“A little thrill in learning”
It’s the fun surprises you find on the Interwebs:
- The big switchoff
- Most people don’t think much about what’s inside a switch. If you take one apart, you’ll see some kind of spring-loaded contacts, usually copper. The plastic body hides a small spark that happens every time you throw the switch. Then there are self-operating switches; circuit breakers that switch off automatically when the load exceeds a preset number of amps, say ten or twenty.
But what if the breaker has to break a circuit carrying a thousand or two thousand amps, and maybe ramp up the voltage to, say, 35,000 volts? Then there’s the possibility of very rapid erosion or even explosive vaporization of the contacts. Cajun published a picture of one such breaker switch and I asked him “How does that thing work?” His response was a fascinating post ‘You ask, we answer’. Be sure to click through to the original post with the pictures too. (Some innovative broom repair techniques thrown in at no extra charge) If you’ve ever stood looking through the fence at a power substation and tried to dope out how it all works you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.
- That thing you have seen all your life and always wondered about
- Les at Stupid Evil Bastard says; “I always get a little thrill from learning the history of things like the Giant Tire. It’s been there my entire life and I never fail to think about it whenever I drive past it, but only after 40 years have I ever been in a spot to learn about it.”
Yes, a giant tire! And by ‘giant’, I mean big enough to hold a ferris wheel inside. See his post; So that’s what the Uniroyal giant tire once looked like!
It’s my contention that what’s missing from our politically-correct, NCLB-driven schools today is pretty much any possibility at all of ‘a little thrill in learning’. It happens, but good teachers have to wedge it into the cracks where they can. Yesterday morning I was surprised by an article about math education and I’m still turning it over in my head. Will post about it tomorrow morning after breakfast.
What kind of things do you look at in everyday life, and wonder about?