October 1st, 2010

Odd Lots

  • The base for the Geiger-Muller tubes used in all of the early Cold War era Victoreen counters (including both tubes now on my bench) is called a standard Peewee 3-pin, JEDEC A3-1. Many thanks to Jonathan O'Neal for sending along this link to a detailed spec sheet (PDF) for one of the tubes. Now I can wire up the counter I'm building for initial tests.
  • A couple of people have suggested using a Leyden jar instead of ordinary capacitors to collect charge for my (supposedly) steampunk Geiger counter. I imagine that a Leyden jar would be more period, and it's certainly a good excuse to build something that I saw in every single one of the kid books on electricity I read back in the early 60s. Not real portable, though.
  • There is indeed an organization that helps to keep Latin functional, 2000-odd years from its original coalescence as a major world language. No psychic powers points for guessing that the organization is...the Roman Catholic Church. (Thanks to Michael Covington for the link, which, I must say ahead of things, is in...Latin.)
  • And Finland just racked up a huge mess of cool points with me for being the only country in the world that broadcasts the news in Latin. (Thanks to Aki Peltonen for the link.)
  • Jim Furstenberg put me on to photos of a round dozen Victorian submarines. The site looks to be a marvelously engaging time-waster, er, experience broadener. (Have done much of both in recent hours.)
  • Google just announced its own URL shortener, which will do some reasonable screening against malware. I have avoided using URL shorteners for that reason until now.
  • Furthermore, the new Google URL shortener will generate a QR code for you if you tack a .qr onto the end of the shortened URL.
  • Amazon is creating an Android app store. Peculiar? Not if the next (or next after that) Kindle generation is more than just an ebook reader.
  • I'm proud to say that my good sister Gretchen long ago declared that she is raising free-range kids. I wasn't quite sure what she meant (Carol and I have none of our own) until I read this. Bravo! Now, can we make zero-tolerance policies in schools a felony? (Thanks to Pete Albrecht for the link.)
  • The other day I mentioned to Carol that, with "Drumlin Circus" taking on a certain steampunk flavor (it's certainly nothing like "Drumlin Boiler") I would probably have to buy a top hat. Her reply: "Um...you already have a top hat." I looked on the high shelf in the closet, and shore 'nuff! I bought it for the 1999 Coriolis Millennium Christmas Party at the Biltmore Hotel in Scottsdale. I wore it exactly once, and then forgot about it. So what's next? Spats? Or my seriously ahead-of-the-curve Chester A. Arthur facial hair?