Archive for the ‘Everyday Science’ Category

Auto Air

My apologies in advance if you’ve never had the privilege to ride in a car with a sun roof at a high rate of speed. If you’ve been this fortunate, perhaps, because sun roofs can be quite noisy when traveling at high rates of speed, you’ve been in such a car during which the sun […]

Oven Redux

Now that I had established the mis-calibration of my oven, I wanted to characterize it so that I can dial it in to achieve a desired temperature.  I know that it’s easier to raise the temperature than to wait for the temperature to dissipate, so my plan was to start at a low temperature (200 […]

Oven Diagnostics

I’ve got a new place with a new oven that has been consistently over-cooking my food.  I could call the super, or turn the oven down or cook everything for less time, but none of that gives me an excuse to bust out my Arduino.  Fortunately, I already had a (K-type) thermocouple and MAX6675 amplifier […]

Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Just a quick reminder and refresher (though it’s a few days late)… The vernal equinox just passed, which means, not only does everyone in the northern hemisphere have at least 12 hours of daylight, but the days are getting longer faster than at any other time of the year. Combined with Daylight Savings Time, that […]

Piano Strings

There’s nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself Johann Sebastian Bach I found myself recently staring down into a baby grand piano recently, and for the first time I considered the motivation for its exterior curves.  Noting the varying […]

Vanishing Head

I don’t know if you’ve ever played the game where you hold an outstretched hand and pretend to squeeze people and objects in the distance between your thumb and forefinger.  Well, there’s another way you can make-believe cause someone’s head to disappear.  Now I don’t really want to be the type of blog that just […]

Aerodynamics Meets Art

I love when art and physics demonstrations collide! When I was in Paris recently, I stayed very close to the Pompidou and was fortunate enough to see this “kinetic sculpture” titled “Flux” by Zilvinas Kempinas.  Basically, by pointing a fan down at table, he is able to suspend a loop of magnetic tape pretty much […]

Temperature at Altitude

I recently partook in some international travel, which is also not a small reason why there hasn’t been a post in a while.  Curious thing about the rest of the world: they tend to uniformly use a system of units that’s widely regarded as superior to the set we use in the U.S. of A, […]


I am so mad right now.  I was pointed to this website by someone who knows I like my coffee less than scalding: I am not mad at Dave or Dave, but at myself.  I’m an engineer.  I hate “too hot” coffee and am not enthralled by cold coffee.  I know about thermodynamics.  And […]

Time Keeps on Slipping into the Future

Summer’s end is drawing near, and that always leaves me a little bummed out.  It’s not the temperatures I fear, it’s the waning daylight that really irks me.  Obviously, at higher latitudes, summer days are quite long, but in an example of conservation of daylight, I guess, you pay for it with very short winter […]