an exercise in miscellany

Archive for June, 2013|Monthly archive page

Operation Argus

In history, operations and projects, wild card on June 30, 2013 at 7:15 pm

FishbowlrocketsOperation Argus was a series of nuclear weapons tests and missile tests secretly conducted during August and September 1958 over the South Atlantic Ocean by the United States Defense Nuclear Agency, in conjunction with the Explorer 4 space mission. Operation Argus was conducted between the nuclear test series Operation Hardtack I and Operation Hardtack II. Contractors from Lockheed Aircraft Corporation as well as a few personnel and contractors from the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission were on hand as well. The time frame for Argus was substantially expedited due to the instability of the political environment, i.e. forthcoming bans on atmospheric and exoatmospheric testing. Consequently, the tests were conducted within a mere half year of conception whereas “normal” testing took one to two years

via Operation Argus

Fine-structure constant

In science & nature on June 30, 2013 at 7:14 pm

FineSTructureConstantIn physics, the fine-structure constant (usually denoted α, the Greek letter alpha) is a fundamental physical constant, namely the coupling constant characterizing the strength of the electromagnetic interaction. Being a dimensionless quantity, it has constant numerical value in all systems of units. Arnold Sommerfeld introduced the fine-structure constant in 1916.

The current recommended value of α is 7.2973525698(24)×10−3 = 1/137.035999074(44)

via Fine-structure constant

How to Speak Gibberish

In wild card, words & phrases on June 30, 2013 at 7:14 pm

550px-Speak-Gibberish-Step-2You might really think that gibberish is secret blabber talk or something a 2-month-old infant might say, but in reality it is a “secret language” used by some either for secrecy or just for kicks. If you want to join the conversation, listen up.

via How to Speak Gibberish