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Creative Question #1


Aunt Jen

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I studied creativity for years. I use it in my writing. So here is the first of my wonderings:

 

In an atmosphere of so many gasses, even if mostly nitrogen and oxygen, of all the billions of cubic feet of air adound tbe globe, why don't we sometimes experience a portion that is oxygen deficient?

 

Engines quit. Breathing is hard for all in that area. Fires die... For a while. Shouldn't it happen sometimes?

 

Please don't just say the atmosphere is convective like a pot of boiling water. Yrs it is. But there needs to be more in the explanation.

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Creative Question #2:

 

in the summertime, bugs and skeeters come out at night and are attracted to lights, especially your house spot lights.

 

Why don't those bugs come out in the day time and fly towards the sun?

 

 

..........Widder

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Not only is atmosphere convective due to different temperatures of the atmosphere, it does exactly what you think it does. There are sections in the atmosphere were fire won't burn well, people can't breath, birds can't fly.

 

It's WAY up high. As you move away from the earth, there is less and less weight compressing the air around you.

 

As far as why there aren't pockets down here on good ol terra firma is that our atmosphere naturally wants to equalize. denser gasses rush into lighter gasses whether it's cause by heat or by different atomic weights. Our planet seeks equilibrium. Think about a perfeclty still glass of water, you place a drop of food coloring on the top. Eventually, over maybe days even, the water will all become the same color due to distributive properties of physics. There are times when there are concentrated pockets, like when a volvanoe erupts. Fog is a good example of air that is more water and less heat that the air around it.

 

Those gasses that we have that are pure, like the helium in balloons, there is a LOT of energy that goes into seperating those gasses from the rest of the stuff in the air. it's a cool process.

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Fish kills are often caused by extreme changes in the availbility of oxygen in the water where the fish are. another example of a pocket where things are different.

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Creative Question #2:in the summertime, bugs and skeeters come out at night and are attracted to lights, especially your house spot lights.Why don't those bugs come out in the day time and fly towards the sun?..........Widder

Insects use the sun or moon to navigate -- keep the light in the same relative position and they'll keep going in the same direction.

This works with the sun or moon because their relative position isn't going to change very much as the insects fly. But insects can be confused by man-made light sources, and these do change position as the insect flies past them.

So... insect flies past a street light and the position changes. Insect adjusts course to keep the light in the same relative position. As this process repeats, the insect winds up spiraling inward toward the light until, finally, boom -- they wind up flying into it.

They aren't attracted to light and, in fact, that would be a bad thing for a nocturnal predator to do. They're just confused because street lights and the like don't behave like the sun or moon.

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There are variations in the amount of O2 you breath. We are just fortunate that the concentration of O2 in the atmosphere is significantly higher than what we need to breath. Also one breath devoid of O2 is not enough to kill you. It would take several over time and the odds of all those breaths not having enough O2 is so remote as to be impossible.

 

Were you to measure O2 with a sensitive enough meter you would see the concentration vary over time.

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ya got to remember that the earth is spinning at an incredible rate of speed.

 

Do gas pockets move at the exact same speed? Not exactly.

 

So when the earth spins thru a DENSE gas pocket, how long does that gas pocket linger at that particular position of earth?

 

 

..........Widder

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Aunt Jen,

 

Just remember that if we can't dazzle you with our brilliance then sure as heck can baffle you with our BS. :P;):D:lol::ph34r:

 

Keep em coming reading these makes the time pass more enjoyably.

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Where does the white go when the snow melts...?....just wondering....Jim

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You want more????

 

RELATED question:

 

If breathing is soooo durn important, why did our lungs form on he INSIDE?

 

I know: ribs protect them, nose hair filters...keep lungs safe and clean

 

BUT I wonder why we couldn't have evolved to absorb oxygen through our skin:

 

---Body doesn't waste energy working lung muscles.

---Some part of body dirty? Other parts can soak up oxygen? Have to hold breath under water anyway.

---body could utilize an oxygen storage system when swimming....

---less chance of a malfunction.

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Where does the white go when the snow melts...?....just wondering....Jim

I get the humor :)

 

But to answer anyway, the waves we perceive as white are emitted by the snow, and they are going in a Fairly straight line, all directions, all the time the snow exists under an appropriate light source. Even to other reaches of te universe---though I'm guessing diminishing to inverse square of distance, to the point they will be indistinguishable from cosmic background radiation, like our radio radio waves, before reaching other stars

 

When the snow melts, it no longer emits the wavs. (reflection I think is sn absorption and re-emission). So the waves emitted already are going where they're going: all directions.

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Thanks Aunt Jen for the snow answer...say what did you say....lol Jim

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You want more????

 

RELATED question:

 

If breathing is soooo durn important, why did our lungs form on he INSIDE?

 

I know: ribs protect them, nose hair filters...keep lungs safe and clean

 

BUT I wonder why we couldn't have evolved to absorb oxygen through our skin:

 

---Body doesn't waste energy working lung muscles.

---Some part of body dirty? Other parts can soak up oxygen? Have to hold breath under water anyway.

---body could utilize an oxygen storage system when swimming....

---less chance of a malfunction.

You need muscles to make them expand and contract.

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If breathing is soooo durn important, why did our lungs form on he INSIDE?

 

Tissues that are permeable to oxygen are fragile. You can get away with an oxygen-permeable skin on a little critter like a salamander because he doesn't need much, so his skin can still be relatively tough. But a human requires a lot more oxygen, and skin thin enough to pass that much oxygen won't protect against much else. Plus we'd likely all drown in the shower.

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Think of the human body as a water storage vessel. We are able to consume and hold enough water to keep us going between sometimes long stretches between sources. This allows us to move and expand over more of our environment. Most organisms utilizing outside O2 conversion, or skin absorbsion, must remain moist. If that were the case for us a goodly amount of this planet would be unavailable to us as a species.

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Ah. Very good. Thank you all, Sparky and Michigan. That makes sense. (Mine is just a curious mind.)

 

My silly mind is inclined to respond with, "So you're saying that in ancient days, European early modern humans (EEMH, or "Cro-Magnon") who breathed through their skin drowned in their little Flintstone shower (or jacuzzi, or swimming pools), such that the ones who had lungs on the inside lived---natural selection?" But that's just me playing arond, and you don't know me, so I'll refrain. :)

 

Thank you for a good explanation, though.

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I studied creativity for years. I use it in my writing. So here is the first of my wonderings:

 

In an atmosphere of so many gasses, even if mostly nitrogen and oxygen, of all the billions of cubic feet of air adound tbe globe, why don't we sometimes experience a portion that is oxygen deficient?

 

Engines quit. Breathing is hard for all in that area. Fires die... For a while. Shouldn't it happen sometimes?

 

Please don't just say the atmosphere is convective like a pot of boiling water. Yrs it is. But there needs to be more in the explanation.

Certainly it happens, and people can suffocate when it does. That's why it's dangerous to enter a closed space, such as a tank, storage vessel, silo, tunnel, etc., where convection doesn't happen. Workers are trained to never enter such an enclosure alone for their own safety. Carbon dioxide is heavier than air and settles into low lying pockets where there is no convection. It's dangerous.

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Because I said so!!!

 

used to work with my kids.

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Because I said so!!!

 

used to work with my kids.

 

My wife's variant was "Because I'm the Mom!" It worked on the kids, and usually on me too. (And when it didn't work on me, "If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy" always did.)

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You want more????

 

RELATED question:

 

If breathing is soooo durn important, why did our lungs form on he INSIDE?

 

I know: ribs protect them, nose hair filters...keep lungs safe and clean

 

BUT I wonder why we couldn't have evolved to absorb oxygen through our skin:

 

---Body doesn't waste energy working lung muscles.

---Some part of body dirty? Other parts can soak up oxygen? Have to hold breath under water anyway.

---body could utilize an oxygen storage system when swimming....

---less chance of a malfunction.

Our skin surface area would not be large enough to supply our oxygen requirements. The surface area available for gas exchange in a pair of healthy adult lungs is about the same as half a tennis court...about 100 square meters.

 

The need for quick efficient gas exchange, absorption of nutrients and emission of waste products is the reason cells are microscopic. Tiny cells have a large surface to mass ratio. Humans have a comparatively small surface to mass ratio. You have to think of a human as a pile of several billion separate living individual cells, each with its own metabolic requirements, rather than what you see in the mirror. One -celled species like amoebas and bacteria are still small for that reason. If bacteria and amoebas could survive better by being bigger, they would have evolved to be bigger by now. But they haven't. Microscopic size is an advantage for gas and nutrient exchange.

 

Finally, if "lungs on the outside" were an advantage for survival, we would have lungs on the outside. But 3.5 billion years of natural selection says otherwise.

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on the International Space Station, it has been observed that a sleeping person who is in an area without ventilation will have a carbon dioxide bubble form around their head and potentially suffocate them. So, if MSNBC were to answer your question it would be because it is George Bush's fault

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Finally found this. I remembered it but couldn't remember when or where. Fortunately the unique conditions for this are only found in 3 lakes in the entire world.

 

The Lake Nyos Disaster

 

 

Lake Nyos is an active crater lake that formed by an eruption about 5 centuries ago. Nyos and Lake Monoun, located 95km to the southeast of Nyos, are the only two volcanic lakes in the world other than Lake Kivu that contain large amounts of CO2 dissolved at depth (Holloway, 2000). Nyos and Monoun both released their gases in the month of August only two years apart from one another......

Lake Monoun, Cameroon killed 37 people

Lake Nyos, Cameroon killed 1,700 people

 

There were also thousands of aminals killed in both instances.

 

 

 

About Lake Kivu gas

 

More than 1,000 people died in 1986 when a lake in Cameroon released a cloud of CO2 that suffocated entire villages. A much larger lake in Rwanda - with two million people living nearby - is also at risk of eruption, but plans are afoot to make it safer.

In the early evening on Lake Kivu, along Rwanda's border with the Democratic Republic of Congo, lights bob on the surface of the water. They're fishermen's lanterns hanging off wooden boats to attract herring.

Lake Kivu's fish are a crucial source of food for the two million people who live around the perimeter.

But there's something else below the surface of the water besides fish. Something fraught with both risk and promise.

Deep at the bottom of the lake, about 1,000 feet (300m) down, Kivu's water is heavy with dissolved gas. The lake contains an estimated 256 cubic kilometres of carbon dioxide (CO2) and 65 cubic kilometres of methane.

"It's a highly volcanic area and much of the CO2 enters the lake from the volcanic rock beneath it," says Professor Brian Moss from the University of Liverpool.

Bacteria in the lake then convert some of the CO2 into methane .....

 

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Turbulent mixing of the atmosphere combined with Brownian motion of the individual gas molecules is stronger than the density variations between the various gases in air. Sort of the same reason that all the pool balls on a table don't ever "rack themselves up" if you randomly agitate the table. Now, if you tilt the table so that a force (gravity) is strong enough to collect the balls into a corner, sure, then you see "bubbles" appear.

 

It is well known that a release of carbon dioxide (a little denser than air) or freon (denser than that) or even something 3 times denser than air, like chlorine gas, will pool or puddle in depressions. For a little while. But, that pool of mostly pure gas quickly spreads in the surrounding air, especially if there is good ventilation and air moving through. Which is a good thing - it allows underground coal mines to operate without forming a lot of pockets of methane gas (also heavier than air) - at least when the fans are still working.

 

A "bubble" of gas does not have any force that tries to keep it together. A pool of liquid does (water has strong surface tension - that is what holds rain drops together as the fall through the air). In fact, a pool or "bubble" of gas has fairly high speed Brownian motion of the individual gas molecules that make the molecules "want" to get away from each other.

 

About the closest we get to a bubble of gas is when clouds form (but the clouds are actually collections of tiny water droplets - so what holds THEM together?) - and surely we don't want to get our heads in the clouds on this topic!

 

Good luck, GJ

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When I was in High School a loooong time ago (The 50s) I was in a physics class where the teacher was trying to explain Gravity. When he got to illustrating the Law of Gravity by using the idea of two things (A cannon ball and a feather) dropped off the Leaning Tower of Pisa in a vacuum hitting the ground at the same time, I blurted out "No way, that doesn't make sense!" Maybe not, the teacher told me, but the law of Gravity has been proven time and again and that's just how it is. So there!

 

25 or 30 years later, I was wondering if the moon were to have liquid water, would the Earth's gravity cause huge tides on it? All of a sudden a light went on, I knew the cannonball/feather answer hat had bugged me for all those years. Anything that has mass, has gravity. Our planets attraction to the sun that keeps us from flying off into deep space, the moons gravity that causes the tides on earth, etc. More mass (weight) generates more gravity. As for the cannonball/feather business, the earth has all the mass so it affects the feather the same as the cannonball.

 

BUT doesn't the cannonball also have mass, more mass than the feather and therefore more gravity? So while the earths gravity attracts the cannonball and the feather, the cannonballs gravity attracts the earth in return, more than the feather does. and the cannonball must strike the ground first! (Although its too small an amount to measure, its nevertheless true. So I was right back in the 50s.

 

So, Aunt jen, you never know when wondering will lead to something special.

 

The O'Meara Himself

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You want more????

 

RELATED question:

 

If breathing is soooo durn important, why did our lungs form on he INSIDE?

 

I know: ribs protect them, nose hair filters...keep lungs safe and clean

 

BUT I wonder why we couldn't have evolved to absorb oxygen through our skin:

 

---Body doesn't waste energy working lung muscles.

---Some part of body dirty? Other parts can soak up oxygen? Have to hold breath under water anyway.

---body could utilize an oxygen storage system when swimming....

---less chance of a malfunction.

Because that would be UGLY!

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