Category Archives: Informational

Burma, Liberia, and the United States

What do these three countries have in common?

Give up?

They’re the only three countries in the world who don’t use the metric system.  I knew that there weren’t that many countries that didn’t use the metric system, but I didn’t realize that it was only three.  Kind of makes us look a little egocentric, doesn’t it?

I also find it interesting that Liberia is on this short list.  But, it kind of makes sense given the origin of the country – founded by freed American slaves, system of government modeled after ours, and their capital – Monrovia – named after our fifth President James Monroe.   But you knew that, right?

Inspired by this post at I Love Charts.

An Interesting Statistic

So I’m watching the documentary Bigger Stronger Faster* which is a movie about steroids.  Pretty good so far.  Anyways, the movie starts talking about steroids in baseball – remember Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire, and Barry Bonds? I do.  After they hit all those home runs they were accused of taking steroids – which was pretty obvious when you simply looked at them.  After they were accused, they had to go in front of Congress.  The interesting statistic from the movie is that Congress held these debates about steroids for 8 days.  8 days was longer than they debated about health care, the levees that failed during Katrina, or ending the Iraq War.

Alloys. Also, I’m a nerd.

Maybe it’s because I’m kind of weird and nerdy, but today I was thinking about alloys.  I couldn’t quite remember what metals were used to make brass.  I was initially thinking it was copper and tin, but I was pretty sure that was bronze (speaking of which is bronze even used anymore? Like, for anything?).  So I Wikipedia’d it.  And yeah, Wikipedia is now a verb, just like Google.  Turns out it’s copper and zinc – who knew.

And because I was then more curious about alloys in general, I found this list of alloys on Wikipedia.  Now, there are tons of alloys out there, mainly ones I’ve never heard of, but there are quite a few common ones that I’m going to list as my own personal reference for when I think about alloys again.  And yes, I’m pretty sure that actually will happen at some point.

Brass – Copper, Zinc

Bronze – Copper, Tin, aluminum or another element

White Gold – Gold, Nickel, Palladium (I always wondered what white gold was)

Stainless Steel – Iron, Carbon, Chromium, Nickel

Tool Steel – Iron, Carbon, Tungsten or Manganese

Solder – Lead, Tin (I also always wondered what this actually was made of.  If I had to guess, it would have been these two metals)

Sterling Silver – Silver, Copper

Pewter – Tin, Lead, Copper (never knew what this was really)

Want To Donate Blood? – Don’t Be A Gay Dude

Am I the only one who didn’t know that if you’re gay male – or ever had a homosexual experience with another guy, even once – that you’re banned from donating blood for life?

I just read this article by Senator John Kerry, yeah the guy who lost in 2004 to Georgie, arguing for a repeal to the federal ban on gay man blood.

Via, I dunno. But that article is from Bay Windows.

Chile Earthquake Infographic

I just think this infograpahic of the Chile Earthquake is really cool.  The earthquake was rated an 8.8 on the Moment Magnitude Scale (MMS).  The MMS is the successor to the more commonly known Richter Scale.

It’s also worth comparing to the recent Haiti Earthquake, which was rated a 7 on the MMS.  People who aren’t nerds like me may not be aware that the MMS, and formerly the Ricter Scale, is a logarithmic scale, not a linear one.  What this means is that while the Haitian earthquake had about 50 megatons of energy, the Chilean earthquake had about 10,020 megatons of energy.  That’s roughly 500 times as much energy.

Infographic Via: Matt