Friday, October 29, 2010

Because it is awesome!

"Why did you bring it to share?"
"kus it is osum."

A standard part of US education is show-and-tell. Some classes have the children fill in a form before bringing something in, both to encourage their writing and stem the flow. My 6-year old Luke found a chunk of crystal and filled in a form. His quick and simple dude-style answer to the question "why?" was a lovely explanation of the wonders of our world.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Another job that I have more respect for, the more I know of it

Gear Designers

Some clever people at NASA put together a document describing what goes into making a gear. The tooth shape and material questions I was aware of from my undergraduate days, but their calculations about just how different lubricants work around complicated shapes, expected gear lifetimes and dynamic force calculations are impressive. And it's all pretty modern knowledge apparently, mostly since the 1920's.

After reading it I'm amazed that helicopters don't crash more often!

Monday, October 25, 2010

I signed an oath

Alistair Cockburn is a well-known programmer who is fed up with
infighting in software development. So he came up with an Oath of Non-Allegiance.

"I promise not to exclude from consideration any idea based on its source, but to consider ideas across schools and heritages in order to find the ones that best suit the current situation."

Makes sense to me, and for more than software development.