Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The show of a thousand flashes and bangs

Yesterday evening, Andrea Sella invited to his annual chemistry lecture "Odeurs et Lumieres". Besides blowing up coke bottles with liquid nitrogen, using hydrogen as rocket fuel for Pringles cans and letting methane/oxygen mixtures explode, he raised some important issues about climate changes and global warming due to increased carbon dioxide emissions. The whole lecture's ongoing topic concentrated on alternative fuels, spectacular recycling and methods to reduce our atmospheric CO2 concentration.

Such as several ideas for lighting, some of which were rather inefficient but entertaining - Pickles produce a nasty sound and smell when exposed to high voltages. Unless you like fried pickles, I'd take an LED based approach instead.

Andrea also introduced critical thoughts about carbon dioxide production due to travelling. In fact, consumption of fossil fuels in travel results in much higher outputs of the gas, as by heating a household. Even though most English houses only have single-glassed windows (my school in Austria had triple-glassing!).

Disregarding almost every safety measure (for himself) Andrea managed to present an entertaining show, as well as conducting critical thoughts to the public (i.e. mostly us students).


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