Automaker's bailout

These are two ideas that the automakers can implement in order to get back on their feet.  

Have you ever held on to a favorite car or purchased a used one only to discover that the car has or is developing electrical problems? Sometimes the problem is so darn exasperating that you would rather give up the car.

Today, with integrated circuits so inexpensive, it is possible to create a car electrical control network. Here's how it will work: There is routed thoughout the car a single wire. That wire--we'll call it the Grid-- will carry positive current AND a signal that piggy-backs on it (this technology already exists--it's used to control household appliances from your computer). Every device in the car (starter, radio, window motor, car seat motor, lights, etc.) connects to an individualized module that is attached to the Grid. The module only supplies the device with power if the module receives a signal from the grid. Input devices also attach to modules that attach to the Grid and these place the necessary signal on the grid.

The signal consists of 2 or more parts: an identifier section that might say, "the next command is intended for the passenger side window motor," and the actual command section that might say, "Open the window slightly."

This new wiring paradigm will practically eliminate present day wiring problems and aid immensely in troubleshooting any problems that do arise.

The second idea I have is to build a chassis that will last for several generations (think BMW, Rolls Royce). The automobile companies continue to make money by selling people a shell to go on top of the sturdy chassis. People would be able to buy a pick-up shell, a sedan shell, or any custom built shell that they might want. They could more readily keep up with the Joneses because they are only buying a shell to put on their chassis. This saves on steel. Also the electronic components can be easily salvaged from the shell and re-used. Initially, the car companies would build a chassis with an internal combustion engine but, later, people would be able to upgrade to hydrogen or other sources.

I think it is a win-win situation for the car companies, the people, and the environment.

​There are two kinds of failure – but only one is honorable

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Why are so many objects in space shaped like discs?

It's one of the most consistent patterns in the unviverse. What causes it?

  • Spinning discs are everywhere – just look at our solar system, the rings of Saturn, and all the spiral galaxies in the universe.
  • Spinning discs are the result of two things: The force of gravity and a phenomenon in physics called the conservation of angular momentum.
  • Gravity brings matter together; the closer the matter gets, the more it accelerates – much like an ice skater who spins faster and faster the closer their arms get to their body. Then, this spinning cloud collapses due to up and down and diagonal collisions that cancel each other out until the only motion they have in common is the spin – and voila: A flat disc.

Scientists study tattooed corpses, find pigment in lymph nodes

It turns out, that tattoo ink can travel throughout your body and settle in lymph nodes.

17th August 1973: An American tattoo artist working on a client's shoulder. (Photo by F. Roy Kemp/BIPs/Getty Images)

In the slightly macabre experiment to find out where tattoo ink travels to in the body, French and German researchers recently used synchrotron X-ray fluorescence in four "inked" human cadavers — as well as one without. The results of their 2017 study? Some of the tattoo ink apparently settled in lymph nodes.

Image from the study.

As the authors explain in the study — they hail from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment — it would have been unethical to test this on live animals since those creatures would not be able to give permission to be tattooed.

Because of the prevalence of tattoos these days, the researchers wanted to find out if the ink could be harmful in some way.

"The increasing prevalence of tattoos provoked safety concerns with respect to particle distribution and effects inside the human body," they write.

It works like this: Since lymph nodes filter lymph, which is the fluid that carries white blood cells throughout the body in an effort to fight infections that are encountered, that is where some of the ink particles collect.

Image by authors of the study.

Titanium dioxide appears to be the thing that travels. It's a white tattoo ink pigment that's mixed with other colors all the time to control shades.

The study's authors will keep working on this in the meantime.

“In future experiments we will also look into the pigment and heavy metal burden of other, more distant internal organs and tissues in order to track any possible bio-distribution of tattoo ink ingredients throughout the body. The outcome of these investigations not only will be helpful in the assessment of the health risks associated with tattooing but also in the judgment of other exposures such as, e.g., the entrance of TiO2 nanoparticles present in cosmetics at the site of damaged skin."

Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
Mind & Brain

Do human beings have a magnetic sense? Biologists know other animals do. They think it helps creatures including bees, turtles and birds navigate through the world.

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