Seventh Annual Tribute to Corn

Okay, so Wohba at least has a heartbeat… barely. We sure hope to pick things up again in the near future. As a sign of life Top Men will celebrate this years Tribute To Corn. (Can’t believe we missed a year – we’ll have to get to last years at some point in the future.)

Top Men (and Top Women) are not fans of plastic – well, except for its remarkable ability to make everyday life easier, less costly, and more convenient. It’s just those icky (technical term) side-effects (proven, and not yet proven) that give us reason to pause.

Corn to the rescue.

Corn plastic seems like a good compromise — non-breakable, cheap, moldable, non-toxic (so far), and just add butter and salt for a tasty treat. Alas, it seems like one of those “Popular” inventions that show up on the cover of “Popular” magazines and never make it to the teeming masses; like flying cars, jet packs, steaks-in-a-pill, trips to the moon for everyone, robot cooks, personal laser weapons, etc. (We’re still crossing our top fingers for a least a few of those.)

Watch the video here.

Re-Lectron

Top Men were once Top Boys. One of the toys (and we use that word loosely) that shaped us was Lectron – an electronic construction set.

Electronic construction sets have come and gone over the years, but this one was amazing. Simple, white blocks with the components hidden inside – magnetically snapped together to build all the usual circuits: alarms, blinkers, organs, radios, etc. The difference was how clean and elegant the results were. Not a bunch of wires snapped to springs, across unused elements – or glaring primary colored parts strung together like an explosion in a candy factory. Lectron projects looked like simple schematics – schematics that actually worked.

Lectron sets are still being produced in Germany. They’ve even evolved over the years to include newer digital components. But since there is no foreign distribution it takes some knowledge of German and Euros to get them. I suppose Top Men must now add “learn German” to our list of things to do.

Wir müssen zu beschaffen Lectron!

Here are a great collection of photos of some large Lectron sets.
Here is an article from 1967 Electronics Illustrated.
Here is the current Lectron web site. (Here is the english version via Google Translate.)
Here is an ad from Life Magazine in 1968.

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Fifth Annual Tribute to Corn (Answers)

Here are the answers to yesterday’s quiz…

1) False. 200 to 400 kernels per ear
2) True. And each silk must be pollenated.
3) False. Corn is related to grass.
4) False. China produces about half as much corn as the USA.
5) True.
6) False. It’s closer to $4 billion annually.
7) True.
8) True
9) True
10) False. Corn is number one.

How’s your Top rating…

10 out of 10 – Amazing! Truly Top material.
9 out of 10 – Almost amazing! Top in training.
8 out of 10 – A valiant effort, but a couple ears short of Top.
7 out of 10 – You’ll need a few more corn dogs before your’re ready.
Under 7 – Don’t call us, we’ll call you.

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Fifth Annual Tribute to Corn

Be a maized! Be very a maized!

(And you thought Top Men and Top Women were retired. Nonsense!)

Time for the Annual Wohba Tribute to Corn. This year we decided to offer a corn quiz to let you gauge just how corn-savvy you are. Answer a few of these true-or-false questions and discover your corn top-ness.

1) An average ear of corn has 500 to 600 kernels.
2) Every strand of corn-silk is attached to a kernel of corn.
3) Corn is a domesticated variety of palm tree.
4) China produces twice as much corn as the USA.
5) 80% of the corn grown in the USA is genetically modified.
6) The USA spends an average of $1 billion in annual corn subsidies.
7) It takes 21 pounds of corn to produce a gallon of ethanol.
8) Popcorn pops when the internal temperature reaches 356 °F.
9) Corn has twice as many genes as the human genome.
10) By weight, only wheat surpasses corn in worldwide grain production.

You have one day. Begin.

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(Volc)ano Mountain High Enough (♪)

Volcanoes from space – now that’s Wohba material. So what about this amazing image. of the Sarychev Peak Eruption in the Kuril Islands a few days ago – taken with a digital camera aboard the ISS (International Space Station). As fate would have it, the ISS was in the right place at the right time for an image that few have ever seen.

Top Men are intrigued by the pillowy clouds atop the ash plume, as well as the circular parting of the clouds around the event.

Maybe next time we’ll get a video.

For more information click here

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Galactic Time Lapse

Nothing like a star party to enlighten us on a galactic level. Top Men were amazed by this time lapse of the night sky which reveals our own Milky Way galaxy. Top Men also like the fact that the teaming masses can do stuff like this.

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Ornithopter

Slow motion (high speed) video is just so doggone amazing – revealing life’s hidden mysteries.

Take for example the lowly ladybug. For all of recorded history we simply marveled at the lovely black spots on her red shell, and watched her fly away (because her house was on fire). Little did we realize that behind the beauty there were complex mechanisms at work – allowing the wings to be hidden but elegantly released when required. Wohba! Link.

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Ring Wraith

Now that your Top Team has reengaged, we realize that our space coverage has been… well… vacuous. We’ll save Mars for a later date, but today, let’s talk rings – Saturn’s specifically. Seems that Saturn’s rings, that look so homogeneously milky from here, have some dynamic forces shaping them.

So we have this rather striking image of a “streamer” created when Saturn’s moon Prometheus moved through the F ring – and since it’s hard to picture how it happened – here’s a movie.

Will everyone who thinks it’s amazing that the Cassini spacecraft is still sending back such treasures from Saturn after over four years in orbit please shout out a raucous “Wohba!”

Update: Top Women would like to call your attention to even more rings of Saturn (via Astronomy Picture of the Day) – rings of aurora over Saturn’s north pole. Wohba!

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Fourth Annual Tribute To Corn

Top Men and Top Women have been lazy, busy, on strike, seriously ill, kidnapped, consumed by intrigue in the political ongoings of the United States presidential race, vacationing on Mars… Whatever. No excuse is good enough – please accept our sincerest apologies. We are alive and… well… you be the judge.

It’s been a very, very, long hiatus, but we couldn’t think of a more fitting event to plunge back into all things “Wohba” then the Fourth Annual Tribute To Corn No matter what the reason for our long withdrawal – there is no way we would miss this worldwide annual celebration.

And this year we feature the amazing ability of corn to pliably puff. First oozed in the 1930s by Ed Wilson as an accidental byproduct of overheated feed producing equipment, the stuff became Korn Kurls – the forerunner of modern day Cheetos (Top Momma likey).

We have for your enjoyment two very diverse corn puffing links…

Here is a link to a miraculous, miniature, personal corn puffer on the streets of Shanghai. Talk about fresh!

Here is a link to the Wenger Manufacturing corn puffing process equipment diagram – in all its gargantuan, automated glory!

Corn to be wild!

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