Microwave Madness Or A Radar Range Epiphany?

















Letter M

The very first Blog I ever wrote for my site ZD45 was called “Is This Seat Taken.” https://zuludelta45.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=12&action=edit When I go back and read this, I’ll probably still find a few grammar or spelling mistakes, but what I hope you find, is some decent content and a smile.

One of the things pointed out in that blog, was the observation I made about the turning direction of the microwave each time you stop and start it again; the rotation changes with each start. I still find that fascinating.

Anyway, the other day I had some store-bought ( I just typed store-born by mistake….he,he) cookies that I wanted to warm up in the microwave. Like many things heated there, sometimes we have to experiment what is the proper heat time. I initially contemplated completing the job based on full or partial revolutions of the plate. Only one problem. I didn’t know how long one revolution would take. I doubt most people do know, or let’s face it; care.The cookies I heated up had M&Ms in them so it was a delicate process; either no warmth, or liquid lava. After a few attempts, I found 20 seconds to be the right amount of time. Delirious cookies.

In a perfect world, “one” shouldn’t even have to read such a mundane and insane story, but because we’re  deep in ZD45 land, the best we could hope for is this story to stop now, cut our losses, and move on………NOPE!!! That’s not going to happen either. Why………because I need more data!

Sometimes, there’s a fine line between OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and the quest for ZSED; Zulu’s scientific, empirical, data), so at the risk of sounding like the former, this is what happened. The next morning as I walked past the microwave on my way out the door, I put a cup in the unit and timed how long one revolution actually took. The answer is 40 Seconds. For no reason in particular, I wanted to calculate this out in RPM (revolutions per minute); the answer 1.5 RPM.

What the hell is this whole blog about you ask. Nothing really; I just like to observe things, out of curiosity, or simple useless science. 

Oh, but there is one last thing about observation. Percy Spencer dropped out of school in Maine at the age of 11 to help his family survive after his father died. He would go on to join the Navy, and teach himself chemistry, calculus, and physics among other sciences. He then would go on to work at Raytheon and become one of their best scientist. Around 1939 while working on an early design for top-secret naval radar systems, he stood in front of an active radar, and observed that the chocolate bar in his pocket had melted. He continued to investigate and even cooked popcorn. This is how the commercial microwave oven we still use today was born.

Not all observation is a waste of time ……even if it’s only for Zulu Delta.




3 thoughts on “Microwave Madness Or A Radar Range Epiphany?

  1. Dennis,

    This was GREAT!!! Leave it to you to write about the origin of the microwave! Your ZSED makes you wonder about things most of us never think about. I never know where your mind will go, but it is always an “interesting” trip!!

    Hope you have a Happy Easter – there is still room at the table if you want to join us…

    Terri xx



  2. I found something like that in a dark corner of my basement. Turned out to be a very old sterilizing unit. Why was this in the basement? People are up early reading your blog! Fantastic!


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