Acceleration in Star Trek

Just watched episode 1 of Star Trek Discovery. Commander Burnham takes a jet-pack to an unknown ship 2,000 km away. She has to go and return in 20 minutes. So she has to cover the 2,000 km in less than 10 minutes. That's a long way, over 1,200 miles in 10 minutes from a dead start. Is the acceleration reasonable? Let's assume linear acceleration to 1,000 km in 5 minutes, then linear deceleration the rest of the way. I decided to use a new website I found to solve such things, fxsolver. Plugging into the linear acceleration forumla 1,000,000 meters in 300 seconds from V0 =0 and X0 = 0 gives an acceleration of 22.22 m/s^2. Since 1G = 9.8 m/s^2, that's a sustained push of 2.2G forward then back for the 20 minute ride. That's uncomfortable, but looks like humans can probably tolerate up to 4G sustained. So though the top speed is around 15,000 mph, it's still within the range of possibility. I doubt she could dodge asteroids at top speed, but that's another question.

How Much Larger is the New TV?

We bought a new 50" TV this week. The kids said they didn't see any difference between it and the old 37". So how much bigger is it?

TVs have always been measured along the diagnoal. This gives the marketers the largest possible number to advertise.

Modern HD screens have an aspect ratio of 16:9, that is for every 16 units wide the screen is, it's 9 units high. (old analog TVs were 4:3).

So some algebra later, we find that to get the height of an HD screen, multiply the diagonal by 0.49. To get the width, multiply the diagonal by 0.87.

To get the area, multiply width by height, or to save a step, square the diagonal size and multiply by 0.4263.

So the 37" screen has and area of about 583 square inches, the new 50" is about 1065.75 square inches, or 180% the size.

Don't know how much larger it has to be for kids to notice.

Why FitBit Failed

Fitness trackers, like Fitbit, been shown in several studies, like this one, to be ineffective helping with weight loss or fitness, and may have negative effects. Why? Several theories have been advanced, here's one of my own.. First, let me say that I'm speaking from experience. We have a couple of these things around our house and nobody knows where they are now.

Excercising with a Fitbit goes something like this:

I'm ready to go for a walk. 

Where's the Fitbit?

I thought it was on the nightstand.

Maybe I left it in the car.

Or the bathroom.

(looking... looking... 5 minutes later...)

Here it is! 

Oh, rats, I need to charge it.

I'll charge it up and walk tomorrow. 

There's an old adage that says "The hardest part of any journey is the first step". Fitbit fails because it takes the hardest part of working out (getting started) and makes it even harder

 

How Many Letters Does a Postman Deliver a Day?

Marla just entered a contest where she had to guess how many letters a given letter carrier (postman, actually post-woman?) was going to deliver that day. In googling, I didn't find an answer to that question. So here's my guess, based on the most authoritative sources I can find.

So it's pieces of mail per carrier per day. The number of pieces of mail delivered per day by the United States Postal Service is about 509 million, according to the USPS. Now we need to know the number of letter carriers in the US. This number is about 315,950, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Dividing, we get that the average letter carrier delivers about 1,611 pieces of mail per day in the United States. You're welcome.

Social Media Talk at Joomla Users' Group

Here's a link to the outline of the talk I gave on August 10, 2015 at the Atlanta Joomla Users' Group about Joomla and Social Media. It seemed well received.

I'm on the Internet At...

This blog laminack.com

My Twitter Feed: @iblamm

Which is powered by my Delicious Bookmarks

My Web Design Company: OpenFace Systems

My Amazon Author Page

My underutilized Facebook Page

Websites I've Stumbled Upon

I'm putting together the Website Owners' Guidebook

My YouTube Channel

Google Plus's Brent+ posts

Every now and then I comment on Reddit

My LinkedIn Profile

My Instructables

Me on GitHub

 

 

 

Electric Car Names

Chevrolet has followed up on it's all-electric Chevy Volt with a new model, the Chevy Bolt. I think they're on to something. There's a lot of possibilities here:

  • The small electric Pony Car: The Chevy Colt
  • For the 20th anniversary model: The Chevy Re-Volt
  • The convertable electric car: the Chevy Molt
  • For the person who buys a Chevy Electric when they could've had a Tesla: The Chevy Dolt
  • The model that will have the huge recall for shocking drivers: The Chevy Jolt

Yep, we're on to something!

 

 

A New Virtue Name

The other day I was eating lunch at the Arby's off North Druid Road near Emory. There was a young lady behind the counter with a name I'd never heard before. Her name was Tenacity. I was going to dismiss it as eccentricity, but then I realized it belongs to a group of female names that we used to call Virtue Names. Names like Faith, Hope, Charity, Joy, Patience, Prudence, etc. Tenacity fits in well with these Puritain-era monikers.

Wrong Color

I was in Home Depot today and saw their referral program advertised: RedBeacon.com. Is this a riff on K-Mart's old Blue Light Special? But the color's all wrong. Home Depot's color is orange, not red. What's the deal?

Antipodes

Remember when we were kids and started to dig a hole in the ground? We were told we'd dig straight through to China. Actually, for those living near Atlanta, the opposite side of the globe from us is about a thousand miles out into the Indian Ocean from Perth, Australia. In other words, the area where they're looking for Malayasia Air flight 370. Today's word for today is Antipodes, which means the opposite side of the earth. "The search for flight 370 is taking place in the antipodes of where I'm sitting. "

Tracking

The iPod attached to my car stereo lists around 4,000 tracks. Some podcasts, some American Songbook, but mostly Classical. The other day instdead of listening by album or playlist, I selected track. It was fascinating to hear all the Adagio movements together. I'm now going through the Allegros and their children: Allegro con brio, Allegro con carne, and now Allegro non troppo (not the Italian animated movie of the '70s). In between, I heard three versions of All of Me by Billie Holliday, Louis Armstrong and Willie Nelson. I can highly recommend it for the novelty. Give it a try.

Downton Abbey, Great and Wooster

There's a few threads of connection between Downton Abbey and other British fiction. Yes, Marla and I enjoy Downton, despite John Green calling it "crack cocaine for old people". But on to the threads:

Downton's set in the Yorkshire Dales, and occasionally the signposts point to, or the characters refer to the nearby village of Thirsk. Thirsk is a real village, where the real Alf Wight went to practice as a vet. He wrote about those experiences in what eventually became All Creatures Great and Small under the pen name James Herriot. He fictionalized the name of the village as Darrowby. I wonder if in a few seasons of Downton Sigfried Farnan will be tending the Earl of Grantham's horses? Or that Tristan would care for the pigs?

Downton is filmed at Highclere Castle, where another period piece was filmed, this time a comedy: Jeeves and Wooster, based on the stories by P. G. Wodehouse. Yes, House fans, Hugh Laurie is hilarious. I can imagine the feckless Bertie Wooster coming to call on Lady Mary. Perhaps Violet, the Dowager Countess, is one of Bertie's great-aunts. If I had time and video editing talent, it'd be fun to intercut scenes from Jeeves and Wooster with Downton. I do imagine that Jeeves and Mr. Carson would get along famously, though.

A video series similar to Downton was Upstairs, Downstairs, set circa 1930. The premise is similar: the comings and goings of the aristocrat family contrasted with those of the servants. I'd like to recommend it, but I really don't think it holds a candle to Downton. Upon reflection, the main reason is the title character, Downton Abbey itself. Upstairs, Downstairs was filmed in what was obviously a BBC studio, and as such, can never really capture the texture and richness of the landed gentry the way the actual locations of Downton can.

The Turkeys Eat What?!?

At Panera the other day, I saw this poster:vegetarian fed all-natural turkey

I know what corn-fed beef is, it's when you feed the cow with corn. So what's vegetarian-fed turkey? Is it when you feed the turkeys with vegetarians? Maybe we could stretch it to mean that the vegetarians give the turkeys their food, but I don't know! What a horrible fate for a deceased vegetarian, to be fed to turkeys! Also, I don't think I'd want a sandwich made of such.