William Nicoll Staffwriter

Class of 2007


  • How Things Work: Highway Barriers

    You have somewhere to go. You jump in the car and maneuver onto the nearest interstate. Whatever your destination, the National Highway System has probably helped you get there at some point. These highways allow direct, fast, and safe movement across the country; however, the high level of safety we have today on our highway systems hasn?t come easily.
    When designing highways, minimizing the sev...

    SciTech | September 19, 2005
  • How Things Work: radioisotope thermoelectric generators

    When you imagine a deep-space probe, what do you see? A big metal box, a forest of antennas, and a pair of solar panels, right? Wrong. Contrary to the stereotype, almost any probe traveling into space will not use solar panels as its power source. The energy from the sun at this distance is simply too small. An alternative is needed: something that is reliable, has a long-life, and is lightweight....

    SciTech | August 29, 2005
  • How Things Work: Cloud Seeding

    Here in Pittsburgh, we?re very familiar with clouds. During the winter months, Pittsburgh averages over 70 percent daily cloud cover. We aren?t strangers of rain, either: The Three Rivers have crested over 30 feet more than 25 times since charting began in the 1760s. With this abundance of rain, it?s hard to imagine not having enough. But what if you were a farmer, your livelihood dependent on the...

    SciTech | April 25, 2005
  • Introduction to How Things Work

    With another Carnival finished, it?s once again time to hit the books. But wait! Before you inundate yourself in ?real? knowledge, why not take a moment and reflect on a very special part of Carnival? No, not the beer ? booths! Coincidentally, this year?s Carnival theme happens to be exactly the one we in the SciTech section are best at explaining: How Things Work.

    SciTech | April 18, 2005
  • How Things Work: Submarines

    As the ?How Things Work? columnist, I am obliged to ensure that my readers get the truth. When an egregious falsehood enters into mainstream thought, I must take immediate action. Therefore, I feel ashamed to admit that my readership has been misinformed on a very important subject ever since January 13, 1969.
    The untruths that began to spread on this fateful day have even corrupted Carnival 2005...

    SciTech | April 18, 2005