foone Profile picture
20 Nov, 8 tweets, 2 min read
I'm always vaguely amused by seeing those industrial trucks drive by with this "warning sign".

WARNING: THE STUFF THIS TRUCK IS CARRYING CANNOT BE SET ON FIRE, EVEN IN AN EMERGENCY.
Although I swear the one I just saw only said "non flammable" and didn't specify gas.
And I thought: wait, doesn't that apply to most trucks, then? Why don't they have warning signs?
But clearly some trucks DO have flammable stuff on them. Like, I saw a truck for a shredding company, it's gonna be full of paper, right? That'll burn quite well.
There's no warning for flammability there!
So clearly there's some threshold of flammability for signs.
If you're driving around a bunch of hydrogen, oh yeah, you need warnings about the flammability.
But at the same time, if you're carting around helium or something similarly non flammable, you also need a sign!
The asbestos truck has a big "you can't set this on fire no matter how hard you try" sign...
Right next to a whole bunch of other warning signs, I imagine.
In reality and non-silliness, I imagine the sign is a sort of "no brown m&ms" test. You have to put on a non-flammable gas warning sign because it implies you understand the cargo and are obeying the gas signage rules.
Because if you only had signs when it was flammable, a truck with no signs could mean one of two things:
1. The gas isn't flammable
2. The truck is operated by a criminal idiot who isn't obeying the gas signage laws
And if you're a firefighter approaching a crashed industrial truck and you see a bunch of gas canisters, it's VERY IMPORTANT that you know which one it is.

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More from @Foone

22 Nov
BEFORE Image
AFTER! Image
The closeup of the horrible former condition. Image
Read 4 tweets
21 Nov
Decommissioning Arecibo is a very sad move for science, but I understand why it needs to be done.
Google maps even confirms the sad news. Image
But people are already talking about what might replace it, and the various benefits of having it in different places... Have they considered placing it in space? Maybe at the earth-sun L2?
Obviously we can't name it like Arecibo and just call it by the local city, so maybe we could, I don't know, name it after an old deceased NASA administrator or something?
Read 26 tweets
21 Nov
So there's a bay area (Cupertino) estate sale tomorrow, which has some interesting pictures.
And weirdly, it ties into something I posted a month ago.
It's the estate of Chuck Colby. Image
I posted about the Walkmac, a modification of a Macintosh to be portable, back in October, and remarked that it was odd that it said "from the estate of Chuck Colby" but I didn't see any mention of him being dead elesewhere.
but yeah, the estate sale has oscilloscopes and audio generators... ImageImage
Read 80 tweets
20 Nov
So remember that neat Twilight Zone trick I talked about a long while ago? I found a video that's using it for a different use, but in color.

I found it here, but the "source" that's reblogging is a memes page that seems to be focused around getting ad views and scam giveaways
this is that twilight zone effect I was talking about:
as for the top video, lemme know if you know where it's from.
also I wonder if it's being done in real time? it certainly looks like it is.
with a remote controlling red and blue lights you could certainly swap the colors very quickly
Read 6 tweets
20 Nov
I've run into one of the (many) holes in my electronics knowledge and Google is not helping here, so:

I have a switch I want to use with a microcontroller. The switch has high resistance, though (a couple mega-ohms)
How do I detect the state of the switch?
Googling it either gives me solutions that are way overkill (like how to build a multimeter), not practical (academic abstracts about measuring super high resistance in the gigs-ohm range), or anti-answers (get a different switch, one that doesn't suck)
I seem to vaguely get that there's some trick where you set up a matching(ish) resistance and the switch changing state causes the current flow to switch direction, enough to be detectable?
Read 7 tweets
20 Nov
every day I wake up mad that there never was a computer with a built in VHS slot
we seriously got TWO (ok, really one, but the other existed enough for people to take pictures of it) video game consoles that integrated a whole-ass LASERDISC PLAYER and yet no one built a console with a built in VHS port?
REALLY?
those two are, of course, the Pioneer LaserActive and he RDI Video Systems Halcyon. ImageImage
Read 8 tweets

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