However, NRCan did present concerns in the area of acid rock drainage and metal leaching, the result of natural weathering on sulphide bearing rock. “Given the abundance of disturbed rocks with high ARDML potential and short lag time to onset of acid generation and non-acid generating overburdens with elevated selenium content,” says Jessica Coulson, Team Leader of NRCan’s Environmental Assessment Division, “ARDML prevention and mitigation can pose some challenges.” Coulson added that more detailed tests are ongoing, and the lack of better water quality modelling “presents a higher degree of uncertainty.” Among NRCan’s recommendations in that area is the development of an ARDML management plan, as well as the improved water quality monitoring, which Site C Chief Project Engineer John Nunn says B.C. Hydro agrees with. The hearings continue today with presentations from Transport Canada and the Ministry of Forests, as well as Saulteau First Nations, West Moberly First Nations, Treaty 8 Tribal Association and the Peace River Environmental Society.Advertisement Cassidy says studies have shown that reservoirs at a height of 60 metres or less, like the Site C project would be, are also drastically less likely to trigger significant earthquakes than taller ones. “The probability of earthquakes is extremely low, so that probability of triggering earthquakes drops off very quickly with reservoir height,” he argues, adding, “In British Columbia there’s no history of significant reservoir triggered seismicity, either at the much larger Bennett Dam, which is 183 metres, or the Peace Canyon Dam.” In it its review, NRCan looked at the seismicity hazards in the area, the possible effects of waves generated by earthquakes, as well as the proposed mitigation measures by Hydro. It found that design of the dam would cover the largest induced earthquakes in the area and any sloshes of water from earthquakes would be less than one metre, leaving another 7.6 metres room. – Advertisement -Research scientist for the Geological Survey of Canada Peter Bobrowsky said the same of the information on the geology and terrain hazards presented in the Environmental Impact Statement, adding that the slope stability line and landslide generated wave impact line given are conservative and exceed minimum required standards. “NRCan is satisfied the Proponent has followed the adopted current standards and best practices used both in Canada and internationally in dealing with slope stability,” he told the JRP. “We have no other recommendations.” Advertisement
Living things, especially cells, have mastered the forces of advanced physics in ingenious ways. This ingenuity sometimes inspires physicists to try to copy it. Here are some recent examples:Photosynthesis and quantum mechanics: Nature reported that plants take advantage of quantum mechanics in photosynthesis.1 “The photosynthetic apparatus of cryptophyte algae is odd – its pigments are farther apart than is expected for efficient functioning. A study into how this apparatus works so well finds quantum effects at play.” Grondelle and Novoderezhkin continued, showing that plants exceed humans at this skill:It is common knowledge that plants, algae and certain bacteria use photosynthesis to convert solar energy into a form that can be used by the organisms to live and reproduce. But what is less well known is that the efficiency of photosynthesis might depend in part on quantum-mechanical processes. On page 644 of this issue, Collini et al.2 report evidence suggesting that a process known as quantum coherence ‘wires’ together distant molecules in the light-harvesting apparatus of marine cryptophyte algae. This is the first time that this phenomenon has been observed in photosynthetic proteins at room temperature, rather than at much lower temperatures, bolstering the idea that quantum coherence influences light harvesting in vivo.Collini et al appeared surprised by their discovery: “Intriguingly, recent work has documented that light-absorbing molecules in some photosynthetic proteins capture and transfer energy according to quantum-mechanical probability laws instead of classical laws at temperatures up to 180 K,” they said. “This contrasts with the long-held view that long-range quantum coherence between molecules cannot be sustained in complex biological systems, even at low temperatures.” The plants’ ability to use “counter-intuitive design” employ quantum mechanical laws boosts the efficiency of light harvesting. Grondelle and Novoderezhkin titled their article, “Quantum design for a light trap.”Smart grid technology: Continuing on the theme of photosynthesis, a commentary in PNAS by David M. Kramer (Washington State U)3 describes how plants and other phototrophs (light-loving organisms) employ a “smart grid” system to dissipate excess energy and prevent damage:To deal with the Promethean consequences of harvesting light, phototrophs have evolved a photonic “smart grid” that balances the delivery of light energy to its two photosystems—photosystem I (PSI) and photosystem II (PSII)—to prevent overexcitation and subsequent production of reactive oxygen species. Like human-engineered electrical systems, the photonic smart grid can regulate energy transfer at several levels. Unlike its engineered counterparts that have controllable power plants, phototrophs cannot down-regulate the sun. Instead, when light capture exceeds the capacity of the system to process it, it must be dissipated or rerouted to avoid photodamage. Chloroplasts deal with this problem by adjusting the properties of the photosynthetic antennae under photodamaging conditions.Kramer went on to describe how the power plant has a fail-safe mechanism. The default state of the conformation of molecules in the photosystem is probably in the quenched mode – the safe mode. “In this way, several different stimuli can result in similar down-regulation of the photonic smart grid.”Adhesion by cohesion: We know that post-it notes work by creating cohesive forces with tiny droplets on paper. Beetles employ a similar trick to stick to leaves. They are so good at it, they can cling to leaves with a force 100 times their own weight, and then instantly detach themselves. They achieve this by controlling thousands of tiny liquid droplets in their feet. The adhesion created by surface tension in any one drop is small, but the large number of droplet contacts adds up. Inspired by the success of the beetles, engineers at Cornell, with funding from the National Science Foundation and DARPA, have created a prototype adhesive that works on the same principle. It controls the droplets with electric fields. By reversing the fields, it can detach the device easily. Their main problem is figuring out how to keep the droplets from coalescing, but they are making progress. Science Daily reported that their palm-size device that employs water surface tension might make it possible for future Spider-man mimics to walk on walls.Acoustical nanomechanics: “NASA Studies Nanomechanics of Inner Ear,” announced PhysOrg. We often take our balance for granted, but it depends on sophisticated responses of tiny hair cells to the environment (see also a second PhysOrg article on this subject). But how do the hair cells maintain enhanced sensitivity to very small movements without being overwhelmed by large movements? The article describes how the amplifier can be instantly switched on or off by the organism.The inner ear organs are designed and precisely attuned to changes in the environment: for the hearing organ, a change in the sound pressure, such as caused by a car horn, can deform the ear drum and rapidly lead to the recognition and location of the sound. For the balance organ, movement of the head, such as unexpectedly stepping off the curb, is sensed and rapidly leads to motor reflexes to maintain equilibrium. The more sensitive our ability is to detect these changes, the more acute our sensation. This remarkable tuning and amplification to detect the slightest stimuli, allows us to adjust our posture.NASA wants to understand these mechanisms so as to help astronauts avoid vertigo in space. They are studying the hair cells in toadfish. “Fossil evidence, dating from at least the Devonian Period 400 million years ago, shows that the elaborate sensory structures used to sense the organism’s movement are remarkably conserved among vertebrata. The results demonstrate an active process in the hair cells of an ancient bony fish, thus suggesting that the mechanism is ancestral, and may underlie the broad appearance of active hair cell processes in amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals, including humans.” For a picture of one of the hair cells, see Science Daily.Cilia got rhythm: A paper in Nature last month tackled the problem of how cilia and flagella beat with regular oscillations.4 To understand it, the researchers came up with a mathematical model that employed “opposed motors and springs.” In particular, they studied the oscillation of the flagellum in sperm cells to come up with a “sperm equation.” This excerpt sounds like something out of an engineering textbook:Any oscillation can be described as a sum of sinusoidal oscillations of increasing frequency, called Fourier modes; sideways oscillations can be described by the temporal Fourier modes of tangent angles. Power-spectrum analysis showed that experimentally observed oscillations in tangent angles were well approximated using only the first (fundamental) Fourier mode, so the sperm equation could be analytically solved using values of this mode. Tangent angles quantify the curvature of the axoneme at a given position, and the curvature is geometrically related to the sliding distance between doublets at that position. The sperm equation thus relates time-dependent angular movement at each position to the extent and rate of inter-doublet sliding at that position, and to the local forces that either oppose or promote further sliding. The model contains two adjustable parameters – stiffness and friction of the active material inside the axoneme that deforms and exerts force during bending. It also contains several fixed parameters that J�licher and colleagues independently measured and fed into the equation. These include the hydrodynamic drag of the moving flagellum and its ordinary stiffness, both of which oppose active deformation, and the beat frequency. The authors obtained an excellent fit to the data, with both internal stiffness and friction taking the negative values expected for an active material. Importantly, a microscopic model of dynein behaviour, incorporating the force-dependent detachment concept illustrated in Figure 2, predicted negative values for stiffness and friction similar to those obtained by fitting the sperm equation.The authors went on to describe physics concepts like beat frequency, force-detachment relationships, piston-like movement of doublets at the base of the cilia, and sliding friction. Your life depended on a sperm cell understanding the physics of beating its way to an egg cell – and still depends on trillions of other cilia and flagella being good physicists in the cells of your body today.Bacterial flagellar switch: A paper in Science discussed how the flagella of a bacteria can cooperate by using a stochastic switch.5 Several of the authors work in the Department of Physics at Oxford – not just the biology department. “The elements of protein signaling networks are often complexes that change their activity in response to binding specific ligands,” their paper began. “Multisubunit protein complexes often show cooperativity, with either binding or activity showing a switchlike sigmoidal dependence upon ligand concentration.” The authors introduced the concept of “conformational spread” to explain the switching behavior between clockwise (CW) and counterclockwise (CCW) rotation. The description went on to discuss physical properties of the system: elasticity, a two-state Poisson process, stochastic coupling, and more. The fact that these cellular machines can be described with the tools of mechanics not only emphasizes the physics in biophysics, but shows how human engineers envy the techniques that living things have mastered.Thermodynamics: Maxwell’s demon found: The 19th-century physicist James Clerk Maxwell knew that entropy must increase in a system, but envisioned a way to overcome it: putting an intelligent selector in the system. A “demon” could, in principle, isolate hot and cold molecules into different compartments, for instance. PNAS reported that bacteria could be employed to harness random Brownian motion to turn gears.6The laws of thermodynamics prohibit extraction of useful work from the Brownian motion of molecules or particles in systems at equilibrium (nonexistence of a perpetuum mobile of the second kind or Maxwell demon). When, however, such randomly moving objects interact with certain types of time-varying external potentials or with asymmetric geometrical obstacles under nonequilibrium conditions, their motions can be “rectified” and made directional. This phenomenon, first considered by Smoluchowski and then analyzed in detail by Feynman, underlies the operation of so-called Brownian ratchets and motors. The examples of biological “Brownian motors” include kinesin and myosin proteins converting chemical energy into directed motion on microtubules, and bacteria propelling themselves in viscous fluid owing to the “asymmetry”/chirality of flagellar rotation.The authors suggest that human engineers could employee flagella as Maxwell demons to turn nanoscopic gears. It should be noted that all the instances they listed of Brownian ratchets are found in living systems or were produced by human engineers.Network engineering: To build a better distribution network, make like a leaf. PhysOrg announced that “Leaf veins inspire a new model for distribution networks.” Following the straight and narrow may be good moral advice, but it’s not a great design principle for a distribution network. In new research, a team of biophysicists describe a complex netting of interconnected looping veins that evolution devised to distribute water in leaves. The work, which bucks decades of thinking, may compel engineers to revisit some common assumptions that have informed the building of many human-built distribution networks.The netted patterns seen in leaves may not only be the most efficient way to get cargo from here to there; it may also provide the best safety net. The “tree network” most commonly deployed lacks the redundancy of leaf networks. “By contrast, in the leaves of most complex plants, evolution has devised a system to distribute water that is more supple in at least two key ways,” responding to fluctuating demand and re-routing around damaged parts of the network. Videos in the article show how water is distributed in different kinds of leaves. The article also pointed out that the loopy network design is also found in corals and insect wings. “These findings could seriously shake things up,” a researcher said. “People will have to take another look at how they design these kinds of systems.” One of the researchers is further studying how the design handles fluctuating loads, “guided by nature’s own solution in the leaf.”The last entry talked about evolution numerous times: e.g., “evolution has devised a system” to do this or that, personifying evolution as some kind of engineer directing mutations toward a goal – an invalid notion in evolutionary theory. As evidence, the article pointed to the ginkgo tree as a “primitive” (less evolved) plant with a simpler distribution of veins. The article did not point explain, though, if its leaves were primitive, why it survived as a “living fossil” from ancient times all the way to the present, nor why corals, more ancient than ginkgo, already were outfitted with the more-advanced loop network design.1. Grondelle and Novoderezhkin, “Photosynthesis: Quantum design for a light trap,” Nature 463, 614-615 (4 February 2010); doi:10.1038/463614a.2. Collini et al, “Coherently wired light-harvesting in photosynthetic marine algae at ambient temperature,” Nature 463, 644-647 (4 February 2010); doi:10.1038/nature08811.3. David M. Kramer, “The photonic ‘smart grid’ of the chloroplast in action,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, online February 5, 2010, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0914429107. 4. T. J. Mitchison and H. M. Mitchison, “Cell biology: How cilia beat,” Nature 463, 308-309 (21 January 2010); doi:10.1038/463308a.5. Bai, Branch et al, “Conformational Spread as a Mechanism for Cooperativity in the Bacterial Flagellar Switch,” Science, 5 February 2010: Vol. 327. no. 5966, pp. 685-689, DOI: 10.1126/science.1182105. 6. Sokolov et al, “Swimming bacteria power microscopic gears,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, January 19, 2010 vol. 107 no. 3 969-974, 10.1073/pnas.0913015107.Don’t you get sick of the constant credit evolution gets for engineering design? It’s sickening because it is nonsensical. Evolution is not an engineer. It is not a person. It cannot organize parts for a goal; it is completely a random, instantaneous response to immediate circumstances. Evolutionists commit two fallacies with sickening frequency. For one, they use evolution as an active verb, saying, for instance, that hearts evolved to pump blood. That phrase evolved to is the fallacy: it implies goal-directed behavior. Only intelligent agents direct things toward functional goals. Matter in motion does not – nor do non-sentient living things. The apparent goal-directed behavior of bacteria toward a chemical gradient or moths toward a light is an artifact of their design. The organisms are not “deciding” to set goals and work toward achieving them. When you see evolved to, or find design and evolution in the same sentence, red flags should go up. The science and philosophy referees need to call a foul. The second fallacy evolutionists commit is kind of like the anthropic principle in cosmology: “If the universe were not finely tuned for life, we wouldn’t be here to worry about the question.” That’s a dodge, not an explanation. It doesn’t explain why the universe is designed or how it got that way; it is an appeal to a counterfactual. Similarly, natural selection theory implies that if the bird did not evolve a wing, it wouldn’t be flying; if the plant did not employ quantum mechanical light traps, it wouldn’t be harvesting light. It does not follow that the bird did evolve the wing. That would be the logical consequence only if evolution is assumed a priori to be the only option. But it is not. One cannot assume what needs to be proved (circular reasoning). Since our uniform experience is that intelligent agents do engineering, intelligent design should be the default inference to the best explanation for wings, hearts and photosynthetic systems. The item about Maxwell’s demon (#7 above) is noteworthy. As the Second Law of Thermodynamics is sometimes defined, all natural systems increase in entropy. We know that humans can overcome the law of increasing entropy (locally and temporarily) by exerting goal-directed work, such as in harnessing the chemical energy of gasoline (from sunlight) in a well-designed piston engine. Is that natural? If humans are natural products of evolution, then everything they do should be defined as natural. That would mean, however, that decreasing entropy is also natural – a contradiction with the Second Law of Thermodynamics, a law of nature if there ever was one. And what about the real-world Maxwell demons like ATP synthase motors, flagella and other Brownian ratchets that harness random thermal energy to perform useful work? Are they natural? It is only by making the word natural a self-contradictory concept, or by abandoning the universality of laws of nature, that a materialist can deny intelligent causes are at work in the universe and played a role in its origin.(Visited 24 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0
Global commerce being what it is, tradeoffs are a reality for people trying to pursue a buy-American agenda. A case in point: Anders Lewendal, a builder based in Bozeman, Montana, whose pursuit of materials grown and manufactured in the U.S. was recently profiled in the New York Times.Lewendal calculates that if builders nationwide shifted 5% of their materials and appliance purchases to products made in the U.S., about $14 billion would be added the domestic economy each year. And if all other businesses and consumers applied that notion to their purchases, it would commensurately boost the U.S. economy and help lower the unemployment rate.Walking the walkAs Lewendal points out in the Times story, though, the pursuit of made-in-America products can be rough on purists, mainly because even goods manufactured here often include components mined, fabricated, or assembled in other countries.Lewendal, who has an undergraduate degree in economics and is a Certified Green Professional in the NAHB Green program, is by now well acquainted with the realities of manufacturing and sourcing. His point is that for many products it isn’t that difficult to at least come close to buying American and, in most cases, it is only modestly more expensive.He told the Times that the approach increased by 2% or 3% the $265,000 construction cost of a 2,280-sq.-ft., three-bedroom house he is building.An economist interviewed by the paper pointed out, however, that the commingling of foreign and domestic parts and labor makes it difficult to predict the larger benefits of buying American. Still, pushing in that direction in the product-intensive world of home construction has convinced Lewendal that there’s enough merit to his theory to justify scaling it up.He is illustrating his concept through one of his recent projects, called the All American Home. The house is built with materials and equipped with appliances whose provenance is as all-American as Lewendal could possibly manage.In keeping with his preferences for green building, it is also designed to be relatively energy-efficient, with a HERS Index rating of 40.
Start Free Trial Already a member? Log in Sign up for a free trial and get instant access to this article as well as GBA’s complete library of premium articles and construction details. William Rose is fun to listen to. The author of a landmark book, Water in Buildings, Rose is a research architect at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and a widely respected building scientist.Rose’s speaking style is discursive, meandering, hesitant, and occasionally poetic. He shares historical anecdotes that sometimes seem only remotely relevant to his topic. Eventually, however, he sews together a patchwork quilt with a unified theme.Rose gave the keynote address, “A Building Science To-Do List,” at a building envelope conference I recently attended in Florida (the Thermal Performance of the Exterior Envelopes of Whole Buildings XIII International Conference). Looking ahead to retirement, Rose was ready to bequeath his list to the younger building scientists in the audience.“I received a warm invitation from André Desjarlais to speak here,” said Rose. “He said something like, ‘Bill Rose, you’re old.’ It was a liberating and inspiring thing to hear. So I’ve been thinking about the things I wanted to get done in building science. I may not get these things done — I may have to pass these things on to you.” Studying building corners The first item on Rose’s list is simple: we need a better understanding of corners. Energy modeling is often one-dimensional — as, for example, when a scientist describes the temperature profile across an insulated wall. Some energy programs are capable of modeling convective loops, and are therefore two-dimensional. But any consideration of building corners requires a three-dimensional approach.“Corners are some of the most interesting parts of the building,” said Rose. “I did a survey of freeze-thaw damage on brick buildings. Not much damage shows up in the field of the brick except where the brick is… This article is only available to GBA Prime Members
Gadgets Appliances Best laptops for college students: We’ve got an affordable laptop for every student. Best live TV streaming services: Ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. We’d never tell you to skip out on your morning caffeine ritual — but bringing a trusty reusable coffee cup to your favorite java shop or making your own brew at home and toting it in a chic coffee tumbler is a smart way to avoid the single-use plastic and paper cups piling up in landfills. Bonus: a lot of brew houses give you a discount for bringing your own coffee cup.We’ve selected some of our favorites to help you find the very best reusable coffee cup. Whether you’re looking for a mug that fits into a car cup holder or something with a modern flare. These sleek, sturdy and stylish coffee cups are made from hard plastic, glass or metal and engineered to hold warm or cold beverages, keeping your tea & coffee hot for hours and an iced drink chilled for just as long. So do the environmentally-conscious thing and bring one of these reusable mugs with you next time you make a coffee run. The planet — and your wallet — will thank you.Read more on CNET: the best water bottles in 2019 | best coffee machines for 2019Read more on Chowhound: how to make good coffee while traveling | coffee products you shouldn’t live withoutNote that CNET may get a share of revenue from the sale of products featured on this page. Amazon KeepCup Reusable Coffee CupThis stylish sipper is made in the USA from soda-lime glass, which means it’s easily recyclable when you’re done with it eventually. You can also microwave it, and even though it’s glass, it’s lightweight enough to carry with you on your morning coffee runs. Thankfully, the cork band keeps your hands safe from burning and the lid and plug are dishwasher safe when it’s time to clean it.$28 on Amazon Amazon Yeti RamblerImagine the amazing power of a Yeti cooler — they’re the standard for fishermen and people who like the outdoors — but in the palm of your hand. This double-walled tumbler keeps your morning coffee hot well into the afternoon, and the genius magnet sliding lid comes apart when it’s time to throw it all in the dishwasher. It’s also the perfect size for most car cup holders when you’re driving through the great outdoors — or just, um, to the office.$30 at Amazon Amazon Hydro Flask Travel Coffee FlaskStash this 16-ounce reusable mug in your bag for your morning coffee run — it’s perfectly sized to a standard coffee cup, so your barista will know exactly how much to charge you. Plus, this flask will keep your cup of joe hot for up to 6 hours and your cold brew chill for 24 hours (thanks to double-walled insulation). It also has a wide mouth opening so that you can gulp the good stuff and let the caffeine do its magic before your first morning meeting.$25 at Amazon Amazon Kinto Travel TumblerIf you’re picky about your coffee, you probably have opinions on reusable coffe cups, too. This super-chic to-go mug comes in neutral shades and has a stainless steel insulated cup that keeps everything at the same temp for up to six hours. Yasssss. The lid spins off to reveal an opening that you can sip from at any angle, and the sleek design is totally museum-worthy. $34 at Amazon Amazon Contigo West Loop Stainless Steel Travel MugNo shame if you’re the person who gets more coffee on their sleeve than in their mouth whenever you’re carrying a cup on the go. Thankfully, the lid on this reusable coffee canteen won’t let anything escape it — and it’s also slim enough to fit in a car cup holder, which means even the bumpiest of rides won’t threaten your morning brew. You can practically take this one with you anywhere. $15 at AmazonS’well Tumbler Amazon This attractive 18-ounce tumbler comes in a ton of amazing shades and designs, but it’s not just a pretty face: it’s made from stainless steel and is triple-walled so that you’ll never get condensation on your hands. But also, did we mention that it’s p-r-e-e-e-e-e-t-t-y? Use this gorgeous and reusable coffee cup around the house and find one that matches your decor (yes, that’s a thing). Heads up, you have to purchase the lid separately. $26 at Amazon Amazon Stojo Silicone Collapsible CupThis is the travel mug for when your work bag is already loaded with notebooks, an iPad, your laptop and a million random receipts from heaven-knows-where. Made out of super-light, leak-proof silicone, it collapses to just 2.5 inches thick, meaning you can tote it practically anywhere without adding bulk to your bag. And when you need a warm-up, it’s microwave safe. Hot tip: it also comes with a straw for when iced coffee season hits.$20 at AmazonRead more: The best gifts for coffee and tea loversThis article was written by Julie Vadnal Post a comment Tags 0 Share your voice
Aspirin can prevent the tuberculosis (TB) bacterium from hijacking immune cells and allow the body to control infection better, say researchers who found that the common pain killer could treat the top infectious killer worldwide that claims around 4,400 lives a day. Researchers from the Centenary Institute in Sydney found that the TB bacterium hijacks platelets from the body’s blood clotting system to weaken immune systems. “Our study provides more crucial evidence that widely available aspirin could be used to treat patients with severe TB infection and save lives,” said lead author Elinor Hortle, research officer at Centenary. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfUsing the zebrafish model of TB, the team used fluorescent microscopy to observe the build-up of clots and activation of platelets around sites of infection. They found that the platelets were being tricked by the infection into getting in the way of the body’s immune system. Treating the infections with anti-platelet drugs, including the widely available aspirin could prevent hijacking and allow the body to control infection better, according to the paper published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases. “This is the first time that platelets have been found to worsen TB in an animal model. It opens up the possibility that anti-platelet drugs could be used to help the immune system fight off drug resistant TB,” Hortle said. According to the World Health Organization, TB is one of the top 10 causes of death worldwide. In 2017, 10 million people fell ill with TB, and 1.6 million died from the disease.
This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine 11 min read Register Now » RadioShack is on its last legs, reportedly in talks to shut down and sell its storefronts to companies like Sprint and Amazon.For many technologists, this is much more than just the loss of another strip mall retailer — it’s the end of where their passion really began. The place where they bought their first transistor, the place where they first learned to code. Fortune’s Term Sheet newsletter asked readers to submit their first memories or early experiences at RadioShack, and got lots of nostalgic replies.Below are some of our favorites:• “Radio Shack was always my favorite store as a child. From their Battery of the Month Club, to their vacuum tube testers (remember those?) to their electronics kits and soldering irons, I was hooked as a young boy. No wonder I was always getting chased out of there! But the turning point for me was the TRS-80 (as I am sure it was pivotal for so many others) – that cemented my life as an engineer and geek. The TRS-80 was the first computer I typed into, wrote my first programs and played games on. Now, we never owned one – I did that all in the store. We were never in a position to spend the $1,000 (give or take) for the computer – but every trip to our little mall included a stop for me at Radio Shack.” ~ Jack Unverfurth, director of software at Get Real Health.• “I learned BASIC programming at a Radio Shack store when I was 11 years-old. They held this class in a back room at the store and me and a about a dozen adults learned how to do ‘Print’ and ‘If-Then’ statements. This was like 1981 and the first exposure any of us had to computer programming.” ~ James Navin, VP of strategic operations at Sharethrough• “My grandfather — who is now 94 and who’s got all the zipper machine patents in Google patent search — took me to Radio Shack when I was about 8 years-old. He bought me a soldering iron and we made electromagnets. That was the first time i made something. I cant imagine what we would’ve made with Arduino or Raspberry PI. I guess the combination of entrepreneurial genes and that early time screwing around in grandpas lab inspired me to found MINR. ~ Sol Weinreich• “My first computer was a TRS-80 bought in 1979 at local Radio Shack – 16K with a black and white monitor and cassette tape drive. Wouldn’t have my 20-year career in tech if not for the experience of having a PC in our living room as an 8 year-old.” ~ Steven Mitzenmacher, VP of corporate development at NetApp• “I used my Bar Mitzvah money to buy my first ‘personal’ computer in 1981 — the TRS-80 from Radio Shack. It had no disk drives; the only memory was 16K of RAM. I had to save programs on a cassette tape, and the filenames could be no longer than two letters. So awesome.” ~ Paul Greenberg, CEO of Nylon• “Back in the mid-90s, there was no DigiKey or hundreds of other component sites. The information wasn’t as abundant either for amateur geeks (like myself), so you could bring a circuit board with burnt out component and get help finding replacement. Radio Shack employees were true hardcore geeks. Somewhere in early 2000’s Radio Shack started hiring sales people and not geeks, which resulted in Best Buy-esque experience. You may have wanted some random component, but were pushed cellphone plans instead. Knowledge of associates dropped to such low levels, they would read you what is on the box, but would have no idea what is the difference between resistor and capacitor. That is when the company became dead to me. ~ Apollo Sinkevicius, COO of Robin Powered• “Radio Shack was one of my favorite stores growing up. My dad was an electrical engineer, so many a project involved a trip to Radio Shack: removing alternator noise from a car audio system, fixing the tube amp on my 1930s Hammond Organ, building a home-brew security system, etc. As the years went on, the front of the store was filled with more mobile phones & games, and our little section of resistors, capacitors & breadboards was relegated to a smaller and smaller back corner of the store.” ~ Matt Brezina, CEO of Sincerely Inc.• “I grew up in Dallas, Texas. Radio Shack was everywhere. I could ride my bike to the nearest one in a shopping center that also had my haircut place (back when we called them ‘barbers’) and a local ice cream store that I loved but can’t remember the name of. Across the street was a Piggly Wiggly in a big shopping center. It’s all at Arapaho Road and Coit Road in Dallas in Spanish Village. I’d ride by bike up to Radio Shack and just sit and screw around in the store forever. I was always amazed at the diodes, capacitors, resistors, wires, and cables. Eventually they had a CB Radio that I somehow convinced my dad to by for his car. I was totally into Breaker-breaker-1-9 and my favorite thing to do was to say Breaker-breaker-1-9 I need to take a 10-100. When the TRS-80 came out, that was the end of that. I got an Apple II instead and when the Epson MX-80 printer came out, I was done with Radio Shack for a long time.” ~ Brad Feld, venture capitalist• “During my early teenage years in the 90’s, my dad was posted in Sana’a, Yemen. For a kid in the MTV generation this spelt a death knell. Socially speaking, the city was as barren as its desert. But… it had a Radio Shack! For kids like me that was the epitome of cool. The Technic earphones and Sony tape decks were sights that we saw only on TV. But the Shack brought it to life for us. Many a dull afternoon have I spent foraging through their shelves. Hence nostalgia abounds whenever I think of them. Doubt if others see it my way, but Radio Shack would always be my yardstick as far as cool quotient comparisons go.” ~ Raju Joseph• “I was an early personal computer hobbyist, and in 1981 entered Johns Hopkins University’s first national search for applications to benefit the disabled. My entry was a design and prototype for a word processing service that would hire typists who were blind to type dictation over the telephone and return finished text by e-mail. I used a TRS-80 and Radio Shack answering machine to prove the concept. The Radio Shack store in McLean, Virginia was where I got the equipment, but also found helpful people with ideas and encouragement. Word processing centers and services were, of course, quickly eclipsed by advances in business technology, but I still got that certificate on my wall.” ~ Alan Kotok, editor and publisher at Science & Enterprise• “I was an early RS consumer having spent paperboy delivery money on countless ‘free’ baseball bat sized d-cell flashlights, the mystical p-boxes and subsequently, Band-Aids (early life lesson on how hot a solder iron can get…) to returning later as a college co-op student to the Fort Worth, TX headquarters. Tandy’s Research & Development division offered me a full-time offer upon graduation where I became part of the Team behind the TRS-80 and the new Tandy 2000 Personal Computers. Had the opportunity to meet Dell and Gates who were each just starting their respective companies.” ~ Don Metzger• “Our dads built Heath kit stereos and passed on soldering skills and the maker spirit in projects we built from parts purchased at Radio Shack. I remember wanting my own radio, and us building a crystal radio to fit inside a 7-up can. One-part James Bond, one part learning the skills of engineers. The radio was my first project built with my dad, doing something he did as a boy. We later built a launcher for Estes rockets with buttons, switches, wire and solder from Radio Shack to start our family space program! Turning screen-time into ‘us time.’” ~ Joe Salesky, CEO of Ustyme• “I learned how to program Basic on a Radio Shack (Tandy) TRS-80 in NYC in the early 80s. I would sit in the store for hours, program, and play. The software was downloaded from an audio cassette at a 300 Baud rate. A simple pong-like game would take about 5 mins to download from the cassette. Fun times.” ~ Bart Schachter• “I bought a 101-in-One electronics kit in the 70’s to have some fun tinkering. In the 80’s my little daughter took a liking to it and how things work. Her educational path lead her to a PhD in chemistry. I don’t doubt that the kit I bought from Radio Shack created her first science building block. Thank you Radio Shack!” ~ Len Charmichael, CFO of Sunnyside Corp.• “When I was 12-14 years old (1979) I got into talking on CB radios. I think it had to do with Smokey and the Bandit. I went to Radio Shack weekly to get the latest antennae, amplifier, speaker, etc. I remember extending wires to all four corners of my room. The theory was the larger the antennae the more distant signals we could pick up.” ~ Keith Wasserstrom, consultant• “When I was in high school, I was in a band. I thought we were the best band in school, but another band (whose lead singer was the son of the guy who owned the Detroit Pistons) always won competitions and I thought it was because they had better equipment. We couldn’t afford better equipment, so my dad and I started to go to Radio Shack and bought raw parts to put together a complete P.A. system. We never lost again. And I’ll always treasure spending time with dad and learning about the science behind the music. ” ~ Jason Mendelson, venture capitalist• “For me, Radio Shack was the equivalent of today’s Apple store. I loved going in there and just looking around, wondering what half the stuff was, particularly their walls of transistors, capacitors, plugs and patch cords. One of my first at home/Saturday morning projects as a 10 year-old boy was to build a robot with tin cans my Mom had thrown out and plenty of lead solder and an ‘Archer’ soldering gun, which still works after 50 years, even the little light on the front! Unfortunately the robot never did. I also still have an Archer voltmeter from the early 70’s that works great. In my teens I used some of those transistors they sold to build a device that allowed me and a friend to make long-distance phone calls for free, even though we didn’t really have anyone to call. My dream as a kid was to someday work in a Radio Shack and, dare I think it, even manage one! Today I run a software development company and credit much of my tech curiosity to those days wandering – and wondering – around in my local Radio Shack. I’m sorry to see them go.” ~ Frank Kenna, CEO of The Marlin Company• “I still remember my brother and I as kids on a road trip fighting over a Walkman until my parents had to find a radio shack (without googlemaps) to buy a headphone splitter. Then we just argued over which cassette tapes to play.” ~ Chris Livingston, associate with Summit Partners• “I was a geek when being a geek was not fashionable. When portable computers weighed 40lbs and the concept of a laptop was just a dream.I was a geek when a mouse was a furry thing that you chased out of your house not made a home on your desk.I was a geek when computers had names like Trash 80I was a geek on the cutting edge of technology,I was a geek thanks to Radio Shack.”~ Warren Markowitz, Geek, attorney, radio host, and a kid from the 1980’s February 4, 2015 Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Global