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Archive for the ‘Outdoors & Nature’ Category

Ancient, giant viruses are being unearthed in Arctic ice that’s at risk of melting

Posted by Venkatt Guhesan on May 10, 2017

Scientists working in the Arctic circle over the past few decades have unearthed several massive viruses that some say could be re-awakened if the permafrost that imprisons them dissolves.

Recently, some researchers have suggested that these enormous viruses could thaw out, escape, and make lots of people sick. It sounds like something out of a 1990s horror film. But you shouldn’t get too concerned — at least not yet.

The likelihood that these viruses will break free and sicken humans is slim.

Source: Ancient, giant viruses are being unearthed in Arctic ice that’s at risk of melting

Posted in General, In the News, Outdoors & Nature, Science and Technology | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Stunning image of Jupiter from NASA’s Juno spacecraft is simply out of this world — except it’s not

Posted by Venkatt Guhesan on May 10, 2017

The filagree of atmospheric patterns at Jupiter’s south pole bears an eerie resemblance to a phenomenon here on Earth

Source: This stunning image of Jupiter from NASA’s Juno spacecraft is simply out of this world — except it’s not

Posted in General, Outdoors & Nature, Science and Technology | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

Materials science: How to keep cool without costing the Earth

Posted by Venkatt Guhesan on February 16, 2017

The new film works by a process called radiative cooling. This takes advantage of that fact that Earth’s atmosphere allows certain wavelengths of heat-carrying infrared radiation to escape into space unimpeded. Convert unwanted heat into infrared of the correct wavelength, then, and you can dump it into the cosmos with no come back.

…their film, placed atop an average American house, would be enough to keep the internal temperature at 20°C on a day when it was 37°C outside. [17° difference]

Source: Materials science: How to keep cool without costing the Earth | The Economist

Posted in Business, In the News, Inspirational, Outdoors & Nature, Technology | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

First baseball game ever at Yankees Stadium, Bronx – Yankees vs. Orioles

Posted by Venkatt Guhesan on October 3, 2016

First baseball game ever! Pictures from the Yankees Stadium, Bronx – Yankees vs. Orioles. Unfortunately Orioles lost that game on Saturday. They won the game on Sunday 5-2.

img_20161001_164414 img_20161001_164342 img_20161001_164327 img_20161001_163114

Posted in General, Outdoors & Nature, Travels | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Lessons learnt from camping in the midst of a flood

Posted by Venkatt Guhesan on August 8, 2016

This past weekend when Ellicott City was hit with the worst storm in over hundred years, we ended up camping out in Rocky Gap State Park. Last year when we were out camping it rained a little and I had no tarp below my tent. So as soon as I got home last season, I ordered a tarp and had it ready this time. But some lessons are learned the hard way.

Lesson Learned: Make sure your tarp’s edges are well within the tent’s boundary.

In my case, my tarp was oversized and I had an extra two to three feet all around my tent. And with the worst storm in a while, the border that sticks out collects all the water and the tent in the middle becomes a sponge. Soon enough, we had moisture build up in the tent that we can see a puddle building up inside the tent. I guess you live and learn these lessons.

Here are some of the pictures from the camp:

20160731_082523

20160730_092210

Click here for more Photos from camping at Rocky Gap State Park – 2016

Cheers

Posted in General, Outdoors & Nature | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Horrific floods in Ellicott City – Maryland and walk-up walk-down basement drain problem

Posted by Venkatt Guhesan on August 7, 2016

This past week, Ellicott City, Maryland had one of the worst floods in a long time. You can see some of the devastation that it has caused in this link. Fortunately, only my basement had a little bit of flooding. But interestingly, this has been the second flooding in over a month. This made me question the drain at the bottom of the walk-down/walk-up basement.

Here is a picture of the drain at the bottom of the stairwell.

20160731_191444As you can see the drain hole not the best and it gets blocked with just a few leaves and dirt. I have been clearing the dirt and leaves regularly but when there is a storm, the water floods down from the adjacent wall bringing with it debris which end up clogging the drain hole.

As a first fix, I tried this from HomeDepot. It’s called a drain trap. (shown below)

trap1Again this was good but it did not solve the problem. So I decided to try something different. I needed a frame that was at least 1-in tall giving the dirt a place to settle around it and not flow into the cavity. I also need it to be sturdy where the weight of the frame keeps the mesh/trap down to the ground even in moderate to severe thunderstorms. I searched online for a solution and after spending quite a bit of time searching through blogs, I decided to build one myself.

So here is the finished product:

20160807_164830

Here are the materials I used to build this:

  • Chicken-coup mesh grill
  • four L-brackets
  • two tree stump posts cut to the size of the chicken-coup (to create a 1in thick frame)
  • Long plastic corner bead to keep the grill corners from cutting into me with rust over time
  • outdoor screen plastic to to add a second layer of filtering
  • Staple gun
  • Silicone used for household seals

20160731_190519

Here is the frame upside down. It’s basically the wood is framed in against the chicken coop metal grill.

20160731_190524Corners are bracketed in to keep the frame together.

Added the finer outdoor plastic screen-door screen on top and kept them together with the staple gun. And the last step is to create a seal between the pavement floor and the frame.

20160807_164836

And voila a gutter guard (that can hopefully withstand some rain). Keeping my fingers crossed.

20160807_164830

I will keep this blog post updated as I improvise on my custom made gutter guard. Hopefully others can follow this blueprint and build their own gutter-guards.

Cheers.

Posted in General, Great Ideas, Outdoors & Nature | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Bizarre fourth state of water discovered

Posted by Venkatt Guhesan on June 18, 2016

Bizarre fourth state of water discovered

Scientists at the Oak Ridge National Lab (ORNL) have discovered that when (water) put under extreme pressure in small spaces, the life-giving liquid can exhibit a strange fourth state known as “tunneling”.

Quantum tunneling means that a particle, or in this case a molecule, can overcome a barrier and be on both sides of it at once – or anywhere in between. Think of rolling a ball down one side of a hill and up another. The second hill is the barrier and the ball would only have enough energy to climb it to the height from which it was originally dropped. If the second hill was taller, the ball wouldn’t be able to roll over it. That’s classical physics. Quantum physics and the concept of tunneling means the ball could jump to the other side of the hill with ease or even be found inside the hill – or on both sides of the hill at once.

  • Gizmag.com

 

Learn more at:

http://www.gizmag.com/fourth-state-of-water/42999/?li_source=LI&li_medium=default-widget

Example of a Beryllium crystal’s hexagonal (six-sided) crystal-structure arrangement:

311px-hexagonal_close_packed-svg

What does this all mean to us?

  1. Microscopically, the universe continues to marvel us with it’s mysteries. If something as simple as water, can display new remarkable properties and states of matter, imaging the permutations and mysteries still locked up when you look at the periodic table of elements as a whole and all the combinations of molecules that exist in nature and some created artificially.
  2. Macroscopically, when you look up on a dark starry night, and you see galaxies upon galaxies and now scientists are debating over multi-verse theories, string theories and branes.  We definitely have a universe full of mysteries to solve.

So we should be fortunate and happy to know that we are living in the best of times where society has evolved beyond our petty differences in beliefs and faith. And we are able to look at each moment in wonder as the universe unveils it’s mysteries like a grand operatic in front of us. And one day, our great-great grandchildren and descendants will  look back at the stepping stones we laid for them in this unraveling.

And since this is around Father’s day, I’m reminded of a proverb in the classical Tamil literature (Book of Proverbs) – Thirukkural  written around 2nd or 3rd BCE, on the topic of “Father” that reflects my sentiment here:

தந்தை மகற்காற்று நன்றி அவையத்து
முந்தி இருப்பச் செயல்.

The benefit which a father should confer on his child is to give him/her precedence in the assembly of the learned.

Thirukkural

Wishing everyone a Happy Fathers Day – 2016!

Cheers!

 

Posted in General, Outdoors & Nature, Science and Technology | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

My daughter found a four-leaf clover the day before Saint Patrick’s Day

Posted by Venkatt Guhesan on March 16, 2016

My daughter found a four-leaf clover the day before Saint Patrick’s Day! Talk about luck!

four-leaf clover

According to the Wikipedia article:

It has been estimated that there are approximately 10,000 three-leaf clovers for every one four-leaf clover

four-leaf-clover

She should have played the lottery!

Posted in General, Inspirational, Outdoors & Nature | Leave a Comment »

Hiking @ Centennial Park, Ellicott City, Maryland

Posted by Venkatt Guhesan on August 4, 2015

Here are some great pictures I took from the hiking at the nearby Centennial Park in Ellicott City, Maryland

Click here for the complete link to the post

Posted in General, Outdoors & Nature | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »