Friday, April 30, 2010
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Speaking of tungsten carbide, I've had a ring made of tungsten carbide for nearly a year now. My dad and I bought identical rings; other than their size, they are identical in design and material. My fingers are thinner than his. I wouldn't say smaller though, as my fingers are longer.
I have to say, my finger ended up being more interesting than the ring in this picture. You can see the little hairs and the texture of my skin. This picture1 was taken yesterday (April 27th, 2010).
In my opinion, tungsten carbide is one of the best materials for jewelry hands-down. Since it's so hard, it literally takes a diamond, corundum, or something equally hard (and rare) to scratch it. The ring will keep its luster indefinitely under normal wear. It will also keep its shape, unlike rings made of softer materials like gold that tend to form to your finger.
I bought it on May 20th, 2009 at a jewelry store named Rialto in the Commons at Federal Way in Federal Way, Washington. It cost me $136.50. Since I'm a citizen of Alaska, I'm tax exempt in the state of Washington. This picture was taken the day I got the ring.
Tungsten carbide has some interesting physical properties.
- Mohs hardness is between 8.5 and 9.0, depending on the trace amounts of other elements such as nickel or cobalt. As a comparison, hardened steel tools are 7.5.
- Compressive strength is higher than nearly all other metals and alloys (osmium would be one of the exceptions).
- 3 times as rigid as steel.
- Impact resistance is in the same range as hardened steel tools.
- It maintains its hardness and rigidity to temperatures of up to 1400 Fahrenheit. Impact resistance is unaffected by cryogenic temperatures (-453 Fahrenheit).
- Conducts electricity just as well as steel, and heat twice as well.
- Density is twice that of steel.
- Corrosion resistance approaches that of noble metals.
- Wears 100 times longer than steel in conditions including abrasion, erosion, and galling.
- Heat treatment is unnecessary; there is no change to physical properties after multiple heatings and quenching.
1: That was actually a really tough picture to take. I wear the ring on my right hand, and the camera is near impossible to use with my left hand.
See the rest of “The One Ring”»
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
Ok, read this. It's one of those things that will make you say "wat?"[sic]:
Damn... You've got to love the incoherency of the internet. Especially since diamond is carbon, and carbon is a non-metal. One of the prerequisites of something being a metal is a "high electrical conductivity." Seeing as diamond is an insulator, it is not a metal.
Due to extensive research done by the University of Pittsburgh, diamond has been confirmed as the hardest metal known to man. The research is as follows:
Pocket-protected scientists built a wall of iron and crashed a diamond car into it at 400 miles per hour, and the car was unharmed.
They then built a wall out of diamond and crashed a car made of iron moving at 400 miles an hour into the wall, and the wall came out fine.
They then crashed a diamond car made of 400 miles per hour into a wall, and there were no survivors.
They crashed 400 miles per hour into a diamond traveling at iron car. Western New York was powerless for hours.
They rammed a wall of metal into a 400 mile per hour made of diamond, and the resulting explosion shifted the earth's orbit 400 million miles away from the sun, saving the earth from a meteor the size of a small Washington suburb that was hurtling towards mid-western Prussia at 400 billion miles per hour.
They shot a diamond made of iron at a car moving at 400 walls per hour, and as a result caused two wayward airplanes to lose track of their bearings, and make a fatal crash with two buildings in downtown New York.
They spun 400 miles at diamond into iron per wall. The results were inconclusive.
Finally, they placed 400 diamonds per hour in front of a car made of wall traveling at miles per iron, and the result proved without a doubt that diamonds were the hardest metal of all time, if not just the hardest metal known to man.
I've gotten conflicting results when trying to find what the actual hardest metal is. The search results are polluted with diamonds (figures) and DragonForce1. There is an alloy of carbon steel called alloy 1090 that's said to be the hardest metal at a Mohs hardness of 8. However, I also read tungsten carbide has a Mohs hardness of 8.5-9. That's clearly harder than alloy 1090.
1: DragonForce is a band that plays "hard" metal (music).
See the rest of “Hardest Metal”»
Monday, April 26, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Friday, April 23, 2010
Due to that last South Park episode being censored by Comedy Central, showing images of Muhammad is a big thing again. There's an anti-Islamic movement starting on the internet, similar to Chanology in the past. I doubt it will become anything, but we'll see.
I really don't think I need to say it, but just so it's said: I disagree with Comedy Central's decision to censor the episode. While they do have the right to choose what they do and don't show on their own network, their most recent choice bodes poorly for freedom of speech.
Comedy Central, I am disappoint[sic].
Thursday, April 22, 2010
No, it's not some new cuisine...
While I was on Fremont Street in Las Vegas I had a key chain made. Not that I actually use key chains, but I wanted my website address on a grain of rice. It cost me $10.76 after taxes. Click an image to view full.
This dude writes any message you choose on a grain of rice; I think there was a 64 character limit. He does it freehand and with no magnification. The monitor you see in the photograph is for our benefit.
Here's what the key chain looks like. The grain of rice is in a clear oil inside the little vial.
There were many different vials to choose from, with little ponies or dolphins on them. There were also different colors of oil. I just wanted a basic vial with clear oil.
After he wrote the address he still had room, so he asked me what else I wanted on it. I had him put my little M symbol on the other side of the grain of rice.
Wednesday, April 21, 2010
Fuck scientists. It's all magic and miracles.
And here I thought my opinion of juggalos1 couldn't possibly be any lower... Behold, ignorance:
Insane Clown Posse - Miracles
Seriously, ICP (Insane Clown Posse2) is my least favorite band of all time. I have a personal distaste of rap anyway. He fed a fish to a pelican and it tried to eat his cellphone. What does that have to do with the song at all?
This seems to be the part the internet has grabbed onto the most.
He asks how magnets work, then won't accept the answer. The general thought is he's too dense to understand the explanation of how magnets work, so he figures it must be a lie. Perhaps that's how religion still persists in present times...
1: No, not male prostitutes. Juggalos are followers of the ICP band and tend to paint their faces like them.
2: Since when is 2 people a posse?
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
This will be the last of my photographs from Las Vegas. Click an image to view full.
Here's another picture of the Luxor, showing the Sphinx out front.
I went out exploring the area, took this picture of the corner of the Luxor.
I wandered off the Strip, this is looking back toward it.
Here's the pools at the Luxor. All but one were closed. They're all only 3.5 feet deep anyway, not worth even going to unless you have little kids.
Our last night in Las Vegas, my dad was feeling well enough so we went to the Fremont Street Experience. It's the largest overhead screen on Earth.
The Fremont light shows are every hour on the hour at night. They're like a throwback to the 70's. I mean come on, Queen? Really?
The next morning we left. It's amazing how a landscape so dry is so marked by water erosion.
Before I knew it I was back in Ketchikan. It was colder than when we left. It was 80 in Las Vegas, and I came back to 34 degrees with snow in the forecast. *sigh*
And that's pretty much my vacation to Las Vegas. I gambled (and lost) $100, exactly the amount I planned to lose.
Monday, April 19, 2010
Sunday, April 18, 2010
Usually this meme tries to make the USA look bad by showing fast food and a fat woman on the USA side, and some thin hot chick on the Europe side. But seeing as all of Europe is under Iceland's ash cloud and nearly all European air travel has been restricted, this is appropriate1.
There was an off-color joke about Poland's Air Force One accompanying this image, but I think I'll leave that out. I'll continue with my Las Vegas photos on Tuesday (the 20th).
FM104 - The Ash Cloud Song
1: To my European readers, especially those who had somewhere to go, I feel for you.
See the rest of “Iceland Ash”»
Saturday, April 17, 2010
Friday, April 16, 2010
My dad ended up sick in the hotel room, so I wandered out on the Strip without him. While I was out I was seeing dead men walking... Elvis was expected, but I also saw Michael Jackson. Hell, I even saw Darth Vader and Davy Jones from the Pirates of the Caribbean movies. But the costume I saw the most was Captain Jack Sparrow: even more often than Elvis! For some reason I didn't take any pictures of them. Perhaps you've noticed, people are rarely the focus of my photos.
Here's the lion statue outside the MGM.
When in Vegas, nothing is out-of-place.
This time, the gondola rides were in full swing. It wasn't raining this day.
Despite appearances, this is indoors. It's in the Grand Canal Shoppes, part of the Venetian. The ceiling is painted to look like the sky.
Why the face at the top of this arch is a lion while the rest of them are men, I don't know.
It was no coincidence that I saw most of the Captain Jack Sparrows around Treasure Island.
What is it with that big saucer at the Fashion Show Mall, anyway?
Beyond the Fashion Show mall there is literally nothing on the Strip anymore but construction sites and Circus Circus, which has seen better days; it looked rundown.
I thought I'd be done by now, but it looks like there's going to be yet another post's worth of photos to share. I took 381 photos while on the vacation, I'm just hand-picking the best ones to share here.
Thursday, April 15, 2010
It's more likely than you think... I guess we brought some of Ketchikan with us.
Poor babies. It starts to rain in Las Vegas and everyone starts handing out yellow umbrellas and running for cover. They don't know what a real rainstorm is. Funny thing is it was also windy, and some of the umbrellas were getting turned inside out.
It's funny how much gets shut down because of a little weather in Las Vegas. They weren't doing the gondola rides at the Venetian, and nearly every outdoor fountain in town was turned off due to the wind. Also the roller coaster at the New York New York was closed due to weather. It's a good thing Las Vegas is in a desert...
It was raining hard enough outside that my dad and I were actually getting wet, so we decided to walk through the Forum Shops near Caesar's Palace.
The ceiling reminded me of a cathedral.
I thought this was funnier than hell. This is the entrance to some restrooms in the Forum Shops. Whatever happened to equal treatment of genders? If this were reversed the feminists would probably sue.
I didn't go see any shows while in Vegas. The only one that interested me was Penn & Teller at the Rio. However, the Rio is off the Strip and the tickets cost too damn much. It wasn't worth it to me.
There's quite a bit that has been built since my last time in Las Vegas (2004). The Town Square for example; the only thing that used to be out there was Fry's Electronics. There were constant jets low overhead because it's so close to the airport.
Just like the City Center, there's still construction out by the Town Square.
There's still at least another post's worth of pictures to go, so check back tomorrow.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Photos from my Las Vegas trip continued from yesterday. Click an image to view full.
In this one image, you can see many different casino/hotels on the Strip. The New York New York, Planet Hollywood/Westgate, Excalibur, MGM Grand, and Tropicana.
The newly built CityCenter. A city within a city, MGM Mirage and Dubai World are partners in its construction. It is the largest privately funded construction project in the history of the United States.
Las Vegas is in the middle of a desert, a land where nothing belongs... So everything seems to fit in. Here's Paris.
This was the view from our room. It looked out over the Strip and the McCarran International Airport. We were on the 25th floor in the pyramid.
An obelisk. What more is there to say?
Like a million people before me, I had to take a picture of the Sphinx.
The Mandalay Bay is right next to the Luxor. Beautiful hotel.
There's a tower that's part of Mandalay Bay that's labeled "THEhotel", I guess they couldn't come up with a better name?
And I've reached my self-set limit of 8 pictures per post, so I will continue again tomorrow.