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  1. K

    Trauma causing temporary unconsciousness: what happens physically?

    I am a fan of combat sports such as boxing and martial arts. In competition a person might get hit and temporary lose consciousness, often for a fraction of a second before they regain their senses. I would like to know what is happening on a physiological level when this occurs. What is...
  2. K

    A few questions about solid-state relays

    Today I bought a solid state relay, the datasheet for which can be found here. My goal is to use it to switch 120VAC, controlled by an Arduino Uno board (with Atmega 328 microcontroller). I am very rusty since my days in EE classes, and have not worked with solid state relays at all. In the...
  3. K

    Education pays on BLS website.

    "Education pays" on BLS website. The Bureau of Labor Statistics has this page on their website: Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, Current Population Survey, 2010. This just seems very odd to me. This says...
  4. K

    Speed of light barrier

    I am not an expert on Physics and have for the past year been engulfed in work, so I am very rusty. I read a comment online recently that essentially said the laws of physics simply prevent any object from accelerating to the speed of light (infinite energy required?), but do not say that an...
  5. K

    Credit Scores - why are mine going down?

    I am hoping that some of you more wise people out there might be able to help me understand something. I have been checking my credit scores recently, and I am surprised to see that they are plummeting. Like, all three of them really dropping fast. I don't understand why. I have never...
  6. K

    A fun trick to see the vasculature of your eye!

    In this video, the narrator explains why you aren't normally able to see the network of blood vessels in front of your eye, and a neat trick to actually see it. I thought it was really cool.
  7. K

    Music appreciation & meaning

    Sometimes songs and artists just become much more special when you understand what the artist is truly singing about. What information or experience has helped you to fully appreciate certain music? I'll give you an example: I never cared for Eric Clapton. That is, until today, when I came...
  8. K

    Language fails that make you angry

    These are the misuses of our language that REALLY bug me: - Misusing "literally". People say things like "I literally have a million things to do." --- No, you do not. --- To deal with these people, I usually say things like "I hear you, I figuratively have a project due Wednesday", or "I...
  9. K

    Using Intermediate Value Theorem to prove # of polynomial roots

    I've heard there's a proof out there of this, basically that (I think) you can use the intermediate value theorem to prove that an Nth-degree polynomial has no more than N roots. I'm not in school anymore, just an interested engineer. Does anyone know where I can find this proof or any...
  10. K

    John McCarthy, creator of Lisp, dead at 84. Rest in parentheses, my friend.
  11. K

    Knot Tie-ing: Adjustable loop and knot that gets more secure as its pulled

    I do some rock climbing, and the most common knot you see is the double-figure 8: That's because you can tie it at any point in the rope to create a loop for other climbers to latch into. It also gets tighter as you pull from any direction: the loop or either of the two single ropes coming...
  12. K

    Favorite method of assembling circuits at home?

    I just got my MSP-430 (microcontroller kit with two micros for $4.30) and I' just awestruck by how easy it is to use. I am looking to make a few very low-power circuits here and there for my car. For example, one to lock the doors after 30 seconds when I press a button. What do you guys like...
  13. K

    Fraudulent card charges, but my card was not stolen?

    So I found out today my credit card account has about $200 worth of charges I did not make. However, my card has been in my pocket the whole time. How can this happen? If someone knew my SSN, how could they make charges without my card?
  14. K

    Non-self-help books that teach a good lesson and help a person through storytelling

    Hi all. I would really like to get better at appreciating things in my life, and being more comfortable and confident talking to others. It would sound like 'self help' book territory, but I hate self-help books. I just don't do well with them. My friend Jesse told me about a book he was...
  15. K

    Best budget microcontroller kits?

    For those of you who have toyed with microcontroller kits as a hobby, how would you rate the kit(s) you've used in the following categories? 1) Price - how much is the total cost of the development hardware and software? 2) Usability of an IDE for development? 3) Ease of starting - how long...
  16. K

    Advice on how to deal with my boss?

    I'm 23 and this is my first "real" job. Basically I am having some troubles with my boss - he's not a jerk or anything, but I just get the overall impression that he isn't happy with how much hand-holding he has to do to help me with things. It's really frustrating for me because it's...
  17. K

    Getting fat

    I am getting fat. Since I graduated college, I don't know what to do and I don't really know anyone to work out with. Here's the thing: I can't run or do elliptical machines. I just get so bored and I can never commit to it. I love racquetball, but I don't have anyone to play with. Can...
  18. K

    Federal & state education loans: is the government 'doing it wrong'?

    I recently had a friend pop up on my news feed with a link to a promo video, with the video saying that the US should forgive student debt on the basis that the (former) students won't be able to pay it back without basically crushing them financially. It kind of got me thinking about how...
  19. K

    A set of algebraic operations producing unique results based on order?

    I'm trying to find a set of five (5) algebraic functions a(x), b(x), c(x), d(x), and e(x) that for every order they can be applied, will produce a unique result. That is, a(b(c(d(e(x))))) should be different from e(d(c(b(a(x))))) for every possible x. And every other unique ordering should...
  20. K

    Household wiring

    This is how the wiring is set up in the basement I am renting out: On one circuit, there is a jacuzzi and a pond pump, both which run 24/7. There is a porch light that is controlled by a light switch inside. It is set up such that in order to keep the pump and jacuzzi running, you have to...
  21. K

    News Is Palin considering running?

    Recently I was browsing the interwebs, and I got a pop-up that was a simple quiz: all it asked was "Will you vote for Sarah Palin if she runs for president in 2012?". Have there been any rumors about this.
  22. K

    Methods for computing partial-costs of product bundles?

    This might go into stats, I'm not sure. But I'll throw it out there. You are at the grocery store and they have two product bundles: Four bananas and three limes for $10. Two grapefruits and five limes for $12. You want to come up with a way to compute the average cost of a lime, the...
  23. K

    Why do colored freezy pops turn clear when left outside in the cold?

    So this last winter, my roommates and I left a bunch of freezy pops outside to get cold fast (the temp was -20F). They were in clear plastic and may have been exposed to the sun. After about a day, we went to pick them up, and they had all turned clear. They stayed clear even when brought...
  24. K

    Decomposition of numbered permutations.

    Say I have three elements: A, B, C. I can list all the permutations by going alphabetical in the first element, then the second, then the third, and so on, like so: ABC ACB BAC BCA CAB CBA What I'm wondering, is given a number N, how do I decompose this into knowing what permutation it...
  25. K

    Is it wrong to have a back-up arranged before a breakup?

    Is it wrong to have another person in mind that you could date, before you break up with someone?
  26. K

    Time for two point masses to collide under gravity

    As a thought experiment, I have attempted to calculate the time it takes two point masses to collide solely due to the force of gravity. The final answer I got was this: t=\frac{R^\frac{5}{2}2\sqrt{2}}{5\sqrt{G}\sqrt{m_1+m_2}} Where G is the gravitational constant, R is the distance (at...
  27. K

    Ladies, I have but one request.

    If you'd like for a guy to buy you flowers, you best have a vase on-hand! I bought a girl flowers yesterday, and we had to break the top off of a cheap vodka bottle and use it as a vase!
  28. K

    Can your employer own the rights to unrelated products you develop on your own time?

    This is a clause from one of the required learning courses at my new employer: I'm no lawyer, but this just seems wrong. I have a few ideas in my head - some inventions I would like to try - that pertain to improvements on modern wheelchairs. Totally unrelated. How in the world would my...
  29. K

    Allowances/Withholdings in regard to taxes

    Hello all, and forgive my amateur financial knowledge. I suppose that mathematically, the best way to do your taxes is to have as little withheld from your paycheck as possible, and to pay it all in at the end. This way you can potentially make (typically low-risk) investments with the money...