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 | Comments Off on Mars Rover Solar Panels Getting Dirty

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 | 14 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 | Comments Off on Presidential and Civil War Trivia

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 | 6 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 | Comments Off on Lead Paint Math

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

Posted in Ballistics | 5 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 | Comments Off on Proofs Without Words