Friday Four

Friday, November 14, 2014

1. The remote for our garage door opener recently needed a new battery. As a parent of small children -- read: well-stocked on batteries -- I figured this would be an instant fix. But no: This thing used a battery type I'd never heard of and which, apparently has at least two common names. On the way to figuring out what to get, I learned the following hack specific to this type of small, 12 V battery:

Peeling back the paper, I found 8 (1.5 volt) button cell batteries! These are perfectly good button cells that will work in any 1.5 volt device they fit in! [my bold, minor edits]
Each cell in the stack of this two-dollar battery retails separately for about five bucks at Radio Shack, allowing for significant savings if you need the button cells for, say, small, noise-making children's toys.

That said, when I bought my A23 battery at Walmart, I found a blister pack of the button cells next to it for a reasonable price. Also, as the comments and what little I know about batteries suggest, this isn't something that will work on just any battery.

2. Over at Futility Closet is a nice post -- with two demostration videos -- about a man's hobby of building low-power hot air engines:
When Jos de Vink retired from a career in computer technology in 2002, he began casting about for an engaging project. His neighbor, a passionate model builder, challenged him to design a working hot air engine driven solely by the heat of a tea or wax light.
De Vink uses scrap brass and bronze to build his engines, and has managed to run some of his engines off the warmth of a human hand.

3. Cristiano Ronaldo, arguably the world's best soccer player at present, amuses me by calling a spade a spade on the subject of his many envious detractors:
Ronaldo was roundly mocked for explaining fan antipathy thusly: "It is because I am handsome, rich and a great player, because I am envied. I have no other explanation." While that sounds like a terribly conceited thing to say, the man speaks the truth. They do hate him because he's beautiful! And rich. And insanely talented. And because he dates gorgeous supermodels. [link added]
Until the World Cup, I had no strong opinion about him, other than a vague impression that he was a prima donna. But he gave his best effort even after his team had been eliminated from the next round. Between that and the above quote, I do have to give the man credit.

4. My daughter likes to ride "Daddy Horse" (me on all fours) and my son likes to charge under me on all fours when I am crawling. And so it is that I occasionally find myself in the middle of a "Daddy sandwich".

-- CAV

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