Monthly Archives: April 2015

Good Example of the Economy of Scale

Yesterday, I saw an interesting article in the Journal of Light Construction (JLC) that does an excellent job of showing how the per-square foot cost of a deck construction drops as the total area of the deck increases (Figure 1). I found this interesting because I am going to have a structure built on my lake property in northern Minnesota. I thought this data would provide a good illustration of how I use Mathcad generate product cost models. Continue reading

Posted in Construction, Management | Leave a comment

Statistics Example from World War 2

I recently finished a course on Bayesian analysis from and I have been looking for application examples that will provide me with some experience using these methods. I like to compare the Bayesian solutions with the standard solutions (usually called Frequentist). Continue reading

Posted in Statistics | Leave a comment

Banana Equivalent Dose

I recently have been reading quite a bit about the hazards of traveling to Mars – one of the major hazards is radiation. This Mars reading has driven me to write a number of posts that look at the effects of radiation exposure in our daily lives here on Earth. Continue reading

Posted in General Science, Geometry | 2 Comments

Candidate for the Dumbest Idea I Have Heard

My coworkers and I often discuss our home remodeling/repair adventures. This morning, a coworker described how a neighbor in his home town used a rifle to solve a common plumbing problem. I do not condone this approach and I am appalled at every possible level that someone would even try it. Continue reading

Posted in Construction, Humor | 2 Comments

Another Real Life Savings Example

I really enjoy managing my own investments and I draw inspiration from the stories of other amateur investors who have been successful at saving and investing. My working class upbringing did not provide me with any exposure to investing in my youth, so I really did not start actively investing until I was in my late 30s – now I wish I would have started about ten years earlier. Continue reading

Posted in Financial | Leave a comment

Geometric Table

I am always looking for interesting construction projects. I don't necessarily plan to build them for myself, but I do often turn to these project for inspiration. I usually store them on Pinterest. Continue reading

Posted in Construction | Leave a comment

Computing a Ship's Course from Four Bearings

I have made no secret of my love for all things nautical – even my game playing has a nautical theme. When I have spare time, I like to play Silent Hunter 3 or 4. While these are older versions of the Silent Hunter franchise, I still enjoy playing them very much. What brings me back to Silent Hunter is how easily I can vary the level of realism to suite my gaming needs. Continue reading

Posted in Military History, Navigation | 4 Comments

Negative times a Negative is a Positive

On my team, I work hard to ensure that we have a non-threatening environment for questions – any questions. In fact, I often ask very basic questions in meetings so that I can make sure that I understand all the nuances of a situation. You would be amazed how often I learn things from asking questions so basic that you would think asking them would not be necessary. Continue reading

Posted in General Mathematics | Leave a comment

CML Termination Design

An engineer stopped by today and had forgotten how to use Mathcad to solve a pair of circuit equations to determine termination resistor values. I stepped in and helped. As I looked at the problem, I thought it might be useful to cover on this blog as a tool demonstration. Continue reading

Posted in Electronics | 1 Comment

Rate of Technological Progress

I saw the following LED history graphic in Machine Design magazine today. I like the graphic because it shows how technological changes often occurs – I only wish there had been some additional space for the quantum mechanical developments of the 1920s. Continue reading

Posted in History of Science and Technology | Leave a comment