Santa Claus – An Engineer’s Perspective

Someone sent me this in an email quite a few years ago. It’s a gem! I don’t know where it originated or who holds the copyright, but with apologies and grateful thanks to the copyright holder … Here it is:

There are approximately two billion children (persons under 18) in the world. However, since Santa does not visit children of Muslim, Hindu, Jewish or Buddhist (except maybe in Japan) religions this reduces the workload for Christmas night to 15% of the total, or 378 million (according to the Population Reference Bureau).

At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, [Read more…]

Oh Deer – The MX Missile, a Flying Coffin and the Twin Towers

Manhattan Skyline With World Trade Centre

Manhattan Skyline With World Trade Centre

The anniversary of the atrocity committed against the USA has triggered memories of a day some 30 years ago which culminated in a picture-perfect flight into NYC’s La Guardia airport, the approach being down the Hudson River with a sharp turn to port across Manhattan onto the final approach. A stunning afternoon view of Manhattan and the twin towers of the World Trade Centre.

However, the story starts the day before. I was marketing & sales director of a company that I’ll call F-Corp (if there’s a real company called F-Corp, I apologise.It’s not you!). I’d been in the States visiting customers and I flew into the town of Binghamton in upstate New York at about 9:00pm one evening. It was early spring, very cold and with recent snow on the ground.

Why Binghamton? Well, F-Corp had developed a completely new technology for very high-performance, small, light weight microwave filters. These devices had major advantages in airborne and space applications where light weight and stability in extremes of temperature and pressure were essential. They met the US military’s MIL STD 5400E environmental specifications. [Read more…]

Deepest, Darkest Borneo

It might be a week or so before my next post as I’m about to depart from the connected world for a bit. Internet availability in Borneo is expected to be patchy – that’s why they’ll benefit from more satellite communications.

If I manage to survive the jungle, the mosquitoes, leeches, snakes,spiders and the occasional Orang-utan I hope to surface eventually in Singapore.Then immediately travelling on to colder climes.

After having made some 6,000 flights I never really want to see [Read more…]