile Island nuclear power plant in Pennsylvania failed to close.