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...