All about swordbilled.com

Here’s the place to look if you’re a-wondering about why this is here, where it comes from or where it’s going. Drive safe, take everything with a grain of salt, and make things better for everyone else, will you? Welcome to the internet.

Why sword-billed hummingbird (Ensifera ensifera)?

photo of taxidermied sword-billed hummingbird in vienna

You might be wondering what a tiny hummingbird living in the forests of the Andes has to do with this web site. What a puny bird (which is the only bird able to factually say its beak is longer than its body) has to do with this odd jumble of stuff.

Well, keep wondering. It’s a long, uninteresting story.

About This Site

At its cold, electron-filled heart, this site is essentially a collection of things that might be useful or interesting to somebody out there. Maybe you.

That’s it.


Sword-Billed Hummingbird is 100% authentic.

Here’s the scoop: the material on this site is almost entirely my doing. (And where others are involved, they’re clearly noted in one way or another.) It spans at least ten years—in some cases more—and encompasses a wide range of writing styles, degrees of academic rigor, and so on; some of what you’ll find here is mediocre (at best), while other items are okay, or better. Some of the what’s here is poorly written, shoddily researched, and weakly construed. But even those bits are factually accurate to the best of my knowledge.

Standard disclaimers apply—don’t go trying to perform open-heart surgery based on what you find here, &c. and so on. The factual items are here for your and my benefit. (Mine because it’s easier to find things arranged on a web site than stashed in a cardboard box in some random closet.)


Last time there was a semi-reliable count—October 2006—the number of words on this site totaled 1,250,580 (only counting the words you the reader can see, not the behind-the-scenes stuff).

Hey. Where can I find out more about hummingbirds? You obviously don’t have anything here.

Try Hummingbirds.net. Or, you know, Wikipedia. Or your local neighborhood library.

What is electroosmosis?

Really? Oh, okay, read on…

Electroosmosis is one of a group of several “electrokinetic” phenomena which relate to the motion of charged electrolyte solutions and the motion of charged particles in solution or suspension; it is defined as “the movement of a liquid relative to a stationary charged surface (e.g., a capillary or porous plug) by an electric field.” (Probstein 195).

diagram of electroosmosis

Since the discovery of these phenomena by F.F. Reuss in 1809, the potential of electroosmosis for various applications has been demonstrated numerous times, with electroosmosis being first utilized in the dewatering and stabilizing of soils in the 1930s. Electroosmosis has since been shown to have applicability in the separation of organic and inorganic contaminants, in construction of leak detection systems in clay liners, in the diversion of waste “plumes,” in the injection of nutrients or microorganisms into subsoil layers, in the increasing of pile strength, in the dewatering of foams, sludges, and dredgings, and in systems and barriers for lowering ground-water.

more on electroosmosis…