[SCA] Doppelgangers

Jul. 24th, 2014 01:30 pm
sunrises: (thinking)
[personal profile] sunrises
Title: Doppelgangers
Fandoms: Wizards of Waverly Place and High School Musical crossover (with mentions of Hex Hall)
Universe: Sharpay's Crossover Adventure
Relationship: Justin Russo+Peyton Leverett, mentioned Sophie/Archer
Summary: Peyton and Justin get mistaken for archrivals at the Sub Station. In all, it's a pretty typical Thursday.

yeah I got obsessed )

Ink Molecules

Jul. 23rd, 2014 12:00 am
[syndicated profile] what_if_feed

Posted by xkcd

Ink Molecules

Suppose you were to print, in 12 point text, the numeral 1 using a common cheap ink-jet printer. How many molecules of the ink would be used? At what numerical value would the number printed approximately equal the number of ink molecules used?

David Pelkey

This is the kind of problem where Fermi estimation comes in handy. In Fermi estimation, we're not concerned about exact numbers. We just want, before we start doing research, to get an idea of how big the number is going to be. Will it have 10 digits, or 100 digits, or a zillion?

We'll see what we can figure out before we look anything up.

An inkjet cartridge lets me print out some number of 8.5"x11" black-and-white pages. Let's be optimistic and say a few hundred. If each page has 500 words and each word has 5 letters, then each page has 2,500 letters. 100 pages is 250,000 letters and 400 would be 1,000,000. So the number of letters per cartridge probably has six digits.

Now, how many molecules are in an ink cartridge? This will be harder to estimate without cheating and looking things up, but let's try.

Let's say I remember hearing about "Avogadro's number" in chemistry class, but I don't remember exactly what it is. It's definitely something times 1023, so it has 24 digits. And I remember that it's the number of atoms in some number of grams of something. It was a smallish number. Probably.[1]For the record, it's 6.022×1023, and it's the number of carbon-12 atoms in 12 grams of carbon-12 (or the number of hydrogen atoms in a gram of hydrogen).

Inkjet cartriges probably also contain a small number of grams of ink.[2]Citation: If it were a big number, they would be hard to pick up, and if it were less than a gram, the idea that we've been paying $30 for them is just too upsetting to contemplate. Let's assume it's the same small number, because Fermi estimation lets us do that.

I have no idea what's in ink. (Remember, we're not allowed to look stuff up yet.) I know squid can make ink of some kind, so maybe ink has some big complicated organic molecules in it. That's bad, because I have no chance of estimating their weights to within even a few orders of magnitude.

Fortunately, what we need to worry the most about is the smallest molecules, because they'll contribute the most to the total count.

Ink probably has a lot of water in it, like many liquids. On the other hand, I bet most of those water molecules wander off when the ink dries—since that's what the word "dries" means.

We have nothing to go on here, so let's take a wild guess and suppose that a 10% of ink's bulk comes from large numbers of little molecules, ones comparable in size to the [mumble mumble carbon or something] atoms in Avogadro's number. Since Avogadro's number has 24 digits, 10% of it would be a 23-digit number. If our other guesses are right, then the number of molecules in an ink cartridge might also have about 23 digits

If there are a 23-digit number of molecules in an ink cartridge, and that cartridge prints a 6-digit number of letters, then each printed letter (or number) should contain a number of ink molecules with 23 - 6 = 17 digits.[3]What we're doing here is dividing by subtracting the number of digits. If you think this is a cool shortcut, and decide to develop it further and make it a little more rigorous and precise, then congratulations! You've just invented logarithms.

That means a printed 10-digit number contains about an 18-digit number of ink molecules, and a 100-digit number contains a 19-digit number of ink molecules. Aha! The crossover point, where the number of molecules and the printed number are equal, must happen somewhere between 18 and 19 digits.

So our answer, according to Fermi estimation, is in the neighborhood of a high 18-digit number. We might be off by several orders of magnitude in either direction, but in either case, it's definitely a number you could print out on a single line.

Now, let's do some actual research and find out how we did.

Inks, unsurprisingly, are complicated and vary a lot. Color inks contain a lot of large and heavy molecules, especially some of the pigments. Fortunately, cheap black inks—which are what David asked about—are simpler.

As our example, we'll take the ink used in the random HP printer at my house. HP doesn't disclose everything about what the ink is made of, but they do publish a material safety data sheet for it here.

The MSDS data tells us that the ink is over 70% water. It also contains the molecule 2-pyrrolidone (which is apparently used to synthesize the anti-seizure drug Ethosuximide) and 1,5-pentanediol.

In addition, it contains up to 5% "modified carbon black", a form of crystalline carbon (like graphite and diamond). This is great news for our estimate, because crystalline carbon is very simple; its molecular formula is just "C".[4]Assuming you count each carbon atom separately. You could interpret David's question to mean particles of ink, so each hunk of carbon black would only count as 1. However, that would mean working out exactly what water fraction remains in the dried ink and how much weight 1,5-pentanediol contributes and so forth, and that sounds like more work.

Conveniently, "C" is also what's used in the definition of Avogadro's number. Small consumer cartridges contain a few grams of ink, which is less than the 12 grams used in Avogadro's number. That might make our estimate about half a digit too high. And while we were lucky at guessing carbon, HP ink contains less than 5% carbon black, not the 10% we guessed. That pushes the real answer down even lower than our estimate. But all in all, we did pretty well!

Of course, this is a reminder of how much easier the digital world is:

It's also a reminder of how expensive ink is. Speaking of which, the ink sac from the tiny Octopoteuthis deletron squid are probably a few milliliters, based on the collection bottle sizes mentioned in this paper, for a squid that probably only weighs a hundred grams or so.

$30 could probably get you a few kilograms of fresh whole squid, and—if you picked the right squid—a total of five or six cartridges worth of ink.


Jam Session! Lemon Blueberry Jam

Jul. 23rd, 2014 10:03 pm
[syndicated profile] jampackedjars_feed

Posted by jessieheichel

I did this big Facebook poll (and by “big”, I mean, like, 20 people read it) asking people which apricot recipe they would like me to try next.  There was a great response, and so when I packed my family up into the car, I had high expectations for a day full of shady, fruit picking and togetherness.

Then I got to the orchard, and they told me apricot picking was closed for the season.

I felt like this, but with a few more trees around.

But blueberries were ripe!

Oh. Uh, let me get up off your floor then,

So what else could I do?  We got busy picking! 

Here’s the thing about Unexpected Blueberry Picking (UBP), it’s not shady.  Like, at all.  You are at the mercy of our blistering, angry sun, and whatever plastic chicken wire they strung overtop of the berry patch isn’t going to save you.  Also, I had the amazing foresight to fall out the door, completely unprepared, on the hottest and most humid day we’ve had in weeks.

So, it was a little more labor intensive than I would have liked, but we still did it.  I am of the opinion that canning is a hobby, and hobbies should be fun.   For me, part of keeping me engaged means getting outdoors, so if the season permits, I do recommend checking into local “pick your own” orchards.  The fruit ends up being cheaper anyway.


I don’t think this photo does justice to how insanely hot it was that day.

Okay, so here’s what I did.  I paid for their “large” basket at the orchard, and filled it to overflowing (Which they do encourage.  I wasn’t getting away with anything).  I ended up with a little over 5 POUNDS of blueberries for $16!  I also ended up with two young children who were utterly over it, and desperately in need of some electrolytes.

This is one of my “winging it” recipes (this will be a common theme), so I will walk you through what I did, and you can make adjustments as you see fit.


  • 2 1/2 pounds fresh blueberries
  • The zest and juice from one lemon (more on this in a minute…)
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 2/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1 package pectin (Omit if you’d like.  Blueberries gel pretty well, but maybe expect more of a “sauce” without it..)
bown of blues

This wasn’t even half!

Okay, so a few notes on this recipe.  I did use the juice and zest from one whole lemon – not even that large of a lemon – and my husband’s reaction to it was “It’s good, but it maybe tastes like a Sour Warhead”.

Not the greatest feedback I’ve ever received…

Yikes!  Certainly, I disagree, but I also begin to mistrust my senses after 7 or 8 taste tests of the same batch.  So, here’s what I’ll say: If you prefer a more tart jam, go for the juice and zest from one lemon.  If not, use only HALF a lemon – or maybe just half a tablespoon of lemon extract.

All that being said, lemon and blueberry do pair beautifully!  This makes a distinctly summer-y jam, and I do love it when it seems like you can taste the sunshine in something (I swear I’m not high right now!).  And hey, my kids ate some, and they’re 4 and 5.  You will never find a more honest audience than that.

jar blues

Follow typical cooking and canning procedure, and let me know how it turned out!

Shady Housewife Exchanges

Jul. 23rd, 2014 08:09 pm
[syndicated profile] jampackedjars_feed

Posted by jessieheichel

I met a gal I went to high school with in a parking lot today.  It was a scheduled meeting.

She gave me two containers of wineberries, and I gave her some Lemon Blueberry jam.

It was like the housewife-iest drug deal ever, and I did it for YOU!

In my head, it went down like this…

Jam Session! – Basic Dill Pickles

Jul. 23rd, 2014 06:23 pm
[syndicated profile] jampackedjars_feed

Posted by jessieheichel

This is as easy as it gets, folks!
Easy Peasy… pickle… squeezy? Oh God, that’s not what I meant. NO!

Moving on.

We have a little garden out back for the first time this year. We had a few epic flops (PEPPERS! Why have you forsaken me?), such as radishes the size and shape of pencil points. Then again, we have had a few things turn out super well, like our cucumber plants.

We planted the Burpee (will that name ever stop being funny?) pickling cucumbers, so these guys are meant to grow much smaller than your average cukes. Still, there’s nothing wrong with them, and they’re VERY SPECIAL!

Are ya ticklish?

Speaking of small things, here’s the entirety of my garden’s bounty:

cukesMy favorites are the one shaped like an apostrophe, and the one shaped like a matryoshka doll.  So, fine, that haul is not terribly impressive, but enough to do a half batch of dill pickles using the recipe from Ball. 

cukes weigh

That recipe is:

  • 3 1/2 pounds pickling cucumbers
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 c. Ball kosher dill pickle mix
  • 2 Ball 2-quart jars with lids/rings  (Or, ya know, an equivalent of smaller jars.


Pickling salt! You’ll know it when you smell it.

I do like this recipe a lot, because it’s a great introduction to canning, it’s cheap, and personally, I will put pickles on anything.  Also, the house smells awesome while the mix is boiling.

Now, you can choose to pickle whole cucumbers (assuming they’ll fit), or you can cut them into spears or slices.  I went with slices, because I don’t feel like taking them out to slice them every time I want a sandwich (which is, admittedly, all the time).


I did not have any problems with this recipe, which is rare!

Canning steps:

jar pickles

Look at that SPILL! I am 15 minutes into my first ever recipe for the blog, and I have already wholeheartedly given up on maintaining the illusion of a spotless kitchen…

  • Sterilize your jars, lids, rings, tongs, funnel, and anything else you will be using by submerging them in boiling water for 10 minutes.
  • In a separate pot, combine your water, vinegar and pickling mixture, and bring it all to a boil.
  • Pack your jars while still hot (be careful!) with pickles in whatever way works best. (I used half pint jars and small slices)  Try not to leave a hell of a lot of room in there. 
  • Ladle hot mixture into your jars.  Leave only about 1/4″ of space at the top.
  • Wipe the rim of the jars with a damp paper towel to remove anything that might get in the way of a good seal, and fasten lids to the jar by screwing on the rings.
  • Carefully return jars to boiling water.  Submerge and let them process for 15 minutes.
  • Let them cool on a wire rack or pot holder – listen for the lids to pop! (SCIENCE!)  Check your lids after about 15 minutes.  They should be sucked down, and should therefore make no noise when you press down on them.  If they did not seal properly, wait another few minutes to see if they do.  If not, you can refrigerate that jar, but do not try to store it at room temperature.  That there’s a bad seal, and the food inside will quickly become unsafe if not kept cold.


There might be some creepy organ music and lightning around when you do this. Don’t panic. It happens whenever someone is doing chemistry.

Now, pickles are a bit of an exercise in delayed gratification.  While you can definitely get at them right away, the longer you wait, the more pickle-y they will be. Most folks say to wait 4-6 weeks.  Still, if you have a cookout coming up in a few days, and want to debut your homemades, it’s not like they’re going to be terrible.  Maybe just somewhat mild. 

Just… serve a lot of beer.  Nobody will notice.

Let me know how yours turn out!  I always love pictures too!

Free Book – Of Love and War (K/N/E)

Jul. 24th, 2014 01:24 am
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Posted by Books

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Of Love and War, by Paul Doherty, is free in the Kindle store and from Barnes & Noble and Google, courtesy of publisher Headline [Hachette].

Book Description
In 1921, Lieutenant Henry Gilpin is scouring the country seeking out those who, perhaps, did not do their best for king and country in the Great War. In the mining town of Crouden, Jack Aylward’s name is on the top of his list. Many men never returned to Crouden from the mud of Northern France, the survivors are tragically altered. Gilpin may exorcise their ghosts, but he brings new terrors with his justice. Kitty Aylward watches in horror as he tears apart the lives of people she has loved and respected. After a wonderful childhood with her constant companions, Billy and Jack, Kitty had finally married Billy but before he left to fight Billy asked for one strange promise: if he should die, she must marry his closest friend. When her husband was killed kept her oath, but now she slowly realises that Gilpin could hold a terrible secret concerning Jack, and Billy’s death.

Get the free ebook from Barnes & Noble.
Get the free ebook from Google.
Free on Kindle; links on Today’s Free Kindle Books.


Free Book – Black Beauty (K/N/E)

Jul. 24th, 2014 12:44 am
[syndicated profile] booksontheknob_feed

Posted by Books

Black Beauty, by Anna Sewell, is free in the Kindle store and from Barnes & Noble, Google and Kobo, courtesy of publisher Open Road.

At Audible, the companion audiobook is $2.99.

Book Description
The timeless tale of a horse named Beauty

With his fine black coat, his one white foot, and the distinctive white star on his forehead, Black Beauty is a magnificent creature, the pride of Squire Gordon’s country estate. But when the squire has to move abroad, Beauty’s fortunes change, and at the hands of other masters he suffers the cruelty and disregard that were sadly all too common for horses in Victorian England. In his wise, candid, and endearing voice, Black Beauty offers insight not just into his own experiences, but into the lives of Ginger, Merrylegs, Peggy, Captain, and all the special horses he meets along the way.

Crippled by a childhood injury, for most of her life Anna Sewell relied on horses to get around. She wrote Black Beauty to encourage readers to view these animals with the same respect and sympathy she did, and the enduring popularity of the novel and its profound influence on the animal rights movement are testaments to her remarkable success.

This ebook has been professionally proofread to ensure accuracy and readability on all devices.

Age Level: 9 – 12

Get the free ebook from Barnes & Noble.
Get the free ebook from Google.
Get the free ebook from Kobo.
Free on Kindle; links on Today’s Free Kindle Books.


My subconscious won

Jul. 23rd, 2014 09:44 pm
sine_nomine: (Default)
[personal profile] sine_nomine
I asked a question I perhaps had not given enough thought to the possible consequences of asking. And so yesterday's cryptic activity has been called on account of numerous concerns. For now, I'm told.

I first raised this possibility a year ago though it morphed into something beyond what I'd envisioned. Which was fun and genuinely exciting.

I suspect, though genuinely hope not, that I'm going to have to wait another year.


1890 / Fic - Teen Wolf

Jul. 23rd, 2014 08:29 pm
siria: (tw - derek stiles sleepy)
[personal profile] siria
a darkness on you, flooded in light
Teen Wolf | Derek/Stiles | ~1700 words | Thanks to [personal profile] dogeared for betaing.

(Also on AO3)

Set post 4.05 )
[syndicated profile] hollywoodlaw_feed

Posted by the Associated Press

Shelly Sterling was expected to be the final witness in the civil case to determine if she has the right to sell the team to Steve Ballmer for $2 billion, but Donald Sterling's lawyers decided not to call her back to the stand.

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Posted by Michael O'Connell

An advertisement for the law offices of James M. McGill goes up in the town where the "Breaking Bad" spinoff recently started filming, and Bob Odenkirk has a message for anyone who calls.

read more

elrhiarhodan: (Life More Ordinary - 4)
[personal profile] elrhiarhodan
Title: An Ordinary Afternoon
Author: [livejournal.com profile] elrhiarhodan
Fandom: White Collar
Rating: PG
Characters/Pairings: Neal Caffrey, Mozzie. Peter Burke, Elizabeth Burke; Peter/Elizabeth/Neal
Spoilers: None
Warnings/Enticements/Triggers: Vague reference to past abusive relationship
Word Count: ~3600
Beta Credit: [livejournal.com profile] theatregirl7299
Summary: A few weeks after the events in A Life More Ordinary, Peter and Elizabeth have Sunday brunch at Neal’s – for the express purpose of meeting Neal’s best friend – Mozzie.

A/N: Written as a fill for my recent Timestamp meme, for [livejournal.com profile] atmc35, who wanted an story from the Vet!Neal ‘verse - A Life Less Ordinary and A Life more Ordinary. She wanted to see how they getting on as P/N together


Moz watched Neal dither and thought it was really kind of sweet. The Burkes, or as he called them, “The Suit and His Bride” or more simply “Mr. and Mrs. Suit”, were coming over for Sunday brunch and Neal wanted everything to be perfect.  )
chomiji: A chocolate cupcake with a birthday candle and the title Birthday Love! Make a wish ... (birthday love)
[personal profile] chomiji

I hope you both had/are having wonderful days!

Wednesday, July 23

Jul. 23rd, 2014 06:37 pm
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[personal profile] oni_9 posting in [community profile] su_herald
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slash madness round!

Jul. 23rd, 2014 05:29 pm
esteefee: (john_rodney)
[personal profile] esteefee
Vote for McShep! in the Classics division. Sheesh, don't we feel old. :)

According to the actual definition, a "classic" has to be at least 30 years old. I mean.


alexseanchai: quill, ink bottle, and calligraphy (Default)
our roads may be golden, or broken, or lost

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