Tag Archives: Microwave

More Useless Information, but Neat Stuff Nontheless

Microwave oven

Microwave oven (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Remember this when you write your next Oscar-winning screen play, something I’ll never do. I’ve got my hands full trying to finish the novels I’m silly enough to begin.

The majority of the time when I begin a novel, I start with a blank sheet of paper. I use no outline, take no notes, or in any way do preliminary work before I write the first word. I merely set in front of my blank sheet, with a loose idea and began to write. Many of my ideas come from out of the blue as I write. I guess you could say they’re not by design, but moreover by mistake. Why don’t we take a look at some of the products we use today that weren’t invented, as such, but brought to us by mistake, or even when the inventor was in search of something totally different.

How about Corning Ware? In 1957 a furnace malfunctioned allowing the temperature to rise from 600 to 900 degrees centigrade. Later the white colored glass was dropped and it didn’t break. What do you know. Overheat a furnace, drop a piece of glass and there you have it, casserole containers for life.

Good old Percy Spencer. While checking over radar equipment during World War II, he noticed a candy bar in his pocket had melted. This was caused by the magnetron he was inspecting. Testing  the equipment with popcorn among other foods and enjoying success, Percy developed a similar device that gave way to, you guessed it. The microwave oven.

Now this is one of my favorites!

There seems to be as many different inventors and as many different ways, concerning the discovery of plastic, as there are fingers on our hands and toes on our feet. I’ve come to the conclusion that it was more than likely an evolutionary process. However there are some accounts that appear more than once in this sorted list of plastic’eers.

The first being: Mr. tire himself, Charles Goodyear. He combined rubber and sulfur then accidentally placed them on a stove top. Upon his return he found the material to be strong and much more durable. This process eventually became known as vulcanization.

Secondly, and I’m putting this one in just because I like it. John Wesley Hyatt spilled a bottle of collodion. Collodion is a mixture of pyroxylin (a.k.a. guncotton) ether and alcohol. Once the syrupy material hardened it became strong, flexible and on its way to being the first commercially viable plastic. No doubt plastic was a monumental discovery. We use it in practically everything. Just the weight factor alone in the products in which it is incorporated makes it an invaluable resource . Just imagine, without plastic we would lose the need to bemoan all those plastic bottles covered up in landfills.

But what really gets me about this story, is the fact that one human being had the stones to carry around a bottle full of, what amounted to a lit stick of dynamite.John Wesley

After taking his dog for a walk, George De Mestral notice how well cockle burrs clung to the animals fur. Upon closer examination he noticed a series of hooks in the cockle burrs that could attach and hold firmly to his animals fur and to the loops on the material in his clothing. After testing with different shapes, sizes and materials in 1955 it was proclaimed Velcro.

Gosh! Ain’t we haven’t fun? Hold on tight. We’re going to finish with a biggie. (Pun intended)

Researchers at Pfizer were working on a new drug aimed at helping high blood pressure and a heart condition known as angina. When clinical trials begin, the drug did not work as well as expected, however when checking into the side effects they made a most unusual discovery. It was into this side effect the researchers decided to devote their attention, giving us that little blue pill, loved by millions all over the world. Viva Viagra!

Now if I could only make my novels as successful as that tiny blue progeny I could….Well you know.

3 Comments

Filed under On writing

Rush: A Great Rock Band, but Not a Way to Live

A typical speed limit sign in the United State...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Have you ever paid attention to how fast the world moves?  If not, step back and take a gander. If you see what I’m seeing, then tell me why we’re in such a hurry.

No sooner did I hear that once you exceed 60 mph your gas mileage suffers that the speed limit bounced up to 70 mph.  It seems to me that we are cutting our own throats to get somewhere a little quicker when all we had to do was leave a little earlier.  Of course, driving slower seems to upset those who would rather leave later, resulting in a rise in road rage. This whole scenario leads to a conundrum that could be avoided if we all just went the equine route. But then again there’s all that methane, the global warming thing…let’s skip that and move on. Quickly now, don’t dawdle.

Where would we be without the microwave?

Probably better off. We would have avoided all the processed, pre-packaged containers that slide into the magnetron so easily. The biggest disadvantage I find with the microwave is the way it cooks meat. Yes, it admittedly cooks it jet fast (which is what this blog is about), but the downside is that it’s nearly inedible. Yet we still use the microwave on a daily basis, sacrificing taste for convenience.

Take something as simple as a picture.  Nowadays we press a button on a digital camera, pick out the pictures we like, print them off and viola! You have photos ready for your album in a matter of minutes.  Now I’m not old, but I do remember snatching up my 35mm, snapping up a reel of 24 photos, rewinding the reel, removing it from the camera, placing it in a paper bag, filing out all of the pertinent information and tossing it in the mail. In a week, I may have prints to look at, that is if something didn’t go wrong during my picture taking session or in the developing process. If something by chance did go awry, I would end up with a package full of blank 4×6 index cards. They don’t exactly support that warm and fuzzy feeling of instant gratification we expect nowadays, does it?

Let’s all just slow down and take a deep breath. Relax.

Why not get a big glass of freshly squeezed lemonade and come over next Sunday? Sit on the front porch, just sippin’ and enjoying the day (after church of course).

I’m honestly thinking about penning a novel with pen and paper!

…Nah. I don’t want to slow down that much.

Leave a comment

Filed under On writing

Just Tell Me Why!

Marin MTB

Marin MTB (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We have all heard, and in most cases used, catchy phrases and cliques.  We have also chuckled at the strange names we apply to everyday occurrences, such as parking on driveways and driving on parkways.

I would like to talk to you about actual objects that bother me insofar as to how and why they were created.  Let’s consider all of the preceding comments and questions to be rhetorical.

Let’s start with the only one we will discuss today that is not an actual thing that can be held or even seen.  I am speaking of the dream.  When we dream at night we simply call it….a dream.  When we have a bad dream at night we call it….a nightmare.

During the day when we lose ourselves staring off into space thinking of anything other than what we’re doing, we call it….daydreaming.  If we happen to take a nap during the daylight hours and dream we call it….a dream.  If we happen to take a nap and have a bad dream we still call it…. a dream.

I would suggest to you whatever happened (not that it ever existed) to the daymare?  Once again to quote a legend in his own time, “and that’s all I’ve got to say about that.”

Next comes the microwave door.   Why do they always open to the left?  I have two microwaves in my home.  The doors on each one open to the left and they are the most inconvenient things to load and unload due to having to walk around the door after it is opened.   Ditto on my last quote.

Now this one is going to somewhat throw you because there really isn’t another choice, at least when this substance was first conceived.  I’m talking about glass.  We build our homes with walls which are made of wood covered in more wood or masonry.  We put special locks and deadbolts on our doors for extra protection.   After all of these precautions to prevent unwanted entry, we cover our windows with a material that could be totally destroyed with a pebble.  Nowadays they do have laminated glass that you can’t beat through with a baseball bat, but most residences still use the brittle substance, that although lets the sunshine in, is subject to letting in unwanted nasties and things that go bump in the night or even the day.

Now for the crème de la crème.  What could possibly possess someone to design a girl’s bicycle with a downward sweeping top rail and then turn around and design a boy’s bicycle with a nut cracker bar where no bar should be.  If you’re a male and have ever come to a sudden stop on one of these deadly machines you know what I mean.

To conclude this post as I normally try to do (somehow tie it into writing) if you’re a male author and you like to ride bikes, wear a cup!  I find it’s much easier to write when I’m not in pain.

1 Comment

Filed under On writing

Wait for the Beep

Telecommunication-Antenna__36092

Telecommunication-Antenna__36092 (Photo credit: Public Domain Photos)

Consider the microwave. Consider the cell phone and the pager. While you’re at it, consider anything in your life that goes beep, buzz, blurp, zing, or plays a catchy little tune that you yourself have programmed it to play.

Do you panic when you discover that you’ve left your cell phone at home? “How will I make it through the day without my electronic communications device?” you say.

Do you find yourself wanting to put your fist through the door of your microwave after seventeen courses of beeps, reminding you that your coffee is getting cold?

Years before the electronic boom, cars, motorcycles, jackhammers, and the like were considered noise pollution. Now, everyone has a different sound exuding from their person at one time or the other. This not being bad enough, the problem is exacerbated by the multiple conversations heard anytime and anywhere.

Can you imagine if the signal from every radio, television, cell phone, pager, or transmitter were visible? What would it look like? Would we be able to see anything else, including each other? Would it be a solid hue or more like black and white ant-races on a broken TV?

And what really boggles the mind…. How do all these millions of signals, being sent simultaneously, get to their intended destination? On one hand, the technological age we have entered is amazing; on the other, annoying at best, disruptive at worst.

As far as attempting to draw a grand analogy between technology and writing, give your fingers a rest, stop texting, and call me.

Leave a comment

Filed under On writing