Category Archives: Uncategorized

The Texas Stream Team

My participation on the Irving Green Advisory Board has made me aware of how little I know about the environmental aspects and activities of Irving, Texas. To remedy this, I’m taking advantage of every opportunity to get involved in local activities. Continue reading…

Posted in Community, Environment, General Interest, Measurement, Nature Study, Observation, Projects, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Citizen Science Musings: The Scientific Art of Roger Hayward

Part of that story involves one of the lesser-known characters in that story, an extremely gifted artist and amateur scientist named Roger Hayward. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Citizen Science Musings, DIY, General Interest, History of Science, Invention, Machine Shop, Makers and Making, Physics, Publishing, Stories, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

COMSOL Conference Bypasses Paywall Publishing

conferencecomsol

Instantly browse over 700 papers, posters, and presentations on multiphysics simulation. This brand new multiphysics resource contains ground-breaking applications from research, engineering, and industry. Continue reading…

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Citizen Science Musings: Amateurs and Astronomy

Addressing the Peninsula Astronomical Society at Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, CA.

The bottom line of my presentation was that this column began as an amateur astronomy column in 1928, and remained so for the next 24 years. During that time, it was the go-to place for new innovations in mirror grinding, telescope mounts, and all the thousands of details that lie along the way. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Astronomy, Citizen Science Musings, Community, DIY, Events, Instrumentation, Makers and Making, Observation, Publishing, Space, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Sky Temperature Sensor

The first sensor to go on my instrument platform may be an infrared sky temperature sensor. The sky temperature can be used to determine if the sky is clear or cloudy and when the sky is clear the temperature is a measure of the total column water vapor above the sensor. The sensor electronics consists of two modules from SparkFun Electronics,  an evaluation … Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Climate, DIY, Electronics, Experimentation, Imbedded Software, Instrumentation, Measurement, Programming, Sensors, Software, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

The Marvelous Writer Automaton

This is an incredible example of 18th century automaton technology; a model of a small boy that can write with a quill pen. Moreover, the words it writes can be “programmed” into it, making it a very distant ancestor of the modern computer. Continue reading…

Posted in Computer Science, General Interest, History of Science, Invention, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Sic Transit ISON

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Some comets like it hot, but Comet ISON was not one of them. Continue reading…

Posted in Astronomy, Breaking News, Measurement, Observation, Photography, Space, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why Science Deserves Its Popularity

Which brings us back to the happy announcement from the folks at Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary that its word of the year for 2013 is, yes, science, based on the increase in look-ups it registered on the dictionary’s website, a cool 176% more than in 2012. Continue reading…

Posted in Breaking News, Education, History of Science, Science Education, Stories, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Nuclear Fission and Radioactive Fallout: Fukushima samples retested 2 years later

Gamma spectrum analysis with simple equipment can differentiate fallout from weapons vs. reactors; it can tell if the fission was via uranium or by plutonium, tell the relative age of the sample or determine certain environmental conditions at the time of release. Continue reading…

Posted in Breaking News, Environment, General Interest, Instrumentation, Measurement, Nuclear, Observation, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

A Simply Constructed Gas Generator

Figure 3. Completely assembled gas generator and wash bottle. (click image to enlarge)

Among the automatic gas generators on the market there are few within reach of the average experimenter. To meet this condition, Prof. C. D. Dilts has recently developed a generator which may be easily and cheaply constructed. Continue reading…

Posted in Amateur Science, Chemistry, DIY, Experimentation, History of Science, Machine Shop, Makers and Making, Projects, Safety, Tools, Uncategorized | 1 Comment