Kaleidoscope Day /Sir David Brewster KH PRSE FRS FSA FSSA MICE

Kaleidoscope Day commemorates the anniversary of the birth of British scientist, inventor, author, and academic administrator Sir David Brewster KH PRSE FRS FSA(Scot) FSSA MICE Who was born 11 December 1781 in Jedburgh, Roxburghshire. At the age of 12, David was sent to the University of Edinburgh (graduating MA in 1800), being intended for the clergy. He was licensed a minister of the Church of Scotland, and preached around Edinburgh on several occasions. He was interested in natural science, and this had been fostered by his intimacy with a “self-taught philosopher, astronomer and mathematician”, as Sir Walter Scott called him, of great local fame, James Veitch of Inchbonny, a man who was particularly skilful in making telescopes. He also studied the birefringence of crystals under compression and discovered photoelasticity, thereby creating the field of optical mineralogy.

Brewster was a Presbyterian and walked arm in arm with his brother on the Disruption procession which formed the Free Church of Scotland. As a historian of science, Brewster focused on the life and work of his hero, Isaac Newton. Brewster published a detailed biography of Newton in 1831 and later became the first scientific historian to examine many of the papers in Newton’s Nachlass. Brewster also wrote numerous works of popular science,[ and was one of the founders of the British Science Association, of which he was elected President in 1849. He became the public face of higher education in Scotland, serving as Principal of the University of St Andrews (1837–59) and later of the University of Edinburgh (1859–68). Brewster also edited the 18-volume Edinburgh Encyclopædia.

After finishing his theological studies Brewster was licensed to preach, his other interests distracted him from the duties of his profession. In 1799 fellow-student Henry Brougham persuaded him to study the diffraction of light. The results of his investigations were communicated from time to time in papers to the Philosophical Transactions of London and other scientific journals. The fact that other scientists – notably Étienne-Louis Malus and Augustin Fresnel – were pursuing the same investigations contemporaneously in France does not invalidate Brewster’s claim to independent discovery, even though in one or two cases the priority must be assigned to others. His classmate Thomas Dick, also went on to become a popular astronomical writer

Brewster studied The laws of light polarization by reflection and refraction, and other quantitative laws of phenomena.,He discovered the polarising structure induced by heat and pressure, He discovered crystals with two axes of double refraction, and many of the laws of their phenomena, including the connection between optical structure and crystalline forms, he studied The laws of metallic reflection and conducted experiments on the absorption of light and discovered the connection between the refractive index and the polarizing angle; biaxial crystals, and the production of double refraction by irregular heating.

These important discoveries were promptly recognised and the degree of LL.D. was conferred upon Brewster by Marischal College, Aberdeen; in 1815 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, and received the Copley Medal; in 1818 he received the Rumford Medal of the society; and in 1816 the French Institute awarded him one-half of the prize of three thousand francs for the two most important discoveries in physical science made in Europe during the two preceding years. In 1821, he was made a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and in 1822 a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Around 1815 he also invented the kaleidoscope, Which soon became popular in United Kingdom, France, and the United States. Brewster chose renowned achromatic lens developer Philip Carpenter as the sole manufacturer of the kaleidoscope in 1817. Although Brewster patented the kaleidoscope in 1817 (GB 4136) however it was copied and sold in large numbers. In 1849 Brewster also released the Stereoscope. However a rival Sir Charles Wheatstone had already discovered the principle and applied it as early as 1838 to the construction of a cumbersome but effective instrument, in which the binocular pictures were made to combine by means of mirrors. Brewster was unwilling to credit Wheatstone with the invention as he thought the true author of the stereoscope was a Mr. Elliot, a “Teacher of Mathematics” from Edinburgh, who conceived of the principles as early as 1823 and constructed a lensless and mirrorless prototype in 1839, to which Brewster suggested that prisms be used for uniting the dissimilar pictures. Another valuable and practical result of Brewster’s optical researches was the improvement of the British lighthouse system when he improved upon the dioptric apparatus.

In 1799 Brewster began writing a regular contribution to the Edinburgh Magazine. In 1807, he undertook the editorship of the newly projected Edinburgh Encyclopædia, of which the first part appeared in 1808, and the last not until 1830. He also contributed to the Encyclopædia Britannica (seventh and eighth editions) writing articles on electricity, hydrodynamics, magnetism, microscope, optics, stereoscope, and voltaic electricity. He was elected a member of the American Antiquarian Society in 1816. In 1819 Brewster published the Edinburgh Philosophical Journal with Robert Jameson (1774–1854), this took the place of the Edinburgh Magazine. The first ten volumes (1819–1824) were published by Brewster and Jameson, while Jameson edited the last four volumes. After parting company with Jameson, Brewster started the Edinburgh Journal of Science in 1824, 16 volumes of which appeared under his editorship during the years 1824–1832. He contributed around three hundred papers to the transactions of various learned societies including the North British Review. He also published the Life of Sir Isaac Newton,In 1831, a short popular account of the philosopher’s life in Murray’s Family Library, followed by an 1832 American edition in Harper’s Family Library. In 1855 he published the much fuller Memoirs of the Life, Writings and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton.


Brewster’s position as editor brought him into frequent contact with the most eminent scientific men, and he was naturally among the first to recognise the benefit that would accrue from regular communication among those in the field of science. In a review of Charles Babbage’s book Decline of Science in England in John Murray’s Quarterly Review, he suggested the creation of “an association of our nobility, clergy, gentry and philosophers” This was taken up by various Declinations and was created by the

British Association for the Advancement of Science. Its first meeting was held at York in 1831; and was attended by Brewster, CharlesBabbage and Sir John Herschel. Brewster also received a knighthood and the decoration of the Royal Guelphic Order. In 1838, he was appointed principal of the united colleges of St Salvator and St Leonard, University of St Andrews. In 1849, he acted as president of the British Association and was elected one of the eight foreign associates of the Institute of France in succession to J. J. Berzelius. in 1859 he became principal of the University of Edinburgh and In 1855, the government of France made him an Officier de la Légion d’honneur. He was a close friend of William Henry Fox Talbot, inventor of the calotype process, who sent Brewster early examples of his work. It was Brewster who suggested Talbot only patent his process in England. Which led to The worlds first photographic society the Edinburgh Calotype Club, in 1843 Brewster was a prominent member of the club until its dissolution sometime in the mid-1850’s and was then elected the first President of the Photographic Society of Scotland when it was founded in 1856.

Brewster also wrote Notes and Introduction to Carlyle’s translation of Legendre’s Elements of Geometry, Treatise on Optics, Letters on Natural Magic, addressed to Sir Walter Scott, The Martyrs of Science, or the Lives of Galileo, Tycho Brahe, and Kepler, More Worlds than One. In his Treatise he demonstrated that vegetal colors were related with the absorption spectra and he described for the first time the red fluorescence of chlorophyl. In addition to his many scientific works and biographies of notable scientists, Brewster also wrote ‘The History of Free Masonry, Drawn from Authentic Sources of Information; with an Account of the Grand Lodge of Scotland, from Its Institution in 1736, to the Present Time’, published in 1804, The work was commissioned by Alexander Lawrie, publisher to the Grand Lodge of Scotland.

Due to Brewster’s Christian beliefs he did not believe in transmutation of species and the theory of evolution and In 1845 he wrote a highly critical review of the evolutionist work Vestiges of the Natural History of Creation, in the North British Review. which he considered to be an insult to Christian revelation and a dangerous example of materialism. In 1862, he responded to Darwin’s On the Origin of Species and published the article The Facts and Fancies of Mr Darwin in Good Words. He stated that Darwin’s book combined both “interesting facts and idle fancies” which made up a “dangerous and degrading speculation”.

Brewster sadly died 10 February 1868 however his pioneering scientific experiments I n the field of Photography, lenticular stereoscopes,  physical optics,  the polarisation of light and portable 3D-viewing devices such as the binocular camera, polarimeters, the polyzonal lens, the lighthouse illuminator,and the kaleidoscope make him an important figure in the field of Science.

Ada Lovelace (Enchantress of Numbers)

The Analyst, Metaphysician, and Founder of Scientific Computing, Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace was born on 10th December 1815. Born Augusta Ada Byron and now commonly known as Ada Lovelace, she was the daughter of Lord Byron and is remembered as a mathematician and writer chiefly known for her work on Charles Babbage’s early mechanical general-purpose computer, the Analytical Engine. Her notes on the engine include what is recognised as the first algorithm intended to be processed by a machine. Because of this, she is often considered the world’s first computer programmer and left a legacy as role model for young women entering technology careers.

Ada was the only legitimate child born during a brief marriage between the poet Lord Byron and Anne Isabella Byron). She had no relationship with her father, who separated from her mother just a month after Ada was born, and four months later he left England forever and died in Greece in 1823 leaving her mother to raise her single-handedly, Her life was an apotheosis of struggle between emotion and reason, subjectivism and objectivism, poetics and mathematics, ill health and bursts of energy. Lady Byron wished her daughter to be unlike her poetical father, and she saw to it that Ada received tutoring in mathematics and music, as disciplines to counter dangerous poetic tendencies. But Ada’s complex inheritance became apparent as early as 1828, when she produced the design for a flying machine. It was mathematics that gave her life its wings.

As a young adult, she took an interest in mathematics, and in particular that of Lucasian professor of mathematics at Cambridge, Charles Babbage whom she met met in 1833, when she was just 17, who was One of the gentlemanly scientists of the era and become Ada’s lifelong friend. Babbage, was known as the inventor of the Difference Engine, an elaborate calculating machine that operated by the method of finite differences , and they began a voluminous correspondence on the topics of mathematics, logic, and ultimately all subjects. In 1835, Ada married William King, ten years her senior, and when King inherited a noble title in 1838, they became the Earl and Countess of Lovelace. Ada had three children. The family and its fortunes were very much directed by Lady Byron, whose domineering was rarely opposed by King.Babbage had made plans in 1834 for a new kind of calculating machine (although the Difference Engine was not finished), an Analytical Engine.

His Parliamentary sponsors refused to support a second machine with the first unfinished, but Babbage found sympathy for his new project abroad. In 1842, an Italian mathematician, Louis Menebrea, published a memoir in French on the subject of the Analytical Engine. Babbage enlisted Ada as translator for the memoir, and during a nine-month period in 1842-43, she worked feverishly on the article and a set of Notes she appended to it. These notes contain what is considered the first computer program — that is, an algorithm encoded for processing by a machine. Ada’s notes are important in the early history of computers. She also foresaw the capability of computers to go beyond mere calculating or number-crunching while others, including Babbage himself, focused only on these capabilities

Ada called herself an Analyst (& Metaphysician), and the combination was put to use in the Notes. She understood the plans for the device as well as Babbage but was better at articulating its promise. She rightly saw it as what we would call a general-purpose computer. It was suited for “developing and tabulating any function whatever. . . the engine is the material expression of any indefinite function of any degree of generality and complexity.” Her Notes anticipate future developments, including computer-generated music. Sadly though Ada passed away on November 27, 1852, in Marylebone at the age of 37, from Cancer and was buried beside the father she never knew. Her contributions to science were resurrected only recently, but many new biographies* attest to the fascination of Babbage’s “Enchantress of Numbers.”

Alfred Nobel

Swedish chemist,engineer, innovator, and armaments manufacturer Alfred Nobel sadly died of a cerebral haemorrhage on 10 December 1896. in San Remo, Italy. He was born 21st October 1833, in Stockholm. As a boy he was interested in engineering, particularly explosives, learning the basic principles from his father at a young age. Nobel had private tutors and excelled in his studies, particularly in chemistry and languages, achieving fluency in English, French, German, and Russian, Nobel also attended the Jacobs Apologistic School in Stockholm. As a young man, Nobel studied with chemist Nikolai Zinin; then, in 1850, went to Paris to further the work; and went to the United States for four years to study chemistry, collaborating for a short period under inventor John Ericsson, who designed the American Civil War ironclad USS Monitor. Nobel filed his first patent, for a gas meter, in 1857. The family factory produced armaments for the Crimean War (1853–1856); but, had difficulty switching back to regular domestic production when the fighting ended and they filed for bankruptcy.In 1859, Nobel’s father left his factory in the care of the second son, Ludvig Nobel (1831–1888), who greatly improved the business.

Nobel and his parents returned to Sweden from Russia and Nobel devoted himself to the study of explosives, and especially to the safe manufacture and use of nitroglycerine (discovered in 1847 by Ascanio Sobrero, one of his fellow students under Théophile-Jules Pelouze at the University of Turin). Nobel invented a detonator in 1863 and also designed the blasting cap. On 3 September 1864, Nobel’s younger brother Emila was killed in an explosion at the factory in Stockholm. Dogged by more minor accidents but unfazed, Nobel went on to build further factories, focusing on improving the stability of the explosives he was developing, so he invented dynamite in 1867, a substance easier and safer to handle than the more unstable nitroglycerin. Nobel demonstrated his explosive for the first time that year, at a quarry in Redhill, Surrey, England. In order to help reestablish his name and improve the image of his business from the earlier controversies associated with the dangerous explosives, Nobel had also considered naming the highly powerful substance “Nobel’s Safety Powder”, but settled with Dynamite instead, referring to the Greek word for ‘power’. which is used extensively in mining and the building of transport networks

In 1875 Nobel invented gelignite, which was more stable and powerful than dynamite. He then combined nitroglycerin with various nitrocellulose compounds, similar to collodion, but settled on a more efficient recipe combining another nitrate explosive, and obtained a transparent, jelly-like substance, which produced a more powerful explosive than dynamite. ‘Gelignite’, or blasting gelatin, as it was named, was patented in 1876 and in 1887 he also patented ballistite, a forerunner of cordite, this was modified by the addition of potassium nitrate and various other substances. Gelignite was more stable, transportable and conveniently formed to fit into bored holes, like those used in drilling and mining, An off-shoot of this research resulted in Nobel’s invention of ballistite, the precursor of many modern smokeless powder explosives and still used as a rocket propellant.

Nobel was also elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in 1884, the same institution that would later select laureates for two of the Nobel prizes, and he received an honorary doctorate from Uppsala University in 1893. Concerned that his invention would be used for evil purposes, Nobel signed his last will and testament and set aside the bulk of his estate to establish the Nobel Prizes, to be awarded annually without distinction of nationality. The first three of these prizes are awarded for eminence in physical science, in chemistry and in medical science or physiology; the fourth is for literary work “in an ideal direction” and the fifth prize is to be given to the person or society that renders the greatest service to the cause of international fraternity, in the suppression or reduction of standing armies, or in the establishment or furtherance of peace congresses. There is no prize awarded for mathematics. The formulation for the literary prize being given for a work “in an ideal direction”, is cryptic and has caused much confusion. For many years, the Swedish Academy interpreted “ideal” as “idealistic” (idealistisk) and used it as a reason not to give the prize to important but less Romantic authors, such as Henrik Ibsen and Leo Tolstoy.0

This interpretation has since been revised, and the prize has been awarded to, for example, Dario Fo and José Saramago, who do not belong to the camp of literary idealism. He stipulated that the money go to discoveries or inventions in the physical sciences and to discoveries or improvements in chemistry.In 1891, Nobel moved from Paris to San Remo, Italy. During his life Nobel issued 350 patents internationally and by his death had established 90 armaments factories, despite his belief in pacifism. Unbeknownst to his family, friends or colleagues, he had left most of his wealth in trust, in order to fund the awards that would become known as the Nobel Prizes. The synthetic element nobelium is also named after him and his name also survives in modern-day companies such as Dynamit Nobel and Akzo Nobel, which are descendants of the companies Nobel himself established. He is buried in Norra begravningsplatsen in Stockholm.

Sir Patrick Moore CBE FRS FRAS

Writer, Amateur Astronomer and Television personality Sir Patrick Moore CBE FRS FRAS, sadly passed away on 9th December 2012 aged 89. He was Born 4 March 1923, in Pinner, Middlesex, on March 4 1923, and was the son of Captain Charles Caldwell-Moore, MC. Later the family moved to Sussex, where Patrick was to live for the rest of his life. He was educated at home owing to ill health, and wrote his first scientific paper at the age of 13 — his chosen subject was the features in a lunar crater he had seen through a small telescope. At the end of 1941 he joined the RAF to train for aircrew duties during World War II; however his fiancée was killed by a bomb during the war. during 1943 left for Canada for training as a navigator. He was commissioned in June 1944 and completed his training at a bomber conversion unit at Lossiemouth in northern Scotland but, due to epilepsy, was declared medically unfit for further flying duties and He left the Service in 1947.

From 1952 he was a freelance writer until One day in 1957 the BBC broadcast a somewhat sensationalist programme about flying saucers. Producers wanted a counterview by a “thoroughly reactionary and sceptical astronomer who knew some science and could talk”, consequently The Sky at Night was born, and it went on to become the world’s longest-running television series with the same original presenter & attracted millions of viewers. Moore’s Idiosyncrasies such as his rapid diction and monocle made him a popular and instantly recognisable figure on British television, where he became celebrated for the thunderous fervour with which he would utter the words: “We just don’t know!” to emphasise that our comprehension of the universe is incomplete. The secret of the program’s success lay not only in his tremendous learnedness but also in his gusto and humour & he soon attained a prominent status as a writer, researcher, radio commentator and television presenter and did more than anyone, with the possible exception of Arthur C Clarke, to educate the British public about astronomy and space travel.He would also happily appear on chat shows, quiz shows and comedy shows, among them The Goodies; Morecambe and Wise; Blankety Blank, and Have I Got News For You. He even starred in digitised form on the children’s video game show GamesMaster.moore was also a connoisseur of music, and sometimes played a xylophone on television. He also wrote the score for an opera about Theseus and the Minotaur. He was a keen sportsman too – particularly on the cricket pitch, where he proved a demon spin bowler. He also played golf and once at his local course set a club record – of 231, including a 43 on the third hole. Chess was another passion (he often carried with him a pocket chess set) and even dabbled in politics.

In 1982 he wrote a humorous but inflammatory book called Bureaucrats: How to Annoy Them. It advised that imposing a thin layer of candle grease on those parts of a form marked “for official use only” would prevent the recipient from writing anything and probably drive him mad. “Useful when dealing with the Inland Revenue,” said Moore. He was also A keen pipe smoker & was elected Pipeman of the Year in 1983. In addition to his many popular science books, he wrote numerous works of fiction. Moore was an opponent of fox hunting, an outspoken critic of the European Union and served as chairman of the short-lived anti-immigration United Country Party. After his fiancee was killed during World War II, he never married or had children.

Moore was also a former president of the British Astronomical Association, co-founder and former president of the Society for Popular Astronomy (SPA), author of over 70 books most of them about astronomy, As an amateur astronomer, he became known as a specialist on observing the Moon and creating the Caldwell catalogue. In 2002 Moore was appointed honorary vice-president of the Society for the History of Astronomy. He also won a Bafta for his services to television. He also continued to publish books to the end of his life. Recent titles include Patrick Moore on the Moon (2000, new edition 2006); The Data Book of Astronomy (2001); Patrick Moore: the autobiography (2005); Asteroid (with Arthur C Clarke, 2005); Stars of Destiny (2005); Ancient Lights (2008); and Can You Play Cricket on Mars? (2009). This year alone he published Astronomy with a Budget Telescope: An Introduction to Practical Observing; The Sky at Night: Answers to Questions from Across the Universe; Miaow!: Cats really are nicer than people!; and The New Astronomy Guide: Star Gazing in the Digital Age.

During his distinguished career Sir Patrick Moore received many honours. In 1968 he was appointed OBE then CBE in 1988 and finally knighted in 2001 .In 1982 a minor planet was named after him by the International Astronomical Union. He also held the posts of president of the British Astronomical Association and director of the Armagh Planetarium in Northern Ireland. Yet the Royal Society refused to elect him as a Fellow — one of their number declared that he had committed the ultimate sin of “making science popular”. In 2001, however, he was elected to an honorary Fellowship.

Microwave oven Day

Microwave Oven day takes place annually on 6 December. Microwave oven day commemorates the occasion when, Quite by accident, self- taught American engineer Percy Spencer discovered in 1945 a way to heat food safely with microwaves whilst working with an active radar for the company Raytheon when he noticed that a candy bar in his pocket had begun melting whilst he was near the radar. Spencer then began experimenting and deliberately attempted cooking popcorn with the microwaves and then he tried an egg. Unfortunately The egg exploded in his fellow engineer’s face! Spencer, then started experimenting with different methods of heating food safely with microwaves.

A microwave oven heats and cooks food by exposing it to electromagnetic radiation in the microwave frequency range This induces polar molecules in the food to rotate and produce thermal energy in a process known as dielectric heating. Microwave ovens heat foods quickly and efficiently because excitation is fairly uniform in the outer 25–38 mm (1–1.5 inches) of a homogeneous, high water content food item; food is more evenly heated throughout than generally occurs in other cooking techniques.

The development of the cavity magnetron in the UK made possible the production of electromagnetic waves of a small enough wavelength (microwaves). American engineer Percy Spencer is generally credited with inventing the modern microwave oven after World War II from radar technology developed during the war. Named the “Radarange”, it was first sold in 1946. Raytheon later licensed its patents for a home-use microwave oven that was first introduced by Tappan in 1955, but these units were still too large and expensive for general home use. Sharp Corporation introduced the first microwave oven with a turntable between 1964 and 1966. The countertop microwave oven was first introduced in 1967 by the Amana Corporation. After Sharp introduced low-cost microwave ovens affordable for residential use in the late 1970s, their use spread into commercial and residential kitchens around the world. In addition to their use in cooking food, types of microwave ovens are used for heating in many industrial processes.

Since then Microwave ovens have become common kitchen appliance and are popular for reheating previously cooked foods and cooking a variety of foods. They are also useful for rapid heating of otherwise slowly prepared foodstuffs, which can easily burn or turn lumpy when cooked in conventional pans, such as hot butter, fats, chocolate or porridge. Unlike conventional ovens, microwave ovens usually do not directly brown or caramelize food, since they rarely attain the necessary temperatures to produce Maillard reactions. Exceptions occur in rare cases where the oven is used to heat frying-oil and other very oily items (such as bacon), which attain far higher temperatures than that of boiling water. However Microwave ovens have limited roles in professional cooking, because the boiling-range temperatures of a microwave will not produce the flavorful chemical reactions that frying, browning, or baking at a higher temperature will. However, additional heat sources can be added to microwave ovens.

Microwave cooking is thought to be less healthy than normal cooking although All forms of cooking Have an effect on food and nutrients, Any form of cooking will destroy some nutrients in food, but the key variables are how much water is used in the cooking, how long the food is cooked, and at what temperature. Nutrients are primarily lost by leaching into cooking water, which tends to make microwave cooking healthier, given the shorter cooking times it requires. Like other heating methods, microwaving converts vitamin B12 from an active to inactive form; the amount of conversion depends on the temperature reached, as well as the cooking time. Boiled food reaches a maximum of 100 °C (212 °F) (the boiling point of water), whereas microwaved food can get locally hotter than this, leading to faster breakdown of vitamin B12. The higher rate of loss is partially offset by the shorter cooking times required.

Spinach retains nearly all its folate when cooked in a microwave; in comparison, it loses about 77% when boiled, leaching out nutrients. Bacon cooked by microwave has significantly lower levels of carcinogenic nitrosamines than conventionally cooked bacon. Steamed vegetables tend to maintain more nutrients when microwaved than when cooked on a stovetop. Microwave blanching is 3–4 times more effective than boiled water blanching in the retaining of the water-soluble vitamins folic acid, thiamin and riboflavin, with the exception of ascorbic acid, of which 28.8% is lost (vs. 16% with boiled water blanching). Microwaving human milk at high temperatures is not recommended as it causes a marked decrease in activity of anti-infective factors.

A safety benefit of using microwave oven is that Microwave ovens heat food without getting hot themselves. Taking a pot off a stove, unless it is an induction cooktop, leaves a potentially dangerous heating element or trivet that will stay hot for some time. Likewise, when taking a casserole out of a conventional oven, one’s arms are exposed to the very hot walls of the oven. A microwave oven does not pose this problem.

Food and cookware taken out of a microwave oven are rarely much hotter than 100 °C (212 °F). Cookware used in a microwave oven is often much cooler than the food because the cookware is transparent to microwaves; the microwaves heat the food directly and the cookware is indirectly heated by the food. Food and cookware from a conventional oven, on the other hand, are the same temperature as the rest of the oven; a typical cooking temperature is 180 °C (356 °F). That means that conventional stoves and ovens can cause more serious burns.

The lower temperature of cooking (the boiling point of water) is a significant safety benefit compared to baking in the oven or frying, because it eliminates the formation of tars and char, which are carcinogenic.[49] Microwave radiation also penetrates deeper than direct heat, so that the food is heated by its own internal water content. In contrast, direct heat can burn the surface while the inside is still cold. Pre-heating the food in a microwave oven before putting it into the grill or pan reduces the time needed to heat up the food and reduces the formation of carcinogenic char. Unlike frying and baking, microwaving does not produce acrylamide in potatoes, however unlike deep-frying, it is of only limited effectiveness in reducing glycoalkaloid (i.e. solanine) levels. Acrylamide has been found in other microwaved products like popcorn.

There are also hazards to using a Microwave oven these include the superheating of Water and other homogeneous liquids when heated in a microwave oven in a container with a smooth surface when the liquid reaches a temperature slightly above its normal boiling point without bubbles of vapour forming inside the liquid. The boiling process can start explosively when the liquid is disturbed, such as when the user takes hold of the container to remove it from the oven or while adding solid ingredients such as powdered creamer or sugar. This can result in spontaneous boiling (nucleation) which may be violent enough to eject the boiling liquid from the container and cause severe scalding.

Closed containers, such as eggs, can explode when heated in a microwave oven due to the increased pressure from steam. Intact fresh egg yolks outside the shell will also explode, as a result of superheating. Insulating plastic foams of all types generally contain closed air pockets, and are generally not recommended for use in a microwave, as the air pockets explode and the foam (which can be toxic if consumed) may melt. Not all plastics are microwave-safe, and some plastics absorb microwaves to the point that they may become dangerously hot. Products that are heated for too long can catch fire. Though this is inherent to any form of cooking, the rapid cooking and unattended nature of the use of microwave ovens results in additional hazard.

Microwaving metal objects is also dangerous as any metal or conductive object placed into the microwave will act as an antenna to some degree, resulting in an electric current. This causes the object to act as a heating element. This effect varies with the object’s shape and composition, and is sometimes utilized for cooking.

Any object containing pointed metal can create an electric arc (sparks) when microwaved. This includes cutlery, crumpled aluminium foil (though some foil used in microwaves are safe, see below), twist-ties containing metal wire, the metal wire carry-handles in paper Chinese take-out food containers, or almost any metal formed into a poorly conductive foil or thin wire; or into a pointed shape. Forks are a good example: the tines of the fork respond to the electric field by producing high concentrations of electric charge at the tips. This has the effect of exceeding the dielectric breakdown of air, about 3 megavolts per meter (3×106 V/m). The air forms a conductive plasma, which is visible as a spark. The plasma and the tines may then form a conductive loop, which may be a more effective antenna, resulting in a longer lived spark. When dielectric breakdown occurs in air, some ozone and nitrogen oxides are formed, both of which are unhealthy in large quantities.

Direct microwave exposure is also dangerous but is not generally possible, as microwaves emitted by the source in a microwave oven are confined in the oven by the material out of which the oven is constructed ovens are equipped with redundant safety interlocks, which remove power from the magnetron if the door is opened. According to the United States Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health, a U.S. Federal Standard limits the amount of microwaves that can leak from an oven throughout its lifetime to 5 milliwatts of microwave radiation per square centimeter at approximately 5 cm (2 in) from the surface of the oven. This is far below the exposure level currently considered to be harmful to human health.

Other events occurring on 6 December

Mitten Tree Day
National Miners Day
National Gazpacho Day
National Pawnbrokers Day
Put On Your Own Shoes Day
St. Nicholas Day

Computor Security day

Computer security day takes place annually on 30 November. The purpose of Computer Security day is is to educate people concerning the threat of computor hacking, Phishing and Scamming, to raise awareness about computer security, and highlight measures that can be taken to keep your computer data safe from undesirable prying eyes. In this modern age electronic devices such as smartphones, tablets, and computers are playing an increasingly important role of our everyday lives. While communication has become easier and more efficient than ever before, these technological advancements have also brought with them new concerns about privacy and security.


Computer Security Day began in 1988, around the time that computers were becoming commonplace, even if they were yet to become ubiquitous in homes. The 1980s saw not only increased usage of computers, especially in business and government, and the internet was in its early stages. While hacking and viruses have virtually been around since the early days of modern computing, evolving and increasingly sophisticated technologies began to see more applications, and therefore more security risks due to the simple fact that more data was at risk as computers found their way into banks, government offices, and businesses. As More important data got stored on computers and servers this meant more valuable information for hackers, resulting in higher profile cases of security breaches so, online security became an important concern by the end of the decade.

Red Planet Day

Red Planet Day takes place on 28 November to commemorate the launch of NASA’s spacecraft Mariner-4  on 28 November 1964 as part of a 228 day mission To Mars, During which Mariner-4 orbited within 6,118 miles of Mars in July 1965 and gave the first glimpse of Mars at close range.

The Mariner program was a 10-mission program conducted by the American space agency NASA in conjunction with Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The program launched a series of robotic interplanetary probes, from 1962 to 1973, designed to investigate Mars, Venus and Mercury. The program included a number of firsts, including the first planetary flyby, the first planetary orbiter, and the first gravity assist maneuver. The Mariner spacecraft were based on a hexagonal or octagonal “bus”, which housed all of the electronics, and to which all components were attached, such as antennae, cameras, propulsion, and power sources. Mariner 2 was based on the Ranger Lunar probe. All of the Mariners launched after Mariner 2 had four solar panels for power, except for Mariner 10, which had two. All except Mariner 1, Mariner 2 and Mariner 5 had TV cameras. The first five Mariners were launched on Atlas-Agena rockets, while the last five used the Atlas-Centaur. All Mariner-based probes after Mariner 10 used the Titan IIIE, Titan IV unmanned rockets or the Space Shuttle with a solid-fueled Inertial Upper Stage and multiple planetary flybys.

Of the ten vehicles in the Mariner series, seven were successful, forming the starting point for many subsequent NASA/JPL space probe programs. The planned Mariner Jupiter-Saturn vehicles were adapted into the Voyager program, while the Viking program orbiters were enlarged versions of the Mariner 9 spacecraft. Later Mariner-based spacecraft include the Magellan probe and the Galileo probe, while the second-generation Mariner Mark II series evolved into the Cassini–Huygens probe. The total cost of the Mariner program was approximately $554 million. The name of the Mariner program was decided in “May 1960-at the suggestion of Edgar M. Cortright” to have the “planetary mission probes … patterned after nautical terms, to convey ‘the impression of travel to great distances and remote lands.'” This decision was also the basis for naming Mariner, Ranger, Surveyor, and Viking probes.”