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Posts Tagged ‘Charles Macintosh

“They swore by concrete. They built for eternity.”*…

 

These are interesting times for the concrete industry. After the misery of the 2008 financial crisis, construction in America is back in rude health, albeit patchily. Texas, California, and Colorado are all “very hot,” attendees say, as places where new hotels and homes and offices are being built. Demand is so high in these states that concrete-pump manufacturers are apparently having trouble filling orders. Employees worry that with baby boomers retiring, there isn’t the skilled labor force in place to do the work.

But America’s public infrastructure is still a mess—rusting rebars and cracked freeways stand as miserable testaments to a lack of net investment. It’s a complex and cross-party problem, as James Surowiecki has described in The New Yorker. Republicans have shied away from big-government investment– though of course Trump paved his pathway to the White House with pledges to build roads, hospitals, and, of course, a “great great wall”– and the increasing need to get the nod from different government bodies makes it hard to pass policy. For politicians keen on publicity, grand plans for big new things are exciting. But the subsequent decades of maintenance are thankless and dull…

Georgina Voss reports from World of Concrete, the concrete and masonry industry’s massive trade gathering—a five-day show that attacts more than 60,000 attendees.

How the construction business and the politics of the moment are mixed for the pour: “Welcome to the SXSW of Concrete.”

Pair with this piece on the state of dams in the U.S.

* Günter Grass

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As we wait for it to set, we might recall that it was on this date in 1845 that a method for manufacturing elastic (rubber) bands was patented in Britain by Stephen Perry and and Thomas Barnabas Daft of London (G.B. No. 13880/1845).

In the early 19th century, sailors had brought home items made by Central and South American natives from the sap of rubber trees, including footwear, garments and bottles.  Around 1820, a Londoner named Thomas Hancock sliced up one of the bottles to create garters and waistbands. By 1843, he had secured patent rights from Charles Macintosh for vulcanized india rubber.  (Vulcanization made rubber stable and retain its elasticity.)  Stephen Perry, owner of Messrs Perry and Co,. patented the use of india rubber for use as springs in bands, belts, etc., and (with Daft) also the manufacture of elastic bands by slicing suitable sizes of vulcanized india rubber tube.  The bands were lightly scented to mask the smell of the treated rubber.

 source

 

Written by LW

March 17, 2017 at 1:01 am

“Cura te ipsum”*…

 

Americans are increasingly sorting themselves by political affiliation into friendships, even into neighborhoods. Something similar seems to be happening with doctors and their various specialties.

New data show that, in certain medical fields, large majorities of physicians tend to share the political leanings of their colleagues, and a study suggests ideology could affect some treatment recommendations. In surgery, anesthesiology and urology, for example, around two-thirds of doctors who have registered a political affiliation are Republicans. In infectious disease medicine, psychiatry and pediatrics, more than two-thirds are Democrats.

The conclusions are drawn from data compiled by researchers at Yale. They joined two large public data sets, one listing every doctor in the United States and another containing the party registration of every voter in 29 states…

It would be tempting to conclude that it’s all about the Benjamins…  and data does support that:

But age and gender play roles too.  One can examine for oneself at “Your Surgeon Is Probably a Republican, Your Psychiatrist Probably a Democrat.”

* (Physician) heal thyself, from the Vulgate, Luke 4:23

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As we turn our heads and cough, we might recall that it was on this date in 1823 that Scottish chemist and waterproof fabric pioneer Charles Macintosh sold the first “raincoat.”

source

Written by LW

October 12, 2016 at 1:01 am

“Just a drink, a Martini, shaken not stirred”*…

 

ABSTRACT

Background
Moderate consumption of alcoholic drinks seems to reduce the risks of developing cardiovascular disease, stroke, and cataracts, perhaps through antioxidant actions of their alcohol, flavonoid, or polyphenol contents. “Shaken, not stirred” routinely identifies the way the famous secret agent James Bond requires his martinis.

Objectives
As Mr Bond is not afflicted by cataracts or cardiovascular disease, an investigation was conducted to determine whether the mode of preparing martinis has an influence on their antioxidant capacity.

Design
Stirred and shaken martinis were assayed for their ability to quench luminescence by a luminescent procedure in which hydrogen peroxide reacts with luminol bound to albumin. Student’s t test was used for statistical analysis.

Results
Shaken martinis were more effective in deactivating hydrogen peroxide than the stirred variety, and both were more effective than gin or vermouth alone (0.072% of peroxide control for shaken martini, 0.157% for stirred v 58.3% for gin and 1.90% for vermouth). The reason for this is not clear, but it may well not involve the facile oxidation of reactive martini components: control martinis through which either oxygen or nitrogen was bubbled did not differ in their ability to deactivate hydrogen peroxide (0.061% v 0.057%) and did not differ from the shaken martini. Moreover, preliminary experiments indicate that martinis are less well endowed with polyphenols than Sauvignon white wine or Scotch whisky (0.056 mmol/l (catechin equivalents) shaken, 0.060 mmol/l stirred v 0.592 mmol/l wine, 0.575 mmol/l whisky).

Conclusions
007’s profound state of health may be due, at least in part, to compliant bartenders.

Read the full version of “Shaken, not stirred: bioanalytical study of the antioxidant activities of martinis,” from the British Medical Journal, on NIH’s Pubmed.

* Goldfinger

 

As we decide nonetheless to emulate Luis Bunuel, we might recall that it was on this date in 1823 that Scottish chemist and waterproof fabric pioneer Charles Macintosh sold the first “raincoat.”

source

 

Written by LW

October 12, 2011 at 1:01 am

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