Cleaning With Light

If you’ve spent any time under the sun on a long, hot, clear day, you’ve probably gotten a wicked sun burn. I may have overcooked myself a bit during our nice Easter weekend too. This brings up an interesting thought: what happens to airborne pathogens exposed to the same light? A sunburn is the result of millions of skin cells being irradiated by UV Radiation. Sunlight contains UV, Ultra-Violet, which can cause skin cancer in high enough exposures. It’s not dangerous in the same way X-Rays are, those would be lethal with a few hours of exposure. UV is weaker, but it still wreaks havoc on small cells. Messing With Molecules Let’s start out with some basic physics. We’re going to ignore the whole “particles & waves” thing for now and just say that all light is made of particles called Photons. When you turn on a light, it spews out photons, that bounce off the wall, lose some energy, strike your eye, and then you perceive the ‘color’ of that photon. What happens is the photon rams a cell in your eye with a certain amount of force, it’s energy, and that tells you it’s ‘color’. To the 3 physicists reading this, shut up. I know it’s more complicated. The problem happens when we give that photon more speed, more energy. Eventually, the photon moves too fast for our eyes to detect. It’s not visible light any more. It […]

Read More →

The Disgusting Future of Water

We’re back again this week to ruin your appetite with another look into waste water. After our last few articles left lead sales guy Scott unable to eat his breakfast (the pancakes were delicious), we’ve been ordered to write about something clean this week. In that spirit we’re going to look into the future of recycling all sewage into usable water. We advise you finish your breakfast and lunch before reading. Water Shortages Increasingly we are running into a problem with having enough water to drink. Despite the Earth’s surface being about 70% water, we can only drink about 0.01% or less of it. The issue we run into is that ocean water would kill us. There’s too much salt and bacteria in it. This is why we have fresh water and salt water fish. The environments are so drastically different that few, if any fish can survive in both environments. We can only drink water which isn’t from the ocean. This is a massive restriction. It means all of society has to survive on water from lakes, rivers, and underground aquifers. The problem is exacerbated when we experience droughts, which leave us drawing on our water reserves. Unfortunately, for the past century or so, that’s what we’ve been doing. We pump water out of wells and end up draining them faster than they can be replenished. Certain large drink companies make the issue worse by buying water at less […]

Read More →