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The Light is Green




Everything is a function of scale.

One of the lessons they teach in elementary science is that things have a natural range of sizes or scale that work.  Fossil bones, cats, insects, trees, birds, all have certain strength to weight ratios, a Tiger isn't a Tabby under a magnifying glass.  This is true in nature, and true in technology too.  My favorite example was one that Dr. Richard Feynman recalled in one of his lectures.  He described a retired gentleman that built a model-cathedral out of matchsticks. He then posed the question as to what would happen if the model was scaled-up to the size of the actual cathedral...  ( Details omitted.  Conclusion, it doesn't work.)  Mass is proportional to the cube of the size, strength to the square, as size increases, mass increases faster than strength, eventually the thing fails under its own weight.


A cute beachball-like representation of the size of the sun.

(click for better view)

And a far more humbling view of a coronal mass ejection.  The CME is just hot gas, while the Earth (little blue speck) is make of sterner stuff; our magnetic field protects us from the plasma.

(click for better view)

Is this real US Postage???

We're not sure, but we like it anyway.






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Updated: 09/11/10 19:31