NASA’s Sound Suppression Water System
If you’ve ever watched a rocket launch, you’ve probably noticed the billowing clouds around the launch pad during lift-off. What you’re seeing is not actually the rocket’s exhaust but the result of a launch pad and vehicle protection system known in NASA parlance as the Sound Suppression Water System. Exhaust gases from a rocket typically exit at a pressure higher than the ambient atmosphere, which generates shock waves and lots of turbulent mixing between the exhaust and the air. Put differently, launch ignition is incredibly loud, loud enough to cause structural damage to the launchpad and, via reflection, the vehicle and its contents. To mitigate this problem, launch operators use a massive water injection system that pours about 3.5 times as much water as rocket propellant per second. This significantly reduces the noise levels on the launchpad and vehicle and also helps protect the infrastructure from heat damage.
(tags: water rockets launch nasa space sound-suppression sound science)
The White Lies of Craft Culture – Eater
Besides field laborers, [Southern US] planter and urban communities both depended on proficient carpenters, blacksmiths, gardeners, stable hands, seamstresses, and cooks; the America of the 1700s and 1800s was literally crafted by people of color. Part of this hidden history includes the revelation that six slaves were critical to the operation of George Washington’s distillery, and that the eponymous Jack Daniel learned to make whiskey from an enslaved black man named Nathan “Nearest” Green. As Clay Risen reported for the New York Times last year, contrary to the predominant narrative that views whiskey as an ever “lily-white affair,” black men were the minds and hands behind American whiskey production. “In the same way that white cookbook authors often appropriated recipes from their black cooks, white distillery owners took credit for the whiskey,” he writes. Described as “the best whiskey maker that I know of” by his master, Dan Call, Green taught young Jack Daniel how to run a whiskey still. When Daniel later opened his own distillery, he hired two of Green’s sons. The popular image of moonshine is a product of the white cultural monopoly on all things ‘country’ Over time, that legacy was forgotten, creating a gap in knowledge about American distilling traditions — while English, German, Scottish, and Irish influences exist, that combination alone cannot explain the entirely of American distilling. As bourbon historian Michael Veach suggests, slave culture pieces together an otherwise puzzling intellectual history.
(tags: history craft-beer craft-culture food drink whiskey distilling black-history jack-daniels nathan-nearest-green)
Meet the Espresso Tonic, Iced Coffee’s Bubbly New Cousin
Bit late on this one but YUM
To make the drink, Box Kite baristas simply load a glass with ice, fill it about three quarters of the way with chilled tonic, and then top it off with an espresso shot — typically from roasters like Madcap (MI) and Ritual (SF). Often, baristas pull the espresso shot directly on top of the tonic and ice mixture, forgoing the process of first pulling it into a cup and then pouring the espresso from cup to glass.
(tags: tonic-water recipes espresso coffee drinks cocktails)