Programming note to the person who claimed to actually read this crap that I post (Mitchell - are you still out there?): 2016 was a clusterf**k of a year for me. Although I collected many things that I thought were interesting or amusing, I did not post most of them. I thought that I should tend to more important matters, and I had many of those last year. This year is starting out somewhat less busy, and so I will try to be more timely about adding things to this odd little web page. However, some of those items from last year might still have some informational or entertainment value. So, every now and then, I will pull some old stuff off the heap and post it here. Thus, the timeline might seem to be a bit out of whack for while. (Somewhat like my lectures, I suppose.) We will see how it goes in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, send me an email and let me know what's up!

Jan. 10, 2017

Contrary to everyone else, Intel says that Moore's Law is not yet dead.

Yikes! Toddlers wielding guns.

Jan. 9, 2017

Ten years of the iPhone.

Still confused about ground in a circuit? These authors attempt to explain. Maybe it will help your understanding. (Or not.)

Jan. 6, 2017

At the end of EE 201 last semester, we talked briefly about the War of Currents between Edison and Westinghouse in the 1880's, leading to our current AC power distribution system. Westinghouse was bankrolling the ideas put forth by Tesla. The Wikipedia article gives a fairly comprehensive description of those events.

And, if you are short on time, here is a pithier tldr-version of the face-off between Edison and Tesla. (I also liked the Einstein/Hawking, Gates/Jobs and Picasso/Bob Ross battles. And if you don't know Bob Ross, check out out some of his old PBS videos on NetFlix -- he's a hoot.)

Jan. 5, 2017

The Amazon Echo became a big deal last year. Now the fight has been joined with the appearance of the Google Home gadget. Here is a glimpse of the upcoming epic battle for dominance in the realm of kitchen bots.

Jan. 4, 2017

As things continue to unravel here in the U.S., it might be a good year (or a good four years) to get away for a while. Here are 52 suggestions for travel destinations from the NY Times. I've been to some of these places, and perhaps I will make it to a few more this year. Hopefully, you can get away for a while, too. Some fun travel certainly beats sitting at home, waiting for the next round of hilarity from our tweeter-in-chief.

Jan. 1, 2017

It's the time of year for resolutions and advice on how to improve yourself. Here are three items that I enjoyed.

Dec. 21, 2016

Winter Solstice! In Ames, the solstice occurred at 4:44 a.m., and our shortest day is 9 hours and 7 minutes. In Helsinki, Finland, it was only 5 hours and 49 minutes. Flipping to the southern hemisphere, the length of the day for the summer solstice in Christchurch, New Zealand (latitude of -43.8°) is 15 hours and 26 minutes. (There just aren't that many cities at high latitudes in the southern hemisphere.)

Dec. 16, 2016

I've completed another trip around the sun - that makes about 32.8 billion miles so far. I'm starting to get tired.

Today is also the last day of the Fall 2016 semester. The end of a semester is always bittersweet - ecstasy that the thing is finally over (particularly this semester) and a bit of sadness because people that I have known and worked with for a while will be heading off to exciting new places and challenges. Most likely, I will never see them again. Sniff. But such is life.

Old stuff