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Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review

How airbags work

By Marshall Brain

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | (MCT) Imagine for a moment that you are driving your car. It's a beautiful day, and you are driving down the freeway at 60 mph. The windows are down; the radio is playing. You have not a care in the world.


The funny thing is that when you are sitting in that position, you are positioned right in front of an explosion that is waiting to happen. There is a computer in your car dedicated to that explosion - its single goal in life is to set that explosion off. And the computer is listening to a tiny sensor that in many cars is no bigger than a pea. When that sensor decides it is time for the explosion to happen, the computer will hear its tiny signal. In less than a millisecond the explosion will start. When the explosion happens, it is powerful enough to kill people, but for most people it is not deadly. Instead, it saves their life.


Welcome to the world of airbags. An airbag is an explosion designed to protect rather than to destroy.


The reason why your airbag is poised and ready to explode out of your steering wheel is because an accident can happen at any moment. For example, a car driving the other direction on the freeway could suddenly veer across the median and run into you head-on.


At the moment of a head-on collision, your airbag has about 5 hundredths of a second to react. During that time, your body is going to decelerate from 60 mph to 0 mph. The goal of the airbag is to help that deceleration happen as gently as possible.


The first thing that detects the crash is an accelerometer. An accelerometer is simply a device that can sense when something is rapidly accelerating or decelerating. Many cars use a tiny micro-machine etched out of silicon to detect the crash. But an accelerometer could be as simple as a steel ball attached to a magnet at one end of a small tube. During a crash, the ball breaks free from the magnet and hits two metal contacts to complete a circuit. The airbag control computer gets a signal from the accelerometer. Most cars have four or five accelerometers, and the airbag computer wants more than one of them to send a signal to be sure it is not a false alarm. Once the computer is satisfied that this is the real deal, it starts the fireworks.


What happens next is rather amazing. Inside your steering wheel is a bag made out of a fabric like nylon. There is also a metal canister called an inflator that contains sodium azide. Sodium azide is a highly reactive chemical that is very much like the fuel in a solid rocket engine. The signal from the computer fires an igniter, which lights the sodium azide. The sodim azide reacts incredibly quickly and it produces a huge cloud of hot nitrogen exhaust gas. That gas goes straight into the nylon bag. The bag inflates in a few milliseconds, with the front of the bag bursting out of the center of the steering wheel at 200 mph. This 200 mph piece of fabric is heading straight for your face.


The reason why it is heading for your face is because, if you think about it, your head is the most important thing to protect in this collision. Your torso is held in place by the seatbelt, but your head, attached to your spindly little neck, weighs as much as a bowling ball. This bowling ball contains your brain. Your brain is pretty fragile and it is still moving forward at 60 mph. The idea behind an airbag is to slam the piece of nylon, backed by a jet of nitrogen gas, into your head at 200 mph. That way, your head slows down to zero MPH as gently as possible. The airbag also takes a big load off your neck. Without an airbag, your neck has to take all the stress of bringing your bowling ball head to a stop.


So think about this the next time you are driving down the road. Sitting in front of you is your own personal explosion, connected to its own explosion-control computer. Around your car there are a number of hidden collision-sensing accelerometers. All of this equipment is sitting there quietly, waiting to bring your bowling ball head to a stop in 5 hundredths of a second, should the need ever arise.

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Previously:


How the U.S. income tax works
How gum works
How caffeine works
How Daylight Saving Time works
How a cruise missile works
How snow making works

© 2007, How Stuff Works Inc. Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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