Put To The Question

It seems about time for me to answer another collected lot of questions, in no particular order or importance:

Question 1: “Seriously, what is it with you and volcanoes?”

Answer 1: As a physics undergrad at UC Santa Cruz, I worked in an isotope geochemistry laboratory (it’s a long story how I ended up there). I was trying to prove that what went down came up with respect to subduction zones and their associated volcanic arcs. This involved dissolving a lot of rocks and becoming very well acquainted with the work of the GLOMAR Challenger (the sister ship to the GLOMAR Explorer so gloriously featured in Charles Stross’ ‘The Jennifer Morgue‘) and the Deep Sea Drilling Program. I made a resolution in the course of this work to try to visit at least one active volcano a year. I’ve done better some years than others in keeping it.

The shorter answer is that I like explosions and the only thing on explosion on Earth that puts a nuclear blast to shame is a volcanic eruption. Incidentally, this is more or less the same answer that lead a former astrophysics professor to become a world renowned expert on supernovae (and I quote, “No bigger explosion in the universe, Phil. Not since the Big Bang”).

Question 2: “It would’ve been nice if you warned me about hot coffee & tea with my Stein of Science before a scalded the shit out of my tongue 30min after I poured it in and put the top on.”

Answer 2: That’s not much of question, now is it? Questions usually have question marks at the end. This is more a statement of thanks for the stein working properly. You’re welcome.

To let it cool down somewhat faster, leave the lid off. The steins keep cold things cold far better than they do at keeping hot things hot due to the convective heat loss from rising steam. Putting the lid on traps the steam in. Even leaving the lid off, it does tend to stay warm for quite a while.

Question 3: “So, the Stein 200 Surprise…any way I can know which one you’re on now?”

Answer 3: I bet you min/max when playing RPGs too instead of focusing on character development. Dang twinkers always trying to game the system. As a matter of fact, I’ve been updating the “Steins on Hand RIGHT NOW” pretty regularly to declare what I have lying around as opposed to entering the up to three week production window. Since I am currently on #194 and there are a five already built and numbered steins at the moment, we are somewhere between six and eleven steins away from the magic #200, depending on whether people order one that has already been numbered and built or not.

And yes, I will tell you which number you are getting when you order it. Happy?

Question 4: “Are you ever going to do any new coffees again?”

Answer 4: Maybe. Eventually. Currently expending a fair amount of effort keeping up with the demand for the varieties I’ve already made for you all. There’s only so much room and glassware to play with. Apparatus slated for production detracts from experimentation.

That said, Caffe Vita if you’re reading this, I would like a 50lbs sack of the Guatemala Mundo Nuvo if you ever get it again. I might even share some of it with the rest of you before destroying myself with BBotE made from their delights.

Question 5: “Can you tell us some more stories about THE DEADLY RADIATIONS?”

Answer 5: As a matter of fact, I will be giving a lecture about the Goiania accident and SL-1 tomorrow. I’ll see if I can muster some coherent thoughts on Goiania together to share for you all. Punchline: when you see glowing things, you’re first reaction should not to be to tattoo yourself with it, even if you do it in the name Jesus. It’s going to cost you an arm.

That’ll do for the moment. Back to work.