Saturday, August 2, 2014

10 Great inventions we don't pay a lot of attention to

We don't really think about these things, but they really are INCREDIBLE.  We live in an age of wonder and we really can't even see it.  There are things around us that we enjoy and use without thinking about all of the trouble and time that went into them.  These are a few things that might not be so obvious and others that might be.

10.  Mylar - Seems like mylar has been around forever.  Candy bars fall out of their wrappers (Wax coated paper before this invention. In fact, many wrappers use mylar because it doesn't stick.   Balloons that have shiny pictures on them and take weeks to go flat.  Mylar holds our electronics static free.  Mylar is all over the place and we should be glad for it!  If you ever get stuck on the moon, those reflective heat blankets saving your lives?  MYLAR!

9.  Utensils - Wait, like knives forks and spoons?  Yes.  Before we were mass producing our own place settings having your own set was kind of a big deal.  People used to carry their own around though usually the spoon wasn't included, you just drank your soup out of the cup like your mom told you not to.  Now we have the common utensils and just pull them out of a drawer.  We have special ones for special occasions.  Yet there was a time they weren't to be taken for granted.  Here is a tip.  take a set to work and keep them in a drawer.  INDISPENSABLE when the company buys lunch but furnishes those bits of plastic to eat it with.  You'll be the envy of all your co workers.

8.  Batteries -  What's the big deal right?  We always know what the big deal is when our car battery goes dead.  We certainly don't like it when our cellphone batteries go out.  We only really appreciate batteries when they are dead.  We do have an interesting habit with them.  When we think there is some power left in them, we put them in a drawer.  The only time they have a ghost of a chance of coming out in public is Christmas when you forgot to buy batteries for that one toy and then you load it up with the drawer batteries and it works for about 3 minutes.  Better than nothing I suppose.  Here is something interesting.  If you take a lantern battery and take it apart, you'll find a boatload of AAA batteries but I think it has to be the right lantern battery.

7.  Digital Sound - We go to the movies now and we are bathed in sounds both amazing and true.  We have near equal sound at home.  If you close your eyes in a theater and concentrate on the sound, you will immediately realize just how amazing it is.  Only a short time ago the best a movie had to offer was SENSURROUND.  They could have called it mega-bass because that's really what it was.  When I was a kid, I saw Rollercoaster in Sensurround.  Loud bass heavy stereo.  That was pretty much it.  loud enough to make your seat shake.  What was I thinking it was going to be?  Almost exactly I thought it was going to be D-Box.  It wasn't.

6.  Cloth - Woven fibers creating cloth are as old as humans.  An amazingly delicate process and yet all too common.  Cloth used to be hand woven and very labor intensive.  It was a big deal to have fine linen because it took a lot to make linen.  If you are a REAL crafty person you have your own loom and create your own custom cloth designs.  We don't pay attention to it because we are so very good at it we use it for all kinds of things.  Bandages, Duct Tape, Fiberglass and the same technology that gives us cloth gives us things like Kevlar with some different base materials.  CLOTH!  It's like a miracle made of strings.

5.  Lasers - I remember when I was a kid, Lasers were weapons fired from a pistol shaped device.  A light saber was sometimes mistakenly referred to as a Laser Sword.   Amplified light of single wavelength is used in so many technical applications it's staggering.  We use them as pointers and they make our digital sound we talked about earlier.  We use them for a lot of measuring applications.  The laser level assists builders in making sure the entire room is true by spinning around and creating a uniform line to use as a guide.  Here is something fun to try.  Take a laser pointer and point it across the room.  the longer the distance the better.  It looks like the point has gotten a bit bigger.  It hasn't.  If you have a friend hold the laser pointer and you go to the wall, you'll find the point to be pretty much the same size.  It's strange.

4.  Recycled Content - More and more we use recycled content.  We don't think about it much, but there it is in our containers and cartons.  When you separate your recyclables it appears you are actually helping out!  We don't think much about it other than that we separate certain things for recycling based on where we live.  When I was a kid, recycling meant turning an empty milk carton into a puppet.  We don't take for granted the recycling thing.  That's still kind of a hassle, but for some reason you feel like you might be doing something good if you do it.  It's when things are made out of recycled material that we don't care.

3.  Zippers - We just use these little marvels over and over and over and expect that they will last forever.  When a zipper breaks you try desperately to realign the teeth so it will work again.  Once in a while we are successful, but it's temporary at best.  When a zipper has lost it's zip, there is only one thing to do and that is scrap it or use safety pins.

2.  PVC - Like Mylar PVC is used increasingly in homes and underground. It doesn't oxidize and it rarely breaks (unless you are talking about sprinkler pipes seems like those need to be quite a bit thicker).  PVC is great for water, but it's also handy for making conduits for wires and even furniture!  Wanna go back to copper, lead, or Galvanized pipes?  I didn't think so.

1.  LED lights - These seemed to break onto the scene about the same time as lasers.  Before LED we used flashlights with regular light bulbs in them.  They tore through batteries like your uncle goes through butter-mints at a wedding reception.  Seems like you could never have flashlights last that long, in fact they made lantern batteries for more life, but now everything that makes a light seems to be made of LED.  They use much less electricity and they are very bright.  They aren't the same as yellow lights, but more and more they are in places you don't think about.  Traffic lights, Car indicator lights, and TV.

Well, clearly this well is drying up.  But just a bit of brackish water will probably show up in another 15

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