Tag Archives: Education

Learning is a lifelong endeavor. Let’s learn about the world around us.

Who’s Who of Electrical Engineering, and Physics, and Science

1564-1642: Galileo Galilei, Italian, father of observational astronomy, phases of Venus, Jupiter’s satellites, observed Saturn’s rings

1596-1650: René Decartes, French, philosopher, logical method

1623-1662: Blaise Pascal, French, fluid dynamics

1629-1695: Christiaan Huygens, Dutch, Saturn’s rings, pendulum clock

1642-1727: Isaac Newton, published Philosophiæ Naturalis Principia Mathematica in 1687

1646-1716: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, French, differential and integral calculus, especially modern conventional notation

1700-1782: Daniel Bernoulli, Swiss, fluid mechanics, probability, statistics

1745 – 1827: Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta, Italian, the battery

1766-1844: John Dalton, English, chemist, physicist, meteorologist, atomic theory of chemistry

1775 – 1836: André-Marie Ampère, solenoid & electrical telegraph

1776-1856: Amedeo Avogadro, Italian, equal volumes of gases under equal pressure and temperature contain equal numbers of molecules

1777 – 1851: Hans Christian Ørsted, Danish, electromagnetism

1789 – 1854: Georg Ohm, German, direct relationship between voltage and current

1791 – 1867: Michael Faraday, English, various, electric motor

1824-1907: William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin, thermodynamics, measurement of absolute zero temperature.

1831 – 1879: James Clerk Maxwell, Scottish, electromagnetic radiation

1846 – 1914: George Westinghouse, American, AC electric power

1847 – 1931: Thomas Edison, American, light bulb, various, DC electric power

1856 – 1943: Nikola Tesla, Serbian-American, AC electric power

1879-1955: Albert Einstein, physicist. Born in Germany. 1895 moved to Switzerland. 1896-1901 stateless. 1901 obtained Swiss citizenship. 1905 wrote the Annus Mirabilis papers. 1907-1915 developed general relativity. 1933 cancelled trip to Germany forever and renounced his citizenship at German consulate in Antwerp. 1939 sent the Einstein-Szilárd letter to FDR. 1940 settled in the US and became a US citizen.

The Case for Portuguese

Portuguese language is a must to operate in Brazil. Brazil is awesome. If you want to live in Brazil, that is reason enough. Here are some other reasons to learn Portuguese:

  1. Portuguese is the most common language in South America. Brazil is only one country, while most of the other countries speak Spanish, but South America is really split in two equal parts by population and land mass. The Portuguese half is one large diverse country, while the Spanish half is split into many different countries.
  2. Portuguese is rare for Americans. After almost 4 years of going to Brazil now, I have met only 3 other non-Brazilian Americans who speak Portuguese. I have met maybe 5-10 who went to Portuguese language training by the US government for specific jobs, but they are on government career paths and do not seem likely to remain in Brazil once their assignment is complete. If there appears to be no demand, I would argue that zero supply prevents companies from seeking it because of the extreme rarity.
  3. You get a two-fer. Spanish comes along with it. This is true. Portuguese and Spanish are indeed similar. I recently attended a history lecture in Rio where the French lecturer did not speak Portuguese and he assumed everybody would understand Spanish. I understood his Spanish better than the Portuguese from Lisbon! Expose yourself to some Spanish along the way and you will see what I mean. After I visited Colombia for 3 weeks, I had to buy a Portuguese-Spanish dictionary to separate the languages in my head.
  4. Learn it “all the way.” You have to live at least 6 months in the country immersed in the language. Commit. Until you do this, the language is not really useful.
  5. Portuguese is easier than Spanish. I really believe this. People say Portuguese pronunciation is more difficult. I disagree. Portuguese has maybe two sounds we don’t have in English, the nasal -ã and -ão. They do not roll their ‘R’s. The Portuguese grammar is closer to English also in my opinion. Not so many ‘lo’ and ‘la’ and ‘le’ for no reason like in Spanish, less use of reflexive verbs, and overall fewer syllables.
  6. São Paulo. São Paulo is the business capital of Brazil, and by far the largest city this side of the Atlantic. São Paulo speaks Portuguese.
  7. Don’t forget Portugal! I have heard it’s nice! I have never been, but Brazil and Portugal are not the only Portuguese speaking countries. See the Community of Portuguese Language Countries.
  8. Learn a language, any language! Once you really learn a language as an adult, your next one will come so much easier. It becomes less of a magical impossibility and more of a travel task of a few weeks or months to get practically conversational.

I scored “Advanced Low” on the ACTFL Speaking. I think “Intermediate High” in a language would be good enough to get started working in a foreign country. At my level, I can easily communicate, network, and socialize, but I should still improve to continue here. I scored Intermediate High on the ACTFL Writing.

Global Carbon Transfer, and Evidence for Global Warming

Global Carbon Transfer

I have said before that we should call this concept we are all familiar with Global Carbon Transfer. That is what it is and always has been.

Global Carbon Transfer is directly measurable.

The term “Global Carbon Transfer” is completely accurate to what we are actually doing. We know that we are transferring carbon.

The name “Global Carbon Transfer” allows for consideration of other unknown effects that we have yet to identify that nobody even talks about.

We are transferring a lot of carbon from the ground to the atmosphere. This is an indisputable fact.

Simple Man’s Evidence for Global Warming

I personally believe that global carbon transfer is causing significant man-made global warming. Here is a list of the evidence that shapes my concept of the world, my personal observations that lead to my belief:

  • I learned in Physics class in high school in ~2001 that carbon dioxide reflects infrared light / heat more than the other more highly-abundant components of the atmosphere. This makes sense to me. It would be difficult to fake this, easy to confirm or refute. I put this under the heading of scientific fact.
  • We learned what the greenhouse effect is, and I have personally been inside both a hot car in the sun, and an actual greenhouse. Fact.
  • I have personally seen an equilibrium exhibit a large change based on a small increase in a catalyst. For example:
    • Milk goes sour if you drink from the carton.
    • I saw chemicals abruptly change color in chemistry class after just drops of liquid entering.
    • If I had drunk two beers this morning instead of two cups of coffee, my blood would have changed by less than one percent, but I would absolutely not have written this post.
    • Small change can yield big change.
    • Catalysts exist.
  • I have seen man affect the environment, both for good and bad. Some of these I didn’t personally see of course, but they happened:
    • Water quality in Columbus, Ohio versus Rio de Janeiro.
    • Chemical disaster in Bhopal, India 1984.
    • Smog in LA.
    • Scale of the Piper Alpha explosion in 1988.
    • Personal accounts of the reduction in litter in the United States following anti-litter campaigns in the 1970s.
    • Chernobyl of course, but that’s nuclear not chemical, a whole ‘nother level.
    • Urban sewage management, cities now versus 200 years ago.
    • Forests versus fields.
  • I see carbon entering the atmosphere that used to be in the ground from sources that are less than a century old. Sound ridiculous? It’s everywhere. Everywhere. Try not seeing it! We could not transfer more carbon if we started a campaign to transfer more. Everything we do contributes to carbon transfer, and is mostly new!
  • The earth is really really old. There has been a lot of time for plants live, absorb carbon dioxide, respire oxygen, die, and be buried in the ground. Let me repeat, really really old, and a lot a lot a lot a lot of time. A lot. There has been so much time in fact that I no longer view the air I breath as coming from “the earth in general,” but as being the breathed out breath of plants. Call me a tree-hugger, but it is an accurate concept, much more accurate than the “general earth air” idea that comes easy. The atmosphere is and always has been a product of life and vice versa. It is a two-way street.
Some more carbon numbers, click here.

What to Watch 24: Energy of an Industrialized Society – How Many Joules 3

How Many Joules?

  • 2,000 food Calories = 8.4 million joules = approximate energy usage of the human body in one day
  • One Tesla Model S battery charge ~ 36x this amount
  • One 2017 Honda Civic gas tank ~ 177x this amount
  • Typical furnace (100,000 BTU / hr rating) operating for 1 hour ~ 12x this amount
  • US energy usage per day (referenced in my post here) ~ 33.5 billion x this amount, or ~ 102x the US population*
  • Global energy usage per day (referenced in my post here) ~ 129 billion x this amount, or ~ 17x the global population*

*Relating the energy consumption of the modern world per person to the energy consumption of just the human body by itself is ambiguous, I realize. However, it puts in context the massive numbers that are constantly thrown around in the media on this subject, and consolidates the hype and various units into one unit.

https://nathanruffing.com/nates-numbers-hub-january-2017/ 

Start at How Many Joules 1

https://www.unitjuggler.com/energy-conversion.html

http://www.worldometers.info/world-population/

Picking your Friends in Computer Software

1. Why the club:

Click here for the CATC About page.

 

2. Why this subject first:

  • Your computer software largely determines your experience with the computer.
  • I have helped people with their software to keep their computer working fast.
  • The people who make your software know what your experience looks like. It is those people and their motivations that determine your experience in the long run.

3. Vocabulary for Software

4. Discussion Structure

  • We are going to discuss software by its function first.
    • I want to offer a solution only if there is a problem.
    • Define the problem! (software often offers bells and whistles that do things we don’t really want to do).
    • This is a comprehensive list. A key to this idea is that all other software should be uninstalled and add-on software should be carefully selected.
  • We will categorize software by “open source vs. closed source” and “free vs. costs money.”
  • A dollar sign ($) by the software mean the software company is for profit. An ‘ad’ symbol (ad) means that mining and selling user data is a major revenue source for the company.
  • Last, we’ll meet the people and companies and discuss their motives.

5. Software Functions List

  • Operating System
  • Word processor (includes many office functions)
  • Web browser
  • E-mail / contacts / calendar
  • Internet search
  • Media player
  • Video chat [or use your phone]
  • PDF Reader
  • Printer and scanner
  • Video editing
  • Gaming

Operating System

Word Processor

Web Browser

E-Mail / Calendar / Contacts

Web Search

  • DuckDuckGo is a good search engine that maintains user privacy.

Media Player

Video Chat

 

PDF Reader

Printer and Scanner

  • How much does an ink cartridge cost?
    • Can a printer physically continue to print in black and white if the color runs out?
  • How much does a printer actually cost?

Video Editing

6. My Start Menu

7. Settings

  • When you set up a computer, your question should be, “what is this computer doing that I need it to stop doing?”

8. Bloatware

  • When I buy a computer, I don’t install software, I spend most of my time un-installing software.
  • Your computer manufacturer may include software pre-installed. You probably want to un-install it.
  • I include “anti-virus” software under bloatware.
  • Desktop weather display is another example.

Click here to see which software I use and recommend in each category.

I made this presentation for the Columbus Area Technology Club. Click the logo for the CATC website:

What to Watch 15: Fusion and the Cold War

The Tsar Bomba, Largest Man-Made Explosion Ever, October 1961, Discovery Channel

  • Hiroshima, Japan, WW2: 16,000 tons of TNT equivalent
  • Nagasaki, Japan, WW2: 22,000 tons of TNT equivalent
  • Tsar Bomba device: 50,000,000 tons of TNT equivalent: more than 2,000 times the explosive energy of each of the bombs that leveled 2 entire cities in Japan in 1945.

Cuban Missile Crisis 1 by Extra Credits History

Cuban Missile Crisis 2 by Extra Credits History

Cuban Missile Crisis 3 by Extra Credits History

Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum Website, English
Click here for WTW 14 Fusion as an Energy Source.
Click here to search “fusion” on this site.

What to Watch 14: Fusion Energy, 16 Minutes

1. Fusion Explained in a Nutshell by Kurzgesagt

2. JET, Joint European Torus, largest magnetic confinement fusion reactor.

  • JET is the current record holder for controlled fusion energy production by most measures. The record was set in 1997. See video.
  • Located in Oxfordshire, UK.
  • Annual budget 2014-2018 = 145.6 million euros ~ $175 million per year. Source.
  • Video is from 2014.

3. National Ignition Facility, was the largest effort at inertial based fusion.

  • The fusion ignition effort ended in April 2014, but is still one HUGE laser. Do not point this laser at your eye.
  • Located in California, USA.
  • NIF total cost was ~$3.5 billion. Source.
  • Video is from 2009.

4. More References

 

Click here for the historical context of fusion, fusion in the Cold War.

Click here to search fusion on this site.

What to Watch 13: Cryptocurrency 2, the Blockchain in Society and Pop Culture, 22 Minutes

The Blockchain in Society, We’ve Stopped Trusting Institutions and Started Trusting Strangers, Rachel Botsman on TED, June 2016

Blockchain in Pop Culture, Lovesong for Satoshi Nakamoto Whitepaper by “Bitcoin Girl” Naomi Brockwell, November 2015

Of Note

My Personal Conclusion on Cryptocurrency (For Now)

The idea behind Bitcoin is that you do not have to trust banking institutions. The transactions are verified by the technology / other users. I researched signing up for Bitcoin, and decided not to. The problem I found was in order to access the blockchain and “own” Bitcoin, you need a computer program to do it. The computer program is written by a coder and I am not going to take the time to understand the code. Therefore, instead of trusting an institution, I am trusting the coder who is the middleman who wrote the code. I actually trust both the banks and the coders (with a little research), but I do not have a reason to switch. The only advantage I see is that there is no tax trail, but I am not paying taxes on these transactions anyway. I don’t need a brand new currency in my life. Sticking with PayPal, Venmo, TransferWise, and dollars, for now!