Two buddies in search of platinum on the highway in the middle of the night

This video is a buddy film, or sorts: it shows CodyDon Reeder and his buddy sweeping dust from the side of a highway in the middle of the night, then working to chemically retrieve (from that dust) platinum bits — presumably shed from the catalytic converters of passing automobiles: (Thanks to Scott Langill for bringing this to our […]

Inventors’ dustup, with teeth: Tat, Tit, Tat,…

Two eminent invention/design firms are quarreling very much in public about a dustpan. In form, this is a classic tit-for-tat battle: TAT: “Rise Up! Quirky Seeks Justice for Inventor Bill Ward“, which begins: As a haven for transparent online collaboration, Quirky must strive to protect the interests of its inventors and influencers. While this customarily […]

Heavens on and off the earth

Nicholas Heavens [pictured below] is a postdoc in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Cornell University. Heavens has turned his wond’ring gaze to what happens on our own planet and to the goings-on elsewhere. You might enjoy reading his take on Martian dust distribution: Heavens, N.G., Richardson, M.I., Kleinbhöl, A., Kass, D.M., McCleese, […]

A Measured Look at Schoolroom Chalk Dust

At long last, after millions of students in thousands of classrooms have freely and incautiously breathed trillions of breaths, there’s a report about the question: How much chalk dust enters the air when a teacher uses a blackboard? The study, Assessment of Airborne Fine Particulate Matter and Particle Size Distribution in Settled Chalk Dust During Writing and Dusting […]

Improbable Research