Loose Connections – Oldest and Fatherless: The Terrible Secret of Tom Bombadil

What do we know about Tom Bombadil? He is fat and jolly and smiles all the time. He is friendly and gregarious and always ready to help travellers in distress.

Except that none of that can possibly be true.

via Loose Connections – Oldest and Fatherless: The Terrible Secret of Tom Bombadil.

 

Official Gmail Blog: Download a copy of your Gmail and Google Calendar data

Having access to your data and being able to take it with you is important, especially if that data contains precious memories like old love letters, your first job offer, or that 100-message thread discussing the merits of various cat videos. Starting today we\’re rolling out the ability to export a copy of your Gmail and Google Calendar data, making it easy to back up your data or move to another service.

via Official Gmail Blog: Download a copy of your Gmail and Google Calendar data.

Microwaving water for tea: Why are the results so lousy?

But microwaves don’t heat water evenly, so the boiling process is difficult to control. Microwave ovens shoot tiny waves into the liquid at random locations, causing the water molecules at those points to vibrate rapidly. If the water isn’t heated for long enough, the result is isolated pockets of very hot or boiling water amid a larger body of water that’s cooler. Such water may misleadingly exhibit signs of boiling despite not being a uniform 212 degrees. For instance, what appears to be steam rising from a mug of microwaved water is only moist vapor evaporating off the water’s surface and condensing into mist on contact with cooler air—it’s the same principle that makes our breath visible on frigid days.

via Microwaving water for tea: Why are the results so lousy?.