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Monthly Archives: May 2013
Star Visual Magnitude Math
Introduction I have been reading a number of interesting astronomy articles lately. These articles often refer to the apparent and absolute magnitude of a celestial object or event (example). I thought I would work through a bit of the math … Continue reading
Posted in Astronomy, General Science 1 Comment
Tornado Frequency Math
Introduction I was watching Global Public Square on CNN when they presented a trivia question that seemed interesting. Which nation has the most tornadoes relative to its land area? (a) Britain, (b) Bangladesh, (C) Belgium, (D) United States. The answer … Continue reading
Posted in General Science 2 Comments
Computing Useful Customer Analogies
Introduction Communicating scientific concepts to the public is a tough problem. One of the major issues is that people have a difficult time imagining the relative scale of things -- just try to think of 1000 of something versus 10 … Continue reading
Posted in Electronics Comments Off on Computing Useful Customer Analogies
Lightning Protection Math
Quote of the Day In the eyes of those for whom you care, beware of valuing good things they might be but aren't, more than those good things that they are already. - A. Orcim Namuh (1997) Introduction I get … Continue reading
Posted in Electronics 3 Comments
Mothers and Sons
I had to laugh yesterday. We live next to a mom with two boys -- a 4-year old and a newborn. As I went out for my nightly walk, this rather haggard-looking mom told me that her 4-year boy is defiant and difficult to handle. She knows that my wife and I raised two sons, so she asked me if it gets any easier as they get older. My answer was simple. I told her that, last weekend, my mother (79 years old ) accused me of being defiant and difficult to handle. I am 56 years old. So it does not get any easier. Continue reading
Superman, Chicken Little, and Knowable Unknowables
Quote of the Day Who does not grow, declines. — Rabbi Hillel. This statement is true for almost any human activity. If you are not improving, you are declining. I was having a discussion with other managers about the difficulty … Continue reading
Posted in Management 2 Comments
Exoplanet Orbit Example
This is an exciting time for astronomy -- we are just now beginning to obtain spectra from exoplanets. It seems as if new exoplanet discoveries are being announced every week.
I was reading an article on Space.com about some great work on obtaining the spectra from planets orbiting HR 8799 (Figure 1). While looking at the image, I thought it would be interesting to see if I can duplicate some of their orbital calculations. Continue reading
Posted in Astronomy Comments Off on Exoplanet Orbit Example
Quote of the Day Take calculated risks. That is quite different than being rash. — General George S. Patton I have been working on a simple optical deployment problem that is all too common. A customer has put together an … Continue reading
Posted in Management Comments Off on Goldilocks Problems
Standards of Readability
Quote of the Day Do not forget what is being a sailor when you become a captain. — African proverb I had a discussion with one of my engineers this morning about documentation and our company's standard of readability. When … Continue reading
Posted in Technical Writing Comments Off on Standards of Readability
How Big is Phobos When Seen from the Surface of Mars?
The thought of alien worlds with multiple moons has always intrigued me. I am listening to the audio book "A Princess of Mars" by Edgar Rice Burroughs. I downloaded the audio book from Libravox, which provides free downloads of readings from classic works. Normally, I do not listen to much science fiction, but I watched the movie "John Carter" and there was something I liked about the story. Continue reading
Posted in Astronomy Tagged astronomy 2 Comments