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Free potable water from the Antarctic

Magnificent ice berg view from the Antarctic.  Once again the peculiar nature of water is revealed.  Two strange properties leap to mind.  When water freezes, it expands. And with expansion comes an increase in volume with no loss in mass.  The extra volume allows the frozen water, […]

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Global warming

Global warming, global warning is hidden in language.  The latin word for a stream is rivus.  The latin name of a person sharing a stream is rivalis.  In the 16th century, the word rival started to acquire a competitive meaning.  The 16th century is the era of queen […]

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Community sanitation, living longer

Community sanitation, living longer

The really big jump in life expectancy started in the 1860’s.  This is off-course a pretty Euro-centric  postulation.  But as is often said, you cannot manage if you don’t measure.  And measuring is a very left brain, scientific pastime.  Community sanitation, living longer.  The observation was not […]

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Koch’s Snowflake

Koch’s Snowflake

Niels von Koch was a Swedish Mathematician.  He is well known for being of the first to describe a fractal curve.  His postulation demonstrated that an area bounded by a progression remains constant, yet the linear length of the boundary tends to infinity. In the picture on the […]

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Running out of water – Part 1

Without much debate, one of the hardest pills to swallow, is having no water with which to flush the loo.  If this should be your lot when the taps run dry, a compost toilet could save the day.  Although a squeamish subject, a dry spot for relief […]

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Enzymes

A simple analogy that is sometimes used to describe the activity of enzymes involves biltong.  Most know that to eat a stick of dried, but not too dry kudu biltong is a laborious process.  It requires some wrenching and a lot of chewing.  Slicing the biltong in […]

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Flowforms

It is difficult to explain how flow forms assist in treatment of water.  There is an obvious pattern of counter current oscillation that can draw and absorb dissolved oxygen from the air.  From that point of view, flow forms can be seen as an aeration device.  There […]

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Paint splash

High speed capture of paint rebound.  In this briefest instance, a small weight was dropped into a paint solution.  The resultant recoil of the paint mix was recorded 5 milliseconds after impact.  To catch the moment, a camera needs to be able to film at more than […]

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Irving Langmuir

Too much water, too little water, water too dirty.   That’s the challenge water engineers face in South Africa.  And not just in South Africa.  The triangle of extremes is also applicable in the USA.  One engineer who did his bit was Irving Langmuir.  I am sure everyone […]

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R. Hooke, Fellow of the Royal Society

Observ. XVIII.  Of the Schematisme or Texture of Cork, and of the Cells and Pores of some other such frothy bodies. I took a good clear piece of Cork, and with a Pen-knife sharpen’d as keen as a Razor, I cut a piece of it off, and […]

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