jm + factoids   7

Unpopular opinions on solar power
from Jenny "@solar_chase" Chase. Lots of interesting solar-power factoids, like:

12. A lot of current household PV systems are designed suboptimally and may not make economic sense or even perform well. Also, most countries will move to paying a pittance for solar exports, so self-consumption rate is becoming the most important financial parameter.

13. To financially assess a proposed rooftop solar system, you will need at least a year’s data on hourly electricity consumption to estimate selfconsumption. Also, get it built when you have scaffolding up for something else, scaffolding is expensive.
solar  solar-power  power  electricity  generation  renewables  future  factoids  twitter 
3 days ago by jm
TIL: bananas contain the primary compound in the honeybee's "alarm" pheromone
Science helps us explain the phenomena. Turns out bananas contain a compound called isoamyl acetate (also known as isopentyl acetate) – the very same as that which is in honeybees’ alarm pheromone. Pure banana oil (used in emollients, perfumes, and to broaden the flavored milk range) is nothing but this colorless liquid ester, occasionally mixed with other chemicals. While bees’ alarm pheromone isn’t just isoamyl acetate – in fact there are over 40 compounds in the cocktail – it is the main active component.

Guard bees, who patrol the entrance, and stinger bees, who comprise the militia, are the two castes within the hive most likely to release the pheromone. Both of these are worker bees (i.e. female) around 2-3 weeks old – the time it takes for their endocrine system to reach its prime. The scent – excreted from the Koschevnikov gland and other glands around the sting shaft – is released either when the bee pops out its stinger (like a cat retracting its claws), or goes full kamikaze and harpoons the mouse, robber bee or luckless human, rear-end first (inevitably dying in the assault). Having volatile properties, the ester evaporates and disperses rapidly from the origin point of the bee’s butt, making it suitable as a swift communication carrier. Once registered, it alerts the colony to the presence of an intruder or threat, lifting their aggro, and effectively coordinating an en masse defensive response. Any stray, lingering waft of a banana about you, then, will trigger a similar reaction (if slightly less intense). Don’t put too much faith in your smoker to avail you either.
bees  honeybees  science  pheromones  fruit  bananas  factoids 
5 weeks ago by jm
"1 like = 1 delicious cocktail recipe or booze fact."
Great cocktail factoid thread from Manhattans Project/Every Cloud's Felix Cohen
felix-cohen  cocktails  booze  factoids  history  drinks 
october 2017 by jm
TIL you shouldn’t use conditioner if you get nuked
If you shower carefully with soap and shampoo, Karam says [Andrew Karam, radiation expert], the radioactive dust should wash right out. But hair conditioner has particular compounds called cationic surfactants and polymers. If radioactive particles have drifted underneath damaged scales of hair protein, these compounds can pull those scales down to create a smooth strand of hair. "That can trap particles of contamination inside of the scale," Karam says.

These conditioner compounds are also oily and have a positive charge on one end that will make them stick to negatively charged sections of a strand of hair, says Perry Romanowski, a cosmetics chemist who has developed personal hygiene formulas and now hosts "The Beauty Brains" podcast on cosmetics chemistry.

"Unlike shampoo, conditioners are meant to stay behind on your hair," Romanowski says. If the conditioner comes into contact with radioactive material, these sticky, oily compounds can gum radioactive dust into your hair, he says.
factoids  conditioner  surfactants  nuclear-bombs  fallout  hair  bizarre  til  via:boingboing 
august 2017 by jm
Why sugar helped remove Victoria Line concrete flood
Sugar blocks concrete from setting. This I did not know
concrete  london  tube  flooding  sugar  chemistry  factoids 
january 2014 by jm
Ivan Beshoff, Last Survivor Of Mutiny on the Potemkin, founded Beshoffs
wow. there's a factoid! the "Beshoffs" chain of chippers in Dublin were founded by this historic figure, who died in 1987
factoids  beshoffs  chips  dublin  history  small-world  battleship-potemkin  russia 
january 2013 by jm

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