Monthly Archives: February 2014

Old School Spacecraft Thermal Insulation

Quote of the Day Everything not forbidden is compulsory. — T.H. White, The Book of Merlin. I have heard people make similar statements about quantum mechanics, particle physics, and cosmology. Introduction I saw this article about a solar probe called … Continue reading

 
Posted in Astronomy, History of Science and Technology | 1 Comment

Mars Rover Solar Panels Getting Dirty

While reading some articles on the Mars rovers, I saw this pair of pictures showing the Opportunity rover's solar panels first deployed in January 2004 and today − its solar panels are now very dirty (Source). There was a time … Continue reading

 
Posted in Astronomy | Leave a comment

Heavy Water Ice Cubes Do Not Float

Quote of the Day The problem with object-oriented languages is they’ve got all this implicit environment that they carry around with them. You wanted a banana but what you got was a gorilla holding the banana and the entire jungle. … Continue reading

 
Posted in General Science | 9 Comments

Presidential and Civil War Trivia

Quote of the Day Pay no attention to what the critics say; There has never been a statue erected to a critic. — Jean Sibelius I like to watch CSPAN's history coverage. During a recent program, I heard an historian … Continue reading

 
Posted in Military History | Leave a comment

Two Napa Valley Winery Tours

Quote of the Day The emotion at the point of technical breakthrough is better than wine, women and song put together. — Richard Hamming Introduction I am on a business trip this week to Petaluma, California, and for the first … Continue reading

 
Posted in Personal | 2 Comments

Sewer Math

Quote of the Day A startup is a temporary organization searching for a repeatable and scalable business model. — Steve Blank Introduction A good friend of mine is an entrepreneur and I caught him doing some math the other day. … Continue reading

 
Posted in General Mathematics | 4 Comments

Lead Paint Math

I shudder to think of the Romans using lead acetate as a food sweetener. Our use of lead as a gasoline additive, which put lead into the air, was probably not very health either. I saw a blog post where a construction worker was asking about how much lead there is in one square foot of painted wall surface. I thought it would be worthwhile to work this number out. Continue reading

 
Posted in General Science, Health | Leave a comment

Mathcad Solution to an LVPECL to LVDS Matching Problem

Introduction A circuit question walked into my cube the other day. An engineer in another group was working his way through an application note and he found the presentation unclear -- I agreed with him. The application note provided an … Continue reading

 
Posted in Electronics | 1 Comment

Air Rifle Math

Introduction I was received an email this weekend from a dad struggling to help his son with a project involving aerodynamic drag and and BB gun. I did some quick calculations which I document here. I will try to look … Continue reading

 
Posted in Ballistics | 3 Comments

Proofs Without Words

I love proofs without words. Usually, I see them in discussions of mathematical concepts like the Pythagorean theorem (examples). While reading about home construction at the Journal of Light Construction, I saw a nice graphical look at the difference between the gross margin on a product and the markup on a product. Continue reading

 
Posted in General Mathematics | Leave a comment