Firefighters douse a smoldering ridge southwest of Denver with slurry. The blaze has already destroyed 16 homes in the area and continues to spread. (via)

What is slurry?
In general, a slurry is a “thick suspension of solids in a liquid”. But, in particular, the slurry used as a fire retardant in this particular photo, according to the US Air Force, is composed of 80-85% water and 10-15% ammonium sulfate. The ammonium sulfate acts as both a gelling agent and red dye, which helps pilots determine areas that have not already been canvased by previous loads.
These long-term fire retardants are more efficient than plain water, as it works in two phases. First the water extinguishes its portion of the fire, but once the water is completely evaporated, the chemical residue that remains prevents vegetation and other materials from igniting again by binding to cellulose, until it is eroded or washed away with rain. 
The residue left over has no ill health affects unless it seeps its way into the water supply, so pilots are careful not to spray near waterways. It also causes no damage to buildings and is relatively easy to clean off, due to its dispersion as a mist. Along with its extinguishing properties, this concoction makes a decent fertilizer.
Read more about slurry here.

Firefighters douse a smoldering ridge southwest of Denver with slurry. The blaze has already destroyed 16 homes in the area and continues to spread. (via)

What is slurry?

In general, a slurry is a “thick suspension of solids in a liquid”. But, in particular, the slurry used as a fire retardant in this particular photo, according to the US Air Force, is composed of 80-85% water and 10-15% ammonium sulfate. The ammonium sulfate acts as both a gelling agent and red dye, which helps pilots determine areas that have not already been canvased by previous loads.

These long-term fire retardants are more efficient than plain water, as it works in two phases. First the water extinguishes its portion of the fire, but once the water is completely evaporated, the chemical residue that remains prevents vegetation and other materials from igniting again by binding to cellulose, until it is eroded or washed away with rain. 

The residue left over has no ill health affects unless it seeps its way into the water supply, so pilots are careful not to spray near waterways. It also causes no damage to buildings and is relatively easy to clean off, due to its dispersion as a mist. Along with its extinguishing properties, this concoction makes a decent fertilizer.

Read more about slurry here.

Magnesium wire inside glass case. The magnesium is ignited to illuminate as the flash for use in vintage cameras. (via BOB008)

Magnesium wire inside glass case. The magnesium is ignited to illuminate as the flash for use in vintage cameras. (via BOB008)

Phosphate crystal. (by leboski)

Phosphate crystal. (by leboski)

Mg-Nd-Zn ternary alloy (by sgorsse)

Mg-Nd-Zn ternary alloy (by sgorsse)

Dried soap and polymer mixture.
(by wamman219)

Dried soap and polymer mixture.

(by wamman219)

vinnyvenom:

Oh Vanadinite, how I adore thee!

Vanadinite… the name reminds me of “Vanna White.”
It is very pretty, so I think it’s an appropriate association! 

As submitted by markct:

Row 2 of the Periodic Table of Super Elements.

Silicon looks like such a badass…

As submitted by markct:

Row 2 of the Periodic Table of Super Elements.

Silicon looks like such a badass…

If you have 10 minutes spare, here is another thing I think you may like…

As submitted by mileswayward:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HhGuXCuDb1U

In the confines of a London dinner party, comedian Tim Minchin argues with a hippy named Storm. While Storm herself may not be converted, audiences from London to LA have been won over by Tim’s wordplay and the timely message of the film in a society where science and reason are portrayed as the enemy of belief.

Enjoy =)

Here’s the embed of the video:

Read More

Hot Springs in East Africa: Sulfur and algae turn hot springs into pools of living color. The water is condensation from hot gases rising from magma chambers. As the water evaporates, salts and minerals form a vivid crust. (via National Geographic)

Hot Springs in East Africa: Sulfur and algae turn hot springs into pools of living color. The water is condensation from hot gases rising from magma chambers. As the water evaporates, salts and minerals form a vivid crust. (via National Geographic)

Dorothy Hodgkin (1910 – 1994)Pictured here with Linus Paulding 

Dorothy Crowfoot (Hodgkin, after her 1937 marriage) was born in Cairo, Egypt, to a pair of British archaeologists. She was sent home to England for school, where she was one of only two girls who were allowed to study chemistry with the boys. At 18, she enrolled in one of Oxford’s women’s colleges and studied chemistry and then moved to Cambridge to study X-ray crystallography, a type of imaging that uses X-rays to determine a molecule’s three-dimensional structure. She returned to Oxford in 1934, where she would spend most of her working life, teaching chemistry and using X-ray crystallography to study interesting biological molecules. She spent years perfecting the technique, for which she was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1964, and determined the structures of penicillin, vitamin B12 and insulin. In 2010, 16 years after her death, the British Royal Mail celebrated the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society by issuing stamps with the likenesses of 10 of the society’s most illustrious members, including Isaac Newton and Benjamin Franklin; Hodgkin was the only woman in the group.

Dorothy Hodgkin (1910 – 1994)
Pictured here with Linus Paulding 

Dorothy Crowfoot (Hodgkin, after her 1937 marriage) was born in Cairo, Egypt, to a pair of British archaeologists. She was sent home to England for school, where she was one of only two girls who were allowed to study chemistry with the boys. At 18, she enrolled in one of Oxford’s women’s colleges and studied chemistry and then moved to Cambridge to study X-ray crystallography, a type of imaging that uses X-rays to determine a molecule’s three-dimensional structure. She returned to Oxford in 1934, where she would spend most of her working life, teaching chemistry and using X-ray crystallography to study interesting biological molecules. She spent years perfecting the technique, for which she was awarded a Nobel Prize in 1964, and determined the structures of penicillin, vitamin B12 and insulin. In 2010, 16 years after her death, the British Royal Mail celebrated the 350th anniversary of the Royal Society by issuing stamps with the likenesses of 10 of the society’s most illustrious members, including Isaac Newton and Benjamin Franklin; Hodgkin was the only woman in the group.

Irène Curie-Joliot (1897 – 1956)As pictured with husband Jean-Frederic Joliot 

The elder daughter of Pierre and Marie Curie, Irène followed her parents’ footsteps into the lab. The thesis for her 1925 doctor of science was on the alpha rays of polonium, one of the two elements her mother discovered. The next year, she married Frédéric Joliot, one of her mother’s assistants at the Radium Institute in Paris. Irène and Frédéric continued their collaboration inside the laboratory, pursuing research on the structure of the atom. In 1934, they discovered artificial radioactivity by bombarding aluminum, boron and magnesium with alpha particles to produce isotopes of nitrogen, phosphorus, silicon and aluminum. They received the Nobel Prize in chemistry the next year, making Marie and Irène the first parent-child couple to have independently won Nobels. All those years working with radioactivity took a toll, however, and Irène died of leukemia in 1956.

Irène Curie-Joliot (1897 – 1956)
As pictured with husband Jean-Frederic Joliot 

The elder daughter of Pierre and Marie Curie, Irène followed her parents’ footsteps into the lab. The thesis for her 1925 doctor of science was on the alpha rays of polonium, one of the two elements her mother discovered. The next year, she married Frédéric Joliot, one of her mother’s assistants at the Radium Institute in Paris. Irène and Frédéric continued their collaboration inside the laboratory, pursuing research on the structure of the atom. In 1934, they discovered artificial radioactivity by bombarding aluminum, boron and magnesium with alpha particles to produce isotopes of nitrogen, phosphorus, silicon and aluminum. They received the Nobel Prize in chemistry the next year, making Marie and Irène the first parent-child couple to have independently won Nobels. All those years working with radioactivity took a toll, however, and Irène died of leukemia in 1956.

First nail art photo I think I could get into….

First nail art photo I think I could get into….

What is the Scientific Method?

As submitted by mileswayward:

Melvyn Bragg and his guests discuss the evolution of the Scientific Method, the systematic and analytical approach to scientific thought in a BBC broadcast:

In 1620 the great philosopher and scientist Francis Bacon published the Novum Organum, a work outlining a new system of thought which he believed should inform all enquiry into the laws of nature. Philosophers before him had given their attention to the reasoning that underlies scientific enquiry; but Bacon’s emphasis on observation and experience is often seen today as giving rise to a new phenomenon: the scientific method.

The scientific method, and the logical processes on which it is based, became a topic of intense debate in the seventeenth century, and thinkers including Isaac Newton, Thomas Huxley and Karl Popper all made important contributions. Some of the greatest discoveries of the modern age were informed by their work, although even today the term ‘scientific method’ remains difficult to define.