Thursday, March 11th, 2010

“Got time for a question that doesn’t have anything to do with anything?” Tim asked me the other day.

I just love questions that don’t have anything to do with anything, so I said, “Shoot!”

“If you want to increase the amount of heat in a circuit, do you increase the voltage or the current.”

Well, damn. I used to know that kind of thing, but I don’t tinker so much with trying to make electrical circuits hotter so I don’t go doing things like increasing the voltage or the current.

“I’m not sure,” I told him. “It’s just a guess, but I think you have to increase the amperage.” I liked that answer because “increase the amperage” made me sound as if I knew what I was talking about.

He seemed satisfied with that, and I figured he would probably go look it up himself later anyway, so I let it go.

Then, about a half-hour later while I was thinking about other things that didn’t have anything to do with anything, a light bulb lit over my head. As soon as I could, I got to a phone and dialed Tim’s number.

“It’s volts,” I said.

“Really? Volts? How’d you remember that?”

“Apollo 13 blew up because the space ship was designed as a twenty-four volt system, but was upgraded to a 36-volt system. The heater in the oxygen tank was built for the old system and got too hot during a test run.”

“It’s cool that you remember that,” he said, and he really meant it. “I guess knowing all that space geek stuff might actually be good for something, eh?”

geekiness pays off | 3:27 pm CDT
Category: daily drivel, hobby, O'Folks, play, space geekery, T-Dawg
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