Monthly Archives: January 2017

Calorie Per Acre Improvements in Staple Crops Over Time

My family has strong agricultural roots – mainly in dairy and potato farming – and our holiday conversations frequently turn to discussions of crop yields (bushels per acre or lbs per acre). As I listened to the discussion between my brothers on this year's crop yields, I realized that the yield numbers they were quoting were much higher today than we saw as children. This made me curious, and I decide to go out to the US Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service crop database and download CSV files on the yield of some key staple crops for processing by Power Query (i.e. recently renamed Get and Transform). I will be using this file to train my staff on defining Power Query functions. No macros were used in this analysis. Continue reading

Posted in Excel, General Science, History of Science and Technology, History Through Spreadsheets | 1 Comment

Marine Management Philosophy Versus Engineering Management Philosophy

I have been reading an article about our new Secretary of Defense James Mattis, a US Marine general who is well known for his thoughtful insights on the world situation. He is also viewed as a superb manager, which means I want to learn as much from his experience as possible. In the article, Mattis has listed some of his management credos. I thought I would look at coming up with corresponding credos for managing a civilian engineering team (Table 1). Continue reading

Posted in Management | Leave a comment

Tribble Math

Over the 2016 New Year's holiday, a number of television stations were showing the remastered original Star Trek episodes. While you generally do not hear much math in a Star Trek episode, the "Trouble with Tribbles" actually had two statements to which a bit math can be applied. You can search around the Internet and find solutions for one of the statements, but I wanted to work through the math myself. It is interesting that a script writer must have actually worked through the details during time before calculators. Continue reading

Posted in Science Fiction | 4 Comments