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Recent Posts

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1
And what did they do when in lockdown during the Black Death?

They didn't have the internet or video games to keep them sane.  So what did they do to pass the time of curfew and false imprisonment?

Can we learn anything from them?  Any ideas?
2
This burningly interesting question has lain in IA's vaults, sadly unanswered (but with over 2,200 inquisitive IAers looking in on it) since 2010!

So to celebrate the 10th anniversary of its life in solitary confinement, I hereby confer a long-awaited answer...

Tardis (or T.A.R.D.I.S) stands for Time And Relative Dimension in Space.  Clever acronym, eh?

A bit of a mouthful I think you'll agree, but very appropriate for a time-travelling machine with a relative dimension shift ie far bigger on the inside than the outside - and much more fitting than calling it Space Ship Police Phone Box.

Much more info on https://thedoctorwhosite.co.uk/tardis/
3
I knew that Geckos arboreal ability came from the hair on their feet but not the mechanics of the action.
the question suggested to me that a secretion was thought to be involved such as slug/snail slime.

Hence the statement, cheers for the heads up though; most informative.

 Gd_pst
4
Shock News!    Phew!  It passed us on Wednesday, February 19th!  That's 3 weeks ago!  Did anyone notice it on TV News?  Or in newspapers?

The British (and indeed the world's) News media didn't seem to care a toss - after the big hullabaloo weeks before the event, it turned out to be a non-event.

I mean, I didn't see a skyscraper-sized asteroid zooming by at 30,000 mph. 

Did you see the it blurring past? 

Did anyone?

Where is the asteroid now?   

Which is the next planet it will terrorise?
5
Miscellaneous / Re: Is it true the Queen owns a McDonald's franchise?
« Last post by P-Kasso2 on 29 February, 2020, 04:01:29 PM »
Well, is it?  Does the Queen own a McDonald's franchise?  I have it from a trusted mate that she does, but he can't give me any more than that.

For example, Where is this right royal McDonald's outlet?

Any takers?
6
Miscellaneous / Re: How does dry shampoo work? What's in it? Is it any good?
« Last post by P-Kasso2 on 29 February, 2020, 03:55:38 PM »
Looks like it is time I answered this myself!  After all, it has been lurking unanswered ever since I posted it in May.  That's not May last year but May the year before that!  (Note to Mods - Is this a new IA record?)

Anyway here goes...

"Dry shampoo works simply: the alcohol or starch in the product soaks up the excess oil and grease in your hair, giving it a cleaner, fresher appearance. Traditionally, shaking corn starch into hair has achieved the same effect, but most current products deliver the drying agents via an aerosol spray.

In addition to supporting the hair-care industry’s push to minimise the use of oil-stripping shampoos, there are some cases where dry shampoo is the preferable option. For example, if you’re travelling and a shower isn’t an option or if you’re hospitalised and unable to bathe, this type of product can help maintain your hair and scalp. But, only for a little while.

“Dry shampooing has its place, but no wet shampooing has no place,” (one expert says). “Your hair and scalp needs to be washed and rinsed intermittently to keep it clean. The scalp collects chemicals and pollutants both from the air and from cosmetic care products, and if you only use a dry shampoo, the cleansing is only minimal but it does freshen the hair by removing oils.”


Source - https://parade.com/710015/clevelandclinic/does-dry-shampoo-actually-clean-your-hair/

This website above, Parade.com, has quite a lot more to say on the subject of dry shampoos if you're interested.

7
While it may be a possibility, I would have thought they would have included limpets in any study.
Can't see where geckos would come into it.


Can't see where Geckos would come into it?  Really?  Have you never lived in the tropics Moonzero and watched in total fascination at the way Geckos run up your living room walls and zoom straight across your ceiling without once falling off or even stumbling?

It's incredible to watch.  Must be some kind of super superglue, right?

So maybe no wonder scientists and glue manufacturers are more than interested in Geckos sticky toes, eh?  Wrong!  The truth is that Geckos clinging to walls and ceilings has absolutely nothing to do with glue, super or otherwise.   

It's because Geckos have very hairy toes!  Microscopically hairy toes!

What's more, Geckos can even quickly turn the stickiness of their toes on and off, a new scientific study has found.

Gecko toes are well-studied by boffins, and their sticky toe properties have already  inspired some incredible new human technologies...such as stitch-free ways to seal wounds...and sticky handheld paddles that may help soldiers scale walls someday.  (Trust bliddy humans to exploit Geckos militarily!)

For the past decade, researchers have already been developing synthetic adhesives with nano-sized fibres designed to mimic Geckos' bristly little toes.

And new research on the subtleties of 'Gecko Adhesion' shows that nature is still outpacing scientists in the lab.  (For 7 more remarkable ways that studying Nature has already inspired important human inventions, just Google this following website...Biomimicry: 7 Technologies Inspired by Nature.)

If I haven't already bored you to death, and you are still reading this... As already mentioned, Geckos can stick to surfaces because their bulbous little toes are covered in hundreds of tiny microscopic hairs.  These are called setae

But there's more!  Each seta itself splits off into hundreds of even smaller bristles called spatulae.  Scientists already knew that the tufts of these tiny hairs get so close to the contours in walls and ceilings that the van der Waals force kicks in. 

Van de Who force?  The van der Waals force basically says that... This type of physical Gecko-toe bond happens when electrons from the Gecko's hairy toe molecules and electrons from the wall molecules interact with each other and create an electromagnetic attraction.

QED?

All this highly fascinating (?) stuff I gleaned from https://www.livescience.com/47307-how-geckos-stick-and-unstick-feet.html

But remember you heard it on AI first!
8
Technology / Re: Is there a way to estimate the number of Ubuntu users in the UK?
« Last post by P-Kasso2 on 29 February, 2020, 10:23:13 AM »
Sorry Cosmos.  All I could find out is that there are "millions of Ubuntu users  worldwide".  I guess the only surefire way to find out is for you to call Ubuntu yourself and ask them.

(For those who don't know, Ubuntu is the new standard secure enterprise Linux for servers, desktops, cloud, developers etc offering major advantages etc.)

Their Sales Office for the UK's telephone number is +44 203 656 5291.

Or you could write directly to Ubuntu's owners and ask them at...


Canonical Group Limited
5th Floor, Blue Fin Building
110 Southwark Street
SE1 0SU
London, United Kingdom

Main switchboard number: +44 20 7630 2400
Main fax number: +44 20 7630 2401

Helpful?  No I thought not mate, but it's the best I can do.
9
History / Re: Are any parts of the Magna Carta still law today?
« Last post by P-Kasso2 on 29 February, 2020, 09:36:41 AM »
I gave up waiting for an answer since November last year so I decided it was time  to answer this myself. 

It was easy.  I just cribbed this answer from the BBC's website...
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19761919

If you don't do anything else today, make sure you scroll down and read the third clause.  The main three clauses still law today are interesting but it is Number 3 that is the one we all desperately need and can be most thankful for.  The BBC website says...


"Only three of the 63 clauses in the Magna Carta are still in law. One defends the freedom and rights of the English Church.

Another relates to the privileges enjoyed by the City of London.

And the third - the most famous - is generally held to have established the right to trial by jury.

Below are the full translations of the relevant clauses from the 1215 copy of the Magna Carta held at the British Library.

1.   Clause 1: The liberties of the English Church
"First, that we have granted to God, and by this present charter have confirmed for us and our heirs in perpetuity, that the English Church shall be free, and shall have its rights undiminished, and its liberties unimpaired.

"That we wish this so to be observed, appears from the fact that of our own free will, before the outbreak of the present dispute between us and our barons, we granted and confirmed by charter the freedom of the Church's elections - a right reckoned to be of the greatest necessity and importance to it - and caused this to be confirmed by Pope Innocent III. This freedom we shall observe ourselves, and desire to be observed in good faith by our heirs in perpetuity.

"To all free men of our Kingdom we have also granted, for us and our heirs for ever, all the liberties written out below, to have and to keep for them and their heirs, of us and our heirs."

2.   Clause 13: The privileges of the City of London
"The city of London shall enjoy all its ancient liberties and free customs, both by land and by water. We also will and grant that all other cities, boroughs, towns, and ports shall enjoy all their liberties and free customs."

3.   Clauses 39 & 40: The right to trial by jury
"No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled, or deprived of his standing in any other way, nor will we proceed with force against him, or send others to do so, except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land.

"To no one will we sell, to no one deny or delay right or justice. No free man shall be seized or imprisoned, or stripped of his rights or possessions, or outlawed or exiled . nor will we proceed with force against him . except by the lawful judgement of his equals or by the law of the land. "
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Who cares about the other 60 clauses so long as we have that all-important third close enshrined in our human rights legislation?


10
As far as I know, I have never been overtaken on the M25 by a speeding dragonfly. Not once. Not ever.

But I have observed them many times cruising lazily at well below walking pace over our tranquil local Sussex ponds.

So my fellow IA-ers, answer me this if you will, ....

When a dragonfly suddenly decides to put one of its feet down hard on the gas pedal, can it really hit 60 mph? Or is this just a daffy rural myth?

Anyone got any clue?
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