Wednesday, 27 April 2005

Miscellanea of the Week

Under the category "Interesting URLs".

Test the Readability of your website. Tracks the Gunning Fog Index that everyone's aware of, plus a few other metrics that are new to me.
Fog Index Resources
6TV guides, The Bible, Mark Twain
8Reader's Digest
8 - 10Most popular novels
10Time, Newsweek
11Wall Street Journal
14The Times, The Guardian
15 - 20Academic papers
Over 20Only government sites can get away with this, because you can't ignore them.
Over 30The government is covering something up
BTW this blog scores 9.17 for Gunning-Fog, 70.44 for Flesch, and 6.02 for Flesch-Kincaid, indicating it should be understandable by all High School students, and many just finishing the 6th grade.

The Real Story behind Apollo 13.
Legler had been present for the Apollo 10 simulation when the lunar module was suddenly in demand as a lifeboat. While some lifeboat procedures had already been worked out for earlier missions, none addressed having to use the lunar module as a lifeboat with a damaged command module attached. Although Legler called in reinforcements from among the other lunar module flight controllers, they were unable to get the spacecraft powered up in time, and the Apollo 10 simulation had finished with a dead crew.

"Many people had discussed the use of the LM as lifeboat, but we found out in this sim," that exactly how to do it couldn't be worked out in real time, Legler says. At the time, the simulation was rejected as unrealistic, and it was soon forgotten by most everyone. NASA "didn't consider that an authentic failure case," because it involved the simultaneous failure of so many systems, explains Hannigan.

But the simulation nagged at the lunar module controllers. They had been caught unprepared and a crew had died, albeit only virtually. "You lose a crew, even in a simulation, and it's doom," says Hannigan. He tasked his deputy, Donald Puddy, to form a team to come up with a set of lifeboat procedures that would work, even with a crippled command module in the mix.
So this was done, and it sure came in handy later. For every quick-fix thought up in a moment of crisis, there were reams of procedures and contingency plans that had to be implemented without delay.

Air is Heavier than we thought.
A 1969 measurement of the level of argon in the air we breathe was too low, according to a team from the Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science and the International Bureau of Weights and Measures in France.

Argon is a gas that rarely interacts chemically with anything. The 25-year-old measurement assumed that argon was 0.917 percent of the air's total composition. The new measurement, reported in a recent issue of the journal Metrologia, puts the value at 0.9332 percent.

The other contents of Earth’s atmosphere are nitrogen (78 percent), oxygen (21 percent), water vapor (typically about one percent), and carbon dioxide (0.04 percent). Stuff coming in at below 0.01 percent include neon, helium, methane, hydrogen, nitrous oxide, and ozone.

The new argon results imply that the air is denser by 0.01 percent. Although such a small change would seem to be insignificant, it does affect precision measurements of mass.

And finally....
An outbreak of exploding toads is perplexing residents of Hamburg.

No comments: