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OldChemE last won the day on October 14 2019

OldChemE had the most liked content!

About OldChemE

  • Birthday 07/13/1946

Profile Information

  • Location
    High desert Nevada USA
  • Interests
    All things science, golf, tutoring grandchildren, developing cartridge designs for old rifles (experimenting with various types of gun powder, various bullet designs, various ballistic results, target shooting), working with my hands (wood/metal).
  • College Major/Degree
    BsChe, MSNuclear
  • Favorite Area of Science
    Physical Sciences
  • Biography
    38 years engineering, 10 years teaching (Math & Science) I'm not much of a debate person. I have confidence in myself (worts and all) so I tend to state my position on a topic and move on. Peer approval isn't high on my needs list.
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  1. The bells and whistles are a consumer expectation maybe?? I am reminded of 2001 when I bought a b rand new 2001 Camaro for only $16,000. For some reason the factory built a model with no bells and whistles. Nice 5 speed manual transmission, 3.8 liter high output V6 that could go like ____ (0-70 mph and still only in third gear). But, no remote locks (manual only), manual windows, only a cassette tape radio, manual antenna, manual adjusting seats. It was just sitting on the lot because nobody wanted to buy it.
  2. To some extent I would classify religion under the heading of Philosophy as well. It brings to mind when, after retiring from Engineering, I taught Science at a small Christian High School. There were two factions in the school-- one (including me) who wanted the students taught using secular science books, and another wanting to teach "Science" using religious "science" books from Bob Jones University. After much debate the school board of directors decided to use University of California approved secular books. Their reasoning was that Science should teach the students how the world works, and Religion classes (philosophy?) should focus on the moral issues-- including the rights and wrongs of the application of science. Going beyond religion, I believe the role of philosophy includes looking at the implications of science. I would even go so far as to argue that Science Fiction frequently becomes philosophy, as when authors postulate a scientific development and then examine its effects on society via the story.
  3. There is some genetic effect. The following is from my own genetic report on the site "23andme": "Our muscles are made up of two main types of fibers, called slow-twitch and fast-twitch. Fast-twitch fibers allow rapid, forceful muscle contraction — the sort of contraction required for sprinting. Slow-twitch fibers contract more slowly, but they also tire less easily. Endurance athletes tend to have more slow-twitch fibers, while power athletes (including sprinters, throwers, and jumpers) tend to have more fast-twitch fibers — a difference that may reflect both their genetics and their training habits." My genetics favor slow-twitch--and, while I am a horrible sprinter, in my youth I was a competitive long distance runner. Obviously there is more to this than genetics (training etc).
  4. I would say there is no correlation. Conscientous people may appear to like their work because they work diligently and complete all assignments-- but that may simply be a consequence of the drive to do things right. I can recall many occasions in my work life when I tried very hard to do things right just to get them off my plate without damaging my reputation.
  5. Why I do science? Several commented on the satisfaction of curiosity-- but I would go beyond that. First off-- I rarely do pure science, in the sense that I rarely do controlled experiments to confirm or falsify a hypothesis. But-- I would find it very difficult to live my life without doing applied science. Researching and using knowledge developed through science is a daily activity. When measurements of earth movements published in 1988 showed the huge strain in the California faults, I packed up especially fragile items in my home prior to the 1989 earthquake, and had no damage to my home's contents. When observations of the Jet Stream in 2012 showed the increasing amplitude and implications of instability I began to think about how that might affect weather patterns and moisture carryover past the Sierra's into northern Nevada where I live. Somewhat more bizarre (to some, perhaps) I have a hobby of developing target ammunition for old firearms. When I was gifted a small supply of a type of smokeless powder of a type I had no data for, I turned to the national gunpowder forensic database to learn the chemical characteristics in order to identify chemically equivalent gun powders for which I did have the necessary data. Utilizing knowledge developed through science is, for some of us, a way of life as natural as breathing.
  6. Except perhaps for cold fusion and homosexuality, these are not Science-- they are applications of science coupled with engineering, management, and in some cases marketing decisions. It is the applications of science (among other things), sometimes poorly conceived, that lead to disasters. Science not applied generally does not hurt anybody. As for homosexuality, It is merely one facet of the normal range of human behaviors. Not my thing but I don't think it needs a cure.
  7. What's missing from this discussion to some extent is the unique aspect of humans: A high level of intelligence coupled with the instinctive biological drives. This creates a situation where there are three driving forces that can conflict: (1) The instinctive drive to reproduce that pretty much all living things share, (2) The intellectual attraction some people develop that seems unique to intelligent species, and (3) The societal standards unique to individual cultures. This makes it difficult to generalize.
  8. Philosophically, I think it is a matter of national boundaries. That is, until mankind reached the point of identifying as part of a governmental unit, there was little basis for ownership, except, of course, ownership by force. Once a group of people become part of a governmental unit, the land claimed by that governmental unit (i.e. national boundaries) becomes subject to the laws of the region and that inevitably leads to rights regarding who can live where and also conditions regarding land ownership.
  9. We have both cats and dogs-- very different. There is a study of cat and dog behavior that suggests that cats seem aloof because they do not understand social behavior as well as dogs. Details here: https://www.bbc.com/future/article/20210318-why-cats-wont-punish-a-stranger-who-harms-you
  10. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fahrenheit The Fahrenheit scale (/ˈfɑːrənhaɪt/ or /ˈfɛrənhaɪt/) is a temperature scale based on one proposed in 1724 by the physicist Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (1686–1736).[1][2] It uses the degree Fahrenheit (symbol: °F) as the unit. Several accounts of how he originally defined his scale exist, but the original paper suggests the lower defining point, 0 °F, was established as the freezing temperature of a solution of brine made from a mixture of water, ice, and ammonium chloride (a salt).[3][4] The other limit established was his best estimate of the average human body temperature (set at 96 °F; about 2.6 °F less than the modern value due to a later redefinition of the scale).[3] However, he noted a middle point of 32 °F, to be set to the temperature of ice water. Fahrenheit was born in Danzig (in the Polish-Lituanian Commonwealth) This is one, at least, that cannot be blamed on the oddity of English and USA measurements
  11. The original proposition is too poorly defined. Would heart stoppage be bodily death? How long must human consciousness survive to qualify? I had an elderly friend years ago who died at a square dance. His hear stopped while he was talking to friends. He felt his heart stop, got a puzzled look on his face, then then fainted. It certainly appeared that his consciousness survived death by a second or two. But, of course, it depends on how you define "bodily death."
  12. Having taught math successfully in Junior High and High school I though I would have a lot of great examples for you-- but on further reflection realized my best ones were not something that could be generalized. I had the greatest success when I could connect the math lesson to the students' experiences. For example, in my rural area the vast majority of the students have experience with guns and many also have reloaders in their families (people who make their own ammunition). When I first tried to teach statistics I got blank looks from many students, So that weekend I took my test equipment out to the rifle range and measured velocities of 10 rounds of ammo I had built. On Monday I put the data up on the screen and asked the students if the load I had developed was consistent enough for hunting. This lead to a successful lengthy discussion and the development of the idea of mean and standard deviation. The lesson I learned and applied from then on is this: The goal is not so much to make the students think differently, but rather to create a use for the math knowledge in a way that connects to their experiences. I can think back to lots of examples of good teaching tricks, but realize they are were specific to a certain student or group of students. Not much help to what you want.
  13. Sorry I'm slow replying (away for awhile). Fundamentally, Switzerland went with the nuclear option because they had not significant sources of fossil fuels in the country-- they were importing what they needed. Nuclear gave them a degree of energy independence. That, however, was almost 20 years ago, and I have not kept track of how things may have changed since I left the country to return to the United States.
  14. Its not clear that your original premise is true. While menial jobs in many industries have become automated, many service-oriented jobs have been created. Service jobs also contribute to society and are part of the gross national product.
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