Lunch with Jeff, the economy, inflation and more nukes in China

| October 1, 2021

What once was a weekly or at least bi-monthly lunch with my friend Jeff, has shifted to once every 3 months or so since COVID19. It’s not all due to the pandemic as changes in work habits and eating out habits has contributed to neglecting getting together. Nevertheless, it was enjoyable to spend an hour […]

A modern old favorite map (Pangaea – 175-300 million years ago)

| September 21, 2021

When I was a kid, I remember studying the illuminated glass globe in my bedroom and my grandparents pre-WW II atlas and then stumbling across the science theory showing the Alfred Wegener proposed supercontinent called Pangaea. The other day I saved the image overlay of today’s international borders on top of the globe image (click […]

Clear skies, cool evenings and stargazing this month (Aug 2021)

| August 4, 2021

TIDBIT: Although Jupiter and Saturn can look “relatively close” from our perspective, they are actually 456 million miles apart. Saturn is nearly twice as far away as Jupiter. We have had  a few unusually cool evenings for early August (50-60F degrees) and the clear skies have me looking up. For stargazers and amateur sky watchers, […]

The odds are at least 50-50 … right? #learning #statistics

| June 16, 2021

So why do I always end up trying to open the wrong end of a trash bag? With human intelligence and adaptive learning being what it is, one would think knowing which end of the trash bag to open when pulling one out of the box or roll would favor me getting it correct? I’m […]

Blood Moon, Lunar Eclipse and our new Half-Moon Window

| May 25, 2021

The final new “half-moon” window was installed on Monday this week with the proper wagon-wheel spokes (photo below) .. which coincides with this week’s  “Super Moon.” What makes this one somewhat unique is that there will also be a lunar eclipse where the earth shadows the moon. A total lunar eclipse completely blocks the moon, […]

Experimenting with a Magnetohydrodynamic Drive demo

| April 13, 2021

You can take the boy out of school, but you can’t take school (and learning) out of the boy ( or older man at this point). Over the weekend, I was talking to Brenda about how I’ve been following the NASA feed (tweet below) and waiting for the helicopter to take flight on Mars. The […]

Investing: Buying Vertex $VRTX for 2021 and hopefully beyond

| March 25, 2021

For the most part, I’m a conservative investor, although a regular channel trader, and I rarely speculates on risky upstarts, IPOs, zero-profit tech stocks, pharmaceutical long-shots or the latest crazy … cryptocurrency trend. Since most “risk” involves speculation, I see it more akin to gambling than eyes-open informed value or growth investing … both which […]

What do you know about the Tennis Racket Theorem?

| February 11, 2021

After reading about the Dzhanibekov Effect and seeing a demonstration, I just had to know more. The tennis racket theorem or intermediate axis theorem is a result in classical mechanics describing the movement of a rigid body with three distinct principal moments of inertia. It is also dubbed the Dzhanibekov effect, after Russian cosmonaut Vladimir […]

Understanding the Pfizer and Moderna COVID19 vaccines

| December 27, 2020

There was an interesting article in Prevention Magazine that explains what the COVID19 or generically the Coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna do … AND what their ingredients are. It also details the differences between the two from the standpoint of how cold storage temperatures need to be. Check out the article for the ingredients […]

The Great Conjunction: Saturn and Jupiter align on Dec 21st

| December 20, 2020

For those who enjoy astronomy, space exploration or just looking at the night sky, an event know as Saturn and Jupiter’s Great Conjunction is happening on December 21st (although look in the southern sky shortly after sunset  any night this month). A “conjunction” is an event that happens every 20 years for these two planets […]

What’s “The greatest threat to life on Earth” – according to theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking #video

| December 9, 2020

No … not a pandemic (like Covid19) … or 45 years of Global Warming … or the current adopted term – Climate Change – according to Green New Deal Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or environmental activist Greta Thunberg  … but an asteroid concluded the late Stephen Hawking. Also, there’s some real history, not a political ideology, […]

The trajectory of a bullet thru pipes is shocking! YouTube #video

| September 8, 2020

It is disturbing that someone actually tried this, but “for science” (cough, cough) … the result is eye-opening. I don’t think I’ll ever look into the end of pipes when working plumbing projects again. 😮

Prediction: An advancement in superconductivity is coming

| March 25, 2020

It may not come from space in the form of meteorites as mentioned in the story below, but I think the biggest advancement in this decade will be in superconductivity. Physicists have made fantastic advancements in reducing electrical resistance ever since Dutch physicist Heike Kamerlingh Onnes experimented with ferromagnetism in 1911, but getting superconductivity state […]

A 1989 family glacier photo and thoughts on climate change #TBT

| February 6, 2020

It has been a shockingly mild winter, at least in Cincinnati this year. Generally I don’t put the snow blower on the John Deere 330 tractor until it is needed, yet this year I prepared early … and may have frightened the snow away? Having a winter without much snow is not totally unheard of, […]

Semi-Tech Friday: Solar Telescope view of our the Sun

| January 31, 2020

A wide-angle view of the solar surface from the Daniel K. Inouye Solar Telescope is the highest-resolution image of the Sun ever taken, showing details as small as 30 km wide. Seen here are granules, the tops of giant convection cells. Credit: NSO/NSF/AURA Whether it is gazing at the millions of stars night sky (the […]

Do improvements in technology change views on abortion?

| October 29, 2019

It has been 26 years since the U.S. Supreme Court decided on Roe v. Wade. In 1973, our nine justices decided that pregnant women should have the right to legally choose an abortion (would it be different today?). Our national debate has continued non-stop for decades, but the call is getting louder to re-address the issue […]

Wrinkly-Nosed Tooth-Faced Shark – accurate, but not polite

| July 28, 2019

Who wants to go swimming?  The Great White Shark can detect blood in the water up to 3 miles away! Just look at those expensive teeth. I watched several science programs regarding space and the Apollo 11 moon landing these past couple of weeks … and one the other night explaining the Big Bang theory […]

From “One Giant Leap” boldness, to “Interstellar” brain cramps

| June 15, 2019

Brenda and I watched the movie Interstellar (2014) once before, but we watched it again this past week, and as often happens, we picked up on a few more interesting facts that made our brains hurt … well at least mine: General relativity, The Science of Interstellar, Black Holes and Time Warps. Thankfully I could […]

The Moon and planets gave me a show tonight in Cincinnati

| June 14, 2019

With the colder weather and clear sky over Cincinnati late Thursday evening and Friday morning this week, I took my Lumix GX-8 camera and 100-300mm lens out in the backyard to see what I could photograph. Not much as expected from Jupiter, but I think I could make out a couple moons in the pixelated […]

It is a great week for night stargazing and sky watching – #Jupiter

| June 12, 2019

Just north of Cincinnati the sky was perfect for viewing the rise of Jupiter as the sky darkened about 9:30PM. The bright dot (photo below from my iPhone) rose in the SE sky and arched slowly until reaching its highest point due south at about 12:30AM and then moved lower well after I was in […]

It has been interesting reviewing my Ancestry.com DNA results

| February 12, 2019

Having worked on my family tree with Ancestry.com back in 2010 and then ignored returning 9 years later, it has been interesting to look into it again now that DNA testing has grown in popularity. My results came back a few days ago and they were “as expected” (although the map a bit deceiving). From […]

BMW water injection and how it works to make +50 hp

| January 17, 2019

One of my favorite YouTube channels is Engineering Explained and in this video car guru and mechanical engineer Jason Fenske explains just how BMW used water injection to increase power at full throttle and high manifold pressures. Great stuff. And if this kind of "automotive engineering stuff" interests you and you like aviation like me, […]

Archive: Asclepias Syriaca (Common Milkweed) flowering date shift in response to climate change | Scientific Reports

| December 13, 2018

While this article (PDF version) may not necessarily garner front page news, it is something I wanted to read and archive because it was researched and published by my nephew Aaron Howard. Well done. The consequences of altered flowering dates due to climate change can be severe, especially for plants that rely on coordinated flower […]

Sidetracked into playing with my Stirling Engine model

| November 17, 2018

Last week while clearing off our bookshelves I came across a ticket to The Music Man from 18 years ago when my nephew Ben played the lead in his high school musical. It occurred to me that his birthday was this month and that I should post it to his Facebook page while sending him […]

Human-Induced Climate Change – Take it with a grain of salt

| September 1, 2018

Some interesting results using my birth town and the "number of 90 degree days" in a New York Times "tool" which I interpret as wanting to alarm us into action over the "human induced climate change" projections. If you haven’t already dug your heels in with an opinion (likely influenced by politics either way) … […]

Food for thought from a pediatrician on gender identity

| December 19, 2017

Although I have the traditional conservative view that one’s gender is in our DNA and one that we are born with, I understand there are those who differ. Let’s at least try to agree as a nation that we should at least protect young kids and early teens from the irreparable damage parents and doctor […]

Beautiful Supermoon this weekend – the largest of 2017

| December 3, 2017

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TechFriday: Kickstarter Raspberry Shake and other item arrived

| December 9, 2016

I helped fund the Raspberry Pi based computer Kickstarter project known as the RaspberryShake  networkingworking a large number of inexpensive earthquake monitoring station around the world (www.raspberryshake.org/quick-start-guide). The idea of connecting hundreds if not thousands of independent volunteer monitoring stations isn’t new, but it is a growing force in data collection. Hopefully I’ll be able […]

Can science and snakes help solve our Opioid problem?

| November 2, 2016

Our go-to pain killers are addictive and over prescribed … that’s a given. The problem is what can be done besides better management and stiffer penalties (debatable) to solve the near epidemic problem with Opioid addiction (PDF). Enter the lowly venomous snake. Toxins in the venom of poisonous snakes have the properties of triggering nerves […]

Watched the phases of a super moon lunar eclipse Sunday night

| September 28, 2015

A few of my photos on Sunday night of the Super Moon Solar Eclipse in the sky over Cincinnati, Ohio. Very cool.     Graphic from skyandtelescope.com and usatoday.com below.

InterestingEngineering.com is always educational and informative

| September 19, 2015

It’s probably being marveled by all things engineering that has me gravitating daily to the Interesting Engineering website and I probably browse longer than I should through the educational and “interesting” posts. Image Courtesy of Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat Architecture, skyscrapers and buildings around the world are a monumental undertakings and amazing […]

Trick question: Coal or Natural Gas, which is a cleaner energy?

| June 17, 2014

While listening to CNBC’s Squawkbox yesterday morning, Southern Company’s CEO Thomas Fanning sees exporting U.S. energy as economically a best path forward. The strategy is not without debate and hits opposition from both sides – the anti-fossil fuel greens and conservatives wanting to preserve our nation’s natural resources for America’s future. That argument aside, one […]

Ten aeronautical advancements thanks to NASA

| May 21, 2014

The Dryden Flight Research Center posted ten technology examples on their site that made a big impact on aviation. Most assume NASA has contributed to our science and engineering advancements, but the debate continues over the the high cost of the taxpayers through government funding the NASA research centers or if the private sector can […]

Can science determine if you are a Liberal or a Conservative?

| April 6, 2014

Chris Mooney in an Inquiring Minds podcast interviewed John Hibbing, a political scientist (University of Nebraska) and co-author of Predisposed: Liberal, Conservatives, and the Biology of Political Differences. They conversed at length about the research in measuring sympathetic symptoms of differing political ideologies. Mooney’s follow-up article also appeared in Mother Jones. According to John Hibbing, […]

Winter is here – a little more global warming please

| January 25, 2008

While I was out feeding the dog before sunrise and creaking over the light snow on the sidewalk, I thought “it feels really cold today?” Brrr … it is! Thankfully the sun is out and should warm thing up a little bit. Maybe this is a good time to point out during the 1970’s were […]

The ol’ Scared Pepper Experiment

| November 29, 2006

My son came home and demonstrated the “scared pepper” — surface tension of water experiment today. I’m not sure I fully understand the ‘science’ behind the dish washing soap and water, but from an offset printing background we depend on surface tension and even enhance it with isopropyl alcohol or a substitute to dampen aluminum […]

A rare interview with Neil Armstrong, “First Man”

| November 11, 2005

For many baby boomers, “The Eagle has landed” and “One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” (click for audio) were monumental audio moments that recall American success and rekindle proud memories of the Apollo space program. Practically every American alive and countless millions around the world held their breath and watched as […]

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
My Desultory Blog