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Master & Dynamic Is Having a Big Sale on Audio Gear Now

Wired Top Stories - Tue, 04/13/2021 - 09:00
You can get 25 percent off sitewide through April 19. That includes discounts on some of our favorite headphones, earbuds, and speakers.
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Consumer Prices Jumped. Should You Worry? That's Sparking A Heated Debate

Consumer prices jumped last month as businesses struggled to keep pace with booming demand, but the Biden administration and the Federal Reserve say the uptick in inflation is likely to be temporary.

(Image credit: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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Officer Billy Evans To Lie In Honor At Capitol Where He Served And Was Killed

Evans, who died in an attack earlier this month, is only the sixth Capitol police officer to have died in the line of duty.

(Image credit: Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

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How Many Homes Could You Power With Free Doughnuts?

Wired Top Stories - Tue, 04/13/2021 - 08:00
Should you get a COVID vaccine? Yes, it will protect you AND protect others to help us move past this pandemic so we can get back to a more normal life. But wait! If you get vaccinated, you can also get a doughnut! At least that's the deal that Krispy Kreme Doughnuts is offering. Once you get your vaccine, you get a doughnut. Oh, it's not just one doughnut—it's one doughnut every day. That's a lot of doughnuts. OK, so how about some physics estimations to go along with your tasty doughnut? Let's say that all the Americans that have a COVID vaccine get (and eat) one doughnut a day. Of course eating food gives you energy to do stuff—that's how food works. So, suppose that all these humans eat their doughnut and then use the extra energy to peddle a stationary bike. All of these bikes are then connected to generators so that they feed into the power grid. What kind of power output would this produce? The first thing we need is the number of doughnuts a day. According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) 63 million Americans have been fully vaccinated so far (as of April 7 2021). Oh, don't worry too much about the numbers—I'm going to do all my calculations in python so that you can change the values if that makes you happy. I'm also going to assume that all these people get their doughnut—every day. Next, I need to know the amount of energy per doughnut. According to Krispy Kreme's site, a plain glazed doughnut is 190 Calories. But what the heck is a Calorie? Well, [the original calorie was created to describe changes in thermal energy for different substance](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calories. Then, later people used it to measure the amount of chemical energy your body can get from eating food. However, there is a problem. For some reason, all food labels list stuff in Calories—but these are really kilocalories. So, that doughnut has 190,000 calories. I guess it just sounds like it's too big of a number for people to consider eating. There is another unit of energy—the joule. Since this is the preferred unit of energy for physicists, I'm going to use it. To convert between units, 1 calorie is equal to 4.184 joules. But what does this have to do with your everyday life? Let's consider something you might do without too much effort. Suppose you have a textbook on the floor and you pick it up to put it on a table. Since you are exerting a force on the book over some distance, you have to change the gravitational potential energy of that book. The change in gravitational potential energy is equal to the mass of the book (about 1 kilogram) multiplied by the local gravitational field (g = 9.8 N/kg) and then multiplied by the change in height (about 1 meter). This will give a change in energy of about 10 joules. So that gives you a rough feeling for the amount of energy in a joule. But what about power? Power is the rate of energy change. It tells you how fast you use energy. As an equation, it looks like this: defpower In this expression, if ΔE is the change in energy in units of joules and Δt is the time interval in seconds then the power will be in units of watts. We are almost ready to calculate the vaccine doughnut power. We just need one more estimation—the efficiency. When a human eats a doughnut, only some of the chemical energy goes all the way into useful energy. Also, with a stationary bike generator some of the energy the human uses to push the pedals also goes into heating up some of the moving parts. In the end, only a percentage of the energy goes into electrical energy. This percentage is the efficiency. I'm just going to make a rough guess that the process of doughnut eating to electrical energy is 25 percent efficient. That's it. I just need to take the number of doughnuts per day and convert that energy to joules and then divide by the length of a day (in seconds). Oh, and multiply by the efficiency. Here's what I get. Note: this is actual python code. You can see my calculations and even change them if you like. pythonpower You can see that for each human, it's just a measly 2 watts of power. That's around the power output for a smart phone (power values vary based on use). However, once you include all the vaccinated people we get up to 144 Megawatts. In 2019, the average household power was about 1200 watts. That means that you could use all these doughnuts to run 120 thousand homes. Oh, AND you get vaccinated—that's a win. More Great WIRED Stories
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The Most Surprising Gaming Upgrade I've Made? Surround Sound

Wired Top Stories - Tue, 04/13/2021 - 08:00
New mouse? New monitor? New keyboard? Maybe consider some new speakers, instead.
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Microsoft Makes a $16 Billion Entry Into Health Care AI

Wired Top Stories - Tue, 04/13/2021 - 08:00
The company plans to buy Nuance, a speech-recognition firm that grasps the specialized language of medicine—tech that won’t be easy for others to replicate.
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Photographing a Black Hole

NASA Image of the Day - Tue, 04/13/2021 - 07:57
In April 2019, ablack hole and its shadow were captured in an image for the first time.
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U.S. Recommends Pausing Use Of Johnson & Johnson Vaccine Over Blood Clot Concerns

In a statement on Tuesday, U.S. authorities said they are "reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine."

(Image credit: David Zalubowski/AP)

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Japan To Dump Wastewater From Wrecked Fukushima Nuclear Plant Into Pacific Ocean

Despite Tokyo's assurances that the move will not pose a threat to people or the environment, the decision has been roundly criticized by local fishermen, environmental groups and Japan's neighbors.

(Image credit: Eugene Hoshiko/AP)

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Plastic Is Falling From the Sky. But Where’s It Coming From?

Wired Top Stories - Tue, 04/13/2021 - 07:00
At any given time, 1,100 tons of microplastic are floating over the western US. New modeling shows the surprising sources of the nefarious pollutant.
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AI Comes to Car Repair, and Body Shop Owners Aren’t Happy

Wired Top Stories - Tue, 04/13/2021 - 07:00
During the pandemic, insurers accelerated the use of automated tools to estimate repair costs. Garage operators say the numbers can be wildly inaccurate.
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Here’s What It Takes to Fly a Drone on Mount Everest

Wired Top Stories - Tue, 04/13/2021 - 07:00
If you're heading to the top of the iconic mountain to look for a dead man and a 100-year-old camera, you want to start by running some tests on your device.
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The OnePlus Watch Is Buggy—and That’s Not the Worst of It

Wired Top Stories - Tue, 04/13/2021 - 07:00
Inconsistent tracking is just about the worst problem for a fitness tracker. Here, that issue is compounded by myriad other bugs.
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He Tried To Organize Workers In China's Gig Economy. Now He Faces 5 Years In Jail

The arrest of food delivery worker Chen Guojiang dealt a blow to nascent efforts to promote couriers' rights as they've gained broader public attention during the coronavirus pandemic.

(Image credit: Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

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COMIC: For Music Teacher, Virtual School Meant Teaching Kids 'To Hear The Way I Hear'

It's been a year since teachers were handed an unprecedented request: educate students in entirely new ways amid the backdrop of a pandemic.

(Image credit: LA Johnson/NPR)

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Millions Flock To Hindu Festival Amid Coronavirus Spike

Hindu pilgrims are traveling to bathe in the Ganges River to wipe out their sins.

(Image credit: Ritesh Shukla/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

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After Georgia: Here Are 4 States To Watch Next On Voting Legislation

Republican lawmakers in many states have proposed measures that would make their states' voting rules more restrictive. Of note are Arizona, Texas, Florida and Michigan.

(Image credit: Robyn Beck/AFP via Getty Images)

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Top Republicans Work To Rebrand GOP As Party Of Working Class

Donald Trump drew more working-class voters in to the GOP than any president since Ronald Reagan. Now Republicans are trying to maintain that Trump appeal, without Trump on the ballot in 2022.

(Image credit: Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Imag)

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A Mystery Under Study: How, Why And When COVID Vaccines Aren't Fully Protective

COVID-19 vaccines are highly effective but don't always provide perfect protection. Some vaccinated people later exposed to the virus still get sick. Why and how often that happens is under study.

(Image credit: Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images)

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'What Is That In The Sky?' Floridians Catch Meteor's Close Brush With Earth

Dashcam footage and home surveillance video captured the fireball that lit up the night sky in Florida Monday.

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