Monthly Archives: January 2014

Radiation Exposure from Cigarette Smoking

Quote of the Day I write a lot of programs and I can't claim to be typical but I can claim that I get a lot of them working for a large variety of things and I would find it … Continue reading

Posted in Health | 4 Comments

Minnesota Winter Turns a Corner This Time of Year

We are going through a some very cold weather now in Minnesota. During late January, I start to daydream about warm weather. While daydreaming about going to my lake cabin today, I started to wonder when the average daily temperature … Continue reading

Posted in General Science | Comments Off on Minnesota Winter Turns a Corner This Time of Year

Excellent Video on Breaking the Japanese JN-25 Code During WW2

Those of you World War 2 history buffs may find this video lecture on the breaking of the Japanese naval codes. I have read a number of books on the topic, but I did not know that so much work … Continue reading

Posted in History of Science and Technology, Military History | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Why Bother with Nitrogen in Tires?

Every Friday afternoon, the hardware and software engineers sit down in our lunch room and chat about what occurred during the week. The discussion is always lively and includes management and engineers. It is my favorite time of the week at work. This week we discussed why automotive shops put "dry nitrogen" in car tires – I am pretty sure all compressed nitrogen is dry because of the way it is processed. Continue reading

Posted in General Science | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Very Cool Wind Maps

US Wind Map US Wind Map World Windmap World Windmap

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Radioactive Banana Math

I have been reading about the hazards of space travel to Mars. During this reading, I occasionally see references to space radiation hazards in terms of Banana Equivalent Dose. I find this a strange unit. Then today I read a blog post by Anne Marie Helmenstine that discussed how bananas are slightly radioactive. I liked her discussion and I thought I would go through the math here. Continue reading

Posted in General Science | 2 Comments

Funny the Little Things that Children Remember ..

This weekend, my oldest son recalled how we would spend Saturday morning watching Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K) . All three of us would be laughing the whole time. There is no sound as wonderful as that of children laughing. We still talk about how fun it was to watch Japanese monster movies on MST3K. As far as I am concerned, that is the only way to enjoy Godzilla and Gamera. Continue reading

Posted in Personal | 1 Comment

Rigging Cables is Really Important

Quote of the Day History is a tool used by politicians to justify their intentions. — Ted Koppel I have been rather frustrated lately with the number of field failures I have encountered that are related to the humble cable … Continue reading

Posted in Electronics, Personal | 6 Comments

Example of Error Calibration

I was reviewing a test report today for an optical receiver with an integrated power measurement sensor. This sensor is not particularly accurate -- its accuracy was specified as within ± 3 dB of true. This is not good at all. As I looked at our test data, I immediately noticed that I could calibrate the sensor to get a much more accurate result. But as I continued to think about the problem, I decided not to calibrate the sensor. The decision was driven by the cost of calibration versus the value of a more accurate result to the customer. Let's look at how I made this decision -- no magic here -- just a common engineering tradeoff. Continue reading

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Tire Pressure Math

Quote of the Day Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen. — Sir Winston Churchill Introduction I woke up this morning to a rather brisk temperature … Continue reading

Posted in General Mathematics, General Science | 10 Comments