Archive for the Category ◊ Engineering ◊

3D Printing for DoD Replacement Parts
Friday, January 26th, 2018 | Author:

Here’s an interesting story:

Renaissance Services, an Ohio-based enterprise systems integrator for aerospace and defense companies, has received an Air Force contract to support production of gearboxes and housings for out-of-production aircraft and engines using 3D printed ceramic molds.

Source: 3D Printer News & 3D Printing News

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Is Meritocracy Bad?
Monday, January 08th, 2018 | Author:

Some of these people are just plainly “off their rockers”…

A math education professor at Brooklyn College contends in a recent academic article that “meritocracy” in math classes is a “tool of whiteness.” Laurie Rubel implicates both meritocracy and “color-blindness” as ideological precepts that hold back racial minorities from succeeding in math classes in an article for the peer-reviewed Journal of Mathematics Education.

Source: Meritocracy is a ‘tool of whiteness,’ claims math professor

Journalists vs Engineers
Saturday, December 16th, 2017 | Author:

It’s an interesting contrast between the journalists from New York and the engineers in Ohio…

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Microsoft on Google
Wednesday, November 29th, 2017 | Author:

This is an interesting development:

Chromebook users looking for an alternative to Google’s set of editing tools can now turn to Microsoft Office, which is finally available on Chromebooks. The suite of office apps—Word, Powerpoint, Excel, and Outlook—has been available on macOS, iOS, and Android devices, but Chromebooks have been left out of the picture until now. Depending on your device, however, it could cost you a few bucks for what most would consider essential features.

Source: You Can Now Run Microsoft Office Apps on Your Chromebook

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Does Reality Matter Anymore?
Tuesday, September 26th, 2017 | Author:

We are supposed to be living in this golden age of technology where it provides us with great insights — artificial intelligence, machine learning, and business analytics.   These are activities that are all based on dealing with large amounts of fact-based data.

Yet it seems that every day there are journalists and pundits yammering on about light-weight anecdotal observations or even ‘fake news’.  It stimulates the obvious question: Does reality, empiricism, and cold hard facts really matter to anyone anymore?  As an example, here is a recent excerpt on crime statistics disclosed by the US federal government, which is very germane to many of the ‘social scientists’ running around Washington and large US cities:

The FBI released its official crime tally for 2016 today, and the data flies in the face of the rhetoric that professional athletes rehearsed in revived Black Lives Matter protests over the weekend.  Nearly 900 additional blacks were killed in 2016 compared with 2015, bringing the black homicide-victim total to 7,881.

Who is killing these black victims? Not whites, and not the police, but other blacks… Contrary to the Black Lives Matter narrative, the police have much more to fear from black males than black males have to fear from the police. In 2015, a police officer was 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male was to be killed by a police officer. Black males have made up 42 percent of all cop-killers over the last decade, though they are only 6 percent of the population. That 18.5 ratio undoubtedly worsened in 2016, in light of the 53 percent increase in gun murders of officers—committed vastly and disproportionately by black males. Among all homicide suspects whose race was known, white killers of blacks numbered only 243.

Four studies came out in 2016 alone rebutting the charge that police shootings are racially biased. If there is a bias in police shootings, it works in favor of blacks and against whites. That truth has not stopped the ongoing demonization of the police—including, now, by many of the country’s ignorant professional athletes. The toll will be felt, as always, in the inner city, by the thousands of law-abiding people there who desperately want more police protection.

It makes you wonder if people really want to solve these unfortunate crime problems…  Or perhaps that have another (political) agenda.

 

Flowers in Our Garden
Sunday, August 06th, 2017 | Author:

As a follow-up to the previous posting on our efforts with horticulture (found here), I’ve included photos of the various flowers that we’ve raised in our Ohio summer garden (mostly from seeds):

White Petunia

 

White Coachella

 

Purple Cosmos

 

Yellow Tuberous Begonia

 

Orange Marigold

 

White Hydrangea

 

White Cosmos

 

Pink Begonia

 

Pink Hibiscus

 

Blue Morning Glory

 

Orange Zinnia

 

Yellow Pansy

 

Red Rose

 

Purple Dahlia

 

Pink Geranium

 

Red Tuberous Begonia

 

Pink Impatiens

 

Purple-White Petunia

 

Pink Echinacea

 

Coral Fuchsia

 

Purple Petunia

 

Orange Sunflower

Category: Engineering  | One Comment

In this day and age when hard-copy printed media is disappearing, the Dayton Daily News shares an article about investing $64M for a new downtown library. The story is subtitled “What taxpayers are getting for their money.”  While the facilities are likely very nice, you have to question this amount of investment in brick & mortar to enable ‘book browsing’ (Bear in mind that there was another $100M spent to build other new libraries around the county).  I would be willing to wager that it is not the best expenditure of funds, especially in light of underfunded areas such as pensions for county workers.  How long will we have to wait until they come back to the citizens of Montgomery County for more money?  It’s inevitable.

Because it has four times the public space as the old library, the new building will be able to put all 200,000 of its circulation books and other media on the shelves whereas previously much of it was stored. This means more books to browse…

In 2012, voters approved a $187 million bond issue to pay for library renovations…

The Dayton Metro Library last passed an operating levy in 2009 and has an operating budget of around $30 million. Kambitsch said the library may need to revisit that at some point, but there are currently no plans to go back to the voters.

Source: A sneak peek at Dayton’s $64M downtown library

Garden Panorama
Saturday, July 22nd, 2017 | Author:

At this point you’ve probably discovered that I am an avid horticulturist (fancy word for ‘gardener’).  This year I planted Vinca vines at the top of my lattice panels (which love to grow downwards) and Morning Glory vines at the bottom of the lattice (and they love to grow upwards).  In addition, we have plenty representative members of the squash family and legume family of plants, such as beans, pumpkins, cucumbers, and so on (note: I think I could drop a bean seed on my driveway and it would find a way to germinate).  In addition, I’ve got Marigolds reproducing all summer so they are everywhere (note: Marigolds, Begonias, and Petunias are relatively difficult to grow from seed by the amateur gardener in a greenhouse. However, they’re easy to re-seed outside during the summer growing season).  As a result, our deck and waterfall are flourishing with greenery this year.

I’ve inserted a photo below that gives a nice view of what I get to see from my easy chair…  My wife calls it our ‘Gatsby Garden’.

Click photo to view full scale panorama

Some close-up photos of peppers, raspberries, tomatoes, watermelons, and squash growing in the garden.

 

 

Category: Engineering  | 2 Comments
New Approach for Growing Pumpkins
Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 | Author:

Update

The experiment has delivered some initial results.  While the plant started to grow a nice sized pumpkin, it appears that the vining plant does not like growing in the vertical direction.  All of the leaves have slowly died off and the plant does not appear to be healthy.

As a controlled comparison, I had a plant that was started from seed at the same time that was grown in the horizontal orientation.  As you can see in the photograph on the right, this plant appears to still be thriving and growing along the ground.

 

june 15, 2007

If you’ve never attempted to grow pumpkins in your own garden, then you likely don’t realize the amount of space the plants require to sustain a single pumpkin.  While pumpkin plants, being in the squash family, are relatively easy to grow from seed, they are a pain to maintain (unless you have acres of land).  As a result, I’m trying a simple experiment this year in growing pumpkins vertically from an irrigated hanging pot at the top of a lattice.  You can see the interim results below with the first photograph showing the plant already 4′ long.  The second photo shows a close-up of a “pregnant flower” becoming a pumpkin.

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Understanding How the Human Brain Works
Sunday, June 04th, 2017 | Author:

This famous Rembrandt painting of a 17th century anatomy lesson (see below) represents to me the equivalent of what science currently knows about the functioning of the human brain.  The painting depicts a bunch of guys looking at the vivisection saying “Holy cow!  What’s that?!”… and that my friends is the equivalent of the 21st century magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain where the medical practitioners sit around looking at the MRI images saying “Holy cow! It looks like the cerebral cortex is lighting-up!”

We still have a lot to learn…

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