(Roughly) Daily

Posts Tagged ‘stones

“There are no sermons in stones. It is easier to get a spark out of a stone than a moral.”*…

 

In 1880 the Census Office and the National Museum in Washington, D.C. conducted a study of building stones of the United States and collected a set of reference specimens from working quarries. This collection was first displayed at the centennial exposition in Philadelphia in 1876 and was subsequently known as the Centennial Collection of U.S. Building Stones. Descriptions of producing quarries and commercial building uses in construction across the country were compiled for the report of the 10th Census of the United States in 1880. This collection of stones, augmented with building stones from other countries, was then placed on display in the Smithsonian Institution.

In 1942, a committee was appointed to consider whether any worthwhile use could be made of the collection. It was decided that a study of actual weathering on such a great variety of stone would give valuable information… In 1948, a test wall was constructed at the NBS [National Bureau of Standards, now the National Institute of Standards and Technology] site in Washington D.C…

And it stands to this day.  Visit– and learn about any stone you like– at NIST’s Stone Test Wall.

* John Burroughs

###

As we take up the trowel, we might send sanitary birthday greetings to Thomas Crapper; he was baptized on this date in 1836 (his birthdate is unknown).  Crapper popularized the one-piece pedestal flushing toilet that still bears his name in many parts of the English-speaking world.

The flushing toilet was invented by John Harrington in 1596; Joseph Bramah patented the first practical water closet in England in 1778; then in 1852, George Jennings received a patent for the flush-out toilet.  Crapper’s  contribution was promotional (though he did develop some important related inventions, such as the ballcock): in a time when bathroom fixtures were barely mentionable, Crapper, who was trained as a plumber, set himself up as a “sanitary engineer”; he heavily promoted “sanitary” plumbing and pioneered the concept of the bathroom fittings showroom.  His efforts were hugely successful; he scored a series of Royal Warrants (providing lavatories for Prince, then King Edward, and for George V) and enjoyed huge commercial success. To this day, manhole covers with Crapper’s company’s name on them in Westminster Abbey are among London’s minor tourist attractions.

 source

 

Written by LW

September 28, 2017 at 1:01 am

Sinking like a stone– that’s to say, complicatedly…

source

From our friends at Slashdot:

Researchers in Spain and the Netherlands add another piece to a centuries-old puzzle in physics: the dynamics of an object falling into water. This common occurrence has a complex anatomy that includes a thin ‘crown splash’ around the perimeter of the impact, a deep cavity of air following the impactor, and a high, narrow jet of water that results from the collapse of the cavity. The new research, recently published in Physical Review Letters, demonstrates that airflow through the neck of the collapsing cavity reaches supersonic speeds despite low relative pressures between the air in the cavity and ambient pressure. Such an effect has no analogue in aerospace engineering or other sciences because of the highly dynamic nature of the collapsing nozzle structure.

Note the all-too-current example of confusion in media business models:  PRL (second link above) charges $25 to download what can be had on arXiv (first link) gratis…

As we reach for just the right flat smooth one, we might pause to offer birthday wishes to one who was not unacquainted himself with large bodies of water:  poet, iconic bad boy (and, as readers will recall,  father of the redoubtable Ada Lovelace) George Gordon, Lord Byron; he was was born on this date in 1788.  Byron once famously suggested that “If I don’t write to empty my mind, I go mad.”  Still, history suggests, even then…

George Gordon Byron, 6th Baron Byron


%d bloggers like this: