Sunday, 27 July 2014

Memory Secrets

I have finally found the secret to retaining a good memory.  All I need is a major transplant to insert a few pieces of wire into my brain. It should be quite easy to do.
Have a look at the attached videos which show the amazing properties of the metal alloy NITINOL, which is an alloy of Nickel and Titanium.  Just copy this link and paste it into the command line of your browser.
And also an example of a small Nitinol engine that runs on hot water. (just the thing I need for my bike)

Saturday, 26 July 2014

Pilot Sam

A Red letter day today - Sam had his first official flight from Clifton to Stanthorpe.
For the computer Gurus out there - this image contains a secret message. Maybe you can figure out how to unpack it???

Friday, 25 July 2014

The Grain Silo

I came across an interesting problem this week, which will definitely confound my maths class at U3A.
The problem involved a massive stockpile of grain (wheat) in a 60 meter diameter cone shaped stockpile. It is easy to calculate the volume and hence the tonnage, but the real tricky bit is to calculate the maximum amount that can be extracted from a single outlet located 3.3 meters inside the perimeter wall.  This means that I have to calculate the difference in volume between 2 intersecting non-concentric cones.
The following diagram shows the situation, and I invite anyone to give me the formula because I am completely stumped.

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

The French Alps

Last Sunday the Tour de France stage 14 traversed 2 major passes in the French Alps, and this revived my memory of a certain day on 14th October 1998, when I drove over part of that route. We stopped at the summit of the Col du Lautaret at 2020m altitude. Last week it was crowded with thousands of spectators and parked cars lining the road as the 171 riders made their way over the pass to continue down to the next major peak.  But on that day many years ago, we enjoyed a peaceful few minutes in that spectacular location with the feeling that we were on top of the world.