Thursday, May 29, 2008

More Fire Safety

Sometime after my earlier fire-safety post, I received an email with this video about how to properly extinguish a grease fire. I'm posting it here (and yes, I vet all email forwards on Snopes or similar) for further dissemination.

Here's what happens when you try to extinguish such a fire with water- the water, being denser than the oil, sinks to the bottom of the pot where it instantly becomes superheated and vaporized. This newly created steam rises up with intense pressure, blowing the burning oil up and out, filling an enclosed space with a fireball. Different but similar results occur when trying to use sugar or flour to extinguish the flames.

(courtesy of Lisa S.)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Aural Fixation

I've been pining after these computer speakers for some time. I splurged and bought them on sale (a wee sale, but a sale nonetheless). They arrived this week and I had them set up in time for ל"ג בעומר (Lag Ba'omer), when we bring back the music sweet music. I have to say, I've owned some serious music equipment before (or at least gear that took itself seriously), but I've never owned anything like these. One of the first tracks I queued up was this one:

It's from "New Shabbos Waltz," Andy Statman and David Grisman's awesome follow-up to their stupendous "Songs of Our Fathers." (Please don't mistake my enthusiastic endorsements for hyperbole.) With these speakers, I feel like I'm in the studio with these bearded Yidden. No, scratch that- it sounds like the studio is in my head. With such clarity and fidelity of sound, I'm enjoying my music on another level. (I haven't heard with such sensitivity since an ear-wax-removal incident I won't further elaborate in your polite company.)

Ultimately, with this and some other recent acquisitions, I hope to begin recording this summer some of the music I've written in the past eight years. In honor of these plans, I've added a new guitar tuner to my blog page (check it out on the lower right).