# All Questions

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45k views

### Why do color TVs make black and white snow?

If you let a color TV display something from an unplugged display port, it displays snow, right? Randomly varying black or white pixels on the whole screen. My guess was that the television was ...
33k views

### Why do glass windows still exist? (Why haven't they been replaced by plastics?)

Glass is fragile and impractical to transport, install and repair. Even worse, glass kills and hurts people when it breaks. Falling to the streets like guillotines during earthquakes and bomb raids. ...
35k views

2k views

### Why are earthfills fully covered in concrete where they join bridges?

Here's how a typical earthfill carrying a roadway joins a typical bridge Parts of the earthfill slopes are greenish - that's grass - and parts are whitish - that's concrete. The earthfill slope is ...
437 views

### Sizing a pressure safety valve for two-phase flow

I understand that valves in two-phase vapour / liquid were sometimes sized by considering the required vapour and liquid flow rates separately, and then adding the results together. But this is now ...
8k views

### Why would a train automatically derail if a signal is passed at danger?

In a recent incident in London Network Rail said an empty train had travelled past a red signal, which resulted in an automatic derailment. No one was injured. [link] The derailment has caused ...
6k views

### Why did steam locomotives not transfer power by cogwheels?

Modern cars use cogwheel to transfer power from the engine to the wheels. Steam locomotives used some kind of bars (sorry, I'm not a native speaker) to transfer the power to the wheels. Why did the ...
8k views

### Why does it take so long to restart a nuclear power plant?

I have heard a couple of times that an operating nuclear power plant which was shut down (non-emergency; e.g. for a regular check) needs over 24 hours (up to 72 hours?) to get up running again. Why ...
5k views

### Windmills in empty fields. Why no trees?

I have noticed that windmills are generally built in empty fields with no trees around, and I've been wondering why... A windmill is generally way taller than trees and I can imagine that trees don'...
4k views

### What is the purpose of building foundations?

According to many sources, one of the purposes of building's foundations is "To distribute the weight of the structure over large area so as to avoid over-loading of the soil beneath." (Wikipedia) On ...
9k views

### How to make smoke for a small wind tunnel?

I am making a small (desktop) wind tunnel for educational purposes, I want to have 10 fairly thick smoke-streams about 3cm apart. I have experimented with incense but the stream is not thick enough ...
4k views

### Does a roadway bridge experience more load when vehicles are parked or when they are moving?

Bridges are designed for the loads that come from the vehicles that are expected to cross them. This includes the weight the vehicle and any dynamic loads that may be introduced from movement of the ...
13k views

### How does a traffic light sense the proximity of vehicles?

Some traffic lights don't operate periodically but instead detect when a car is close by and then turns green. I have heard that they use a magnetic sensor embedded in the road to sense cars as they ...
139k views

### What's wrong with transporting a refrigerator on its side?

I tried to deliver a refrigerator and the customer saw that the refrigerator was lying down in the truck instead of standing up. He refused to accept it, claiming that the compressor would be damaged ...