The Real Gay Marriage Bigots are Gay Marriage Bigots

Today I read on article in the Daily Mail called “The real gay marriage bigots are its intolerant supporters“. The article focused on the “intolerance” of the proponents of gay marriage directed towards those who oppose it. I encourage you to read it before my response.

The world has come a long way from complete intolerance towards homosexuality, but equality and acceptance aren’t the current reality. It’s been great to see Barack Obama (regardless of his plentiful flaws)  become the first sitting president to back same sex marriage, and here in the UK see the same marriage rights extended to same-sex couples as heterosexual couples with the marriage (same sex couples) act 2013; however, many countries lag behind significantly and we recently saw Russia begin to regress on same-sex issues. This is important because people are more influenced by their laws and politicians than most people (myself included) would like to believe, this can be evidenced by the increased homophobia in Russia following a new law introduced which prohibits the promotion of “non-traditional sexual relations” (although I am aware correlation doesn’t equal causation).

As terrible as it is, the intention of this post isn’t to go into great detail about the unequal treatment of heterosexual and homosexual couples around the world. I want to stick to a much narrower scope and just write a bit about the Daily Mail article I read today. Before I get onto that though I would just like to draw attention to the type of language used in the article, particularly the method of persuasion used in the introduction.

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  • Posted 29/03/2014

Demonstrating Pre-Stressing Using K’Nex

K’Nex is a construction toy similar to Technic Lego or Meccano. It is quite useful for demonstrating structural concepts as it’s possible to make fully fixed (moment carrying) connections and pinned (frictionless rotation) connections. This article was originally written for a piece of coursework in 3rd year but I really enjoyed it so decided to upload it as a blog post, I’d like to do more of these some time.

Pre-stressing is the process of inducing stresses in a member before the member is loaded [1]. For example, compression can induced in a member by adding cables already under a tensile stress. This can be demonstrated using a childhood’s worth of K’Nex (a construction toy, similar to Technic Lego), some yarn and a constant mass of arbitrary value.

Two simply supported K'Nex beams, one subject to pre-stressing.

Figure 1 – Two simply supported K’Nex beams, one subject to pre-stressing.

Two simply supported beams are made from K’Nex; they each have stands at their ends that can’t maintain a moment force. The beams are both identical, except one has yarn acting as pre-tensioned cables. The yarn is stretched below the grey K’Nex rods using yellow connector pieces to allow stresses to transfer from the yarn “cables” to the rods.

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  • Posted 28/03/2013