Romans mixed concrete that lasted better than many modern-day batches

The majestic structures of ancient Rome have survived for millennia — a testament to the ingenuity of Roman engineers, who perfected the use of concrete.

But how did their construction materials help keep colossal buildings like the Pantheon (which has the world’s largest unreinforced dome) and the Colosseum standing for more than 2,000 years?

Roman concrete, in many cases, has proven to be longer-lasting than its modern equivalent, which can deteriorate within decades. Now, scientists behind a new study say they have uncovered the mystery ingredient that allowed the Romans to make their construction material so durable and build elaborate structures in challenging places such as docks, sewers and earthquake zones.

The study team, including researchers from the United States, Italy and Switzerland, analyzed 2,000-year-old concrete samples that were taken from a city wall at the archaeological site of Privernum, in central Italy, and are similar in composition to other concrete found throughout the Roman Empire.

They found that white chunks in the concrete, referred to as lime clasts, gave the concrete the ability to heal cracks that formed over time. The white chunks previously had been overlooked as evidence of sloppy mixing or poor-quality raw material.

That doesn’t mean that “old” is always better than new. Just that it can be. 🙂

1000 airliners given another year to fix outdated altimeters

BTW. They’ve already had 2 years.

The Federal Aviation Administration will give airlines another year to fix or replace airplane altimeters that can’t filter out cellular transmissions from outside their allotted frequencies…the FAA proposed a deadline of February 1, 2024, to replace or retrofit faulty altimeters, which are used by airplanes to measure altitude.

Out of 7,993 airplanes on the US registry, the FAA said it “estimates that approximately 180 airplanes would require radio altimeter replacement and 820 airplanes would require addition of radio altimeter filters to comply with the proposed modification requirement.” The total estimated cost of compliance is $26 million…

“Some radio altimeters may already demonstrate tolerance to the 5G C-Band emissions without modification,” the FAA said. “Some may need to install filters between the radio altimeter and antenna to increase a radio altimeter’s tolerance. For others, the addition of a filter will not be sufficient to address interference susceptibility; therefore, the radio altimeter will need to be replaced with an upgraded radio altimeter.”

These asshats have been making the required changes for 2 years. Haven’t finished, yet. Bet it would be all done if profits were in question…instead of some old-fashioned worries about not crashing into a frigging mountain.

Just noticed…


Dunno if I simply haven’t noticed that Bloomberg TV has been automatically including everyone’s middle name in the “Later Today” notification onscreen…or it’s something new. Yes – I don’t care either. Maybe that’s standard for the decade or so I’ve been a viewer?

Reasonably unimportant.

Climate Change, A to Z

Click here for the start of the whole article.

Or…as I have done…CLICK, then cursor down the page to the letter “B” and learn about “Blah, Blah, Blah.

On September 28, 2021, at the Youth4Climate conference, held in Milan, Greta Thunberg took the stage. Sitting near her was the city’s mayor, Giuseppe Sala, wearing a mask. Thunberg, who is five feet tall, could barely be seen over the lectern. She had removed her mask and was smiling.

“Climate change is not only a threat, it is above all an opportunity to create a healthier, greener, and cleaner planet which will benefit all of us,” she began. “We must seize this opportunity—we can achieve a win-win in both ecological conservation and high-quality development. . . . We need to walk the talk; if we do this together, we can do this.

“When I say ‘climate change,’ what do you think of?” she went on. “I think of jobs—green jobs.” This received a round of applause.

“We must find a smooth transition towards a low-carbon economy,” Thunberg said. “There is no Planet B. There is no Planet Blah—blah, blah, blah; blah, blah, blah.” Her listeners, including Sala, started to realize that they’d been had. The applause died down.

“Build Back Better—blah, blah, blah,” Thunberg continued.

“Green economy—blah, blah, blah.

Substitute “bullshit” for “blah, blah, blah” You’ll get the idea. Lots more letters after that.

Does COVID-19 kill more Republicans or Democrats?

There’s a reason for that. I’ll bet you can guess!

COVID-19 is killing more Republicans than Democrats, according to a new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research. The study…used voter registration and death records to answer a question: is there a link between political affiliation and rates of COVID related death in the U.S.?

The short answer is yes. “In 2018 and the early parts of 2020, excess death rates for Republicans and Democrats are similar, and centered around zero,” the study said. “Both groups experienced a similar large spike in excess deaths in the winter of 2020-2021. However, in the summer of 2021—after vaccines were widely available—the Republican excess death rate rose to nearly double that of Democrats, and this gap widened further in the winter of 2021.”

The study attributes this to the vaccine uptake disparity between Republicans and Democrats, which has been widely documented as more Republicans refused to take the vaccine; the most vocal anti-vax voices were Republican politicians and some conservative news outlets…

Sometimes you get what you deserve. Especially when good sense and an understanding of medical science are both rejected.