WEEK TWO of stuff-that-I-saw-this-week-that-I-thought-was-interesting-from-the-persepective-of-someone-with-an-engineering-or-technical -background (to be henceforth abbreviated as STISTWTITWIFTPOSWANOTB).
(Sorry, I'm a bit hyper, just got back from an awesome dim-sum lunch. Gung Hay Fat Choy!)
Via Make, a treatise on how to start up a steam locomotive... for all of us engineers who are *still* wondering when we get to drive a frickin' train already. ;)
Also Via Make (and the Engineer, and Boing Boing) an Engineer designed the aortic implant that saves his own life. Definitely gives a triumphant "technology!!!!" feeling.
A lot about Education this week!
I also just finished listening to the audiobook version of Outliers which talks about the same "performance gap" between American and Chinese children. Outliers attributes it to two things:
a) The Chinese language lends itself better to mental math by virtue of its structure
b) Rice fields' yield is directly proportional to the work you put into them, therefore there is a cultural expectation that people should work very, very hard. (Whereas European fields yeild better if they are "left fallow". I though that was an interesting dichotomy.)
Anyway I haven't come to a conclusion yet but it piqued my interest. Anything related to math education does. This type of discussion is kind of taboo in Vancouver.
Related: Professor AnneMarie Thomas has an interesting post on how it's socially acceptable to admit that you're bad at math (and this is a problem).
Now let's turn it around in case all of that made you horribly depressed about where Math, Science and Engineering are going for the youth...
Nova has a new series that I want to check out called "The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers".
Inventors Digest posted an interesting survey of what young people think about Inventing today. Some of it is encouraging, some of it is a bit worrisome.
Via Core77, is this Lego 2.0? (or more accurately, the reincarnation of erector sets?)
Toys that teach kids to make and build... out of anything!
Also via Core77, "Suits that Transport"
Every once in awhile something pops up on these design blogs that just makes me lol... we have to dream to innovate, but I just wonder how you could present something like this with a straight face!
Speaking of the future, via FastCompany: apple just submitted a patent for using "Wireless Near Field Communication" integrated with your iphone as a way to pay for...everything! Very cool tech and cool concept, but if I am forced to get a pentalobe-bound iphone in order to INTERACT WITH SOCIETY, PERIOD I think I might flip. ;)
Blogineering has a nice roundup of open-source CAD and Analysis programs available to engineers... weekend warriors and students take note! :)
I'd like to end on an inspirational note. Trevor linked me this video about the history of IBM over the past 100 years. I really enjoyed it, it's amazing to consider how far we've come within some people's lifetime! And to dream about where we can go from here :)
(I'm not sure that flash thingy will work, but I'll have to check it when I get home :( Use the link if I messed it up, ok?)
Have a rad weekend, fellow geers :D