Maths is fun

Everyone likes different things, and that’s okay.

The important thing is to recognise that some people will find things interesting, which you have no interest in whatsoever, and vice versa. This is important, and probably very advantageous from an evolutionary point of view. No-one can be an expert at everything, so it helps if we specialise, and if we all liked the same things, no-one would do the other stuff.

All of the foregoing is so that when I say that on my recent holiday I did some recreational maths, you won’t give me a hard time about it.┬áThe maths I did is here: Time required to drain a tank

While there are plenty of references for the simplest form of this calculation, what you get here is:

  1. A complete derivation
  2. Inclusion of friction losses through fittings and valves
  3. Consideration of non-atmospheric (pressurised) tanks
  4. Not having to wade through forum posts of vague queries, unhelpful half-answers, and opinions from people who don’t really understand physics (and probably shouldn’t be on that sort of forum to begin with).

I’ve also updated my menu bar at the top of the page, to try to make some of my questionable content easier to access.

Hopefully soon I’ll make time to do a few more posts, but since that involves actually finishing some of my projects so that I have something to blog about, it might be a couple of weeks before I have anything really interesting to say.

Graph of the Week: The Bagel Graph

There are many traits that are prevalent amongst engineers (there are plenty of jokes about this, normally told with glee by lesser humans), but i think there is possibly only one which appears to be universal:
We love free food.

Most engineers are honest people, who are not open to corruption, but they will do things for food that they would never do for money. As a result, it is common practise for equipment suppliers to come in to our offices to present “lunch and learn” sessions. While these sessions aren’t going to sway us to use a certain product (we are generally, after all, technophiles, and will always go for the technically superior product), the mention of a free lunch does ensure that the vendors get a room full of engineers who are too busy eating to ask annoying questions.

After these lunch and learns, we will discuss the merits of the presentation amongst ourselves: starting with the quality of the food, then on to the quality of the equipment being demonstrated.

But when you get engineers doing technical evaluations on food… weird things happen…

I was telling my wife about one such Lunch-and-learn, and the duck & coleslaw bagel that I ate:
“You know what the best thing about a good bagel is?” I asked her, as we ate dinner.
“What?” She asked, and really should have known better.
“The bit in the middle where there is a hole in the bagel, but the filling continues… actually, there’s probably a graph for that…” I mused.
“You don’t need to graph it, baby” she said, wishing she wasn’t just dead wrong.
“Oh yes, my little turnip. Yes I do…” I turned to the whiteboard on our kitchen wall…

I present to you… The Bagel Graph


(Filling as a ratio to bagel bread. Apologies for the quality of the graph, I tried to sketch it as neatly as I could on my smartphone).