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4/20/2011 10:20:00 AM
Miller's Musings: Physics to the rescue!

Russ Miller

A single, square mile of sunshine can produce more power than a nuclear power plant. Of course the light collecting cells would have to be pretty good ones, and those are expensive. So, if designers expanded the surface to three square miles, with less efficient cells one could still produce over a gigawatt of power. That's during the daytime, naturally. A backup generator might come in handy at night.

Speaking of energy...there is more energy in a pound of chocolate chip cookies than in a pound of TNT. Of course, the primary difference is that TNT can deliver all of its energy in a millionth of a second. Cookies take a while. A gram of TNT provides under one food calorie of energy, whereas a gram of cookie delivers five. So if a supervisor is not in a hurry, rather than risking the hazards of an explosion to demolish a small building, simply providing cookies and crowbars to a group of middle schoolers may suffice. And, the task would probably be more complete.

By the way, the speed of light is not consistent. Light seems to slow down when traveling through glass, water, and especially... diamonds!

Russ Miller is an internationally syndicated cartoonist, featured in many national newspapers and magazines. Contact him at randjklm@aol.com.

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