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Ask Cassandra Answered

I know all about electronics, relationships, and stuff. Ask me a question and maybe I'll answer it.


i just moved to my new place and i want to reward my malicious neighbor for teaching his big stupid dogs to bark while i sleep (without doggie murder), my uncle who wont aid me directly (childhood as a inventive miscreant/anarchist) and he mumbled something about a 4mhz piezo stack; i also want to thank you for providing the independ evidence to call my labpartner a fool. we used my flyback transformer and a pancake coil to launch steel bbs at a wall target. SO, any ideas.....

i just moved to my new place and i want to reward my malicious neighbor for teaching his big stupid dogs to bark while i sleep (without doggie murder), my uncle who wont aid me directly (childhood as a inventive miscreant/anarchist) and he mumbled something about a 4mhz piezo stack; i also want to thank you for providing the independ evidence to call my labpartner a fool. we used my flyback transformer and a pancake coil to launch steel bbs at a wall target. SO, any ideas.....


11 years ago

Dear Cassandra, I find myself in a relationship with a fellow who thinks getting up at 6am to exercise in the dark is a grand idea. How do I convince him that staying out late dancing is a better way to go? Also, I can't seem to locate the stash of coin cell batteries in my workshop. Can the spirits offer any guidance? Bereft, Canida

Dearest canida,

Honey, have you got problems. Those zombie rats aren't even the beginning. You say your husband won't go dancing and has so much energy he's busting his ass to get out of bed before daybreak? Take the hint! My man is usually so beat from our nightly workouts its a miracle if i can drag him out of bed by 10 for some of my home-cooked pancakes. Just look at all your other projects! You are spending all your time cooking in the kitchen, and none cookin' in the bedroom. It's a good thing you asked for help before things got even more out of hand. Lets see, there are a variety of ways to tackle this age-old problem. Ordinarily my first recommendation in such cases is to get your slutty on, but I know you're pretty good about that already. More than pretty good! I've seen some slutty out of you that would charm the hoariest Roman centurion. What next? Your tendencies towards witchcraft are strong, young Canida! Start with this spell, it worked wonders for my girlfriend Calliope. You also might look into some variety. How long has it been, 10 years? Here is an overview by my good friend Dr. Dengrove (rest his poor soul, I miss him so). You may not have considered such a thing before, but I know many lovers that have found a bit of variety to be quite rejuvenating for all involved. Sweety, do write back and let me know how things work out. Oh! I almost forgot. I'll be in your neck of the woods next month with my man, lets all get our slutty on and see if we can't get those vandalous visigoths of ours to come out dancing with us! Perhaps a few little hints about a possible switcheroo might help? <giggle>


ps. Needless to say, coin cell batteries should be the least of your worries. However, my clairvoyant techniques show me some 3V lithium cells in a clear box labeled "erope" in an extremely brightly lit room. I also see a stash of blister-packed 1.4V hearing-aid batteries in compartment-containers along a long cinder-block wall.

Cassandra, It turns out the batteries were in my pocket after all. How is it that Crash2108 beat you to the answer?!? Concerned, canida

Dear canida,
How about your man? is he in your pocket now too?

I've never claimed to be the only advice-giver on either heaven or earth, nor the fastest one. my track record is well known.

Ahh -- so your fate seems to be true... we should never believe you... As a result of this - it would seem you are suffering from a medical condition known as "Cassandra Syndrome." I hope in real life you're not like this OR I hope those around you don't know how to use the Baker Act....

dear casandra what comes first oficialy in a lassagna the cheese or the sause

dear TheCheese, How is it possible that you can misspell three words in a single sentence?

It's actually four misspelled words, unless your name has accepted variations.


11 years ago

dear ask cassandra if we got rid of thechease9921 would instructables be a utopia?

dear cassandra if everyone farted at the same time would we all suffocate??? what if there was one match would the whole world blow up???

can you still get horny if you cut off your balls

dear cassandra what came first the chicken or the egg??

dear cassandra how can I check if this girl at my school likes me (without being a tart)

oh, thecheese! you are a right sweet little tart aren't you? why pretend otherwise?

dear cassandra if I become invisible and everything I touch becomes invisible (but is still there) what color will there be???

once i built a box, with mirrors on all the inside walls. i put my pet chameleon inside. it turned a most interesting and unique color, but i don't think there is any way to describe it in words.

dear cassandra if everyone opened there fridges and freezers at the same time would it freeze the world???

no, it would get warmer faster. the fridge merely separates heat from cold (fast moving molecules from slow moving ones),and it does so with less than perfect efficiency.

hmm, but i so enjoy fatalistic diatribes. well it looks to me that what they are telling you is this: - the 'level remote' should operate by varying the voltage on the yellow wire between 1.5V and 5.5V. - the 'alc remote' should operate by varying the voltage on the green wire between 4.0V and 5.5V. the schematics in the lower-right suggest one safe way to generate the voltages for the yellow and green wires, but not the only way. their way suggests putting two fixed resistors (Ra and Rb) and one potentiometer in series as shown, you select Ra and Rb so that the two limits of the potentiometer result in 1.5V and 5.5V outputs, which go to the yellow wire. got it? don't make me get out the pencil and have to draw this. example values for the resistors would be: 3.7k for Ra, 6.2k for Rb, and 10k for the pot. this assumes 8V for Vcc. - the 'alc remote' operates identically, except with different resistor values selected to generate between 4.0V and 5.5V on the green wire. - as an alternative, you could safely test the two inputs by just connecting a 10k-ohm resistor in series with a variable power supply and then use that to drive the yellow and green wires. if this all seems far too sensicle, just stick a fork in your electric outlet and hold on tight (don't worry about letting go, the voltage will help your grip).

Yea.... That's more or less what the diagram shows. Thanks for clarifying it for everyone else... Anyhow, I've decided to just leave the iris on automatic, but have already rigged up an old equalizer (right/left channels) if I ever decided to run more wires out to the camera. Thanks for nothing... Also you didn't mention to have the power on while I stuck the plastic fork (nor the type of fork) in the outlet... so nothing happened. Great instructions there... not.

dear cassandra what are quarks made of???

if everone jumped up and down at the same time would there be an earthquake

if in america we have chinese food and resturnants, polish food and resturants ect. what do they have in China

dear cassandra please define the term "kafkjdqweoyirh08723454yjksoifhslkhfleyrklhlhfmn,mbnzxcFGRKSZAyfhDFGERVDATY" for me

dear cassandra what comes after infinity

dear cassandra what is the meaning of life (I want a one word answer!!!)

dear cassandra when will I die???

dear cassandra why havent you answerd my questions yet

Dear cassandra why are emo kids emo

dear cassandra where do the flood in Halo 2 get their wepons (they have both earth weapons, and covinent weapons)

dear cassandra how can I take over the world quickly and easily (by quick i mean in the next 2 weeks)

how many pancakes does it take to cover a doghouse???

I was wondering if you'll help me with a design for a simple coil gun. i just want to know if you see any flaws and how do i connect this diode bank to it . as that i prefer not to fry myself with high voltage i will await sage advice. Maybe tetranite or the rest of my fellow experimenters with HV will reply too?


Dear cazmundi, As drawn your system is about 99% safe because it does not appear to have any capability of generating high voltages. I say "99%" because if you thought this setup was capable of launching anything you probably have at least a 1% likelyhood of eating some of those diodes and having them poke a hole in your intestinal wall. Maybe add another 1% danger since you might short out your battery pack until the cells leak KOH and go for some "alkaline/alcohol what's the difference" shots. I'll take a wild guess here and say that you were attempting to generate high voltage with a diode ladder? try searching google for 'coil gun' and 'diode ladder' and get yourself a better design, there seem to be plenty out there. then come back and we can discuss all the ways you will electrocute yourself.

dear cassandra, how many beans make five?

oh god not again....well atleast it's not under an instructable.


I don't know what's more sad.... You're back with the garbage... or you saved the old posts that were deleted from instructables...

Just as soon as I mention you are gone, you show up again. So.... Dear Cassandra, As you are surely a real human (or at least a few monkeys), what motive do you have for coming here and contributing nothing?

Cassandra: I'd like to know, why do you keep trying to turn Instrucables.com into an advice column?

Beanwaur says:
Dear ask Cassandra, why do hot dogs come in packages of 12 while hot dog buns come in packages of 8?

Ask Cassandra says:

radiorental asks:
Dear Ask Cassandra, can you explain the relationship between chip complexity and production cost over time?

Yours, Beleaguered of Boston

Dear radiorental,

This relationship of yours is a very important one. At a basic level, the relationship is that it costs $1billion for the first chip, and $1 for each additional chip. It's a good thing such economics don't follow for the Backstreet Boys, or we'd have a billion of those too. Complexity in a chip means transistor count. Moore's Law describes how this complexity changes over time, that is, it typically doubles in 18 months. There are similar laws describing the progress of other microelectronic devices, such as hard disk drive platter density and LED brightness. A commonly held misconception is that LED's are vastly more efficient than other forms of lighting. It just isn't so. Their efficiency only just exceeded incandecent bulbs around 2004. But they are improving following a rapid moore's law, while incandescents have stagnated for 50 years, so LED lighting will take over the world shortly. Ok, back to the chips. The cost of each new generation of chip manufacturing plants keeps going up. It was around $1billion in 2000, it's around $3billion now. Sooner or later, you won't be able to make enough chips in a new plant to recover the construction cost. This will significantly slow the development of new generations of chip plants and cause the corresponding slowdown of moore's law. As for the individual chips - just like software, movies and soda pop the vast majority of them just don't sell very well. The first chip costs $1million to $1billion, but they don't sell any more. That's what you call 'capital intensive product development'. I hear biotech can be even worse though. That's *biotech*, not *beeyotch*. Beeyotch usually be less than $200/hour. So on average, do you think the successful chips make up for all the ones that didn't sell? Turns out the sales from the few successful ones are just reinvested along with new capital into the next generation. Perhaps you had not realized that Investment Capitalism is a Ponzi scheme? Lets compare chips to some other investments. The first barrel of oil from a secured Iraq will cost the US at least $500billion (they are over $300billion so far, but based on spending it isn't secured yet). Do you suppose that $500billion investment is going to be recovered? What else could $500billion have paid for? How about 200 brand new nuclear power plants - that would supply at least 40% of all US power ( 20% of US electrical power comes from the existing 100 nuclear plants). Some people think the Iraq war may end up costing $2 trillion. That's more than enough to convert the US to 100% nuclear power, and these are conservative cost-per-plant estimates. Obviously you could buy quite a few solar cells instead too. How much does the US spend on alternative energy research? Less than $1billion per year. Perhaps a bit more would help reduce the need for these oil wars. Oh, and solar panels DO NOT require more energy to manufacture than they produce, that's just more oil industry FUD. Solar panel energy recapture takes about 3 years currently, and will be down to half that in the near future.

PLC.Doctor asks:
Dear Cassandra, Why is there air?

Well done PLCDr, excellent question.

I can see that you are a practical person who would like a straightforward answer. Unfortunately this is a question which can be approached from many angles - there is no definitive answer. But there are answers, and good ones. The answers take time to reveal themselves, and I will post more of them as they come to me. Read on:

--- First Consultation ---

Look out your window a moment. What do you see? Cars. as far as the eye can see, these cars swarm over the landscape, a pestilence of metal and plastic machinery covered in a rounded colorful shell that doesn't melt in anyone's mouth. The motive power for these vehicle is supplied by fuel and air, it takes about 15 cubic meters of air to burn one liter of gasoline. World oil usage is around 80 billion barrels per day, this means about 6x1012 liters per year, which uses around 9x1013 cubic meters of air to burn it. How much air do we have? The earth's diameter is around 12700km. Now, the density of air in the atmosphere goes down as you go up, so we'll estimate that if you compacted the thinner air above us to all be at sea-level density, you'd have about 10km thick atmosphere. That yields about 5x1018 cubic meters of air in the atmosphere total. That's it folks! So all this oil use is consuming about 1/50,000'th of the atmosphere every year (converting the oxygen part to CO2). Oh, but that was only for oil. What about coal and natural gas? Between those it's 2x to 3x that amount. So over 50 years we'll use about 1/300'th of the atmosphere (at current use rates). How much did you want to leave for your grandkids anyway? I hear that trees can convert some of that CO2 back to oxygen, do you think there will be any of them left? Well, to sum up if there wasn't all this air around, we'd have run out long ago.

--- Second Consultation ---

This is a subset of the standard question "Why is there something instead of nothing?"
That is the profound basic question from the field of "Ontology", the study of existence.
Back when "Scholarship" meant "Studying" rather than "Beer Money" this stuff got fully hashed out. Go to the archives and look for books that haven't been checked out since TV.
Once you've established existence the next thing you'll care about is probably Causality. Aristotle's 11 causes will interest you. If you want to argue about the existence of God, Aquinas' 5 arguments will interest you. Read the standard arguments before confronting street preachers and you'll be well prepared.

The eyes being the windows of the soul, use them to fill your soul with good knowledge.