Low-grade unprocessed cotton could prove an effective cleanup tool following oil spills at sea, according to recent research.
A study published in the most recent issue of Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research reveals that one pound of low-micronaire cotton can absorb more than 30 pounds of dense crude oil, according to research conducted at Texas Tech’s Nonwovens and Advanced Materials Laboratory.
In addition, the natural waxiness of raw, unprocessed cotton fiber keeps water out, making cotton an efficient and effective material for addressing ocean-based oil spills, according to the publication, published by the American Chemical Society.
“The new study includes some of the first scientific data on unprocessed cotton’s use as a crude oil sorbent,” according to Southeast Farm Press.
About 10 percent of the cotton grown in West Texas is low micronaire, according to Seshadri Ramkumar, lead author of the study and manager of the Nonwovens and Advanced Materials Laboratory at Texas Tech.
“It doesn’t take a dye well, so it has little value as a textile fiber. However, because it is less mature, more of it can be packed into a given area,” he said. “We show through sophisticated testing that low-micronaire cotton is much finer and can pick up more crude oil.
About all that stands out in TopGear.com’s review of the Aston Martin V12 Vantage S is the end of the second sentence – “ … it’s more powerful than ever, and it’s louder” – along with the accompanying photos of the stylish sports car.
But, then again, power, noise and flashy pics can do much to mask muddled writing.
Yes, for the vast majority of us plebeians, dreaming of owning an Aston Martin is akin to window shopping on Beverly Hill’s Rodeo Drive – except, perhaps, you might get something a little more tangible for your money.
Perhaps that’s why TopGear loaded its review of the V12 Vantage S with jargon that makes it practically incomprehensible at first glance.
Following on from the Rapide S revealed earlier this year, the new Vantage S replaces the old V12 Vantage, and sports Aston’s new AM28 6-litre V12 engine, producing the same figures as the Vanquish. So you’re looking at 565bhp – up from 510bhp – 457lb-ft of torque and a top speed of 205mph. The old car did a piffling 183mph; positively pedestrian.
Listening to the babbling and braying emanating from elected officials today one pines for the days of classical antiquity when rhetoric was seen as an essential part a quality education.
There’s no doubt that effective communication – particularly public speaking – has waned in recent decades as leaders of all stripes have sought to tailor remarks (in dumbed-down fashion, in many instances) for television cameras, news reporters and, most recently, Twitter feeds.
The problem is, elegant discourse rarely comes in 140 characters or less. Sometimes, you actually have to give a real genuine speech in order to get a point across.
That also means you often have to listen to an entire talk to get its full meaning, or to understand the genius behind it.
Case in point is a brief speech delivered by a young Mississippi lawmaker in 1952.
Noah S. “Soggy” Sweat, finishing his first and only term in the Mississippi Legislature, delivered what became known as the “Whiskey Speech.”
I make no apologies for my disdain for weddings.
It’s hard to respect an event which costs, on average, nearly $28,000, turns (relatively) sane people into selfish boors and generally highlights all the deplorable excesses of society in a single day.
Worse, far too many brides focus months or sometimes years of attention on their wedding day, rather than the fact that, if things go well, this will be the person they’ll be spending their next 50 or so years with, while too many grooms see their wedding as just another opportunity to get their high school or college buddies together for one more booze-fueled festival of inanity.
And there are plenty of companies all too happy to exploit this ever-increasing celebration of the individual, rather than what it’s meant to be: The joining of a couple.
Weddings provide an interesting barometer for just how far off the deep end a sizeable proportion of society has tumbled.
As columnist Alexandra Gekas wrote not too long ago, “I really think a lot of people put more thought into their wedding than into whether or not they are marrying the right person. … They act like finding and catching that man is a victory of some sort and as if getting married is an accomplishment in itself, for which the reward is a big, gaudy party. Newsflash: Getting married is not an accomplishment, staying married is.”
The Getty Museum of Los Angeles has enlarged its Rembrandt collection by adding a famous self-portrait of one of the key figures of the Dutch Golden Age.
Rembrandt Laughing, seen above, is a small oil-on-copper work probably done around 1628. It came onto the art market in 2007 after spending centuries as part of private collections.
“Painted when Rembrandt was a young, newly independent artist, possibly the third self-portrait of his career, Rembrandt Laughing exemplifies his signature spirited, confident handling of paint and natural ability to convey emotion,” Scott Schaefer, senior curator of paintings at the Getty Museum, said. “It is a measure of the artist’s consummate skill that the dynamism of his pose and the act of laughing translates into a painting of tremendous visual impact, far exceeding its modest dimensions.”
Rembrandt Laughing was originally believed to be the work of a contemporary of the noted Dutch artist. It had belonged to an English family for approximately 100 years before they decided to sell it in 2007.
An initial valuation of $3,100 skyrocketed when researchers confirmed that the 8 3/4-inch x 6 5/8-inch work was an actual Rembrandt, and the painting sold for $4.5 million later that year.
Modern Western society appears caught between alternately making its denizens’ lives easier – smartphones, handheld GPS, debit cards, etc. – and more difficult – air-travel hassles, low-flow toilets and so on.
Often, it would seem that for every convenience that business ushers in, government feels the need to tack on a burden or two. What’s most frustrating is that these aggravations are often utterly unnecessary.
Case in point: Gas cans. No, seriously.
Beginning in 2009, government regulation prevented the manufacture of gas with vents.
In an effort to prevent spillage – not a bad goal, mind you – the Environmental Protection Agency issued regulatory guidelines a few years ago that stated that, “ … new cans will be built with a simple and inexpensive permeation barrier and new spouts that close automatically.”
As Jeffrey Tucker of the Laissez Faire Club points out, “The government never said ‘no vents.’ It abolished them de facto with new standards that every state had to adopt by 2009. So for the last (four) years, you have not been able to buy gas cans that work properly. They are not permitted to have a separate vent. The top has to close automatically.”
What we have now, if you are unfortunate enough to have to rely on a gas can manufactured after 2008, is an implement that dispenses gasoline unevenly.
Two Georgia men – one nicknamed “Bubba” – have been charged in a recent grave-robbing incident in which the corpses of five Confederate and Revolutionary War soldiers were dug up.
Jerry Atkinson and Ralph Hillis Jr., both of Waynesboro, Ga., could get up to five years in the hoosegow if convicted of “malicious removal of the dead from a grave.”
Perhaps not surprisingly, Hillis goes by the nickname “Bubba.” He was arrested last week, but Atkinson remained at large, according to the Burke County Sheriff’s Office
However, Burke County deputies did a search Atkinson’s home and discovered a methamphetamine lab, according to the Augusta Chronicle.
The cemetery is in a secluded location and has been a burial site since the 1700s.
It is believed the suspects were searching for relics such as buttons off the uniforms the soldiers may have buried in.
What the 34.65-carat pink diamond known as “Princie” lacks in elegant nomenclature it makes up for with decidedly upscale value.
The diamond, first discovered about 300 years ago in the Golconda mines in southern India, was auctioned by Chrisitie’s in New York for $39.3 million earlier this month.
The diamond drew just two bidders, with action starting at $20 million and continuing for only two minutes, according to Bloomberg.
The winning bid came from Francois Curiel, international head of jewelry at Christie’s and president of Christie’s Asia, bidding on behalf of an anonymous client.
“The gem is considered one of the four most celebrated pink diamonds in the world,” according to Bloomberg. “It was first recorded in the holdings of the Nizam, or monarch, of Hyderabad, India, according to Christie’s.”
It was last sold in 1960, for nearly $71,000 during a London auction.
British finance minister George Osborne wielded the cudgel of fiscal insecurity to warn Scots against voting for independence.
Scotland runs the risk of ceding control of much of its economy if it chooses sovereignty during a referendum next year and remains in a “currency zone” using the British pound – the preferred option of the pro-independence Scottish government.
Osborne also warned there was no guarantee that the rest of the United Kingdom would accept such an arrangement.
Speaking in Glasgow, Osborne said choosing such a path could result in Scotland ending up like Panama and Montenegro, which use the US dollar and the euro, respectively, but neither has control over policy, according to Agence France-Presse.
In case anyone in attendance was unclear where Osborne, Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer, stood regarding Scotland’s 300-year-old union with England, the British Conservative politician made it crystal clear.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t break it,” he said.