All about rope

I found an interesting Web site that describes the kinds of rope, its history, and how it is made. Two-strand rope may have been invented more than 17,000 years ago. The Egyptians built tools for making rope. In the Middle Ages, “laid” or twisted rope used to be made in long sheds called “rope walks” up to 300 yards long, thus giving rise to the “cable length” of rope. Three-strand rope is “hawser-laid” or plain rope, while four-strand rope is “cable-laid.”

Ropes can be twisted or braided. A plaited rope is made of braided strands twisted together. Brait rope is a combination of braided and plaited.

A cable is made up of three or more ropes twisted together. A rope made for a special purpose is called a line. Read “Ropes” at Solar Navigator.

Tech support scam taken down

Tech support scam taken down

This might explain why I haven’t had any calls from these parasites lately: Tech support scams have been crushed by Canadian, Australian, and United States authorities. 

Which air temperature records are valid

Jeff Masters has a detailed analysis of heat records around the world: “Hottest air temperatures reported on Earth.”

Conclusion: Death Valley has the hottest verified records, but much of Africa is not monitored by properly sited instruments.

Did Star Trek really change us?

DVD cover

The other night, I watched William Shatner from Star Trek in a light documentary about how the show inspired (“invented”) 21st century technology.

He mentioned the all-knowing computer, the control walls in engineering, the compact “sick bay” and its diagnostic wonders, and, of course, the cell phone.

The most amusing part—and I wonder if it was deliberate—was that he referred to Silicon Valley as Silicone Valley.

P.S. You can order this as a DVD, which is reviewed here.

Remote marriage via Skype™

Mark Reed and Dante Walkup

A celebrant in Washington DC solemnized the marriage of two men in Texas, using the Skype video chat. While gay marriage is not legal in Texas, it is in DC, which apparently is all, since the celebrant has the authority to form a legal marriage. This neat use of technology was thought up by two law professors.

Through the power of Skype,™ a gay couple in Texas, where same-sex marriage isn’t legal, can be wed by an official in the District of Columbia, where it is. This exact situation played out earlier this week when Dallas residents Mark Reed and Dante Walkup were part of the world’s first digital gay wedding. “When we walked down the aisle, as soon as we reached the front, [Sheila Alexander-Reid, the marriage official] comes on the screen like The Wizard of Oz,” Mr. Reed told news site dallasvoice.com. The union was coordinated in part by The Legal E-Marriage Project, an initiative started by two law professors. They say Skype weddings can also be useful for couples who are separated by distance.

Read more at the Texas Voice, whence I ‘borrowed’ a smaller version of their picture.

“Laptops are weird”

The latest from xkcd:

Posted in humor, Web. Tags: , , . 1 Comment »

Printable batteries

Jack Ricchiuto writes about the new technology of printable batteries, which are useful when weight is an issue.

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