Pulse Rate December 2011

The entrance of Santa Claus through the chimney has two possible origins: Saint Nicholas was said to have thrown coins into houses via chimneys. Also, since ancient times, the hearth was seen as a source of beneficence and it was believed that elves and fairies used the hearth as a portal to bring gifts. Note Santa’s description as an “elf” in Christmas lore.

Albert Einstein co-invented a refrigerator, along with his former student Leó Szilárd. The 1930 patent had no moving parts and only required a heat source to operate.

While Christians and Jews seem to have the monopoly on December holidays, there is a holiday in Islam that occasional falls in December. It is Day of Ashura. For Shia Muslims it is a day of mourning for a grandson of Prophet Muhammad who died in battle. For Sunni Muslims, it is the day Moses fasted to thank God for the liberation of the Israelites.

A word of warning to snowball fighters: the acid rain phenomenon can also occur with snow, so depending on where you live, you could be hurling potentially harmful, toxic projectiles. Unless that is something you enjoy doing, and in that case you’re just a jerk.

The holiday of HumanLight has taken off across the US. First celebrated on December 23, 2001, it is a secular occasion originating in the atheist/Humanist community centered on the vision of a good future for humanity. humanlight.org.

Blocking the sun for an extended period of time can also cause winter conditions: Nuclear winter would be from the mass combustion of materials darkening the atmosphere following a nuclear war, impact winter would be caused by dust and ash thrown up from a meteorite or asteroid impact and volcanic winter, from large scale volcanic ejecta.

2 for 1 Pulse Rate: The worst Russian winters happen in the east Siberian state known as the Sakha or Yakutia Republic, with temperatures reaching lows of -85°F. The Republic also happens to be the largest country subdivision in the world, nearly twice the size of Alaska.

Cryogenics, the study of low temperatures and the behavior of materials at low temperatures begins at below ?150 °C, ?238 °F or 123 K. The standard temperature scales for cryogenicists are Kelvin or Rankine.

Mt. Everest, at 29,029 ft may be the tallest mountain on Earth in terms of height above sea level, but Mt. Chimborazo, a 20,565 ft Andes peak in Ecuador is actually almost a mile and a half closer to outer space than Everest, due to Earth’s swift rotation producing an equatorial bulge.

There is no universally accepted minimal height for a mountain. Throughout history, those living in proximity to a raised landform have generally determined its designation.

In the cosmos as a whole, the most common form of water by far is known as amorphous ice. Instead of a rigid arrangement, its crystals are randomly distributed, so this type of ice is viscous, not a geometric solid.

The first refrigerator to see widespread use was the General Electric “Monitor-Top,” introduced in 1927. Essentially an icebox with a refrigeration unit on top, its refrigerant was either sulfur dioxide or methyl formate, both highly hazardous and toxic substances.