Molten glass cools to become so gummy it can be cut with scissors.
Photo: Max Aguilera-Hellweg
Don Stookey knew he had botched the experiment. One day in 1952, the Corning Glass Works chemist placed a sample of photosensitive glass inside a furnace and set the temperature to 600 degrees Celsius. At some point during the run, a faulty controller let the temperature climb to 900 degrees C. Expecting a melted blob of glass and a ruined furnace, Stookey opened the door to discover that, weirdly, his lithium silicate had transformed into a milky white plate. When he tried to remove it, the sample slipped from the tongs and crashed to the floor. Instead of shattering, it bounced.
The future National Inventors Hall of Fame inductee didn’t know it, but he had just invented the first synthetic glass-ceramic, a material Corning would later dub Pyroceram. Lighter than aluminum, harder than high-carbon steel, and many times stronger than regular soda-lime glass, Pyroceram eventually found its way into everything from missile nose cones to chemistry labs. It could also be used in microwave ovens, and in 1959 Pyroceram debuted as a line of space-age serving dishes: Corningware.
The material was a boon to Corning’s fortunes, and soon the company launched Project Muscle, a massive R&D effort to explore other ways of strengthening glass. A breakthrough came when company scientists tweaked a recently developed method of reinforcing glass that involved dousing it in a bath of hot potassium salt. They discovered that adding aluminum oxide to a given glass composition before the dip would result in remarkable strength and durability. Scientists were soon hurling fortified tumblers off their nine-story facility and bombarding the glass, known internally as 0317, with frozen chickens. It could be bent and twisted to an extraordinary degree before fracturing, and it could withstand 100,000 pounds of pressure per square inch. (Normal glass can weather about 7,000.) In 1962 Corning began marketing the glass as Chemcor and thought it could work for products like phone booths, prison windows, and eyeglasses.
Yet while there was plenty of initial interest, sales were slow. Some companies did place small orders for products like safety eyeglasses. But these were recalled for fear of the potentially explosive way the glass could break. Chemcor seemed like it would make a good car windshield too, and while it did show up in a handful of Javelins, made by American Motors, most manufacturers weren’t convinced that paying more for the new muscle glass was worth it—especially when the laminated stuff they’d been using since the ’30s seemed to work fine.
Corning had invented an expensive upgrade nobody wanted. It didn’t help that crash tests found that “head deceleration was significantly higher” on the windshields—the Chemcor might remain intact, but human skulls would not.
After pitches to Ford Motors and other automakers failed, Project Muscle was shut down and Chemcor was shelved in 1971. It was a solution that would have to wait for the right problem to arise.
Much more to read HERE.
Yes, this post is about that crazy left-wing genocidal socialist bastard, Adolf Hitler.
There is a new game going around the interwebs. You open the Wikipedia home page and on the left you will see a link to Random Article. Click that link and you will be taken to a random page. At this point, you now have to click no more than 5 links to get to the Adolf Hitler page.
Go and get the skinny on this new game HERE.
From the Mid-Week Pictorial, this experimental “Zeppelin on wheels” (or Schienenzeppelin) arrived at a station in Hanover, Germany. It went into service in 1931 and that June set a railway speed record. Safety and reliability concerns prevented it from being mass-produced, however. It was dismantled in 1939. Photo: The New York Times
If you and your company get an ugly divorce, does your company get to keep the friends?
A controversial court ruling last week has shined a light on this made-in-the-digital age problem: Who owns Twitter followers, Facebook friends and LinkedIn connections when employers and employees part ways? With personal and professional lives mingled online as never before, a distinctly 21st Century fight is brewing over who owns your friendships.
A federal judge in Pennsylvania on Oct. 4 rejected a claim by Linda Eagle that her prior employee had illegally accessed her LinkedIn account after she left her company, Edcomm. Workers there changed Eagle’s password after her departure, preventing her from accessing critical contacts and, she claimed, damaged her ability to find new work.
But the judge dismissed most elements of her lawsuit, giving fuel to those who argue that social media groomed at work belongs to employers.
“The initial outcome of the case is very troubling,” said Bradley Shear, a Washington, D.C.,-area lawyer who specializes in social media. It opens the door for employers to claim ownership of any social account — even personal accounts — because Eagle’s account was created under her own name, he warned. “It demonstrates there’s a need for people to become much more educated about this.”
Other court rulings have hinted that courts might be inclined to see things the employer’s way. Earlier this year, a federal California court allowed a publication named PhoneDog to proceed with a lawsuit against former writer Noah Kravitz, who had amassed 17,000 Twitter followers while working there.
Read more HERE.
A giant eyeball that washed ashore in Pompano Beach, Fla. The softball-sized eyeball was reported to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Wednesday, and wildlife officers put the specimen on ice. It will be preserved and sent to the Fish and Wildlife Research Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., for analysis. “The primary suspect right now is that it would be a large fish,” she said. Among the possibilities are a swordfish, or a tuna, or some sort of deep-water fish species.
Photo credit: Carli Segelson / Fla. FWCC via AP
Mumbai, India is about to unveil a gorgeous new skyscraper to the world. Designed by Atkins Design Studio for W Hotel, the Namaste Tower aims to become a landmark structure, representing the burgeoning economic and cultural significance of India. The 62-story, 984-sq-ft tall building, which is currently under construction, will include a hotel, office and retail space.
The traditional Indian greeting of “Namaste,” where the hands are clasped together, is the inspiration for the design of the tower. In Sanskrit “Namaste” means “I bow to you.” It has a spiritual significance of negating one’s ego in the presence of another.
With this idea in mind, the two wings of the hotel are clasped together like hands greeting the city of Mumbai. This is meant to be the ultimate symbol of hospitality and welcome. In addition to all the great symbolism, the buildings exterior features intricate Mehndi patterns through the treatment of the skin.
[ Knife block designed by: Maarten Baas. ]
[ Must own one for my kitchen. ]
WITH A 6 INCH GOLD BLADE
The calculator has been around well before the electronics age, though before electronics, there had to be a whole lot of moving parts to get mechanical calculators to calculate correctly. That meant they were big mamma-jammas, but they were certainly works of art.
This is how a REAL leader acts:
Former President George W. Bush dances with Wounded Warrior Melissa Stockwell, the first female to ever lose a limb in combat. She was a participant in W’s 100 kilometer mountain bike ride and completed the entire ride.
RICHMOND, Va. — Mitt Romney criticized Vice President Biden on Friday for “directly contradicting the sworn testimony of State Department officials” during Thursday night’s vice presidential debate, picking up on GOP attacks leveled at the vice president in the hours since the exchange.
“He’s doubling down on denial and we need to understand exactly what happened as opposed to just having people brush this aside,” Romney told a crowd gathered outside an auto dealership in Richmond. “When the vice president of the United States directly contradicts the sworn testimony of State Department officials, American citizens have the right to know just what’s going on.”
Biden said that “we” were unaware of security concerns in Libya. On Friday, White House officials clarified Friday that the vice president was speaking for himself and President Obama. State Department officials, they said, had not passed on requests for more security.
Romney credited his running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.), for his debate performance, calling the lawmaker “thoughtful, respectful, steady, poised, the kind of person you want to turn to in a crisis.”
Referring to Biden later, Romney said: “The other candidate of course just attacked. The American people are looking for answers, not attacks.”
Romney’s decision to zero in on Biden’s comments regarding the attack last month at the U.S. consulate in Benghazi guarantees that Republicans will continue attempting to chip away at the Obama administration’s foreign policy record in the closing weeks of the campaign.