Archive for the Category ◊ Engineering ◊

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

 

The Science is Settled
Monday, July 18th, 2016 | Author:

First rule of science is don’t trust anyone that tells you “the Science is Settled”.  If Einstein were alive today, he would tell you that his Theory of Relatively is not completely settled.  Quantum physics with waves and particles is still wide open introducing new uncertainties.  There is still so much to learn…  Nevertheless, some humor about those crazy prognostications:

Climate-Change-Resized

 

Bicycling to Air Force Museum
Saturday, June 11th, 2016 | Author:

I went on a 25-mile bike-ride with my buddy, Marc, to check out the new additions to the National Museum of the Air Force.  It was beautiful weather and a great day for a ride.  We even rode by the Riverscape fountains in downtown Dayton, which cast a slight rainbow (see second photo below).

DZ biking at AF musuem

Riverscape fountain

 

Installing New Basketball Hoop
Saturday, April 30th, 2016 | Author:

Update

Phase 3 is now complete.  My buddy, Redman, showed up to help me mount the backboard, rim and net.  I also planted sod around the concrete base.   The combination of the solid pole filled with concrete and rebar, along with the glass backboard makes for very nice play.

final pole

 

April 24, 2016

Phase 2 of three phases of the solo installation was completed this weekend (Phase 3 is the installation of the glass backboard planned for next weekend).   The large Spalding box was delivered on Friday (see first photo below), but the real work started at 7:00am on Saturday with a visit to Menards to buy the necessary building materials and to rent the delivery truck.  It was a workout just picking up the nearly 1,000 pounds of concrete and loading them into the bed of the truck (see second photo below).

I enlarged the original hole to a full cube 2′ x 2′ x 2′ and I built a wooden form around the top of the hole (see third photo).  I then constructed a tripod out of 2″x4″ wooden studs to ensure that the pole maintained level during the concrete pour (see fourth photo).  After installing additional rebar in the base and center of the pole, I started mixing the first of 10 bags of Quickcrete (no crack recipe with chopped fiber).  After 3 hours of mixing, pouring, and tamping concrete (including pouring concrete down the center of the pole using a make-shift funnel), I ended up with what you can see in the sixth photo below.

Spalding box 4 x 8 x 2full load in truck.hole is readysetting up tripod mixing concreteconcrete curing

 

April 18, 2016

The basketball hoop & pole for our home court that I installed 22 years ago finally gave way (the 3″ diameter metal pole rusted-through).  I’ve ordered a new in-ground pole and backboard, which requires that the previous concrete base be removed.  As you can see from the first photo below, the metal pole snapped right at the base, and the grass has grown over most of the concrete.

Naturally, the first step, as shown in the second photo below, was to remove all of the soil around the concrete base.  While it was challenging, I used a couple of 4′ long crowbars to help pry the 400 pounds of concrete out of the hole (see the third photo).   The fun part was using some engineering skills to determine a reasonable way of getting the huge block of concrete into the wheelbarrow.  As you can see from the fourth photo, I leveraged the technique that the Egyptians and Israelites used in building the pyramids — a slight incline plane.  After all was said and done, I ended up with a hole just about ready for the new 4″ square pole.  (Note: I did all of this work solo).

base of bball pole

Base from previous basketball pole

dig out of bball pole

Removing all of the soil around the concrete base

250lb concrete ball

Breaking my back getting concrete out of the hole

ramp to whlbrl

Creative ramp (from old solid door) for rolling concrete into wheelbarow

Hole ready nxt

Category: Engineering, Sports  | One Comment
Chair Repair – Is This Engineering?
Friday, April 22nd, 2016 | Author:

One of our kitchen chairs had all four screws holding the back onto the base snap in half.  I played upholstery expert and carpenter (spent most of the time removing staples) and performed a repair….  Missy says it’s as good as new.

disassembling chair

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