Friday, December 29, 2017

Wintery Blast

Lake effect kicking in...

Sort of a magical effect... all of this snow looks so beautiful

Snow as high as the rooftop of your car... pretty much a normal winter in Houghton

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The 2018 Progosnitication Post...

Wow, how fast time goes by.  Here we are again.  So how did we do last year?

The prognostications for 2017:

1. A disruption in the 135 year old electrical power generation model – look out Wall Street and all the Beaver Cleaver investors – the times, they are a changing! The economic viability of independent off grid electrical power has been missing only one thing to become a very disruptive reality. Affordable storage. Breakthroughs in several cheap energy storage systems will emerge which will drive a renaissance in the economics or energy. Utility requirements of large consumers like factories will still need high power density generation sources of the traditional smokestack type, but residential needs will start to move towards energy independent combinations of wind, solar and geothermal models all tied to the key piece – an efficient and affordable storage system. And it comes with a low carbon footprint – if that really matters...
DING and from no less a validating source as the Economist.
2. Breakthrough with LHCb at CERN.
I'm claiming a glacial DING
3. Containment at Fukushima It's hard to figure out what the clean up costs will be when you don't know what you're cleaning up! Or if the clean up will include the remediation of the Pacific Ocean...  oopsie
DING and dodge, hide, wiggle and publish in Forbes... No easy solution for this one...

4. Wild discovery about weather found on Saturn – open system thermodynamics and the giant hexagon cloud system yields stunning realization on how to model open non-linear systems!

BONK  lots of models, but hey - non-linear differential equations are still handled by linearizing phenomena.  Most graduate student defenses make that clear to the candidate.  Most - not all - reader beware.

5. An even  wilder discovery is made about the earth’s molten iron flow. It has tripled it's velocity in the last 15 years.  I'm predicting centrifugal forces, are causing the river of molten iron to reach higher into the mantle and induce changes in magnetic fields that influence gamma ray deflection and create new subsurface hot spots... This is science fiction gold for a B movie!  Gold I'm tell'in ya...

DING  I'm as good as the climate change "experts"   Last years nameless experts warned of full throttle rotations... this years "experts"  Slowing... so ask yourself what instrument was used to measure this data, and then - what body of science as to what it means?  Yeah - science has always been pretty murky at times.   Even the Royal Academe has not been above overdriving their headlights. 

6. Gene therapy replaces pharma – in a landmark critical care application.  - Huge shift in medicine... why dose when you can re-program and fix the issue on a cellular level?!

BONK but   A L M O S T   a DING.   I wonder how many traders on Wall Street are wishing for this one to come true?  Talk about a total flip in health care.  Imagine a world where the body can be re-programmed and the band aid of a pharmaceutical is relegated to the ash bin of history.  Think big, it's coming.

7. High speed rail system will be unveiled for the entire US with sea terminal and airport links.  The new rail corridor amenities will bring travelers back to the future with a modern version of Route 66 only this time with wifi and a comfy seat.  A few decades behind, but - yup, 2017 is the year!

BONK - bits and pieces but no cohesive plan.  The US will get there, maybe when autonomous vehicles require special right of way to move commerce at intermodal speeds that compare with air.  Eh, NOT YET.

8. Discoveries in Cutaneous Perception will shed light on the human condition and could be the breakthrough AI computer scientists are looking for to leap frog rule based logic by analyzing analog signals radiated from a living human being...  Another great B movie topic if I do say so.

 BONK BONK BONK  The next level of haptic interfaces will have to wait for some bright inventor toiling away in a garage someplace to figure it out...

9. Solar flare to rival the storm of '59... Now what would we all do without our phones, GPS or even power for a few months?

DING just a matter of time...

10. Near real-time language translators in an earbud – AI applied + speech + language processor on a fast voice chip that fits behind an ear.  You can select the language by voice command and then hear the translation of your conversation in your ear bud, and transmit your verbal response in the correct language via a listeners blue tooth earbud or through a speaker. It will run on Linux of course... and give linguists a lot of research funding! Of course a slower cloud version will exist so that big data can parse through ever utterance and gaffe and sell it to the marketing folks.  By 2018 the earbuds will be playing ads in your ear between spoken words unless you buy the pro version of the xlater....

DING  What more can I say...

Well how did the hound do?  An impressive 60%.  That's amazing!

So now without further ado.... the 2018 Prognostications!

A new seer - the "English Setter of Mildred" has taken over this year's prognostication tasks from the hound.  I tried to transcribe as best as I could what highlights we shall see in '18.

Hazel takes her prognosticat'in seriously!

1.A Mag 9 quake off the coast of Cali will cause more infra-structure problems...  The tectonic plates are still punchy and they will  rumble the Pacific Rim all year.

2.CERN ATLAS to reveal new insights into BSM physics.  The setter says it will rattle the standard model folks and make the battery storage research folks wag their tails... 

3. Breakthrough in fuel cell efficiency and refueling cost to emerge from someplace in Europe. This gizmo will let you strip out Hydrogen from your homes natural gas supply just like turning on your gas stove...  Just re-fuel by plugging into the port in your garage, the gas meter will whirl and your fuel cell car will be topped off.  The infra structure problem of hydrogen delivery as a fuel will evaporate in 2018... The hound had a particularly waggy tail on this one.

4. The setter sees a US Presidential candidate winning the Ig Nobel Prize next year... too fuzzy to know what category though.  A real test of academic freedom and the courageous leadership for a flagship institution... 

5. Alibaba  buys Sears... opens kiosks across the US...  Partners with the YUM group and offers take out food when you pick your made in China stuff...  This will send Google and Amazon on acquisition spins...  Hear that Harvard B-School?  The setter has spoken!

6. Autonomous drones go big as major carriers start to network their IoT fleets of drones to make inter-modal deliveries from their giant warehouses to secure terminals located at fast food restaurants or UPS trucks, where  jumpy urbanites will pick up their widget and possibly a burger on their way home from the office....  The setter saw a lot of cross channel collaboration (C^3) in retail distribution in 2018...   Pay attention Wharton... this is good thesis stuff barked out the spotted one.

7. Gene therapy starts it's glacial advance in displacing pharma as a significant cure for a major illness is published.  First a trickle, then a flood... the therapies will reprogram cellular gafootzies and address the root cause of the problem eventually making the apothecary a modern day blacksmith shop...  Look for big pharma to predict the sky is falling as the world turns up-side-down for the pill industry.

8. Opinion journalism reaches new heights as mixed mode media driven by social engineering mavens enable the whopper to be told over and over again with exceeding social media interconnected slickness with inferential touches from diverse "experts" that would make Noam C blush.  Nope - critical thinking is not coming to a news source or class room near you in 2018...  Woof wooooof, followed by a yawn.

9. Martian discovery!  InSight will land in November and have big news in December!  2019 discoveries will keep on coming about the geophysics of the red planet. 

10. Mining the Pacific Ocean gyre will commence as a modern day gold rush unfolds.  These aquatic miners will be after a harvest of free floating petrochemicals  and recycle them at sea.  They will sail into port like the whalers of old bringing in booty from the deep blue sea. 

Well there you have it.  I wish all of the blogs visitors a very Happy New Year.  Good health, prosperity and happiness to you all!

-21F on the way to the office... summer wouldn't be so wonderful if winter wasn't so un-wonderful!


Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas!

The tree was decorated...

The Studebaker was sleeping...

Hazel was running around looking for elves to point at...

Then... with just enough snow... came Christmas!
Under the tree this year were two very special pieces of art

They now hang in the den and remind me of a wonderful time...

The lake is now very still, waves will not lap the shore for many months now...

 Don't forget why this day exists.  No matter what your culture, the Christian commemoration of the birth of Christ gives many of us HOPE. Hope for a better world, hope for peace and hope for love and kindness. Merry Christmas EVERYONE!

AML JRO, NLO and SEO,  AML and Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Buckner Pass

So many beautiful places in this world...  If you ever get the chance to visit North Carolina, take the time to drive down the Blue Ridge Parkway.  Visit some of the out of the way places, and savor the amazing sites and history...

One of my regular haunts in one of my favorite small towns - Asheville... 

A Christmas Carol - a seasonal favorite!

On the road again!  Err, in the air again anyway!  Daybreak someplace over Wisconsin on a cold December morning en route to Asheville.

Snow in Virginia...  The Airbus was in final approach....

Back in NC!  Next to Italy, my favorite place to be!

Driving over Buckner Pass

I hope your holiday season is a blend of happy memories, time with good friends and a chance to enjoy the best things in life - each other. As Christmas approaches, I wish you all the very best!

 AML NLO and JRO you are dearly missed.  AML SEO AML

Monday, December 4, 2017


When the cold winter temperatures set in, and the days are short - what could be better than compiling some old Fortran?  By the way - I had to add Fortran to the spell check dictionary just now... Really? 

Well I suppose there aren't too many folks around any more who started off programming in Fortran IV as in WAT-F-IV Waterloo Fortran IV.  I remember the whole GUI thing coming about when DOS morphed into the Xerox gui and Windows and Apple sprouted... meh. Technical tool creation was then lost to the "developers" with their OOP and fancy pants IDEs.  Piffle. Give me a command line anytime. GNU please and a side of Linux - 'cause HPUX is gone.

Whatever happened to that old Cromemco anyway?  Or the DEC's PD-11 that used to heat the control room next to our test cell when it doing array processing; but I digress.  I still have my floppy disks - physics hasn't changed much but the I/O and the OS's have and by the way, that old Newton-Raphson routine still works, so does the Moulton-Howe predictor corrector algorithm.  Hmmmm, there's an argument for books written in paper there my friends! Pu you Palm Pilot away, Blackberry too. 


Here it is!  First freeze

A lovely long winter is settling in and there's work to do...


Thursday, November 23, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving!

We're in the home stretch for 2017...  Another Thanksgiving is upon us, I hope the folks that wander by my blog are well and for those celebrating the holiday - my kind regards.

Let us not forget why the day came about.  A prayerful reflection of thanks for the bounty of harvest.  No matter what your tradition, most all of us have paused to give thanks for something. 

Just a head's up to the torsional vibes visitors... I've been meaning for a long time to post my notes and calculations on damped forced response of torsional systems - I've been porting my old fortran and building a gui for some of my own engine design tools, so expect a post on the basic algorithm in the months ahead.   Maybe some journal orbit analysis too... My code uses the mobility methods of Booker, so - not so accurate anymore as journal tilting and the ensuing mixed mode lubrication regime is now pretty much the standard approach...


Sunday, November 19, 2017

Studebaker Update Coming Soon...

Winter is slowly creeping in and with the busy schedule I've been keeping there's not been a lot of time to post. 

The winter  ice will soon cover the entire lake...

So what about that Studebaker?  Pics to follow!  I'm starting the rebuild of the motor.  This old L-head is pretty simple but there are a few pretty cool design features the engineers at Studebaker evolved during the production run of this engine.  If anybody needs dimensional info on the 3M series blocks - I'd be happy to oblige by measuring my '47. 

I'll post as I go through the re-build, my the goal is to have a running motor by April. Then I'll tackle the transmission and rear differential.


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

I rarely voice an opinion on such things...

But this  juxtaposition was too fantastic to ignore!

Antarctica, Tabular Icebergs.
Antarctica, Tabular Icebergs.
Wolfgang Kaehle—LightRocket/Getty Images

By Justin Worland
April 19, 2017

Antarctica’s ice may melt faster than previously thought as result of a newly discovered network of lakes and streams that destabilize the continent’s ice shelves, according to new research — making them more vulnerable to collapse.
Scientists have long understood that water from melted ice harm ice sheets by flowing into cracks and refreezing, but that phenomenon was thought to be limited to a small part of the continent. Researchers behind a new study published in the journal Nature this week found that the process has been ongoing for decades and actually occurs across the continent including in places where scientists did not think liquid water was commonly found. The pace of the damage will increase as temperatures continue to rise as a result of man-made global warming.

Followed by...

Study bolsters theory of heat source under Antarctica

November 8, 2017 by Carol Rasmussen
Study bolsters theory of heat source under Antarctica
Illustration of flowing water under the Antarctic ice sheet. Blue dots indicate lakes, lines show rivers. Marie Byrd Land is part of the bulging "elbow" leading to the Antarctic Peninsula, left center. Credit: NSF/Zina Deretsky
A new NASA study adds evidence that a geothermal heat source called a mantle plume lies deep below Antarctica's Marie Byrd Land, explaining some of the melting that creates lakes and rivers under the ice sheet. Although the heat source isn't a new or increasing threat to the West Antarctic ice sheet, it may help explain why the ice sheet collapsed rapidly in an earlier era of rapid climate change, and why it is so unstable today.

Remember Lord Kelvin's famous quote about the aeroplane?  He also claimed radio had no future and X-rays were "clearly" a hoax... 


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The beauty of winter has just begun!

I love the change of seasons.  This early snow will not last, but it is beautiful...

Winter is slowly making it's entrance
AML NLO, JRO and SEO AML always!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Snow next week...

This fall has been wonderful.  The colors not as vibrant as they could be, but the warm temperatures have been amazing.  Here's a couple pics of the evening sunset.

The setting sun plays some amazing tricks in this shot

Soon the dock must be pulled out... I'm sad to report that in a few months ice will cover the lake...

Symmetry, colors and calm water on a wonderful fall evening!

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Sam Clemens place in Hartford...

Amazingly, I just walked through the room "Mark Twain" wrote Huck Finn, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Prince and the Pauper.  The old home built in 1874 was his residence for 17 years.  Sadly the house was the place where his daughter eventually died of spinal meningitis... He would leave the house on a World Tour to rescue his finances after poor investments and bankruptcy.

This was one creative neighborhood...

No photography is allowed in the house, but here is a great documentary.

Sam's neighbor was Harriet Beecher Stowe!

This was a Tucker design, and the Clemens family loved the home and the period was Sam's most productive.

The carriage house was home to the Clemen's horse and carriage.

Sam Clemens was an activist who opposed racism, imperialism, and crimes against humanity of any sort.  In his later years he spoke out about injustice and his disappointment in the human condition.   Several of Sam’s works were never published during his lifetime either because magazines would not accept them or because of a personal fear that his reputation would be ruined.


Saturday, October 14, 2017

The jewel of the Blue Ridge

That's what they call Asheville North Carolina.  I've spent a lot of time in the Carolinas and  must say I agree!  If you take the time to get to know the city and its surrounding attractions, one can't help but agree!

The fall colors are starting to peak...

We've had a strange mix of warm weather and rain that somehow turned the often colorful fall into more of a green to no leaves kind of fall...

Hazel was "pointing" leaves, then chasing them as they dropped

There goes another one!

Asheville is home to so many gifted artists.  It is one of my favorite cities in the US.

Yard art anybody?

More about these later...

Does anybody recognize this?  It's a genuine IBM time clock.  Employees are assigned a number along the periphery of the wheel.  An employee moves the handle in the center to their number and pushes a punch which actually spins cylinders and mechanically records your time in and out to the second!

A 1915 Ford Model T... This is a "Copperhead" - so named because of the BRASS radiator...

WOW, a 1940 Packard 120 Coupe!

The '55 Caddy Sedan... This is a series 60 Special.  Elvis Pressley bought one of these!

An American LaFrance fire truck is parked in the foreground.  This Type 20 chain drive rumbled up and down the steep hills of Asheville in the 1920's. The Edsel is a 1959 Corsair,

The dashboard layout of the infamous Edsel

This rather innocuous looking barn is where the cars are kept!

Take a closer look...

How about a rabbit in a chair...

While three more rabbits ride a steam punk unicycle!

Perfect for the golfer in your family...

Two black bears easily knock over a bird feeder in this really detailed broze

Like a bolt of lightening... Be true to yourself!

There's also a great REO Flying Cloud and a '26 Caddilac Limo...

Hope all enjoy the pics.  Got to go!