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« FROM THE ARCHIVES: in perpetuity | Main | FROM THE ARCHIVES: out of sequence »

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How much of the stuff do we need to hairlift in? What about creating levee bangs?

I wondered why we haven't heard more about the "oil eating bacteria" since that sounds like such an elegant solution, the multiple "flavors" of oil is great explanation as to why it's not that simple. Still couldn't they release a "cocktail" of micro-oorganisms, and the appropriate one would feast and reproduce?

On the other hand, I read a scifi story ages ago called "Mutant 59: The Plastic Eaters" about bioengineered bacteria that were intended to eat a specific material, but then mutated to "eat" regular plastics and created havoc by destroying insulation on wires, etc. Planes crashing, power grids crippled, you get the picture.

Salons around the country are collecting hair (one example). There is really a shortage of stockings for stuffing the hair into, as very few people now wear them (and thus very few are produced). A group of transvestites from San Francisco are now trying to collect stockings for the project. This is 12 years old but explains how hair works.

Surely what we need is a set of big floating separation tanks ... pump or paddle the top layer of oily water into one tank until it's full, then start filling up tank 2 while the contents of tank 1 settle and separate, then you move the top few feet of oil and water from tank 1 to tank 3, dump the lower section of smelly but basically oil-free water back into the sea, and start filling up tank 1 again.

Couldn't we just modify an oil tanker?
With a whole set of tanks and pipes to play with, the process could run continuously. Use the existing dragged-boom system to scoop up and concentrate the oily water, then slurp it into the tank for processing. A couple of tugs attached to mile-long collector booms on either side, tension sensors in the booms, a GPS-coordinated engine control system ...

Thank you for sharing cool ideas about oil spill clean up.

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    Physics Cocktails

    • Heavy G
      The perfect pick-me-up when gravity gets you down.
      2 oz Tequila
      2 oz Triple sec
      2 oz Rose's sweetened lime juice
      7-Up or Sprite
      Mix tequila, triple sec and lime juice in a shaker and pour into a margarita glass. (Salted rim and ice are optional.) Top off with 7-Up/Sprite and let the weight of the world lift off your shoulders.
    • Listening to the Drums of Feynman
      The perfect nightcap after a long day struggling with QED equations.
      1 oz dark rum
      1/2 oz light rum
      1 oz Tia Maria
      2 oz light cream
      Crushed ice
      1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
      In a shaker half-filled with ice, combine the dark and light rum, Tia Maria, and cream. Shake well. Strain into an old fashioned glass almost filled with crushed ice. Dust with the nutmeg, and serve. Bongos optional.
    • Combustible Edison
      Electrify your friends with amazing pyrotechnics!
      2 oz brandy
      1 oz Campari
      1 oz fresh lemon juice
      Combine Campari and lemon juice in shaker filled with cracked ice. Shake and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Heat brandy in chafing dish, then ignite and pour into glass. Cocktail Go BOOM! Plus, Fire = Pretty!
    • Hiroshima Bomber
      Dr. Strangelove's drink of choice.
      3/4 Triple sec
      1/4 oz Bailey's Irish Cream
      2-3 drops Grenadine
      Fill shot glass 3/4 with Triple Sec. Layer Bailey's on top. Drop Grenadine in center of shot; it should billow up like a mushroom cloud. Remember to "duck and cover."
    • Mad Scientist
      Any mad scientist will tell you that flames make drinking more fun. What good is science if no one gets hurt?
      1 oz Midori melon liqueur
      1-1/2 oz sour mix
      1 splash soda water
      151 proof rum
      Mix melon liqueur, sour mix and soda water with ice in shaker. Shake and strain into martini glass. Top with rum and ignite. Try to take over the world.
    • Laser Beam
      Warning: may result in amplified stimulated emission.
      1 oz Southern Comfort
      1/2 oz Amaretto
      1/2 oz sloe gin
      1/2 oz vodka
      1/2 oz Triple sec
      7 oz orange juice
      Combine all liquor in a full glass of ice. Shake well. Garnish with orange and cherry. Serve to attractive target of choice.
    • Quantum Theory
      Guaranteed to collapse your wave function:
      3/4 oz Rum
      1/2 oz Strega
      1/4 oz Grand Marnier
      2 oz Pineapple juice
      Fill with Sweet and sour
      Pour rum, strega and Grand Marnier into a collins glass. Add pineapple and fill with sweet and sour. Sip until all the day's super-positioned states disappear.
    • The Black Hole
      So called because after one of these, you have already passed the event horizon of inebriation.
      1 oz. Kahlua
      1 oz. vodka
      .5 oz. Cointreau or Triple Sec
      .5 oz. dark rum
      .5 oz. Amaretto
      Pour into an old-fashioned glass over (scant) ice. Stir gently. Watch time slow.