Hey hey! This page has all my old articles on it from very long ago. I've created a new page for the newer ones and might create more pages in the future.

Jupiter, The Big One

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Below is a video about Jupiter by Spacerip on YouTube.

The recording below may be faked, but hey, listen to it, if you'd like!

I've always been very interested in Space and General Scienes, but mostly Outer Space, I've always wanted to become an Astronaught, it just seems like so much fun to go out to another planet or to go to the moon! Doesn't it just seem like a lot of fun so say "Yeah, I once stood on that giant mass of dirt over there..."?

But of the whole solar system, one planet stood out for me... The planet Jupiter. With it's massive size, unlike any other planet in our solar system, I just took a liking to it! I've even thought that if I became a ghost one day and nothing could really hurt me, why not go visit Jupiter? It just seems like an awesome planet, full of mysteries, I've always wondered what it looks like under that huge atmosphere, full of toxic gases and stormy clouds.

Well, I've recently gotten into reseaching Jupiter a bit, So here's what I know (which I mainly learnt from a video from Spacerip on youtube...):

•It's the larges planet in our solar sytem.
•It can be seen with the naked eye.
•It's the fifth planet from the sun.
•It's about 1300 times bigger than Earth.
•One day on Jupiter is a bout 10 hours on Earth.
•Jupiter was named after a Greek God (click here for more info).
•There is a storm on Jupiter that has been going on for as long as anyone can imagine (the famous red spot).
•Most Spacecraft that captured footage of Jupiter, were just passing by and using it's emense gravitational pull as a Slingshot to get to their destination.
•Jupiter's mass is about (1.8986x10^27)kg (or 1898600000000000000000000000 kilograms).
•There are constant winds going on at almost 300 miles per hour.
•Jupiter has more than 67 moons in orbit around the massive planet.
•Jupiter has the solar system's largest moon -  Ganymede.
•Jupiter's magnetosphere is the largest thing in our solar system (even bigger than the sun and streching all the way to Saturn's orbit!)

There have been plenty of theories that Jupiter may even be a failed star. It has the right ingredients, but not enough mass. Even though it's about 1300 times the size of the earth and bigger than any other planet in our solar system, it still doesn't have enough mass to igniteinto becoming a star.

Jupiter is by far, my favorite planet, I don't know why, but it is!

That's about all I have to say for now, thanks for reading!


Spiders, Why So Scary?

I was thinking about what I would do for my next article, after I did the Jupiter article. I asked some people and one of them said that they'd like to hear a bit more about spiders, so I thought, heck, why not? Next article goes to spiders!

Now, I didn't really know a lot about spider, so I had to do a lot of research to find out what I now know. Spiders weren't really one of my biggest interests in this world, if fact, I never really liked them, these little bugs that could kill a man with one bite. They just seemed so scary! But maybe I'll change my mind after reviewing the research that I've done, right? Well, it's worth a try!

So how could you recognize that you are looking at a Spider, and not any other animal? Well, look at this list:

All spiders have:

•Bodies divided into two segments.

•Eight jointed legs.

•No wings or antennae.

•The presence of chelicerae and pedipalps.

•Simple eyes.

•An exoskeleton, which is periodically shed.

So why are people afraid of spiders?

Well, one of the main reasons is because they are very unpredictable. Humans have always been afraid of what they don't know. It's the same reason why people are afraid of the dark, they don't know what's waiting there. Why are people afraid of what's under the bed? They don't know what's under there, that's why.

Another reason why is because they just look mean and scary. I mean, not all of us think that they look scary, but most seem to. A quote from this article says "

But spiders aren't all that bad! They do all kinds of jobs around the house... One of their many jobs is that they keep it relatively bug free around the house or at least the room.

In the end of the day, i don't mind them around the house, I just don't like it when I have no idea where they are! Once again a fear of the unknown...

Well, That's all I have to say for now, but have a look at the documentary to the right and see what you think!


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Trains, My Best Hobby

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Trains have always been a hobby of mine. My grandfather was once a train driver, he drove large steam engines, as well as the diesel-electric locomotives. Today, I felt like making an article about it! I know a fair amount about trains, seeing as I've lived around them for most of my life. I've never actually been on a real train, such as the Gautrain or any other similar kind of train, but I've driven smaller trains... My grandfather and some of his friends build small locomotives. These smaller engines are 7 ¼  inch gauge to 3 inch gauge, but still a lot of fun to ride! (If you'd like to see some photos, make sure to check out Hannes Paling's photos on Flickr - Click the button to the left, under the slideshow!)

I've had a lot of fun on these trains, even when I was only 10, I was already driving trains and earning cash! In recent times, we've had no railway to drive on because the only one close enough was closed off because there were too many hobos sleeping in the park, so they've put a fence up and 24 hour security around the property. They're still doing improvements around the park, so for now, the only track available is a 2 hour drive away, and when you're towing half a ton of metal behind you on a trailer, plus equipment for that train, it's going to be a bit longer than 2 hours...

But, anyway, how do Diesel-Electric Locomotives work?

Well, there's a full explanation to the left, but here are the basics:

A really big diesel engine powers an electric generator, that then charges the batteries (just like a normal car). The batteries then power really big electric engines that then move the locomotive forward or backward, depending on where you want to go.

How do Steam Locomotives work?

Well, you have a large firebox, that's pretty self-explanatory, fire goes in there, as well as coal or whatever other fuel you want to use. Then you have the boiler. The boiler is where the water goes. There are tubes that goes from the firebox, through the boiler, and into the smokebox. from the smoke box, the excess smoke goes out the chimney. When the heat from the firebox travels through the boiler, it heats up (and boils) the water inside. This then turns into steam and then (when released) goes to the pistons, through a series of valves. The pistons then moves the wheels. The pistons have 2 valves each. with locomotives with 2 pistons, the first piston will push the wheels one quarter of the way before the second piston pushes it the next quarter. The wheels have now made half a revolution. The steam now pushes the first piston in the opposite direction for the next quarter, then does the same to the second piston for the final quarter. After all of that, the cycle restarts. There is a full explanation above this part.

How do Electric Locomotives work?
Electric locomotives work in a similar way to diesel-electric locomotives... The difference in that instead of getting their power from a diesel engine, electric locomotives just get it from the rails that the drive on. other than that, They still use electric engines to move and everything inside of them is powered by electricity from the rails. (Full Wiki above)

What about some history about trains?
Well, the first train was invented by George Stephenson.  In 1813, George Stephenson became aware that William Hedley and Timothy Hackworth were designing a locomotive for the Wylam coal mine. So at the age of twenty, George Stephenson began the construction of his first locomotive.

After ten months' labor, George Stephenson's locomotive "Blucher" was completed and tested on the Cillingwood Railway on July 25, 1814. The track was an uphill trek of four hundred and fifty feet. George Stephenson's engine hauled eight loaded coal wagons weighing thirty tons, at about four miles an hour. This was the first steam engined powered locomotive to run on a railroad and it was the most successful working steam engine that had ever been constructed up to this period, this encouraged the inventor make further experiments. In all, Stephenson built sixteen different engines.

After trains started becoming more and more popular, they used them for more than just hauling coal, they started using them to take passengers from one place to another. The first railway was setup between Liverpool and Manchester in 1830.
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A few years later, trains got more and more popular and so, more and more companies took up the challenge of creating railways and transporting passengers and goods across the world. Today, some of the more popular trains are trains such as TGV in France;  Eurostar in England or VR in Finland. All of which have their own reasons for being famous.

Well, I could probably say a lot more about trains, but I think I'll have to save that for another day. So for now, that's it, I'll keep some more info for the next article about trains a while from now.

Thanks for reading my longest article so far!


Technology, Are We Getting Lazy?

My first answer to "Are we getting lazy?" is just to say, "Yes..."

I've been an addict to computers and electronics for as long as I can remember. When I was 2, maybe 3 years old, I was already playing computer games. At that point, I would have been using a OS earlier than Windows 2000! I don't even know what OS it was, at that point it was just "Dad, I want to play my game!" and my dad would put it on for me.

As I grew older, I started to learn newer things about computers, by the time I was 10, I already knew how to create and connect to a network, how to use internet browsers and search engines, and all the basics of computers. I even knew what hardware goes where inside a computer. Now at that point in time, I was ahead of anyone else that I knew, I was a genius! I could do things on my PC that no one I knew could! My dad managed to teach me everything I know about computers, to date. If it wasn't for my dad, I could have been one of those people who go to parties just to get drunk and get high. My addiction to electronics stopped that! I couldn't take my PC with me unless it was a LAN party, so i kinda figured, why would I want to go to a party to destroy my organs when I can sit at home and play Red Alert 2? I was taught from a young age to stay away from drugs and alcohol, and to date, I haven't had a drop of alcohol or any illegal drugs. The closet I've come is taking the meds that the doctor prescribed, that doesn't count, does it? Well, anyway, my PC helped me get away from those temptations at an age where peer pressure was all the rage. 

Instead, I became a geek, or even a nerd. I was a social outcast, but I didn't care, the few friends I made, I still have - 8 years later. Many of the people I know, I met though the internet. I recently met someone on YouTube who had gone through similar trauma in her life. (By that I mean our mothers both died in 2007.) I've met several people trough online gaming, I've gone with my dad to LAN parties with people that we met over BF2, including a few LAN parties with the War Geeks Clan and The Judges Clan (The Judges Clan basically fell apart and their website was deleted when my dad resigned as their leader... They never were known for following rules, so people left and boom, the clan barely exists now... Anyway, back to the story) There's also the JFK Clan (Just For Kicks) that we LAN with every now and again. (I also just found out that they don't have all that many members...) And I've also met a few Americans, Canadians and even French girls. All of these people, I met because I use my PC way too often, but I get to meet people just like me, using the internet. I don't even need a fancy dating site where you'll get fat men trying to convince you to travel halfway across the world just to mug you... I just play my game, and when there's someone that needs help, I'll help them, maybe get her number a bit later, right?

But how do I keep in touch with all these people?

Easy, I use the internet. If you need me, I'm probably sitting at my PC, so send an e-mail or IM over Skype, Facebook, or some other social networking site. I'm always in touch with people. I've got a cell phone, in-case you need to talk to me and I'm AFK (Away From Keyboard) or I'm not replying to your annoying Facebook messages. I can also use these networks for talking to my grandmother in Germany as well as my aunt and cousins, also in Germany.

Don't you get fat if you sit at your PC for too long?

Not necessarily. I'm a healthy 100kg, which is normal for my height and muscle. I do the ocational walk to the shop or to a friend's house which keeps me fairly fit. I've been known to be stronger and faster than most people, when I haven't just woken up... And yes, I eat mostly junk food, and I'm still healthy!

If you just sit there in front of your PC the whole day, don't your reflexes and speed decay?

Nope, Studies have shown that gamers tend to have faster reflexes than most other people. gamers generally also make better surgeons, they have more precise movements and are faster reacting.

If you just sit in-front of your PC everyday, how will you earn money?

Well, most jobs these days have someone just sitting in-front of a PC, whether it's someone designing a new game, or if it's someone that's just doing your salary each month. People like Mark Zuckerberg made millions out of the internet. Mark Zuckerberg is the creator of Facebook, which now has millions of users from all over the world. Bill Gates is also a billionaire! How? He used his knowledge of computers and put it to use. There are plenty of other examples of how computers can change people's lives.

How are computers making people lazy?

Well, before computers, you had to do maths manually, you had to use your head! Now you just punch some numbers in and it does it for you. We also have search engines now, so we don't have to go looking through billions of papers, just to find out that what you're looking for is not here... Before computers, we had to use file cabinets, we had to sort things out manually, now we just click a button and it's organize everything in alphabetical order, then you click the next button and it'll organize everything by the size of the file.

In the end of the day, I could say a million and one things about computers and electronics, some are making us lazy, others are saving our lives. But that's all I'm going to say for now.


Multitasking, is it Possible?

Everyday you get someone, somewhere that says that they can multitask, but are they lying to, not only others, but maybe themselves, as well?

Well, according to National Geographic, you can't multitask. It's just impossible. Humans can only concentrate on one thing at a time. For example: Let's say you're on your phone while driving. You are concentrating on what the person on the phone is saying, which is why it can be very dangerous, since you're not concentrating on the road and where you're going.

Since you can only concentrate on one thing at a time, how can multitasking be possible? Well, people say they're multitasking, but they are actually just juggling multiple tasks, concentrating one, then the other.

Mythbusters also tested driving while talking on your cellphone, it's basically just as dangerous as driving drunk. Since you can't concentrate on the road while talking to your friend, you'll be much more likely to crash. Even while using a headset, it can still be dangerous since you're still not concentrating on the road and other road users.

Even the people that seem to be multitasking, still can't do it. Your brain can only focus on one particular area at a time.

Well, that's all I have to say about multitasking, for now. Thanks for reading!


Tigers, My Favorite Animal

Tigers have been my favorite animal for as long as I can remember. They're just awesome! They are beautiful creatures, but at the same time they can be fierce hunters.

What are some interesting facts about Tigers?

Well, have a look at this list:

-The tiger is the biggest species of the cat family.

-Tigers can reach a length of up to 3.3 metres (11 feet) and weigh as much as 300 kilograms (660 pounds).

-Subspecies of the tiger include the Sumatran Tiger, Siberian Tiger, Bengal Tiger, South China Tiger, Malayan Tiger and Indochinese Tiger.

-Many subspecies of the tiger are either endangered or already extinct. Humans are the primary cause of this through hunting and the destruction of habitats.

-Around half of tiger cubs don’t live beyond two years of age.

-Tiger cubs leave their mother when they are around 2 years of age.

-A group of tigers is known as an ‘ambush’ or ‘streak’.

-Tigers are good swimmers and can swim up to 6 kilometres.

-Rare white tigers carry a gene that is only present in around 1 in every 10000 tigers.

-Tigers usually hunt alone at night time.

-Tigers have been known to reach speeds up to 65 kph (40 mph).

-Less than 10% of hunts end successfully for tigers

-Tigers can easily jump over 5 metres in length.

-Various tiger subspecies are the national animals of Bangladesh, India, North Korea, South Korea and Malaysia.

-There are more tigers held privately as pets than there are in the wild.

-Tigers that breed with Lions give birth to hybrids known as Tigons and Ligers.

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What Habitats do they live in?

Most Tigers live in Asia, specifically throughout Southeast Asia, China, Korea and Russia. Tigers like to live in swamps, grasslands,and rain forests. Usually where Tigers live there are trees, bushes, and clumps of tall grass.

Tigers have always been my favorite animal, and they probably always will be.

Thanks for reading!


Gaming, My Most Common Hobby

I've been a gamer for as long as I can remember and I've been playing online since I was 10!

My first game was an educational game  (The name escapes me at the moment) that I played from about 3 years old, maybe younger. After that I started playing more and more games as I got older... I played games like Read Alert 2, Quake, small console games (you know, like the ones that came with 1000 games, most of them were the same game...). I played games like Zoo Tycoon, Sims 2 and Black and White 1&2. There were at some point over 40 games just sitting on the shelf in the study, most of which are still there. We also have plenty more games downloaded and placed in a folder on my dad's PC, where everyone can get them. Most of these games, I played in singleplayer before moving on to small LAN parties. Eventually, we got BF2 (Battlefield 2). I played the single player as well as some LANs with that game until I finnaly got a stable internet connection to my PC. I then created a new account on BF2, that was the first time I had every chosen the name 'Doug_Demolisher'. Ever since then, that name just stuck with me, I use it every time I create a new account on a new game.

After BF2, there were plenty of other games that I played, including Crysis, Crysis Warhead (which I still play), Call Of Duty, Killzone 2&3, red Dead Redemption, BF3, HAWX, Skyrim, Algodoo, Rule The Rail (RTR), Trainz, Microsoft Flight Simulator X and many more!

I never have had the best PC in the world, but it was always just fine with me, I could play the games I wanted and I could use the internet. As soon as Facebook was available, there were some small games that were available at the time that I wanted to play, that was the reason for my first Facebook account. I then created a new one, and when that one got out of control, I made my third one, but the second 2 were purely for Social Networking, I no longer wanted to do gaming on Facebook.

I've also wanted to post many videos on YouTube, but my PC lags so much whilst I'm recording that it makes it almost impossible. Instead, i can only post laggy videos of Crysis on the minimum graphic settings or post videos of Rule The Rail or maybe Zoo Tycoon 2.

Gaming has been a huge part of my life and I can imagine my life without it.

Thanks for reading!


Volcanoes, What Makes Them Tick?

I've been thinking about what I'll do for my next article for a while now, but then I saw a photo (linked here) that made me think 'heck, why not, I'll do one of Volcanoes!

Now when I say that i want to talk about volcanoes, I don't mean those small mounds of clay with a huge hole where all the vinegar and baking soda comes out, I mean the really big ones, like Mt. Vesuvius or  Mauna Loa! Those are the awesome ones!

So what is a volcano? How can I identify one?

Basically, they're big holes on the ground that let magma and toxic gases to escape from the planet's magma chamber.

What do you mean 'big holes in the ground'?  A lot of volcanoes appear to be huge mountains!

Well, the reason why i say this is because even though the hole is at the top of a mountain, it's still a hole that reaches all the way down to the magma chamber. the reason why the appear at the top of mountains is because while the magma is pushing it way through, it also forces the ground to create a huge lump, right where the magma wants to get out.

Think if it in the way of a pancake and your finger... If you hole the pancake flat in the air then push your finger through from the bottom, you'll first make a lump at the top before your finger makes it all the way through. Same goes for magma and the ground. The magma keeps pushing and making this huge lump in the ground (This goes on for years on end), before finally pushing through and causing huge problems for the people at the base of the mountain...

Is there more than one type of volcano?

Yes, there are 4 (Major) types of volcanoes:

•Composite Volcanoes

•Shield Volcanoes

•Cinder Cone Volcanoes

•Lava Dome Volcanoes

What's the difference between each type?

Well, lets have a look:

•Composite Volcanoes

Composite volcanoes are also known as 'stratovolcanoes'. They are mainly made up of many layers of lava, ask and other debris from the volcano. These volcanoes have periodic and violent eruptions. They are one of the most common types of volcanoes, compared to the less common shield volcanoes. Two famous stratovolcanoes are Krakatoa, well known to for it's huge eruption in 1883 and Vesuvius, most well known for the destruction of the towns Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 AD. Both eruptions claimed thousands of lives.

How are composite volcanoes created?

Composite volcanoes are common at subduction zones, creating chains along plate tectonic boundaries where oceanic crust is taken under continental crust (Continental Arc Volcanism, i.e. Cascade Range, central Andes) or another oceanic plate (Island arc Volcanism, i.e. Japan, Aleutian Islands). The magma that  stratovolcanoes rises when water trapped both in hydrated minerals and in the porous basalt rock of the upper oceanic crust, is released into mantle rock of the asthenosphere above the sinking oceanic slab. The release of water from hydrated minerals is termed "dewatering," and occurs at specific pressures and temperatures for each mineral, as the plate descends to greater depths. The water freed from the rock lowers the melting point of the overlying mantle rock, which then undergoes partial melting and rises due to its lighter density relative to the surrounding mantle rock, and pools temporarily at the base of the lithosphere. The magma then rises through the crust, incorporating silica-rich crustal rock, leading to a final intermediate composition (see Classification of igneous rock). When the magma nears the top surface, it pools in a magma chamber under or within the volcano. There, the relatively low pressure allows water and other volatiles (mainly Carbon dioxide, Sulfur dioxide, Chlorine gas, Water) dissolved in the magma to escape from solution, as occurs when a bottle of carbonated water is opened, releasing Carbon dioxide . Once a critical volume of magma and gas accumulates, the obstacle (rock blockage) of the volcanic cone is overcome, leading to a sudden explosive eruption.

•Shield Volcanoes

Shield volcanoes were given that name because of their large size and low height, so they look like a soldier's shield.

Shield volcanoes tend to have more fluid lava than most other volcanoes, this causes the lava to flow over longer distances and forms the shield shape. The lava flows over large distances forming layers of lava over and over, forming it's distinctive shape.

Mauna Loa one of the most famous shield volcanoes there are, it's one of the most active volcanoes in the world. The volcano is about  600,000-1,000,000 years old and about 2 hectares large. It sits on the Big Island of Hawaii and the whole pile of volcanic rocks produced from Mauna Loa projects about 4,169 m above sea level.

Of the four types of volcanoes, shield volcanoes are one of the most popular types around. They are usually built up of low viscosity basaltic lave that erupt in longer cycles than that of a composite volcano. The types of eruptions that occur at the majority of shield volcanoes have been named 'Hawaiian eruptions', after the Hawaiian chain where they are most common. The height of a shield volcano is typically 1/20th of its width.

•Cinder Cone Volcanoes

A cinder cone or 'scoria cone' is a steep conical hill of volcanic debris that accumulates around and downwind from a volcanic vent.

Cinder cones can be tens to hundreds of meters tall or bigger and many cinder cones have a bowl-shaped crater at the top.

During the waning stage of a cinder-cone eruption, the magma has lost most of its gas content. This gas-depleted magma does not fountain but oozes quietly into the crater or beneath the base of the cone as lava.

Lava rarely escapes from the top (except as a fountain) because the loose, uncemented cinders are too weak to support the pressure created by lava/magma as it rises toward the surface through the central vent. Since it contains very few gas bubbles, the lava is more dense than the bubble-rich cinders. So it often burrows out along the bottom of the cinder cone, lifting the less-dense cinders like a cork on water, and advances outward, creating a lava flow around the cone's base. When the eruption ends, a symmetrical cone of cinders sits at the center of a surrounding pad of lava. If the crater is fully breached, the remaining walls form an amphitheatre or horseshoe shape around the vent.

•Lava Dome Volcanoes

A lava dome volcano is a roughly circular mound-shaped protrusion resulting from the slow extrusion of viscous lava. So basically, it releases lava at a slow rate. Lava dome volcanoes usually have high viscosity that prevents the lava from flowing very far, which is how they get their dome shape. Lava domes volcanoes may reach heights of several hundred meters, and can grow slowly and steadily for months, years or even centuries on end!

Hazards associated with lava dome volcanoes are the destruction of property, forest fires, and lahars triggered by pyroclastic flows near mud, snow and ice. They can be really dangerous to live nearby to, so I don't suggest it... Lava domes are one of the principal structural features of many stratovolcanoes, worldwide. Lava dome volcanoes are prone to unusually dangerous explosions since they contain rhyolitic silica-rich lava.

That's about all I have to say about volcanoes for now, so have fun with this info, go show off your knowledge in front of your teachers!

Thanks for reading! (Unless you told someone 'TLDAfter reading, you might want to check out some of these links!