Asbestos: Commercial Uses

By Damien Knight

Every time one watches T.V. one cannot avoid hearing the commercials for “asbestos” and its dangers. “Have you been diagnosed with Mesothelioma?” the ad asks. This paper discuss what asbestos is and its applications in commercial industries. We will first define “asbestos”, describe the minerals defined, talk about its use in our economy and speak in depth about the serpentine mineral chrysolite.

The confusion over asbestos health risks is due to the term does not refer to a single mineral. Asbestos is an industry term that covers six different naturally occurring minerals. These minerals or “asbestiforms” all have a fibrous habit that is strong and flexible. The fibers are soft like fabric and can be spun into yarn or made into felts. This makes them useful as a fireproofing and insulation material.

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The Dolomite and Aragonite Problem: A Summary

By Damien Knight

A work in progress

The dolomite problem is a problem in how the formation of massive dolomite beds occurred. Dolomite is CaMg [CO3] 2 that differs from limestone in that magnesium substitutes for half the calcium. The problem is dolomite only forms in lagoons or extreme environments in smaller quantities today, the formation of dolomite beds is a mystery. It is hypothesized that these dolomites resulted from extra-terrestrial planting.

The aragonite problem is that aragonite is its more soluble than calcite. It would make sense that aragonite which is formed biologically in seashells not be formed at all. According to the one article I found the aragonite forms in magnesium rich seas. As magnesium increases the amount of calcite decreases until all that is formed is the more soluble aragonite. Continue reading

The Hydrology of 2017’s Hurricanes

Recently the North American Continent and Caribbean Islands was ravaged by a series of violent hurricanes. The hurricanes that hit the U.S. typically start off as severe storms on the west coast of Africa. As the storm hits the ocean, it will gather strength by feeding off the warmth and moisture of the ocean. Then, thanks to the Coriolis Effect, it gains rotation.

The Coriolis Effect is a phenomenon that causes fluids and air to curve over the earth’s surface. This occurs because the earth is rotating on its axis from west to east and it spins faster where the sphere bulges, the equator. As the hurricane spins an area of high pressure is created up top and low pressure on the bottom. The whole thing rotates around the eye of the storm.

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“I Think Therefore”

By Damien Knight

Descartes philosophy “I think therefore I am” is one of the most famous phrases. Through a series of meditations he at one point decided that he could trust nothing he sensed. As he watched wax melt, he realized he no longer could use his senses to perceive the wax and that lead him to conclude that knowledge is not obtained by sense. Using a pattern of doubt he observed that senses can deceive but his innate knowledge does not. Using doubt of the senses Descartes declared a rationalist view determined that knowledge came from innate ideas.

Hume was an empiricist believing knowledge came from the senses. He came to this much the same way Descartes came to the knowledge came not from the senses. Like Descartes establishing innate ideas through doubt Hume established a skeptical view of knowledge obtained. Whereas doubting the senses established that knowledge is not sense related. Hume denied that we can have knowledge of the world we take for granted. Like Descartes he first acknowledged that knowledge we initially have of the world is our perceptions which make up impressions and ideas. Our impressions being our senses our ideas being our thoughts, He determined that all ideas came from sense impression and therefore knowledge of the world is senses only. His view lead to a similar doubt of the world perhaps not existing at all just a Descartes innate knowledge view did.

I would be more inclined to agree with Hume that everything is sense perception. I am a Biology major everything we study we touch, taste, see and our research is based on what we experience.

Frogs- The Thin Green Line

By Damien Knight

An essay about the frog documentary “The Thin Green Line”

This video was about the various causes of frog decline. It starts with talking about how frogs have been around 250 million years. The video shows two similar frogs with different parenting styles. How frogs protect themselves from predators with camouflage or poison. Frogs though are in danger; they are a bellwether animal or an animal that can mark important changes in the ecosystem. This is due to their porous skin which they drink and breathe through.

The main reason frogs are disappearing is a fungus called Chytrid that attacks the frog’s skin making them unable to breathe. The other major cause is other parasites, chemical dumps and habitat loss or change. Various arks are in place holding and breeding rare frogs to re-establish in the wild. The dangerous chemicals affecting these frogs can have long-term effect on us.

I found the video interesting as I had never heard of Chytrid. I knew about the parasite that added limbs but was unaware that other disfigurements had been found. It made me feel even worse for accidentally stepping on a toad the other day. I knew female frogs could become male or at least heard they could but was shocked that a fertilizer chemical was turning males into females. Over all was very educational.