Rare is the day when I am afforded the time and opportunity to fashion a snowman. But the stars were aligned. I call him "Colonel Cool Breeze."
It was an exciting week on the job front. With Endeavour up, I managed to corner some simulator time for some commander training. This was an RTLS run, meaning the center main engine failed just after the solid rocket boosters punched off, resulting in a return to landing...
As promised from the above post, here are my Shuttle statistics. Not too bad, though it was far from a perfect landing. Touchdown was 18 feet left of center, though I was able to steer to the centerline at wheel stop for the photo op. My ground speed was right on at 202...
Not that I’m ready to pen a eulogy, but our fourth roommate, the wise and all knowing Laszlo of the closet passed away last week. For almost five years, he had been diligent and constant, a rock that rarely let us down.
Unfortunately, school has meant neglect for poor Laszlo. He...
Well they finally decided to implode the compass bank building by the Galleria. It was an early Sunday morning adventure but well worth the lucubration.
Today I discovered that I was selected as the AIPLA student representative for the University of Houston Law Center. This is a great honor and I thoroughly look forward to organizing speaking engagements and helping to promote our IP students.
Yesterday I installed 1300 watts of solar panels on the roof of a boat house. It went without a hitch and no panels were broken. I have photos and plan to add full details of my adventure in the "Environment" section of this site.
Google has once again quietly elevated me in search engine hierarchy. My hat goes off to my worthy namesake opponents, the environmental lawyer, the doctor, the actor, and the vice president of Williams Sonoma. Quite a competitive league, if you ask me, proving that the search engine...
Work continues on the photofest project. For the latest endeavor, I chose to build my camera. The result was a large-format cardboard box pinhole camera. The major problem I had with the camera was calibration. Since it has no viewfinder, I had to essentially create one from...
Since I've redesigned my website and removed so much content, I have lost my first place standing in Google search returns. Thus I must begin my long journey back to the top. On the way, I have rekindled my acquaintances with the other Seth Jaffes of the world. There is...
With Nissan unveiling an electric car iPhone app before the actual electric car, I thought I would add a link to all the latest electric car happenings as seen on Engadget. Of particular interest is MIT’s rapid charge program that aims to strap almost 8000 lithium iron-phosphate batteries to...
It's here, and I've been waiting some time for this. Smarthome just picked up an inexpensive whole house power consumption meter. The device consists of a strap-on sensor/transmitter for your outdoor meter and a wireless receiver. After a short calibration, the display unit will...
Not that I advocate the end of Christmas, but one benefit is the dramatic price reductions of Christmas lights, specifically LEDs. I managed to find the saturday supersaver price on a set of white LED lights for around $10 (although I heard the 75% off sales had them down to $3). My...
The solar water heater has been a staple in places like Tel Aviv since I can remember. Few residents (except in the high rises) actually use electricity to take a hot shower. But for some reason, this technology has been completely unused here in the States, so much so that it is...
In the late 80's and early 90's, I was an advocate of big nuclear power plants. Back then, the major concern was over nuclear accidents, radiation, and meltdowns. We learned enough in engineering school to understand the operations of those plants and the safety...
I met Mr. Ron Williams today. He is the energy manager for NASA Johnson Space Center. They had a booth promoting conservation so I stopped by and asked why JSC leaves virtually all of their lights on 24 hours a day. The problem, apparently, comes down to the lack of...
If we can provide an inexpensive method for the average consumer to monitor home power usage, I expect a reduction in consumption. A simple photoelectric receiver monitoring a standard meter can easily provide this. Tie it to a wireless transmitter and you have an inexpensive reporting...
Ohio State researchers have synthesized a new solar cell material that is capable of capturing solar energy over the whole spectrum of visible light. The material excites the electrons off the atoms in two states, dubbed singlet and triplet. The great news here is that the electrons in...
I'm going to start this log with what is perhaps the best news I've heard this year. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has announced they have achieved an efficiency of 40.8% conversion for their latest gallium arsenide solar panels. While the exact design is not known to...