What is Life?

ave you ever sat down and just started wondering about what might seem to be the most simplistic things, only to go into such complex detail that you begin to see that you know very little about something that a moment before seemed so basic? For instance, most people look at car tires and they think, bouncy things that let cars drive. When in reality there’s so much more to those tires. They’re complex dynamic systems that if not properly taken care of will tend to explode.
Yes, explode. If you’ve ever driven on I-95 and seen someone on the side of the road where it looks like there are tire shreds everywhere, this person most likely just suffered such an explosion due to overheating of the tire causing increase pressure when the tire itself was worn so thin that it could do nothing else.
But other things. For example, the potato peeler. Yes, the potato peeler. Another thing you might laugh and scoff at me for thinking that this is a complex device, but if you’ve ever had to peel a pototo with a parring knife or a spoon you’ll definitely agree with me. The physics behind the potato peeler are quite astonishing. Using just a simple knife to peel a potato, you generally have to exert pressure with your thumb to make sure that the blade moves forward the way that you would want it to travel in. If you’ve tried this, and you have strong hands like I do, and you’re really pushing as hard as you can, you end up squishing your thumb as it gives more leverage to the knife causing great pain.
So how does the potato peeler help us? Well, it has a slit that is a surrounded by two angled blades, with two sharp edges. These blades help to cut into the skin of the potato and scalp it. The more pressure you put on the potato peeler, the deeper you plunge the blades in, but the cool thing is that usually you don’t have to use quite as much effort or press your thumb against the back edge.
Yes, I’ll admit that this is quite an odd topic.
Sunglasses – they’re just tinted lens. Or so you think.
First off, yes, they’re tinted, but not just some coating painted on – though this is known to happen with Foakley’s that you might buy in NYC. Usually to get the coating done correctly the lens will be placed in a high pressure vacuum and the coating will be melted and evaporate onto the glass. This special coating though, as mentioned before, it’s not just paint. It keeps UV light out of your eyes… “Obviously that’s due to the color of the tint.” Wrong. The coating itself keeps the light out by blocking and reflecting the particles of light in the UV spectra from ever entering your eye. Then there’s polarization – pretty cool effect of rotating light through a lens until only the light you want coming through comes through…But enough physics lessons for today, more come tomorrow.
Look out for that potato peeler 😉


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