Telephone Ring Emulator

7 Jul

This is a nifty implementation, and it also includes off hook detect.

http://www.linear.com/pc/downloadDocument.do?navId=H0,C1,C1003,C1042,C1031,C1061,P1266,D4338

Ring_gen

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On Pastorial Pay and Going Afoul

25 May

Since??seminary costs so much money, and really only trains pastors for one job, leaving them without many options,??THEN church should cost a lot of money and pastors should MAKE a lot of money.

SINCE medical school costs are absurd and outrageous and really only trains dcotrs for one job, leaving them without many options, THEN healthcare should cost a lot of money and doctors should MAKE a lot of money.

Something to think about….

Ideas and some text taken from What Med School can Tell us about Pastors??http://thecondition.net/354/

Subject 2, on going afoul

The blog autheor makes some really good points though, especially as concerns the need to tow the party line, not run afoul of the congregation, and especially not run afoul of denominational guidelines.A pastor friend left his church after 20 some years in the pulpit, as he just couldnt tow the denominational party line anymore… Another pastor friend left his church, as he could not in good conscience not run afoul of a whacked congregation who only wanted ear tickling.

Workflow Efficiency and System Knowledge

22 May

From lrd via the oil drum comments

...The concept of workflows is that understanding detailed sequences of work, together with the resources required for each step, allows efficiency to be improved by doing everything according to a standardized workflow. In a repetitive process, such as manufacturing or distribution, this can improve efficiency, reliability and safety, because nothing unexpected happens, and what’s more costs are lower because each person in the operation only has to know one part of the workflow. Knowing how to implement the workflow becomes much more important than knowing why each step is carried out.

The problem when such concepts are applied to drilling is that every well is different. The standard workflow may be neither the cheapest method nor the safest method in a particular well. The risks are heightened by having fewer people around who really understand what is happening when something starts to go wrong.

http://www.theoildrum.com/node/6493#comment-626999

I think the guy nailed part of the underlying human factors…few understand the system as a whole, so when SOP’s replace knowledge, and the system goes beyond the SOP’s things go south really fast.

The reduction of system knowledge is also an interesting way to bypass engineering ethics… Ie, if you segregate things enough, there wont be enough of a knowledge base for an isolated engineering team to know how their judgment calls impact public health, safety, and welfare. Case in point, tell engineers they are designing water flow controls, rather than also for phosgene gas, and simply pass the design off for another team to copy… the cost will be much lower, but no engineer in their right mind would sign off on it.

??

Notes on Rebound Effect

22 May

Increased consumption that results from actions that increase efficiency and reduce cost… in effect such reduces the value of change, but rarely nullifies it completely.

In traffic and driving??

For example, strategies that increase fuel efficiency or reduce traffic congestion, and therefore reduce the per-mile cost of driving, tend to increase total vehicle mileage. Similarly, strategies that make driving seem safer tend to encourage somewhat more ???intensive??? driving (i.e., faster, closer spacing between vehicles, more distractions) than what would occur if vehicle use appears riskier to drivers.??http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm64.htm

In energy efficiency

A home insulation program that reduces heat losses by 50% does not usually result in a full 50% reduction in energy consumption, because residents of insulated homes find that they can afford to keep their homes warmer.

UKERC??(2007),??The Rebound Effect: An Assessment Of The Evidence For Economy-Wide Energy Savings From Improved Energy Efficiency, The Technology And Policy Assessment Function Of The UK Energy Research Centre (www.ukerc.ac.uk); at??www.ukerc.ac.uk/support/tiki-index.php?page=ReboundEffect.


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Babies in cages… Is society wacked?

21 May

If one thinks a bit… putting a baby in a crib is in effect putting them in a cage. Another view of such a practice is putting them in jail, as perhaps best exemplified by a young uncle joey in the move Back to the Future. The thing is, as society, we find it normal to put a baby in such cages. We then are outraged when they get injured or killed by the bars/mattress gaps. We also run into things where in if the baby rolls over on a soft surface, they could potentially suffocate. Apart from that… why on earth is the baby only a couple feet off the floor, resulting in parents having to repeatedly bend over in the worst ergonomic way to pick up their child. The thing is… folks look at such, and no one questions it… and it repeats over and over and over.

On the other hand, whoa to those who upset the status quo. A fellow came up with a better solution decades ago… and it was not well received at all. Even today, blog commentors bring up perceptions of horror… but stepping aside, the horror seems much more the status quo.

Some interesting links on air cribs

http://www.guardian.co.uk/education/2004/mar/12/highereducation.uk

http://daddytypes.com/2006/07/25/the_aircrib_bf_skinners_babyinabox.php

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,909996,00.html

??

Minor Dreamers and Incrementalism… Why?

15 May

Incrementalism rather than innovation seems to be modus operandi for society today. This seems to mirror itself across a multitude of arenas, even the church. Professor of Evangelism @lensweet tweeted this morning “Sometimes I feel like I’m living in a time when the world’s major dreamers are champions of minor dreams”.

Some might look to the internet and tech innovations as new, but not really, most concepts were developed in the 50’s. Some might look at cars, especially something like Ford’s upcoming ecoboost motor, but much of that was theorized and partially implemented during WWII. Another case is 3d MRI as used in medicine…So much of the underlying knowledge base of nearly everything we do is old school, very old school. In the case of the church, I think of folks like CT Studd… what would he have done, had he had the tools that the church has at hand today.

Most certainly folks who developed, or theorized the underlying knowledge base were working at a technical disadvantage. For the most part, there were no models, and simulation was exceedingly crude. There was virtually no ability to design in the morning, and have parts on the desk before the end of the day, albeit some guys probably could sit down at a mill and crank out parts off a napkin napkin drawing. Instead, it was tedious design to the max, and failure was pretty much everywhere.

Somehow I wonder if society has exchanged technical disadvantage for a psychological one. We have lots of round hole folks, working in square hole occupations, Our educational system focuses on conformity. If you want to see something scary… look up Carnegie units. In aviation… we focus on hours of education, not necessarily the quality of said hours. In medicine protocols dominate, so much so, its as if science was thrown out the window much of the time. Society also has distraction to the max, single issue focus is a rarity indeed…

I dont know if and how much any of the above contribute to the illness of incrementalism, the lack of fire in the gut, and a general malaise across most fields… but most certainly there is a problem, and I think its one that must be looked at, rather than congratulating one another over incremental advances.

COREXIT Dispersants EC9527A and EC9500A

14 May

Apparently both Corexit products are being used in the gulf spill, so I’ve linked to both MSDS sheets from the EPA listing

http://www.epa.gov/emergencies/content/ncp/products/corex952.htm

and

http://www.epa.gov/emergencies/content/ncp/products/corex950.htm

Its interesting to note, EC9527A was originally listed in 1975, and apart from the proprietary ingredients, lists as solvents, water, and a main ingredient of the cleaner Simple Green and another of stick deodorant. It also has a much higher concentration of heavy metals than does the apparently newer dispersant EC9500A.

Do bear in mind, the MSDS sheets are for the material in concentrated form, such as a worker might encounter, rather than the dilute form of a few gallons/acre. Also bear in mind when it says non-hazardous, it is specifically referring to flammability during transport such as what law enforcement or firemen might encounter, not necessarily when actually deployed at sea. Ie, it would be bad to swim in the deployed stuff. Otoh, I must admit I personally find no qualms about using 2-Butoxyethanol (Simple Green) in my parts washer when I do brake jobs and engine work on my personal car, but then again, exposure is very much time limited, and happens only once or twice a year.

That being said, the LC50 (lethal concentration) of both materials, while being better than fuel oil, is not that much better. Worse, however was the combination of the dispersant and the fuel oil. A lower LC50 is more toxic. On the other hand, they only publish test data on a couple marine invertibrates, an Atlantic/Inland Silverside (sort of a large minnow creature) and a Americamys bahia??(a tiny odd looking shrimp like creature) so much is unknown, at least from the MSDS.

I did find another paper on COREXIT dispersant toxicity,??http://www.iosc.org/papers/00020.pdf??and while there is more data, the paper concludes there is great variabiity depending upon conditions, and that live data under actual conditions of particular use is really the only way to go…

Sadly that means we have to rely on either A Nalco’s word, B, the govt, or C some enterprising individual could run some tests on whatever washes up on shore. Granted, C, unless a university backs them would likely not have much credibiity… but hard data, even if captured by a 14 year old would seem of value in this age of trying to cover up, hide this or that, or deny, if it came up with similar readings as to what others were saying.

??