Some Fun Facts about the Moon and Sun

In a few hours, many of us will get to see a rare total eclipse of the Sun. Total eclipses are rare because a very tight alignment of the Sun, the Moon, and the Earth are necessary. Even then, the alignment is so precise, the shadow of the Moon only cross a small stripe across the planet. As the “Great American Eclipse,” this is very well branded. We have driven to just outside Knoxville, from Maryland, where we will get about a minute and half of totality, during which night will fall. On the drive, the kids and I talked

India Adds Solar to its Trains

Last year, Chase asked me about solar-powered trains, and we did the analysis. Like a good little nerd, I posted the analysis here: Solar-Powered Trains Chase asked me why the MARC Train is not solar powered. I explained one line, the Penn Line, is electric and it gets power from many different sources, but the other two lines are diesel. He asked why we can’t put solar panels on top of the cars and use that for energy. It turns out, Indian Railways has been working on the same problem. Now, my analysis was predicated on the assumption that all

Notes on Wastewater Treatment

Chase, I think in an attempt to avoid bedtime, asked me on Friday what happens to the water after it leaves the bathtub. Well, lucky for him, I spent a lot of time growing up in the LeSourdsville Regional Water Reclamation Facility. My father had worked in the LeSourdsville Facility for just about 15 years when died. He worked second shift, so, especially if I had a late class, I’d often run over at night. We’d even grill in the parking lot. Of course, it wasn’t all fun and games. At the time, I also worked for Butler County Information

Is Sewing Engineering?

Last night, Nina spent some time working on a holiday dress for Ducky. There will be another post about this next week, but Nina hit me with a question, How is this not engineering? And I responded, “It is.” But that’s only half the story. As I post on a lot of different subjects, I usually like to make sure at least one of the tags for each post is a top-level subject and for a list, I like to use Wikipedia Outline of Academic Disciplines.1 So I figured that sewing would somehow or another fall under materials science or

Why I Won’t Play Greedy Dice

Chase and I have started playing the Pokémon Trading Card Game, a lot. Perhaps obviously, this comes from the confluence of two events. First, in July, we started playing Pokémon GO. Second, he turned 7. And 7 year-olds occasionally bring home random Pokémon cards. So we bought some. A bunch, actually. And the other day, I picked up a couple of packs of Steam Siege, for us. He got two and I got two and we each pulled Greedy Dice: Greedy Dice – XY – Steam Siege, Pokemon – Online Gaming Store for Cards, Miniatures, Singles, Packs & Booster Boxes

Read My Response to What Parents Need to Know about Pokémon GO

There’s been a lot of talk about the Pokémon-based robberies, the Pokémon stabbing, and even a guy who quit his job to play Pokémon full time. There’s often a reaction when something new and different comes out, and we are used to it. Every generation complains the next is going to hell. Today’s edition brings a game that has swept the English-speaking world and will soon take the rest. Amanda Yates of Highya asks what parents need to know about Pokémon GO. While there’s a focus on risks, I told the story of how my children and I play the