Posted by timothyon Sunday January 11, 2015 @12:09PM from the economy-rate dept.
hypnosec writes NASA's New Horizons is bringing with it the ashes of Clyde Tombaugh – its discoverer – as it cruises towards the now dwarf-planet or 'plutoid'. The probe will be close enough on January 15 to start observing Pluto. Clyde Tombaugh discovered the ice and rock-laden Pluto in 1930 and one of his final requests was that his ashes be sent into space. Tombaugh died on January 17, 1997. Fulfilling that wish NASA has fitted the upper deck of New Horizons probe with a small container containing Tombaugh's ashes alongside a total of 7 scientific instruments. "Interned herein are remains of American Clyde W. Tombaugh, discoverer of Pluto and the solar system's 'third zone'", reads the inscription on the container.
Some of us (me, for instance) know just enough about science to understand that (following is my assertion) the results set out by principle researchers of studies are often 1) wrong, 2) ill-conditioned, and 3) (at best) misleading. I agree with a statement made in a health news article, "There’s lots of evidence that demonstrates that industry involvement can skew the direction of research, it can skew the research questions that are asked, and researchers follow the money...."
If you are interest, the particular study in the health news article concerns chocolate and its "health benefits".
Health-enhancing flavanols that end up on the shelf will likely appear in form other than chocolate
By Kelly Crowe, CBC News Posted: Jan 05, 2015 10:00 AM ET Last Updated: Jan 05, 2015 10:01 PM ET
When the New York Times ran this headline last fall, "To improve a memory, consider chocolate," it quickly became one of the newspaper’s "most emailed" stories. Other news outlets rushed to match the story.
My assignment desk perked up and sent me the clipping with the question "interesting?" And it was interesting, but not for the reasons most news editors hope.
It was interesting because the study was not about chocolate at all. That’s because chocolate contains almost none of the compound that the researchers are studying.
It’s an irony that lies at the heart of a major international scientific effort to find something healthy in the cocoa bean, an effort largely sponsored by the chocolate industry.
I recommend that you go to the article (following the headline link) if you really care about the subject. My only interest is that the chocolate debate is so akin to many debates that are bandied about by our Western world (at least) populace and politicians.
Can’t see circle 1: High agression, proneness to conflict, the recommendation is to add more physical excercise and cold showers.
Can’t see circle 2: Possible low than average intellectual abilities, can’t serve with sophisticated equipment.
Can’t see circle 3: Possible debauchery, soldier should get increased daily ration, should get more physical activity tasks, should not be connected to food supplies, etc.
Can’t see circle 4: Possible inclination to violence, can be assigend as a leader to his unit, as he can preserve discipline.
Can’t see circle 5: Possible latent homosexuality. Can be light uncontrolled accesses of attraction to the same sex.
Can’t see circle 6: Possible schizophreanic tendency. Required additional inspection.
Every soldier should be tested before assignment, according to the order #2299.”
Well, who are you going to believe - the posting or me? I can't be the only one who remembers the above test as being one applied in the USA, at least, to test for color-blindness. I think someone just wished to have a bit of fun with his/her readers!
The first time I took that test, during a 1st Class Medical Exam to get a medical certificate for flying, I about freaked out the flight surgeon who administered the test - by missing one of the six circles. Most color-blindness is linked to the Y-chromosome (of which I have none of my own!) The flight surgeon in Seattle, 1966, was the first to administer the test on me. My flight surgeon in Wichita, 1964, had not bothered. It was probably #2 that I missed then. At least, just now, I had difficulty deciphering it! (Prior to having cataract surgery 4.5 years ago, I probably wouldn't have been able to decipher any of them.)
P.S. In the background of the first and second photos of the above "re-Tweet", you may see some of the buildings on the campus of the Little Airplane Company from which I retired nearly 11 years ago. The building that housed my office is off-camera to the left. When I walked to some of the other buildings, I really got my steps in!
P.P.S. If you'll share you ID of the four aircraft, I'll share mine!
Addition of 1/6/2015:
P.P.P.S. This photo shows the Dreamliner more-or-less nose-on. I found it on WikiMedia.
Description I took this photo while biking near Anchorage International Airport on a nice weekend morning in September 2011. Date 19 September 2011, 12:43 Source Nose on view of an Atlas Air Dreamlifter modified 747 at ANC Uploaded by russavia Author Frank Kovalchek from Anchorage, Alaska, USA
(One last) Addition of 1/6/2015:
P.P.P.P.S. Apropos Ingineer's comment, this photo (below) shows the Antonov AN-225. I found the photo at English Russia. After the photo of the aircraft, I'll post a comparison chart that the site contains.
The Antonov An-225 Mriya is a strategic airlift cargo aircraft designed by the Antonov Design Bureau in the 1980s. It is the world’s heaviest aircraft. The design, built in order to transport the Buran orbiter, was an enlargement of the successful Antonov An-124. The An-225’s name, Mriya means “Dream” (Inspiration) in Ukrainian.
Note: Only one was built due to the economic collapse of the Soviet Union.
Disposition: What one does with a part that does not meet specifications. In some cases, the part can be re-worked/repaired/modified. In other cases, the part must be scrapped. For the latter case, you may download some light, after-dinner reading if you care to: Download Best Practice - Disposition of Unsalvageable Airacrft Parts Rev 1. What brings this to mind is a small snippet of an article that appears in today's Wichita Eagle newspaper.
Boeing said it is still assessing the extent of the damage to six 737 narrowbody jet fuselages resulting from Thursday’s train derailment near Rivulet, Mont.
Investigators from Boeing and Spirit AeroSystems are examining the wreckage.
The complete fuselages were built by Spirit in Wichita, Kan., and were en route to the Boeing final-assembly plant in Renton.
Company spokesman Doug Alder said Boeing won’t decide what to do with the fuselages — how best to retrieve them and whether they can be repaired or need to be scrapped — until the damage assessment is complete.
An email discussion of what would happen to (disposition of) the fuselages took place among those of us who are aerospace nuts, which discussion I don't recall precisely and which I did not save. When asked what I thought would be the dispositioning of the 737 fuselages, I was pretty certain that they would be scrapped*.
– Spirit AeroSystems CEO Larry Lawson when asked at Rotary on Monday whether the 737 fuselages involved in a July train derailment would ever fly
Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/news/business/biz-columns-blogs/carrie-rengers/article5341962.html#storylink=cpy
* I recall telling someone (perhaps in a comment on someone else's blog or in an email) that, as an aircraft structures engineer I was once assigned to lead a team of investigators into the condition of a complete, new biz jet that had not been chocked before the technicians did an engine run-up. The jet had run into/up over concrete stantions, and further damaged when being removed from those concrete stantions that acted as a jet blast fence for aircraft facing the other way. ("They" failed to lift the aircraft at the points they were told to lift!) My recommendation to the VP of engineering was that we scrap the aircraft. This was difficult to do because the aircraft was to have been delivered to a good customer within a couple of weeks, and there were only two more of that model still being built - there were no "extras" with which the damaged aircraft could be replaced. (The company scrapped the plane, recovering $3M of the $7M aircraft price from insurance. The customer was given a sweet deal on a different model.)
One hundred years ago, and again some years later, I worked for The Big Bomber Store (TBBS - see Terms Used by Cop Car). At both times, I was surrounded by 100s of my closest work pals - without partitian of any sort. Telephone sets were at a premium. One set was shared among two to four workers - and - one or two phone numbers were assigned to the whole group in which I worked, meaning that if the phone rang, there was a 1 in 50 or 1 in 20 chance that it was for any one person. Usually, the lowest ranking person in the group (invariably a woman and, in the former instance, me!) had the privilege of answering the ringing phone and pressing a buzzer to alert the workers at the appropriate telephone set that one of them should pick up the handset.
Furnishings: Each worker had one desk, one chair, and a 24-to-30-inch high bookcase that contained two shelves. In addition, each person might have a 2-page/day flip-over calender - if they let it be known in December that they wished to have one for the coming year. We were provided pencils and erasers and, if our jobs required it, a mechanical or electro-mechanical calculator and/or a stack of "in" baskets; but, we were expected to bring our own slide rules, drawing gear, and such.
As I noted above, we were each a part of a sea of desks. Now, a posting on Slashdot.orgsays that was a bad thing.
Posted by Soulskillon Tuesday December 30, 2014 @10:03PM from the not-literally dept.
HughPickens.com writes: Lindsey Kaufman reports in the WaPo that despite its obvious problems, the open-office model has continued to encroach on workers across the country, with about 70 percent of U.S. offices having no or low partitions. Silicon Valley has led the way — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg enlisted famed architect Frank Gehry to design the largest open floor plan in the world, housing nearly 3,000 engineers within a single room that stretches 10 acres. Michael Bloomberg was another early adopter of the open-space trend, saying it promoted transparency and fairness. Bosses love the ability to keep a closer eye on their employees, ensuring clandestine porn-watching, constant social media-browsing and unlimited personal cellphone use isn't occupying billing hours. But according to Kaufman, employers are getting a false sense of improved productivity. A 2013 study showed many workers in open offices are frustrated by distractions that lead to poorer work performance. Nearly half of the surveyed workers in open offices said the lack of sound privacy was a significant problem, and more than 30 percent complained about the lack of visual privacy. The New Yorker, in a review of research on this nouveau workplace design, determined that the benefits in building camaraderie simply mask the negative effects on work performance. While employees feel like they're part of a laid-back, innovative enterprise, the environment ultimately damages workers' attention spans, productivity, creative thinking, and satisfaction says Kaufman. "Though multitasking millennials seem to be more open to distraction as a workplace norm, the wholehearted embrace of open offices may be ingraining a cycle of underperformance in their generation," writes Maria Konnikova. "They enjoy, build, and proselytize for open offices, but may also suffer the most from them in the long run."
Personally, for the type of work that we were doing, I thought the "sea of desks/drawing tables" worked well. People worked quietly, for the most part; but, if there was anything going on, each of us had the opportunity to pick up information from conversations going on around us. Perhaps it doesn't work well for younger generations who have been bred to have split-second attention spans.
Something else that Bev* Hodges, Chief Engineer, had right was that when we went home at night, nothing was to be left atop our desks and/or bookcases (drafters were allowed to cover their drawing tables with roll-across oilcloth covering, leaving their in-progress drawings taped to the table.) "In" baskets and calendars were left in the seats of our chairs, at night. Most phones were on a 360-degree-swing support, mounted to the side of one desk in a group of 2 to 4 desks. Telephones not so mounted might also be put in the seat of one's chair.
P.S. I should let you know that TBBS did not house the largest sea of desks in which I ever worked. All of the aerospace engineering spaces in which I worked (or that I visited) had the same type of layout. Only when working for the Little Engineering Company did most of the engineers work one-to-four-to-the office. (Fortunately, with that company, I always ranked highly enough to rate a private office. At the Little Airplane Company, I did rate a private office once I made it into management. I fought it at the time I was first promoted into management feeling that I would lose too much valuable information by being segregated; but, my boss was adamant. By the time I had made it to the Executive Payroll, I had become accustomed to not knowing what the Hell was going on! ; )
The strange little bird (SLB) is undoubtedly a semi-leucastic house finch. The un-strange little bird is, indeed, a female house finch. The SLB has come to our feeders several times this afternoon. I seem to recall that, a couple of months ago, we had a female (or immature male) house finch that sported white patches on its cheeks. I suspect this is the same bird; but, I've no clue where it's been hiding, lately. I'm anxious to see if the SLB sticks around.
Aside: Evening-before-last, as our family were leaving the house, one female house finch (perhaps, even, the one in the photo?) flew down from the old nesting site near the ceiling of the front porch - into the house. It flew from perch-to-perch in the dining room and living room for about one minute. I turned off all of the interior lights and one of our guests enclosed the finch between her hands while it was perched on a wall sconce. It was happy to fly away, outdoors.
Addition of 1/2/2015:
This bit (below) isn't worth a separate posting; but, I just knew that my blog friends would wish to know. From Slashdot.org:
Posted by samzenpuson Friday January 02, 2015 @05:10AM from the how-dry-I-am dept.
An anonymous reader sends word of researchers getting zebra finches drunk for science. "In the latest example of strange science, researchers at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland got some finches drunk and watched what happened. Their main finding? Like drunk humans, boozed-up birds slur their 'speech.' For the study, the researchers gave grape juice to one group of zebra finches and an alcoholic juice cocktail to another group. The cocktail-quaffing finches became somewhat inebriated, with blood alcohol levels of 0.05 percent to 0.08 percent, according to NPR. 'At first we were thinking that they wouldn't drink on their own because, you know, a lot of animals just won't touch the stuff,' Christopher Olson, a researcher at the university, told NPR. 'But they seem to tolerate it pretty well and be somewhat willing to consume it.'"
If there is anyone who doesn't know it: Wichita Mid-Continent Airport is about 15 miles from us, as the crow flies. I probably would not have noted the tweet had not Stu previously distributed the link to a video of five Airbus 320is flying formation. At least one of the five was in Qatar livery.
P.S. I hope that Stu won't mind my sharing the video with you. (He has not posted it on his own blog, yet - at least, not on the blog that he keeps in English.)
Ronni Bennett posts daily; but, sets aside Saturday postings for assorted items suggested by her readers. Yesterday's posting included a link to an article in The Atlantic. The article, in turn, provides a link to a quiz that evaluates how much one knows, or can guess, about (international) idioms. Very surprisingly, I scored seven out of 11! I'd rather be lucky than good, as Hunky Husband always tells me.
This is how The Atlantic leads into the subject:
An idiom is, by one definition, "an expression whose meaning cannot be inferred from the meaning of its parts." Or, as Jag Bhalla, author of I'm Not Hanging Noodles on Your Ears, described them in the book, idioms are "cryptic little word puzzles" or even "fossilized metaphors"—preserved figurative expressions that have outlasted their original context. One example: "To pull out all the stops" now refers to making "every possible effort," even though few people who do so are playing an organ with its "stops" out to activate all the pipes, as Bach reportedly did in helping give the phrase its original meaning.
Since I have spent the last week or two attending farewell events for people who are retiring, I'll let my posting for the day go with that!