Saturday, 24 August 2013

By on August 24th, 2013 in science kits

09:04 – It was brought home again to me yesterday that different people use the same word to mean different things. The first time I remember particularly noticing this was when I worked summers during college on a road crew. We were using a high-lift (front-end loader) to fill a 10-ton dump truck with aggregate for road fill. These were chunks of rock that averaged bigger than your fist, and the foreman referred to them as “gravel”. I’d always thought of gravel as pea-size pieces, but as it turned out the foreman was using the word correctly.

One of the items I need for the AP chemistry kits I’m doing for the state virtual school distance-learning program was spec’d as “calcium carbonate (marble chips), 2 g vial”. I decided to provide a full 30 mL wide-mouth bottle because they’re much quicker to fill than a vial and the material is cheap, so I ordered 2.5 kilos of “marble chips” from one of my regular vendors. But those “chips” are actually what I’d call “chunks”, averaging maybe 3 cm. I’m not about to stand there with a sledge-hammer breaking rocks so I’ll just buy some smaller marble chips locally, which is what I should have done in the first place.

I also made up a batch of pH 7.0 buffer yesterday, for calibrating pH meters. A 100 mL bottle of this is another of the items I need for the virtual school order. This stuff is available commercially, but a small bottle typically costs $7 to $15. That’s because the commercial stuff is intended for calibrating high-end pH meters, those with accuracy of 0.01 pH or even 0.001 pH. It’s made with extreme precision and each batch is assayed to give precise pH values at various temperatures. The students will be using inexpensive pH meters with accuracy of 0.2 pH. I haven’t calibrated the batch I made up, but I’ll shoot for something in the pH 6.98 to 7.02 range at 21C.

18 Comments and discussion on "Saturday, 24 August 2013"

  1. Miles_Teg says:

    Ut oh!

    “…the United States mulls the options for possible military action.”

    Here we go again. Why can’t we just let these people slug it out? Both sides will hate us if we intervene, and both sides are our enemies.

  2. Miles_Teg says:

    “It was brought home again to me yesterday that different people use the same word to mean different things.”

    Tell me about it. I used the word “mick” at Jerry Coyne’s site a while back and got banned for it.

    In Australia “mick” is a general reference to a Roman Catholic, not necessarily an Irish person. The only person who ever used the term in my presence was my father, and he was half Irish. (His mother was 100% Irish Catholic, so he would hardly be using it pejoratively.)

    Well, apparently, in some parts of the world it is considered an offensive reference to Irish people, and some nark complained. Jerry demanded that I apologise for using a racial slur, and I didn’t (it wasn’t a slur where I learned English, so why should I) so I got banned. (Shrug)

  3. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Here we go again. Why can’t we just let these people slug it out? Both sides will hate us if we intervene, and both sides are our enemies.

    As I’ve said, I’m all in favor of military assistance for islamic states, delivered time-on-target.

  4. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Reminds me of when Tiger Woods used the word “spastic” or “spas” in Britain, referring to himself. They almost ran him out of Britain on a rail.

    And I’ll never forget a comment made by a Brit colleague. I asked him where another of our party had gotten to and he replied, “He’s in the men’s lav, sucking a fag.” I knew what he meant, but I suspect some of the others who heard the remark didn’t.

  5. Miles_Teg says:

    Nah, let them do it to themselves. Sunnis and Shiites are blowing each other up, so they are drawing hatred to themselves rather than us.

  6. Miles_Teg says:

    There’s a South Australian word “Minda”, for a mentally retarded person. (From Minda Home, a residence for mentally disabled.) Of course, when I was a kid in the Sixties, we called each other Minda, spastic, dago, wog and so on. As far as I know only South Aussies know the meaning of the word.

    Yeah, I remember you mentioning the Brit guy. What was his accent? I think you mentioned it years ago… 🙂

  7. OFD says:

    Wow. Banned from Jerry Coyne’s site. This is the same guy we’re talking about here, right, the guy who slams muslims relentlessly in front of a nice white background??? (does a good job, too). But bans a guy who says “mick.”

    Yes, our regime is still trying to decide WTF to do about Egypt and now they’re gonna stick their pencil dicks into the mess in Syria. Amazing. I favor Bob’s approach; get out of that whole region; quit sending them our money and weapons; and if they ever attack us again, vaporize the lot of them.

    74 and gorgeous again here today; time to hit the yahd.

  8. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    What do you call muslims murdering each other in Syria?

    A good start.

  9. CowboySlim says:

    “As I’ve said, I’m all in favor of military assistance for islamic states, delivered time-on-target.”

    I agree, and since there are no “good” guys, target all of them.

  10. CowboySlim says:

    Good thing that Jerry Coyne did not grow up in Chicago. All neighborhoods icknwere identified by the ethnic nicknames of the local populace. Lugen, anybody?
    Lithuanian, of course.

  11. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    My feeling about islam are summed up by the immortal words of Bluto:

    “What? Over? Did you say “over”? Nothing is over until we decide it is! Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor? Hell no!”

    I wasn’t around then, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t the Germans. Even so, we flattened their cities, slaughtered their civilians, and forced them into unconditional surrender. And then we eradicated Nazism. And that’s the approach we should have taken and still should be taking after islam attacked us.

    So, yeah, I’m actually in favor of sending cruise missiles their way–or ballistic missiles for that matter–as long as we don’t waste them. We need to target them to maximize both casualties and collateral damage. If it were me, I’d target mosques while services were going on.

  12. Don Armstrong says:

    “Mick”? Yes, certainly, Mick is a technical term for Irish (of which some of my ancestry). Members of the Roman Catholic faith are rock choppers, or if we wish to be nasty they’re arsies. Me, I was a press-stud, back in the halcyon days of my youth, with friends who were not only the above, but also methos, salvos, and see-ees. Even one girl I might have married (if her father didn’t crash his work vehicle into a large tree at about 60mph, with a lot of four-gallon cans of paint unsecured in the back) who was ess-dee-ay.

  13. OFD says:

    “…I’d target mosques while services were going on.”

    I’d go with surgical strikes on Saudi princes, madrassahs, imam HQ’s, obvious hadji targets, etc., just to make sure we got the right ones first. Then, offer to stop if they leave us alone and we leave them alone, i.e, get out of those countries and let Israel and Egypt sink or swim on their own. If not, or they breach it, we blow away Mecca and Medina during the annual hegira and all towns and cities over 50k. We have the capability so why not just get it over with once and for all. I’d be willing to give ordinary schmuck citizens a chance, but one screw-up and they go, too.

    But I’m also in favor of whatever type of surgical strikes are necessary to get rid of the top levels of most of our own regime and cut a really wide swath through the bureaucracy and then really start chopping hard at Leviathan, until it gets down to where Bob and me can work out the bare minimum; I think that’s fair.

    Revamped our fire pit; next up, the jumbo “cowboy” kettle/grill contraption. Tomorrow the mowing and weed-whacking. Also got a good idea of what else to chop out and replace with useful structures. Ongoing office build here; and a rainy day project will involve some nice firearms mods. Also scanner and sw antenna stuff.

  14. Stu Nicol says:

    “Revamped our fire pit; next up, the jumbo “cowboy” kettle/grill contraption. ….”

    OFD, this is what I use:

  15. dkreck says:

    Mclintocks. MMMMMMM…….Deep fried turkey nuts…

  16. Chuck W says:

    Mama Cass…er, uh Mariska Veres, lip-syncing Venus in Italy in 2002, a few years before her death. Wow, that Italian food sure must be good. No, wait—she lived her whole life in the Hague.

    Lest you forget how hot the diminutive Mariska once was:

  17. Chuck W says:

    Montage of shots of Mariska as a teenager with various groups she was in, leading up to Shocking Blue:

  18. brad says:

    Syria was all over the news here last night. The US contemplating military action, and being “certain” that the Syrian government is responsible for the chemical attacks. Meanwhile, pretty much everyone else is convinced this was a “false flag” operation, whereby the rebels gassed their own people, in order to keep themselves in the news and to get the West involved.

    The situation is directly reminiscent of Iraq and The Shrub. Only the US seemed to believe that Iraq had any real WMDs, so the US brought down Saddam and created another wonderful nest of Islamic extremists.

    Now that Iraq is winding down, apparently the military complex needs a new raison d’être, and Syria is elected. Wonderful…

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