All posts by Nathan Ruffing

Delaware Ohio Podcast Episode 1

Download the episode 1 mp3 here.

On your phone, long-click then select “download mp3 file” or “download link” to download to your phone and listen with any mp3 player including Spotify for example.

It is a simple mp3 file. Recommend using the VLC Media Player app to listen to the mp3 on your phone. With VLC media player you can “long-touch” the rewind button to rewind 20 seconds if you miss something, which I use a lot when listening to podcasts.

On computer, right-click to download.


Delaware resident and host Nathan Ruffing interviews City Councilman Drew Farrell for the very first episode. We talk Delaware City Council issues, podcasting in general, decide Drew is also a host not just a guest in the future, work out the nerves a little bit, and solicit suggestions for where the podcast should go next. One thing is certain: there should be a Delaware Ohio Podcast. The question is, “Where should the podcast go next?”

Let us know with the form on the podcast main page here:

Delaware Ohio Podcast main page, click here.

Licking County Parcel 095-111846-00.000: The Intel Plant

I saw 6.9 acres listed “near the Intel plant” for $5.5M and the listing basically said, “go ahead and bull-doze our house,” so I decided to investigate this thing.

The main Intel parcel where the initial buildings are planned / being built is Licking County 095-111846-00.000, click here for the Licking County auditor’s website information. The site is a ~500-acre parcel to the southwest of the intersection of Mink Street and Green Chapel Road. To get there by car, the nearest landmark you can easily navigate to currently is Kyber Run Golf Course. The Intel plant site is a 7.5 mile drive northeast from New Albany.

According to some articles, the City of New Albany will annex the plant, which sounds right because it seems like Les Wexner was involved in attracting Intel.

I believe these are some of the lucky folks who sold their farm to Intel. They got at least $13.4M I think, but hard to follow because multiple parcels got merged to put together 500 acres. The Heimerl’s still own ~75 acres across the street from the plant to the north and various other plots in the area.

Click here for Intel’s announcement.

There are various plots around the Intel plant owned by MBJ Holdings, LLC, which is explained in this WOSU article about the wetlands involved.

“MBJ Holdings LLC is a subsidiary of real estate developer New Albany Company, which was started by L Brands founder Les Wexner and Jack Kessler to develop New Albany. It submitted the application that was drafted by EHM&T engineers.”

Measure the Universe

All Units and Constants, Organized

I created this consolidated sheet to catch up with the Belgians. I remain impressed with the academics in Belgium even though I was only there for a couple months. Normally I try to post directly to the page for readability but this requires special formatting to make the units / superscripts / subscripts look good so I am posting in PDF:

Measure the Universe PDF

Truly, this is the best consolidated “how-to” science document I know of. In 11 pages, it covers pretty much all science. The difficulty that prevents most people from succeeding in science is units. Step 1 for any successful science student is to consistently use the same unit for each type of measurement. If you are given inches, you convert to meters. If you are given miles, you convert to meters. If you are given light-years, you convert to meters. Even kilometers, convert to meters. You get the point. The unit helps understand the concept and the concept yields the unit if you are thinking of it correctly.

Heat Capacities of the Atmosphere and the Oceans

  • Volume of the atmosphere: not really meaningful.
  • Volume of Earth’s oceans: 1.335×1018 m3
  • Mass of the atmosphere: 5.15×1018 Kg
  • Mass of the oceans: ~1.4×1021 Kg
    • Average salinity: 0.035 Kg salt per Kg water, so 3.5% by mass.
  • The oceans are 272x the mass of the atmosphere.
Specific Heat
  • Specific heat of “air” at 250K is 1005 J/KgK
  • Specific heat of ocean water is ~4000 J/KgK
Total Heat Capacity
  • Total heat capacity of the atmosphere: 5.2×1021 J/K
  • Total heat capacity of the oceans: 5.6×1024 J/K
  • The heat capacity of the oceans is ~1,077x the heat capacity of the atmosphere.

I think it’s interesting that the ocean is only 272x the mass of the atmosphere. That is knowable intuitively if you know the approximate pressure deep-sea subs deal with or know that 10m of water is equal to about 1 atmosphere of presure.

Another interesting scale to put in perspective is that the hydrosphere is about 0.023% of Earth’s total mass. So the Earth mass is about the mass of 4,300 oceans.

Curriculum for the 21st Century

Life basics

  • Money
    • personal finance: fundamental. Of course necessary.
    • Basic accounting principles. Basic accounting principles are important because it is the language used to practically communicate the exchange of money in real life. If you understand everything except the accounting principles, good. It’s better than nothing. However, accounting principles empower an individual to track many automatic transfers of money that are too tedious to track day-to-day and month-to-month without accounting tools.
  • Literacy. I believe all of the following should be included in the idea of modern-day literacy. The narrower definition of “literate” meaning “to be able to read” excludes the wider necessity of being able to successfully communicate in the real world.
    • Reading, of course. Still fundamental.
    • Writing. With electronic communication, ideas and all media can be infinitely copied. This trend of over a century has reduced the perceived value of a individual amateur content production to near zero. Being able to produce content of all kinds is valuable.
    • Typing. Typing is realistically the dominant text communication method of our time. Certainly penmanship still matters, but it has been practically replaced and it is probably more important to be able to type than write.
    • Blogging. I have written about blogging extensively. In fact, I have blogged about blogging extensively.
    • Video Editing. This seems advanced and to do it properly currently requires a paid software subscription (free video editing software stinks). Learning to video-edit is absolutely worth it to better understand the deluge of video content we are all exposed to. Participating in video editing will certainly ruin the enjoyment of some content – especially most of Netflix – but learning video editing develops an appreciation for other content and a more actively fulfilling experience.
      • ***On screens*** I am about as anti-television / smartphone / social media as a person can be. However, I am not completely anti-screen. Screens are a reality. Screens are objectively better than paper in many ways. Screens display all types of content. Television is a passive one-way conversation that conditions the viewer to not think. Screens can be – and often are – two-way and allow user production even more than paper! Screens should not be demonized for the fact that the majority of content on screens is negative. Producing content on screens can be meaningful and fulfilling. There is a lot of great content on screens and we should be learning to find and make the good content rather than avoiding content altogether by avoiding screens.

History, Math, Science

Learn context to understand why different concepts are important, what they are.
  • History Etc.
    • Geography, countries, yes, but also non-country-centric. Geographic feature-centric first.
    • Geography > political boundaries > history: geography gives context for political boundaries. Together geography and political boundaries give context for history. History gives context for many of the concepts in other subjects. Understand how humans came to learn the world.
    • Understand the calendar. Remember dates not relative periods of time. (Like Rick Reeder)
    • Family History
    • Local history
    • World history / human history
    • History of the funding of science, art, and schools. Learn the fundamental support system for the environment that enables students to learn. Learn that higher learning and the production of art is a uniquely human endeavor that is fundamentally collective.
  • Math
    • Roman numerals for basic counting.
    • Place value, zero, Arabic numerals.
    • Number systems, base 10, hexadecimal and binary for other examples etc.
    • Fractions
    • Algebra
    • Trigonometry is more than just triangles, it’s the building block to calculating all shapes.
    • Calculus: derivatives, integrals, position, velocity, acceleration.
    • Infinite series, frequency domain, e^(i*pi) +1 = 0. (This seems crazy but the concepts are simple if they are taught in normal life not complex math class).
  • Science, particularly physics.
    • The scientific process, reduction.
    • Energy.
    • Thermodynamics basic concepts.
    • Relativity
    • Navier-Stokes equations

Religion and Philosophy

  • Bible
  • Sand Talk
  • Antifragile, tipping point, etc.

Sports and Art

  • Literature, Art, Music, Sports: learn to enjoy them the way they are. Art is inherently valuable. In a world where technology advancement obsoletes jobs and entire careers within a generation, being able to produce valuable art is something inherently outside the scope of what machines can do and replace. ***Be sure not to fall into the trap of imagining that one has to make money for art production to be valuable.*** If a person can enjoy producing his own art, he is filling a void “normally” filled by the output of entire entertainment industries. The fact that it is difficult to make money producing art is partly what makes producing art so valuable. It is also very difficult to buy truly meaningful art. Producing one’s own art is an inherently non-taxable transaction. Governments will never really promote individuals’ production of their own content. Producing art could single-handedly do more to reduce energy consumption than any fancy modern technology possibly could. Yet art does not support governments so art is never really the solution according to governments. Producing one’s own art is the most efficient expenditure of human energy. Producing art is inherently fulfilling. Art is fulfillment and independence during times of plenty.
    • Absolute pitch training. I think when you and he are screaming together, he is matching your pitch. You said this. I think you are right. I think it’s good for him.
    • Ball. Play ball.
    • Painting? I know little about painting, but when we think of art, painting is the first thing that typically comes to mind.
  • Sailing: a classic means of transportation.
  • Knots:
    • “Make a loop in the end of a rope.” Bowline
    • “Tie to that object for a heavy load.” round turn and two half hitches
    • “Tie to that object quickly for a light load.” clove hitch
    • “Tie a fat knot in that rope.” figure-8
    • “Attach these two ropes together.” Square knot / man’s knot
    • “In an emergency, attach those two ropes together.” rolling hitch / double-clove hitch
    • “Tie down that gear on that trailer.” Delaware Rental knot
    • Aaron’s “double-figure-8”

Test Taking and Chess

When I took tests in high school and college, the general format was, “Complete this test content as correctly as you can. It should take about 2 hours. You have 2.5 hours to complete it. Go.”

When I took the GMAT in 2020, there was a stark difference. The GMAT format is more like, “You will complete content as correctly as you can for 2 hours and your score is based on how well you complete the content and how difficult the content was that you completed in 2 hours.” This format is called an “adaptive test.” Computers enable adaptive testing where the difficulty of the questions is based on your performance on previous questions. Even top test-takers use all the time allotted because their content is more difficult than those who get lower scores. I go into detail on my GMAT prep post here.

Timed chess is a similar challenge where your brain has to operate correctly and efficiently.

I believe these types of mental challenges highlight mental fitness well and understanding how to get one’s brain to work well for a specific period of time is a specific life skill. If I have to complete a 2-hour task and I have 2.5 hours, I can make up for fatigue or hunger with the extra half-hour. If the goal is to output as much correct information as possible in 2 hours, I will absolutely do better on a day where I am well-rested and ate well.

Modern standardized tests are mental challenges like timed chess and I think important life skills.

The Post-Industrial House

The post-industrial house will solve the following domestic problems and maximize the following healthy ways of living.

  • Fresh air should be maximized.
  • The “un-building” house: start all planning with the assumption that we live outside and favor outdoor living unless necessary to be indoors. Assume that the outdoors is a good thing and try to not block it if possible, for example:
    • Need heat in the winter. Best kind of heat is a small cozy space with body heat. Can heating be compartmentalized into a small center of the house?
    • Keep bugs out. Screens do this without blocking the rest of the outdoors. A breeze is pretty effective against bugs but too much breeze could be annoying all the time.
    • Houses with opaque well-insulated walls are great if you assume you want to completely control the indoors and live in a controlled environment, but they almost totally sacrifice fresh air. Walls block breezes. Walls get hot in the sun and bake the indoors all night long even when it is cool outside. Roofs prevent sunlight from sanitizing and drying the indoors.
    • How to minimize how “indoor” the house is?
    • Completely compartmentalize the “indoor” aspect of the house?
  • Disinfecting sunlight should be maximized especially in bathrooms.
  • There should be so much airflow in bathrooms and laundry areas that anything in those areas dries quickly.
    • Should be outdoor space for a clothes line near the laundry, preferably with some cover that allows sunlight but not rain.
    • Shower curtain against bath tub mold build-up: how has this problem not yet been solved?? (besides dripping the shower liner onto the floor outside the tub or replacing the shower liner every few months). There must be airflow and sunlight or there will be mold!!
    • Outdoor shower is nice but good to do something to control mosquitos around it.
  • All sides of the house should receive some direct sunlight.
  • During the winter day, the house should be able to collect and store as much heat from the sun as possible when available.
    • Wood stove? (more efficient than wood-burning insert into existing fireplace).
    • Address humidity if possible. Dry air is usually just accepted in the winter, but is there a way to naturally or easily have the air a little bit more humid in the winter?
      • Personal humidifiers, OK.
      • What about compartmentalizing the house somehow so the human warmth collects in a cozy way, i.e. cozy small room effect? At least for sleeping areas.
  • During the summer night, should be able to cool off as quickly as possible and drain heat reservoirs to collect excess heat during the day. House should feel like a large shade tree on a breezy summer afternoon – (NOT like the inside of a refrigerator).
    • Remember to address humidity. Humidity is half of the comfort and convenience equation but is usually treated as an afterthought.
  • Should be able to completely shade itself on the exterior, independent of trees.
    • Or using strategic trees.
    • Large eves are nice and simple design for shade and protect the side of the house. Movable eves?
    • Canopies over windows?
  • Should be able to leave the windows open during summer rainstorms, while still addressing the following issues:
    • Security of having windows open.
    • Screens should prevent bugs from entering, plus a system to eliminate the bugs that get through.
    • Convenient window coverings should not get in the way of opening and closing the windows. Automated windows would be nice (cars have them!) except when they fail, which they would, so they should just be easy to open and close.
  • There should be outdoor space on the roof, or above the house somewhere. Like a rooftop bar with a view of whatever is around doesn’t matter rooftop is cool.
  • There should be ample shade / rain cover just outside the house near the kitchen for meals outside.
    • Build house around a central courtyard area? Build in a horseshoe shape?
  • The hot water tank should be near the hot water faucets. Waiting for hot water is hot water wasted and time wasted. (I am opposed to tank-less water heaters, they just aren’t that great.)
  • Independent water treatment system for healthy drinking water, nice skin, and prevent mineral deposit build-up.
  • Completely separate heated exterior space with garage door, ~14 x 22 feet ~ one-car garage size. Bicycle storage plus.
  • Carport! A simple cover over the car keeps the snow off in the winter, prevents most of the rust from being rained on all the time and prevents sun damage. A garage is unnecessary but a carport is necessary.
  • Location location location. There should be good people, good government, good parks, libraries, town center within biking distance.
  • ~1407 sqft. 3 bedroom, 1 1/2 bathroom. Kitchen, dining, living room. Large closet in the master bedroom. Laundry, clothes line area, outdoor shower all connected.
    • 2-story with bedrooms upstairs, or ranch?
    • 2-story pros: rooftop bar higher. Bedrooms separate from living area. Smaller footprint / basement requirement. More cube-like for less exterior walls (more efficient?)
    • Ranch pros: no stairs. Everything connected.
  • Maintenance convenience:
    • All (or most) plumbing and electric – especially plumbing – should be accessible from a basement or with known and marked access points.
    • While some things will be automated, automation should be limited and control should be centralized with systems accessible for maintenance and upgrades.
  • There should be a large Time v3 timekeeping device prominently displayed in the post-industrial house.
  • Other sources:
    • Consult Tim
    • Consult The Landlord’s Operating Manual
    • Consult architect(s).
    • Consult “Snowmass house”
  • Alternative materials.
    • Absorptive and radiative materials
    • Hemp? Consult Kreg.
    • Consult “Earthship” internet search rabbit hole.
      • Earth-filled tires?

What Will Cause the Apocalypse?

Had I really not published this post before? Here is my speculation on what will cause the (next) apocalypse / collapse of civilization. In order of likelihood:

Why ask this question, you ask? Apocalypse is a surprisingly entertaining subject for us. I ask, why are we all interested in it?

  1. Apathy: the builders of society get bored when we can’t reach new highs and we just let it go. Like a little boy playing with Legos, the world is built by men. How long does a Lego structure last? The bigger it is the funner it is to destroy. How long does a dollhouse last within sight of a young boy? We should enjoy our tower while it stands!
  2. Zombies: zombies have already caused one apocalyptic civilization collapse. The only question remaining is, could they end us entirely?
  3. Disease*: disease is ancient and kills by numbers even bigger than millions or billions. Disease kills by the percentage of population. Disease is our most ancient enemy and far-underrated as it is invisible and not glamorous or sensational.
  4. Nuclear war: nukes are powerful and most people don’t even realize how powerful. Fusion bombs make Hiroshima and Nagasaki look tiny.
  5. Global Carbon Transfer (commonly mis-labeled as “global warming” or “climate change): this I believe is unlikely to cause our end. I think we are being overly-optimistic to imagine that we will thrive long enough for this to get us.
  6. EMP: again I think it’s optimistic to believe we will last long enough for an electromagnetic pulse to get us. Plus, one-time catastrophes like an EMP are sensational but not nearly as crushing as grinding sickness that can slowly erode resolve over years, decades, centuries.
  7. Flood, Earthquake, Asteroid, Volcano, Fire, Storm: wouldn’t be the first time for some of these, but could any of them really take us out? An asteroid certainly could, but it’s pretty sensational.

*COVID has brought disease to our attention but the COVID response has mostly highlighted our unprecedented inability to actually do something. Lose weight? Strengthen ourselves in the face of disease? None of that. This could be a wake-up call to get healthy.