On This Day
1824 – Portland cement is patented.
Portland cement is the most common type of cement in general use around the world as a basic ingredient of concrete, mortar, stucco, and non-specialty grout. It was developed from other types of hydraulic lime in England in the mid 19th century, and usually originates from limestone. It is a fine powder, produced by heating limestone and clay minerals in a kiln to form clinker, grinding the clinker, and adding 2 to 3 percent of gypsum. Several types of Portland cement are available. The most common, called ordinary Portland cement (OPC), is grey, but white Portland cement is also available. Its name is derived from its similarity to Portland stone which was quarried on the Isle of Portland in Dorset, England. It was named by Joseph Aspdin who obtained a patent for it in 1824. However, his son William Aspdin is regarded as the inventor of “modern” Portland cement due to his developments in the 1840s.
Portland cement is caustic, so it can cause chemical burns. The powder can cause irritation or, with severe exposure, lung cancer, and can contain some hazardous components, such as crystalline silica and hexavalent chromium. Environmental concerns are the high energy consumption required to mine, manufacture, and transport the cement, and the related air pollution, including the release of greenhouse gases (e.g., carbon dioxide), dioxin, NOx, SO2, and particulates. The production of Portland cement contributes to about 10% of world carbon dioxide emission. To meet the rising global population, the International Energy Agency estimated that the cement production is set to increase between 12 to 23% by 2050. There are several ongoing researches targeting a suitable replacement of Portland cement by supplementary cementitious materials.
The low cost and widespread availability of the limestone, shales, and other naturally-occurring materials used in Portland cement make it one of the lowest-cost materials widely used over the last century. Concrete produced from Portland cement is one of the world’s most versatile construction materials.
Read more ->
Born On This Day
1874 – Tan Kah Kee, Chinese businessman, community leader, communist and philanthropist (d.1961)
Tan Kah Kee (21 October 1874 – 12 August 1961), also known as Chen Jiageng, was a Chinese businessman, community leader and philanthropist active in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, and various Chinese cities such as Shanghai, Xiamen, and Guangzhou. A prominent figure in the overseas Chinese community in Southeast Asia in the 20th century, he was responsible for gathering much support from the community to aid China in major events such as the Xinhai Revolution (1911), the Kuomintang’s Northern Expedition (1926–28), and the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937–45). Apart from donating most of his assets and earnings to aid China in those major events, Tan set up funds in Southeast Asia and Hong Kong and contributed to the establishment of several schools in Southeast Asia and China’s Fujian Province, including Xiamen University.
By Jerry Portwood, Rolling Stone: David Byrne’s ‘American Utopia’: A Heady Swirl of Hope for Our Anxious Times The concert-theater-dance spectacle on Broadway finds solace in human connections — with plenty of drum beats
By Sun Staff: GCC Professor’s Paintings Illustrate New Children’s Book
By Marisa Abeyta, Beyond Bylines: Blog Profiles: Science Blogs
By Evan Barbour Grippi Keyword Contributor, Google: 13 ways to conjure up a spooky smart home this Halloween
By Matt Simon, Wired: The Bizarre Aye-Aye Isn’t Giving Us the Finger After All The primate uses its long middle finger to fish for grubs. But scientists just discovered its “pseudothumb,” meaning it’s got six digits, not five.
By Aristos Georgiou, Newsweek: This Giant Toad Mimics a Deadly Venomous Viper With the World’s Longest Snake Fangs to Avoid Being Eaten
By Ruth Porat: Breast cancer and tech…a reason for optimism
By Christine Schmidt: From newsroom to newsletter: How local journalists are DIYing important coverage via email
By Sam Blanchard For Mailonline: Listen to the world’s loudest bird call EVER: Amazonian white bellbird sets record with a deafening 125dB screech louder than a chainsaw or a car horn
The Rural Blog: West Virginia governor still involved in running family’s billion-dollar businesses, though he promised he wouldn’t; Daily asked 10 tiny towns in N.D. and Minn. to see how well they responded to information requests; only 6 complied; Some states consider ways to fund local news, but critics worry it could undermine the news media’s watchdog role and more ->
Today’s email was written by Stevie Borrello, edited by Annaliese Griffin, and produced by Tori Smith. Quartz Obsession: Black holes: Are the answers within?
Caffeinated Reviewer: Sunday Post #391 It’s Cold, No, It’s Hot
The Passive Voice: Browsewrap enforceable: hyperlinked terms on defendant’s website gave reasonable notice; The 30 Scariest Author Website Mistakes And How To Fix Them and more->
Open Culture: Meet Viola Smith, the World’s Oldest Drummer: Her Career Started in the 1930s, and She’s Still Playing at 106; The Best of the Edward Gorey Envelope Art Contest; The Internet Archive Makes 2,500 More Classic MS-DOS Video Games Free to Play Online: Alone in the Dark, Doom, Microsoft Adventure, and Others. More ->
Kathryn’s Report: Piper PA-24 Comanche, N7742P: Fatal accident occurred October 20, 2019 at Angel Fire Airport (KAXX), Colfax County, New Mexico and more ->
GlacierHub Newsletter — Oct. 21, 2019: Nichols College researcher Mauri Pelto analyzes the retreat of Taku Glacier, the largest outlet glacier in Alaska’s Juneau Icefield. More ->
Fast Company Compass: This man is disrupting the cult of the billionaire; Why cord cutting is a privacy minefield; Your complete guide to dark mode on all devices, apps, and websites and more ->
MessyNessy 13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. CCLXXIV): Waiting room with TV sets at Greyhound bus station, Los Angeles, USA, 1969; Before McDonald’s there was “Snappy Service System”; Jeep in a box. With easy instructions.; Muccia Prada’s Slide that she Uses Everyday to Leave the Office; Murder in Paradise: The Tale of the Baroness and the Bohemians; Extreme skier Doug Coombs going down a steep slope, 1989; Baby Octopuses and more ->
By The Juliart: Hocus Pocus Spellbook Cake / Halloween Cake
By SemadarG: Zombie Mouth Cupcake
By Garden Girl Recipes: Red Velvet Brain Cake
By KitchenMason: Easy No Bake Bloody Chocolate Spider Web Tart
By KitchenMason: How to Make Easy ‘Bloody’ Surprise Halloween Cupcakes
By Hank Shaw, Hunter Angler Gardener Cook: Venison Pierogis
The Frayed Apron: Miracle Chicken and Zucchini
Little House Big Alaska: Pan de Muertos for Day of the Dead