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Why do plastic water bottles burst if left in a freezer for too long?

Simple Answer…
Because water starts to expand when you chill it to within a certain temperature range. If you want to know why this strange fact is true, keep reading.

 
More detailed answer…
Through our early years, we all learned at one point or another that heat makes things expand and cooling things generally makes them contract or shrink. As we all grew up, most of our practical experiences verified and validated this seemingly unassailable law of nature. Whenever a body part became swollen as a result of an injury or a bug bite, applying a bag of ice to the affected area would consistently reduce the swelling… a form of contraction. If ever we placed an empty plastic bottle in a refrigerator or freezer, it would shrink and crumple in on itself… also a form of contraction. We have all also witnessed the opposite end of this assertion every time we’ve watched the evaporation that occurs off of a pot of boiling soup. As the soup is heated, some of it expands as it transforms into gas and seemingly disappears before our very eyes. This phenomenon of heat induced expansion as well as contraction under conditions of extreme cold generally holds true in the physical world. As with most rules of nature however, there is an exception to this general law. To put it plainly, not everything contracts when it is cooled. As a matter of fact, one of the most plentifully present fluids and primary source of life on our planet disobeys this law within a particular temperature range. That’s right… water actually expands when it is cooled to a certain temperature. This rather strange behavior of water is technically referred to as the “anomalous expansion of water” (anomalous is just a fancy word for abnormal or strange). To understand this phenomenon completely, we’ll have to start by dipping our “intellectual toes” into the vast labyrinths of physics and chemistry. Continue reading Why do plastic water bottles burst if left in a freezer for too long?

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The beauty of human emotion

butterfly_wmHistory is littered with great civilizations that have each permanently changed the course of human culture in mostly positive ways. The following civilizations come to mind as prime examples that have had a profound impact on the world: Florence during the 15th century Italian renaissance, the scientific movement in England from the 17th to the 19th century, the east coast of the United States of America during the industrial revolution, and silicon valley California during the computer technology industry boom. Each of these special civilizations have contributed beautiful marvels of scientific and artistic achievement to the world that have left their indelible mark on the human race. These awe inspiring discoveries and creations often fundamentally alter the way we think and/or conduct a certain aspect of our lives. Each one of these great civilizations was spurred on by a handful of exceptionally brilliant and charismatic people. In the Italian renaissance, it was Michelangelo Buonarroti and Leonardo Da Vinci. During the scientific movement in England, it was the likes of Sir Isaac Newton and Michael Faraday. During the industrial revolution in the United States of America, it was Nikola Tesla, Thomas Alva Edison, John D. Rockefeller, and Henry Ford that dragged our collective consciousness forward and into the future. Andy Grove, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Bill Gates, and Mark Zuckerberg have all played key roles in making computerized technology a lot more accessible to the lot of us during this current computer industry boom that we find ourselves in. The question that one cannot help but ponder when considering human accomplishment on this scale is the following: what part of our human psychology acts as the catalyst for the significant contributions that these great people and their respective civilizations have made to our society as a whole? Continue reading The beauty of human emotion

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How to prepare for ACL surgery

ACL Reconstruction
ACL Reconstruction
An ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tear or rupture is a very serious injury that commonly occurs during sports like soccer and basketball in which rapid changes in the speed of human movement, and abrupt changes in direction are common. A ruptured ACL won’t heal on its own because of the relative lack of direct blood supply to this important ligament in the human body. As a result, an ACL rupture almost always requires reconstructive surgery to facilitate complete healing and a return to full athletic activity. Surgery is always serious business, and detail oriented preparation for it will ease the distress that can come with it. For this reason I recommend reading this article more than once before you go anywhere near your surgeon’s knife. I am fairly confident that you will gain some bit of wisdom from this article that will make surgery and its aftermath easier for you. The information in this article could also be easily applied to help others who are about to go through ACL reconstruction. For example, a doting mother could read this article and use the information contained in it to help her son or daughter get through ACL reconstruction with as little extra fuss as possible. The surgery is already painful enough… so it is advisable to do all in your power to alleviate as many potential added difficulties as possible. How do I know that these suggestions will be of use to you or someone you know who is preparing for ACL surgery? Well because I wish someone had told me all this before I went under the knife for my own ACL reconstruction surgery in early 2012. Continue reading How to prepare for ACL surgery