Friday, September 23, 2016

How To Make Your Kids Smarter: 10 Steps Backed By Science


by Eric Barker

TIME Children
Young boy writes math equations on chalkboard
Justin Lewis—Getty Images
I’ve explored the science behind what makes kids happier, what type of parenting works best and what makes for joyful families.
But what makes children — from babies up through the teen years — smarter?
Here are 10 things science says can help:

1) Music Lessons

Plain and simple: research show music lessons make kids smarter:

Compared with children in the control groups, children in the music groups exhibited greater increases in full-scale IQ. The effect was relatively small, but it generalized across IQ subtests, index scores, and a standardized measure of academic achievement.
In fact musical training helps everyone, young and old:

A growing body of research finds musical training gives students learning advantages in the classroom. Now a Northwestern University study finds musical training can benefit Grandma, too, by offsetting some of the deleterious effects of aging.
(More on what the music you love says about you here.)

2) The Dumb Jock Is A Myth

Monday, September 5, 2016

Thomas Sowell Brings the World into Focus through an Economics Lens

Published on Dec 19, 2014
In this episode of Uncommon Knowledge, Peter Robinson interviews Hoover fellow and author Thomas Sowell, on his 5th edition of Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy. In this interview, Sowell brings the world into clearer focus through a basic understanding of the fundamental economic principles and how they explain our lives. Sowell draws on lively examples from around the world and from centuries of history.

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Is "Local Motors" The End Of The Auto Industry? Is the "Ford System" dying?

Like a Swiss Army Knife, 3D printing a versatile tool

I have been following  3D printing for the past 7 years and we are looking at a whole new revolution that will make manufacturing more traditional in the middle ages craftsman  sense than we have known for some time. 

3D printers will make it possible to have local factories of 5 to 12 people. This video is focusing on autos but it could easily branch out. So the same factory could make a number of different tools or items. It could be a family business for large families.

This is a possible revolution like we saw with personal computers and a less centralized society. This could be BIG.

Local Motors is bringing a radically different business model to the automotive industry. No design studios. No engineering staff. No massive factories. No dealerships. In other words, no massive capital investments. If they can make it work it could completely turn the industry upside down. Justin Fishkin, the Chief Strategy Officer of Local Motors, joins John and Gary for a most interesting conversation on the brave new world of crowd-sourced car design.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Understanding house architecture--McMansions 101: What Makes a McMansion Bad Architecture?

If you love to hate the ugly houses that became ubiquitous before the bubble burst (1980s-2009) you've come to the right place. Be sure to check out the required reading.
New posts every week! from original site found here :

McMansions 101: What Makes a McMansion Bad Architecture?

Sometimes people ask, why is xyz house bad? Asking this question does not imply that the asker has bad taste or no taste whatsoever - it means that they are simply not educated in basic architectural concepts. In this post, I will introduce basic architectural concepts and explain why not all suburban/exurban/residential houses are McMansions, as well as what makes a McMansion especially hideous.
Disclaimer: These same principles do not always apply to Modernist or even canonically Postmodern architecture. These principles are for the classical or traditional architecture most residential homes are modeled after.

Design Principle #1: Masses; Voids

The mass is the largest portion of a building. Individual masses become interesting when they are combined together to form a façade. The arrangement of these shapes to create weight is called massing. As the pieces are combined, they are divided into categories: primary and secondary masses (1).
The primary mass is the largest shape in the building block. The secondary masses are the additional shapes that form the façade of a building.
Windows, doors, or other openings are called voids. Voids allow creation of negative space that allow for breaks within masses. Placing voids that allow for natural breaks in the mass create balance and rhythm across the building’s elevation.

The secondary masses should never compete with the primary mass. 
For example: an oversized projected entry or portico (secondary mass) will overwhelm the house (primary mass) behind it.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Feminism and the Razing of the Village

Feminism promised to empower women. Instead it destroyed their support system.

The intensity of motherhood surprises contemporary women. Some of us struggle through it privately. Others write shocked confessionals in blogs and open letters that go viral. This recent entry in the genre from Time is typical, complete with the call for help:
It’s time to recognize that by refusing to give parents — and especially women — some basic support to meet their competing obligations, we have created an impossible situation for them, one that has the makings of a serious public-health crisis.
Who is the “we” that created this impossible situation for mothers?  How did it become the norm? Few ask the questions. Most accept that the impossible state is just how it is if women are in the work force and unless fathers contribute more. Fathers, however, already take on levels and types of household duties that would stun our grandfathers, yet women find the work and life balance harder than ever to achieve. Many call, as this Time piece did, for government action of some sort.

What ever happened to the village?

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

NASA Stirling Cycle Engine: "The Stirling Engine: A Wave of the Future" ?

 It all looked so promising.
Why didn't it go anywhere?
It seems the common complaint is pressure in the cylinders and gaskets. That seems like a minor problem. One other problem I see is they used hydrogen as light gas for the pistons, in this experiment, which is very flammable while helium would be better substitute.

[Editor: This would actually be a great engine for cold climate countries like Russia, Canada and Scandinavia. Because it works on a heat differential. This means the easier it is to dump the heat the better it works. That is why, in the NASA video below, they did most of the tests with this engine in the worst conditions of the deep southern states, which are hot and humid. They are not what would be thought of as a good environment for such an engine.]

 "This video describes the Stirling engine, an external combustion engine which creates heat energy to power the motor, and can use many types of fuel. It can be used for both stationary and propulsion purposes and has advantages of better fuel economy and cleaner exhaust than internal combustion engines. The engine is shown being road tested at Langley Air Force Base."

details of the report:

Public domain film from NASA, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization.