Archive for the Category ◊ Engineering ◊

Earth Day Predictions 1970 
Thursday, April 20th, 2017 | Author:

It is the 47th anniversary of “Earth Day” when all the Gaea-lovers got together to prognosticate the end of the world… How accurate were the predictions made around the time of the first Earth Day in 1970?

The prophets of doom were not simply wrong, but spectacularly wrong…

Paul Ehrlich confidently declared in the April 1970 issue of Mademoiselle. “The death rate will increase until at least 100-200 million people per year will be starving to death during the next ten years”…

Harrison Brown, a scientist at the National Academy of Sciences, published a chart in Scientific American that looked at metal reserves and estimated the humanity would totally run out of copper shortly after 2000. Lead, zinc, tin, gold, and silver would be gone before 1990.

Can You Trust Snopes?
Sunday, March 05th, 2017 | Author:

I used to consider the Snopes web site a reputable source…  it appears that they also have succumbed to a political agenda:

Snopes got the facts wrong despite deploying not one but two fact-checkers to the case.  The first, Kim LaCapria, is a known leftist who has a history of struggling with the facts. The second was David Mikkelson, Snopes’ co-founder.

This is hardly the first time Snopes has struggled with the facts while “fact-checking.”

Last December, Snopes published a fact-check defending John Kerry’s State Department that was riddled with factual errors and omissions.

Source: Snopes Caught Playing Defense For Democrats 

Visit to USAF Museum Bldg 4
Sunday, November 20th, 2016 | Author:

I made a visit to the USAF Museum (more formally known as the ‘National Museum of the United States Air Force‘) this morning to check out the new ‘building 4’ and to get some photos of the turbine engines that are still in use in the Air Force inventory.  The newest building brings to the public the planes that have been hidden in special hangars.  This includes the various early versions of Air Force One (the 707 version that carried JFK’s body back to Washington) as well as many of the experimental aircraft from the 1950s.

Some may say that there’s not much to do in Dayton, Ohio but there are very few museums in the world as highly rated at the Air Force Museum.  Take a look at the Trip Advisor ratings for the museum and you’ll discover that there are very few places that have more than 3,000 reviews and nearly 5.0 rating.

usafoutside

usaf-bldg4

bldg4inside

 

 

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Petunias in November?
Wednesday, November 16th, 2016 | Author:

Yep, those are some petunias still flowering in my Ohio garden in early November.

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Modern Driver’s Test
Monday, October 17th, 2016 | Author:

From StrangeCosmos

We’ve all seen it. People change when they get behind the wheel of a car. So now, to profile your personality, here is the special Driving Test…

1: Which part of your car wears out most often?
a: the wiper blades
b: the belts
c: the horn

2: Automatic door locks are good for…
a: security
b: convenience
c: messing with the heads of people trying to get in

3: I hate the rain because…
a: it lowers visibility and makes for less safe conditions
b: I answered (a) to question #1
c: I just washed my car

4: Please select the statement that best describes you.
a: I have never written in the dust on someone’s car
b: I have written “wash me” in the dust on someone’s car
c: I have drawn genitalia in the dust on someone’s car

5: The “bright” setting on your headlights is for…
a: dark, poorly lit roads
b: flashing to get the car ahead to move out of the way
c: revenge!

6: I have enough power in my car stereo system to…
a: get it loud enough to drown out road noise
b: get it headbanging loud for my Metallica CD
c: cause permanent hearing loss to anyone within ten feet

7: How many times have you been pulled over for speeding in the last year?
a: zero or one, because I’m generally a safe driver
b: two or three, because I’ve had some unlucky breaks
c: before or after they took my license away?

8: What hand gesture do you use most while driving?
a: “go ahead”
b: “thank you”
c: “@#!*&%^!”

9: When a bicyclist is next to you, you should…
a: be aware of them
b: speed up and get past them
c: open the door

10: Your rear view mirror is for…
a: watching for approaching cars
b: watching for approaching police cars
c: checking your hair

11: If you are driving and you begin to feel very sleepy, you should…
a: pull off to the side of the road and rest
b: stop at the next convenience mart and get a liter of coffee or Mountain Dew
c: drive faster

12: The Highway Patrol exists to…
a: ensure the safety of all motorists
b: issue as many tickets as possible
c: keep donut shops in business

13: You are supposed to signal a turn or lane change…
a: 50 feet prior
b: 25 feet prior
c: right after you do it

14: If I had a lot of money, I’d spend it on…
a: a minivan
b: a really cool sports car or 4-wheeler
c: bail

15: The best thing about a chauffeured limousine is…
a: I don’t have to drive
b: I can stretch out, relax, and have a drink
c: leaning out the open sunroof and shouting at and/or flashing people

How to score the quiz:

Give yourself one point for every A, two for every B, and three for every C. Tally up the points and consult the list below.

15-24 Points
You’re a good driver. You watch the speed limit, remain calm, and observe not only the rules of the road, but also the etiquette. And since you drive so safely and so politely, you’ll live a long time.
Long enough to decelerate with each passing decade until you’re one of those old people in a big car, going ten miles under the speed limit in the fast lane and pissing all the rest of us off.

25-35 Points
Hey! Joe Average! You’re a decent driver without being boring. You get where you’re going fast without too much danger. In fact, you’re the type of person we all like to ride with. Well, all of us except your mother, because “you’re going too fast! Watch out for that car in front of you! You’re going to kill us all!”

36-45 Points
Remember in driver’s education class when they told us to drive defensively? You’re the reason.

What Drives the Economy?
Friday, September 02nd, 2016 | Author:

Is this an explanation for the economic trends in the United States?

Government employees in the United States outnumber manufacturing employees by 9,932,000, according to data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Federal, state and local government employed 22,213,000 people in August, while the manufacturing sector employed 12,281,000.

Source: Government Workers Now Outnumber Manufacturing Workers by 9,932,000

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Who Would Have Known?
Wednesday, August 31st, 2016 | Author:

The information you glean from the internet… who would have known:

Paul Reubens is best known for portraying Pee-Wee Herman and might seem like an unlikely candidate to have a military hero father. Years before his son was born, Milton Rubenfeld flew combat missions in World War II for both the Royal Air Force and the US Army. After the war, Rubenfeld was recruited to fly missions for Israel in the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.

Rubenfeld became one of the founding members of the Israeli Air Force, which consisted of five pilots and four airplanes at the time. On May 29, 1948, the planes flew toward the Egyptian lines and engaged the enemy in a surprise attack. The following day, Rubenfeld’s aircraft was shot down, and he was forced to bail out into the Mediterranean Sea. He sustained numerous injuries but swam to safety. In spite of this setback, the formation of the Israeli Air Force was considered a key turning point in the war.

Source: 10 Celebrities With Historically Important Parents

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Da Vinci Exhibit at Cincinnati Museum
Saturday, August 27th, 2016 | Author:

Missy and I checked out the works of Leonardo Da Vinci at the Cincinnati Museum Center…  Leo was one heck of an engineer.

missy da vinci sign

missy mona

 

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Are Stereotypes Useful?
Monday, August 15th, 2016 | Author:

An interesting discussion.  Two words to generally avoid: Always and Never.

Apparently there’s a debate in psychology about the accuracy of stereotypes. Lin Bian and Andrei Cimpian write: In his book Social Perception and Social Reality, Lee Jussim suggests that people’s beliefs about various groups (i.e., their stereotypes) are largely accurate. We unpack this claim using the distinction between generic and statistical beliefs …

Generic beliefs about social groups, just like other generic beliefs, are typically removed from the underlying statistics.

Source: Are stereotypes statistically accurate? 

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The Glass is…
Friday, July 22nd, 2016 | Author:

I used to love the humor about the contents of a glass in the context of optimism, pessimism, and engineering.  The Optimist says glass is half full; The Pessimist says glass is half empty; The Engineer says someone made the darn glass too big…This is the perspective from the Physicist:

glass-all-full