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A very nice article on the "woodstock of sustainable energy."

Para 4 fix. "Based on Hafemeister's calculations, this means that no furnace heating is needed to maintain an indoor temp of 68 F until the outside temperature hits 65 F. If the internal heat is doubled (more people and more electronics) and the total insulation is increased by a factor of five in a super-insulated house, then the furnace won't go on until it is 35 F outside."

I am a faithful reader. I LOVE your blog! First comment...yes, I know, I should comment more often. I promise I will!
Anyway- I've heard an analogy of matter going into a black hole compared to water going into a juice cup. If the water faucet is on FULL blast, most of the water doesn't actually get into the cup but gets ejected out of it instead. Matter going into a black hole is can't all go in at once into the singularity so much of it gets ejected back out as x-rays. I'm sure someone else has a more scientific explination, but I've found the above analogy helpful for my Physics and Astronomy students!

Jennifer, you may want to look into the work of Fiorella Terenzi, who turned radio emissions from a galaxy into sound on her album "Music From The Galaxies" released in 1991 (or thereabouts). Her website is (sadly outdated).

Hi Jennifer, I was born 60 kilometers from Sodankyla in Finland. I lived 20 years above the arctic circle and I have seen hundreds of northern lights. My brother thinks the northern lights really make some kind of sound, but I must say I have never heard. For more about northern lights, please check what I wrote in my blog

I really enjoy your writing. Very good! I just dugg your article:

A fabulous blog. I enjoyed it immensely. I have always thought of Black Holes as the Universe's recycling machines. The above analogy of a juicer inspired an evolution of my theory: What if Black Holes 'juice' matter? This might serve to recycle it and send it back out into the universe by separating it into energetic components, such as x-rays and/or magnetic waves.

I thought I recognized that URL for the Northern Lights - from Steve McGreavy's Lost & Found Sound segment. The link you posted doesn't work for me - here's the G2 Surestream link.

One of my favorite Lost & Found Sound pieces.

That links doesnt work for me either, but the other ones in these comments did - thanks guys!

And Jennifer - thanks for all the great posts, they keep me relaxed and entertained during my long work days!

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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.