Simplicity of the Devil

It started with a friend wondering in which song the lyric, “Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints” came from as he reflected on the events of the past week.

Fergusson, MO.  Michael Brown.  At least, that’s what I assume.

As others quickly noted–it came from the Rolling Stones classic, Sympathy for the Devil, which is my favorite song of theirs.

Ever.

What’s really excellent about this song is not only the story it tells, but the sense of ambivalence, danger, and insidiousness that it creates.  It’s the story of Lucifer traveling throughout history, taking part in some of the great tragedies and instances of evil that our species–but also speaking to us directly and warning us to show some respect for the power and danger that he represents.

luciferImportant, however, is the real ambivalence that are found in the lyrics.   Lucifer rides in a tank in the Blitzkrieg and is a general–but he is not leading the Nazis.

He’s almost just along for the ride–to help the destruction along.

Later on he notes that he “shouted out, ‘Who killed the Kennedys?'” but notes that the answer is actually already clear… “When after all, It was you and me.”

This is where the real power of the song comes from–and where the real subversion exists.

Because, in reality, there is no devil.  Lucifer does not exist.

But it’s so much simpler to have a Lucifer.  To have a source of the evil in the world.  To have an overpowering force of evil that is responsible for the carnage, cruelty, and suffering in this world.  To have a “bad man/villain” to point the finger at and to aim our anger and are calls for justice.

But again, there is no devil.  The evil resides within humanity.  It can reside in the systems that we create–whether physical (the Holocaust, Red-lining, Apartheid) or mental.  It can be seen in groups of people or in the actions of an individual.

This doesn’t mean that we are all evil and their is no goodness.  That is obviously–and empirically–not true.

It is also not the case that there are not any “bad men/villains” in the world.  They do exist… and as Jane’s Addiction notes in Pigs in Zen,  “some people should die, that’s just unconscious knowledge….”

What it does mean is that we must always be conscious that the evil in the world is a human thing–and that it requires us to be aware, to be sharp, and to be careful in our thinking and in our actions.

If we are not, if we are lazy, then we bring the devil into the world and we project it onto people, which too often leads to fear, violence, and suffering.

Michael Brown of Fergusson, MO became just such a devil to some.  He was unarmed and even after surrendering, was gunned down by a cop.  Indeed, the Police have subsequently painted him further as the devil by claiming he was a suspect in an armed robbery just before he was encountered by the police by releasing video of the robbery.

But he wasn’t stopped because of the robbery.  In fact, the cop stopping him had no knowledge that he was a suspect at all, it appears.

One final thought to keep in mind is that we need to be careful here to not just simplistically reverse the situation as some appear to want to do.

Some want to make the cop the devil.  To make the entire police force the devil.  To find a simple villain and point the finger at them and make them pay.

But there is no devil.  There is only us.

Just as every cop is a criminal
And all the sinners saints
As heads is tails
Just call me Lucifer
Cause I’m in need of some restraint

Simplicity of the Devil, my friends, simplicity of the devil.

 

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The limits of being undefined

So.. yesterday, something really interesting happened.

Here’s the scenario:

I was working with one of my stepdaughters to help find her books for her first upcoming college semester.  She had signed up for classes and my best half had wanted her to find out what books she would need for her classes, so that we could look them up and try to find less expensive versions online someplace.  My best half had asked me to help her with this project to make sure it got done, and that’s what I did.

books

After a bit of haranguing, I got my stepdaughter to start working on this project, although I could tell that she was reluctant.  Fifteen minutes later, I could hear the silence from the next room–where she was working on it–and I went in to check on her to see if she needed help.

She did.  She had logged into her school account, but wasn’t sure what to do next.  Thus, I worked with her and we eventually found her class schedule.  That–with some helpful googling on my part about how to figure out what books were needed for a class at the school–led us to make some progress on determining which books she would need.   We then went looking on Amazon for the books and eventually figured it out and got some prices for her various books.

Reflecting on my observations, I noticed that the biggest hurdle for her was getting started–and that there seemed almost to be a fear of starting and of not knowing what to do or where to go.

When I related this scenario to my best half on the phone, she knew exactly what her daughter was going through, because the two of them have almost always been clones in terms of their outlooks and abilities.   Specifically, my best half mentioned that she used to be exactly the same way when starting a project that was so undefined.  She would be overwhelmed by the possibilities and think that all of the details and aspects were huge and that it would take forever to get it done.

However, she had learned, over time, that such undefined projects become manageable when you just sit down and start breaking them down into smaller tasks, because she had a much better sense of how long such a small task took to accomplish.  Thus, instead of having a multi-step project with an infinite possible time and resource requirement, she had a concrete and manageable list of steps to knock out (which she does remarkably effectively and efficiently…).

This conversation/observation fascinated me, because I tend to be the opposite when it comes to this kind of exact project.  To me, starting such a project is not a hard thing–and I don’t ever see such undefined projects as overwhelming.  Instead, I start them with gusto, and if there’s a problem I have, it’s with the aspect of finishing the last 10% of them–after I’ve figured out the structure and goals along the way.

The key element that struck me while speaking to my best half was the difference in how our two brains perceived the situation of an “undefined project.”  For her, the lack of definition in the project made it overwhelming at first, because the lack of limits meant that the project grew to infinite size.   It expanded to fill all of reality without limits.

To me, on the other hand, undefined projects were never infinite.  Rather, I perceived them as being equivalent to nothing.  It did not exist yet, so it start off as the null set and then only by working on it and fleshing it out do I start to see how big and large it will become.

Reflecting on this fundamental difference, I could (and will) note that my best half and I test out as exactly opposite on mbti tests–she is (and likely her daughter..) an ESFP and I’m an INTJ–and that she has always been a natural extravert compared to my natural introversion, even if we have both become more balanced and similar to each other over the past 15 years.

In any case, despite all the caveats you can note about mbti, it struck me that these different approaches easily mapped onto one of the basic differences that I’ve noticed between introverts & extraverts, and between Artisans (SxP’s) and Rationals (NT’s).

First, for an extravert, primary reality is the external, objective world outside of our skulls.  This realm is, practically, infinite.  Given this fact, if something is undefined in this area–it is not hard to see that it expands off to to infinity.

In contrast, for an introvert primary reality is the world inside one’s skull.  This space is finite, but it is infinite in possibility, because any and all things can be created, constructed, and destroyed at any second.

Such situations fit the scenario above quite well.

Second, in terms of mbti types, ESFP’s are especially good at executing concrete tasks–they are performers and when they have a clear goal, they can knock that shit out of the park. However, they are not always the strongest at abstractions and at figuring out underlying structures without any guidance–at least such tasks are not natural to them initially.

In contrast again, INTJ’s pretty much specialize at figuring out underlying structures and meanings–and do so quite easily.  However, when it comes to carrying out a long list of concrete tasks, INTJ’s often become bored and/or have a really hard time finishing that last 10% of any project–as they want to get onto a new project already.

Such situations fit the scenario above quite well also.

In the end, I thought this whole scenario was quite interesting.  I do not assume that these latter observations about extraversion and introversion & typeology are hard, firm, and objective facts–but rather see them as a possible interpretation of what has happened–an explanation worth exploring.

And now it’s time to get back to some concrete tasks and (mostly) clean the kitchen.

 

 

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The Virtual Gardens of Social Media

I exist on Facebook. I do not exist on any of the other social media sites (twitter, instagram, snapchat, etc… )—mainly because I have avoided getting a smart phone.

In any case, I find Facebook to be a really useful tool.

I like it.

I find out about various events and I use it as an information feed about various stuff going on in the world. Yes, there can be lots of memes and spam—but I’ve diligently spent time removing such things from my newsfeed—whether that meant hiding particular sources of information or removing particular people from appearing in my feed.

In other words, I weed my feed on a regular basis.

Facebook is, in my view, a kind of virtual garden. It is a place where stuff comes into existence, grows (or doesn’t if people don’t comment and build upon it), and then fades—only to be replaced by new stuff.

cybergarden

It is a virtual environment. It is not reality—not even close. It is clearly a construct, and it is always under the control of a private group who can manipulate it at will (See the latest facebook manipulation of users’ feeds..). Despite all of this—I find myself at home on it, and I will continue to use it as long as it is useful.

Not all of my friends see it that way. I have a number of friends who have left facebook. Some of them did so because of privacy concerns—which are legit. I mean, this useful venn diagram speaks the truth…

privacy1

Others, however, have talked about leaving facebook because of the content of their news feed. They’ve talked about how they don’t like all the negativity and conflict.  And, indeed, if you have certain people on your friends list who are assholes, your feed can become an ongoing list of reasons why to avoid certain humans.

But it doesn’t have to be like that.  Facebook is not reality.  It does not show you what reality is like–it merely shows you how a collection of people want to construct and shape their own reality.

This collection of people form the virtual environment.  But we have the power to shape this environment.  Although we do not have absolute power in shaping it, we do have powerful abilities if we just have the will to use them.

This is why I think of my facebook as a garden.  And my feed is lot like my own garden.

garden

It can be somewhat wild, but it is full of healthy and fruitful interactions.  Sometimes weeds get into it–or their are infections that spread to parts–but careful pruning and the application of smart rules of conduct keep it growing and productive.

This is also partially why I still like my facebook–because it is a garden–and I like working in my garden.

This metaphor–and that’s all it is–does not accurately describe everyone’s interaction with FB, of course, and I make no claims that it does.  All I would say is that FB–like most other social media technologies–is a kind of environment.  It is a space filled with many different subjects and agents pushing their own conscious and unconscious agendas.  Some of these will be in conflict, while others will be in harmony.  For me, it’s important to maintain a certain level of basic structural harmony, even if I let low level conflicts exist within this controlled space.

So–if you are avoiding facebook because you don’t like how the content is–then know that you can change it–but it does require work.   Gardens do not take care of themselves–whether physical or virtual

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20 grams of protein

A post about food again–one that I meant to write about 2 months ago–but didn’t have time to.

This post actually came out of a kind of experiment I did to myself as I decided to eat something new.

In specific, I was at the store buying a bunch of Clif Bars–and I saw that there were these clif “builder” bars with 20gm’s of protein in them.

I’m a protein fan.  When I want to lose weight, I cut out most extraneous carbs and focus mostly on protein and fruits/vegies (there are carbs in there–but mostly “fibrous” carbs that take longer to digest)–and that tends to work with me to slowly lower my weight.  This kind of “dieting” tends to happen every spring (late-ish in spriing)–and this long winter had made my desire to shed some of my body’s previously sensible decisions to create extra insulation so that I didn’t freeze to death even more prominent in my mind.

So I thought–heck–let’s try one of these builder bars.  This is the one I got:

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I like chocolate-mint flavored stuff and I thought it might not be so bad.

Taste-wise–it wasn’t bad–at least not initially.  It was chewy and dense–but I expected as much.  It did tend to leave me with a strange–what I would describe as “chemically”–aftertaste–but that’s common with a lot of food products these days–especially processed ones.

Later, however, I didn’t feel so well.  My body was not particularly happy with me–it just felt off.  Not quite a Mc. Tummy Ache–but something like that..   I’ve come to recognize this feeling–and it usually occurs when I eat something heavily processed.  I’m pretty sure I felt it when I was younger and ate processed foods–but it wasn’t as strong or I just wasn’t paying as much attention.

Now that I’m older–I listen to my body–and it wasn’t that happy.

In contrast, I should note, I have long eaten an equivalent 20 grams of protein for lunch–and that was in the form of a can or sardines in mustard sauce.    This thing….

811xWw2A1iL

I had never had sardines from cans until a couple of summers ago when I was looking for new sources of protein and decided that maybe something like canned tuna would be good.  These sardines were in the same aisle–and so I bought some.

I ended up really liking them and also discovering that sardines are not endangered like other fish species and that the harvest of them is a lot better than in most other cases.

Now–I should note that this is also a kind of processed food, but the processing is different.  It is generally just a combination of a few ingredients and cooking.

Eating sardines also never gave me any kind of weird digestive signal.  It was just food to me.

And I think that’s what I’m getting at here.

My body likes food.  It doesn’t really like “food products,” however.

Looking at the ingredients and nutrition facts of these two different products makes for an interesting comparison:
For the Clif Chocolate Mint Builder Bar:

WMB11_1355_-Builders_CMSo.. 20 gms of protein, 31gms of carbs, 8 gms of fat.  That’s not too bad.

In terms of specific vitamins and minerals: 100% of Vit C, 25% of Calcium, 25% of Iron… all of which is also good.
In terms of the specific scientific nutrients, it looks like something good to eat.

However–when you look at the ingredients.. things change a bit..

Ingredients: Soy Protein Isolate, Beet Juice Concentrate, Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Dried Cane Syrup, Palm Kernel Oil, Unsweetened Chocolate, Organic Rolled Oats, Cocoa, Organic Soy Protein Concentrate, Organic Sunflower Oil, Vegetable Glycerin, Natural Flavors, Organic Almonds, Rice Starch, Cane Syrup, Inulin (Chicory Extract), Cocoa Butter, Organic Flaxseed, Organic Oat Fiber, Soy Lecithin, Salt, Colored with Beet Powder, Carnauba Wax.

Its not that these ingredients are all horrible–in fact, there are a lot of organic ingredients in there.  The fact that they are organic is a good thing.

However–the combination of these things together and the way they are combined–especially the “Soy protein Isolate” and “Soy Protein concentrate,”–this is not how our body evolved to work.

It evolved to eat foods–and foods were usually weird mixtures of compounds and structures—rather than extracts and isolates.

In comparison–here is the nutritional information for my sardines:

sardinesnutrition

It has a similar amount of the main components–namely 21gms of protein, 9gms of fat, but only 5gms of carbs.  Similarly, it has 50% of calcium and 25% of Iron, but only 6% of Vitamin C.

This makes sense in that fish don’t usually contain any vitamin C in them–and the vitamin C that is there is most likely from the mustard sauce added to it.

In terms of the ingredients–they are a lot simpler:

Ingredients:  Sardines, Mustard, Water, Vinegar, Soy Bean Oil, Corn Flour, Turmeric, Salt.

These ingredients are relatively “old” in the sense that you could produce and consume them a thousand years ago–and people did.

In the end–my body seems to consider the sardines to be food–and the Clif Builder Bar to be something else–and that’s why I’m sticking with my sardines.   I don’t begrudge anyone their clif bars–far from it–but I would tell people to listen to their bodies and pay attention to how they feel after eating various things.  We live in an age where there are lots of things that can be purchased and consumed that the human body has never eaten before–and the variety of such things has grown tremendously over the last 30 years—as has the growing, worldwide level of obesity (note–one should be careful of those statistics, however, as they rely upon the BMI index–and that number is not nec. the most accurate way to determine real health-damaging weight levels.. ).

So think about what you eat–but listen to your body when you eat.. as it will probably try to tell you stuff..

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Time and change

Although I tend to be a rather temperamentally conservative/cautious guy by nature (do not mistake this for political conservatism or I’ll eat you alive..), I do appreciate change–and especially the cyclic change in nature contrasted with the conscious progressive change that humans can effect.

IMG_0931

For example–this was our front yard on March 11th of this year.  We had a long winter that was only just beginning to think about leaving us at this point.. but the appearance of something other than whiteness at this stage was remarkably welcome.

In the foreground–off to the right, you can see the three raised garden boxes that I grow food in for my family.  I do this because I’ve discovered I love growing food–and that shouldn’t be that surprising to me–considering that both my mom and my paternal grandfather liked to keep gardens–although theirs were more flower oriented and geared towards victorian styles.

In any case–this is the same spot by May 4th of this year.

IMG_0935

What you can see–beyond the obvious disappearance of the snow (FINALLY)– is that I have fashioned a 4th garden box for food (I needed a separate spot for peppers after the tomatoes totally shaded them out last year..).  In front of those boxes, there was also a rather extensive hole (pictured below) where a half-dead, entirely ugly ground evergreen bush/tangle monstrosity had been removed.

IMG_0936What was not so fun about taking this monstrosity out was that it’s root structure was fairly deeply embedded into the ground and this ground was composed almost entirely of rocks that the previous owners had put in underneath it.

Digging that up was terrible–it took hours and many, many wheelbarrows full of rocks are now in the backyard.

In any case–the front yard had been even further changed up through just yesterday, as seen here:
IMG_0948

As you can see–all of the garden boxes have migrated to their new–hopefully permanent spots on the lawn.  In addition, I’ve tarped off (with super not-playing-around weed barrier tarp..) the space between the boxes and covered it with recycled rubber tiles to make mowing (that hated activity) less bothersome and to improve the accessibility to the boxes.

IMG_0953

In terms of food, I’ve planted pole beans with the zucchini in the top right, then tomatoes, cucumbers (with trellises to climb), borage, and a few peppers at bottom right.  In the top left, I’ve planted mostly tomatoes, some basil,some borage, and a leftover pepper, while in the bottom left, it’s entirely hot peppers (Jalepeno, Serrano, Hot Banana, Fajita, and a Carolina Reaper) with oregano interspersed amongst them.

All of this endeavor took some time–and it entails (as seen below) some reseeding of grass where two of the garden boxes used to be located.

IMG_0954

Change. A lot of it.

Some of it through no work of my own, but a lot of it through conscious effort.  This is what it can create and build.

This is also where I find my happiness… working in the world and making it better for my family and friends.

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Three months of my life…

It’s been nearly 3 months since my last post–but there are reasons.  Any reader of this blog will note the rather seasonal and sporadic nature of my posts.

A brief analysis with a look at the calendar might lead one to suspect that I was a teacher of some kind–as I tend to disappear late in what would be American Semesters.

Such is the case.

However–such time is well spent–as every semester I learn much.  My day job is spent teaching engineers how to write, present, and generally how to think.   This entails forcing them to do an extended technical research project on a subject of their choosing (with guidance and selective vetoing by me..).

The results of this past semester were, with but a few exceptions, rather solid.  I will list the topics below from my 65 students.  Looking through them, you’ll see that they range over a wide variety of topics–which makes evaluating them both a tad stressful, but also rewarding.
borg
It also lets my true self (pictured to the right) assimilate a new semester’s worth of technological development as researched and reported by my new crop of minions—er.. students.   It is, actually, fascinating to see what they come up with and to watch the steady progression of certain kinds of technologies–to see what used to be considered “totally not ready” become utterly commonplace, while other technologies that seemed like they were gonna become the next big thing–fade away.

Without any further ado, this is where I’ve been for the past 3 months:

1. Analysis of Light Scattering Techniques in Thin-Film Solar Cells: A Comparisonn of Spherical Metallic Nanoparticles and Textured Substrates

2. Analysis of Biomaterials Used in Tissue Engineered Skin

3. A Comparison between ODM and AE Analysis for Wind Turbine Gearbox Early Defect Detection

4. An Analysis of Multimodal Sensor-Networked In-Home Healthcare Systems

5. Electro-chromic Windows: Solving the Flaws of Slow Response Time to Changing Outdoor and Indoor Conditions and Poor Visual Clarity

6. Graphene as a Potential Alternative to Reverse Osmosis Membrane Filtration

7. An Analysis of Graphene Electrode for Fully Flexible and Transparent Piezoelectric Zinc Oxide Nanogenerators.

8. Passive vs. Active Safety Systems in Nuclear Power Plants

9. Organic Light Emitting Diodes Manufacturing Techniques for Mass Production: A comparison of Vacuum Thermal Evaporation, Organic Vapor Phase Deposition, and Inkjet Printing

10. A Comparison of the Effectiveness of Two Triage Methods to Decrease the Wait Time in Hospital Emergency Departments.

11. A Recommendation for Implementing a Human Factors Application in the Automotive Industry: An Analysis of Employee Cost Benefits and the Comparison between Lifts and Pulleys..

12. An Evaluation of Differing Void Shapes Used in Biaxial Hollow Concrete Slabs

13. Corrosion Mitigation in Molten Salt Nuclear Reactors–Recommendations for the Focus of Continuing Research

14. An Analysis of the Cognitive Human-Robot Interaction of the Exoskeleton Robot in Rehabilitation

15. A Recommendation for Rigid Fixation of Soft Tissue Grafts in ACL Reconstruction: A Comparative Analysis..

16. An Analysis of Recycling Polymers Through Dissolution and Mechanical Recycling

17. An Analysis on Effective, Non-invasive Diagnostic Methods for Chronic Exertional Compartment Syndrome (CECS)

18. Attenuation of Cancer Metastasis: Using CAM Inhibitors to Artificially Alter Cellular Adhesion

19. Use of Pedicle Screws in posterior Lumbar Interbody Fusion: Adjusting Screw Characteristics to Increase Spinal Fusion Rate and Decrease Fixation-Related Complications

20.A Recommendation for Polychlorinated Biphenyl (PCB) Remediation: An Analysis between using Landfills and Bioremediation to Remove PCBs from the Environment.

21. A Recommendation for the Mitigation of Inset Residue: An Analytical Comparison between Chemical Coatings, Krueger Flaps, and TKS Systems

22. Mitigating Memory Bottlenecks in Mobile System Architectures

23. Quick Detection Methods for Carbapenem Resistant Enterobacteriaceae: A Comparison of Real-Time PCR, MALDI-TOF MS, and Carba NP

24. A Recommendation of a Technique to Minimize Blood Loss during Arthroplasty Surgeries

25. An Analysis of Current Aviation Training Policy and Licensure Requirements on Pilot’s Weather-RElated Decision Making Skills

26. Variable Speed Limits to Reduce Freeway Congestion: An Analysis of Three Case Studies to Propose the Optimal VSL Implementation Strategies for U.S. Freeways

27. The Financial Barriers of Implementing Electronic Health Records in Primary Care Practices in the United States

28. A Recommendation of Taillight Following Techniques used in Low Light Conditions by Autonomous Cars

29. A Recommendation for Long Bone Femur Analogous Materials for the Validation of Human and Animal Bone Tissue Mechanical Testing: An Analytical Comparison between the use of Polyurethane Foams and Fiber-reinforced Epoxies.

30. Alternatives for Toxic and Scarce Materials in Traditional Solar Cells: A Comparison between Copper Zinc Tin Sulphide, Quaternary I-III-IV2-V4 Phosphide, and Dye-sensitized Solar Cells

31. Conditions for Maximizing Pollutant Removal in Bioswales During the Conveyance of Stormwater Runoff in Small Urban Watersheds

32. Improving Capacity Constraints using Variable message Signs: A Comparison between Variable Speed Limits and Dynamic Route Guidance

33. An Analysis of Sulfur Removal Techniques for Coal-Fired Power Plant

34. Mitigating Side-Channel Attacks in Asymmetric Encryption Systems

35. Hydraulic Fracturing Wastewater Treatment Procedures for Total Dissolved Solids

36. Feasibility of Using Crumb Rubber in Extensive Green Roof Substrate Layers

37. Energy Consumption Reduction Methods of Sea Water Reverse Osmosis Desalination

38. Analysis of Low Cost Model-Based Eye Gaze Systems as an Effective form of Alternative Communication for Physically Disabled People

39. Battery Safety Improvements for Electric Vehicles: Analysis of Lithium-ion Battery Safety Challenges in electric Vehicle Collisions

40. A Recommendation for Anaerobic Digestion of Thin Stillage for Ethanol Production

41. Modifying Turbine Spacing and Array Geometry in the Optimization of Tidal Power Plants

42. Resolving the Uncertainty of Receiving Annual Mammograms: A Comparison between the United Kingdom Ae Trial and the National Canadian Breast Screening Study.

43. Suitability and Characteristic Evaluation of Major Type High-speed Internal permanent Magnet Synchronous Machines for Electric Vehicle Applications

44. Water-Free Dust Cleaning Techniques for Desert Photovoltaic Solar Power Arrays

45. Recommendation for Ergonomic Haptic Gloves for Virtual Environment Manipulation

46. A Recommendation for Illumination Invariance for Facial Recognition in Surveillance Cameras: An Analytical Comparison between Preprocessing, Infrared Re-illumination, and Illumination Invariant Feature Extraction

47. Cost Barriers to Implementation of Electronic health Records for Primary Care Physicians and Recommendations to Address Them

48. An Analysis of the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) of Linux Platform on the Server Side

49. A Recommendation for Roundabout Modification due to Bicycle Safety: A Comparison between Integrated and Separated Bicycle Placement

50. Research into the Current Limitations of Metal Hydride Storage Systems in Light-duty Vehicle Applications

51. Research on Light Duty Diesel Engines and Nitrous Oxide Exhaust after-treatment Methods in the Passenger Vehicle Market

52. An Analysis of Techniques to Reduce Retained Foreign Objects After Surgery

53. An Analysis of Power Minimization for Location-based Services in Mobile Phones

54. Analysis of Free Air Cooling to Reduce Data Center Energy Consumption

55. Viability of Carbon Fiber in the Automotive Industry to Increase Fuel Efficiency: A Comparison Between Renewable and Recyclable Precursors

56. Research on the prevention of fire in NYC tunnels through their ventilation systems

57. Lowering Operating Temperatures in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells for Possible Implementation in micro Combined Heating Processess

58. A Recommendation for an Alternative Thermal Barrier Coating for Advanced Gas Turbine Applications

59. RFID Technology in Healthcare: Security Risks and Solutions

60. A Recommendation for Active Noise Reduction Headsets for Flight Applications in the Military: An Analytical Comparison of Feedforward and Feedback Control Systems for Improved Communication and Noise Reduction]

61. Advanced Methods of Regeneration of Spent Pickling Solutions from Steel Processing: A Comparison between Membrane Distillation and Diffusion Dialysis

62. Neutron Irradiation Reduction through Comparison of Shielding Materials for the Traveling Wave Reactor

63. Comparison of Compressed Air And Pumped Hydro Energy Storage Methods for Grid Stabilization of Photovoltaic Intermittency

64. A Recommendation for an Implantable Treatment Option for Sensorineural Hearing Loss: A Comparison between Cochlear Implants, Esteem brand Middle Ear Implants, and Bone-Conducted Ultrasound Hearing Aids

65. Comparison of the Tokamak and Stellarator as First Generation Fusion Power Devices

—————–
Hopefully more posts will follow this one shortly.. but I wanted to get the ball rolling again..

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Winterdämmerung 2014

The Twilight of the Winter has finally arrived here in Wisconsin.  It has been a long winter, and a cold one at that.  Unlike the rest of the world that has been enduring a hotter than average winter….as seen below…

landoceanjan2014

.. we here in the midwest and eastern US have been party to the literal visitation of the North Pole to our area on at least three separate occasions–go look up polar vortex –when it decided to migrate down from Baffin island to come visit us.

Anyway.. this shit appears to be done in any serious sense.  Yes, it snowed this morning–but it’s now sunny and tomorrow will be above freezing again and it looks to stay there.

The Twilight of the Winter has begun.

Visually, the results can be seen in the ongoing melt that has commenced–something that was notoriously absent for the 3 solid months of temperatures not even close to the freezing point. Here is the front of our house… to the left…

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and to the right….

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Note the patches of greenery and darkness on the ground.

This is amazing stuff when you’ve only seen whiteness for nearly 100 days.

Although Spring has not yet arrived, Winter is receding.. and we have survived it.

If just barely…

 

 

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