Perspiration Pals 19 August 2022 πŸ‘½πŸ’‚πŸ»β€β™‚οΈπŸ’…πŸ½πŸ§‘πŸΌβ€πŸš’ πŸ₯•

Hello my cute little potato pancakes with a dollop of sour cream and a side of apple sauce! It's Friday, which means you're stuck with me again. I'm terribly sorry. But please, tell me how you are! How is your day, how was your day, how will your day be? My day, I want pizza. All I can think about is pizza. Pizza pizza pizza. And not chicken crust pizza either. And if it's not pizza then I want mac and cheese. Or a burger. With a lot of fries. I don't usually crave these things but I guess this is the revenge of the low carb migraine diet making its appearance. I have plenty of healthy food in the fridge, but getting pizza seems like a real matter of urgency. The place on the corner does a good coeliac friendly one.

What's on your menu today? Is it pizza? What about the exercise menu? I feel like I would like some exercise, but I can't decide what. It's a nice day, so I think I should go for a run. Although the forecast, which earlier claimed it was sunny, now says today is pouring down rain. I can see blue sky out my window, but I can also see grey sky out my other window. So if I'm going to go for a run I should probably hurry up and decide to do that.

Anyway, it is National Science Week here. I'm not totally sure what that means, but I think it means there are some events on, particularly in schools and museums and things, and in any case I saw in the news that it is National Science Week and to please vote for your favourite tree. Last year, New Zealand's Bird of the Year competition was won by a bat. That's a true story. You know what else is a true story, is that bats are the only native mammals in New Zealand, and there are only 3 species of them there. Which is 3 more than the number of snakes there. That's right, NZ is snake-free.

But I don't live in NZ, and the theme of National Science Week for schools is, apparently, glass. So I was going to ask you why is glass transparent, but I didn't actually know why glass is transparent, and I spent a fair bit of time trying to look up the answer and I still don't understand it. Glass is made out of quartz sand, which is itself made of silica dioxide. When you get it really super hot it melts, and the molecules lose their crystalline structure and form this amorphous structure that is glass. When it cools, they never reform the crystals, and it turns into a solid that is brittle but also flows (very slowly) like a liquid. Which is why in older houses, like the one I grew up in, the windows are all wonky. So why is it transparent? The answer is that because the electrons of the amorphous silica dioxide are too far apart to be excited when a photon passes through, so they pass through the glass and allow transparency. I think I have a vague understanding of what that means but definitely nothing more, so I'll give you a different and unrelated question.

I read today that a new physics laboratory to study dark matter has opened up in an old gold mine in my state. The reason these sorts of labs need to be deep underground is to protect the equipment from cosmic rays and radiation that we are normally exposed to, but make it impossible to conduct their experiments. However, one thing you are not allowed to bring into the mine/lab is a banana. Why?

Or if you'd prefer, just tell me your favourite tree. Mine is the Western Hemlock. So elegant. And also toxic. But that wasn't on the Tree of the Year poll, presumably because we don't have them in this country. I think I voted for Mountain Ash. A nice, stately specimen.

All right folks, I'd better stop trying to figure out why glass is transparent and put my running shoes on. Have a tolerable day everyone.

Edited