Saturday, December 31, 2016

Humor 2013–2016

I, for one, like Roman numerals.

3 logicians walk into a bar. The bartender asks "Do all of you want a drink?"
The first logician says "I don't know."
The second logician says "I don't know."
The third logician says "Yes!"

A Roman walks into a bar, holds up two fingers, and says: “Five beers, please.”

Americans spend more on coffee than on education. How do we sleep at night?

Today is that day where anything you read online could be totally made up. Oh, wait, that's every day. – Nick Bilton

Wow. The heads of all major religions (iOS, Android, Windows, and the Catholic Church) have been replaced in a 6 month time period.

What do you call a Pope who resigns? Ex Benedict.

A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

About ...

Left over from my days in AWANA around six years ago. Mary does her "Mr. Wilson" imitation before we removed the graphics to re-purpose the foam board.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

The Gluten Free Burger Project

(Updated May 2, 2017 and Feb 24, 2019)

In 2006, GQ Magazine published "The 20 Hamburgers You Must Eat Before You Die." The restaurants are located everywhere from L.A. to New Haven to Seattle to Florida. We took a road trip that year, and I made a list of all these places. We ate at about half of them.

If we'd bothered to actually read the article, instead of just making the list, we might have noticed that a large part of what makes the burger is the bun. Since we must eat gluten free, and gluten-free hamburger buns were a rarity anywhere in 2006, we had to eat ours without the bun, and we missed half the experience.

Hence, my quest to identify hamburgers you must eat, served by a restaurant on a gluten free bun. Yeah, we can't eat gluten, Yeah, we want to eat our burger on a bun just like you do. Yeah, gluten-free buns are readily available. Yeah, lettuce wraps and corn tortillas do not cut it.

This is a list of restaurants purported to serve a decent burger on a gluten-free bun. We have not eaten at many of them, so now that we've identified a few, we can start checking them out. If you know anything about them, or have an opinion, or know of some that are not in our list, please comment. There is a list of resources at the bottom. I had these criteria for whether or not to list:
  1. They must list the GF bun option on their online menu. 
  2. It is not enough to just be listed on some GF web site.
  3. They must not have bad reviews on any GF web site or any review web site.

We have visited these

1. Smashburger - 300 locations
Our current favorite. A really soft GF bun. Helpful servers. And they have sweet potato fries cooked using a dedicated frier. Good shakes too. It's like fast food, not much ambience.

2. Red Robin - 500 locations
We only had a bad experience once, when they didn't really know how to cook the bun. And they tend to seat us in the bar, when we'd rather watch the children in the larger area. Their sweet potato fries are bottomless but they aren't as crisp as Smashburger's. Our favorites are the bacon guacamole burger and the DBG (with garlic aioli).

3. The Counter Burger - 40 locations, mostly in California
We ate here only once. It was good. We weren't impressed enough to visit again, when there are other places closer.

4. Koa's Seaside Grill - Lahaina, Maui
Many restaurants on Kauai and Maui will work with your gluten allergy. We just asked. The buns aren't on the menu, but they have them. (An exception to the rule.)

5. Gott's Roadside - St. Helena, San Francisco, Napa, Palo Alto
We visited the one in St. Helena when it was known as Taylor's Refresher. It was a lot of fun. The food was all huge. Everyone sits at long tables while the children play on the lawn. Don't know anything about their GF buns.

Update: We visited the Palo Alto location. The burger is big. They made my shake wrong twice before they got it correct.

6.  Armadillo Willy's - 8 locations in the bay area.
I visited the one near Blossom Hill and Almaden one day at lunch time. The burger was huge!

7. The Melt - 18 locations in San Jose, Palo Alto, southern California, Colorado, and Texas.
We went once. It was OK. The burger was nothing to write home about.

8. Scramblz - San Jose. Update 6-6-17: the bun is very soft. You can get side of GF waffles or french toast. Scramblz has a disclaimer that their kitchen is not GF and cross contamination could be a problem. We've never had a problem, but someone more sensitive that we are might get glutened.

9. Lyfe Kitchen - 14 locations in Cupertino, Palo Alto, southern California, Las Vegas, Colorado, Texas, Memphis, and Chicago. We ate at the one in Valencia near Magic Mountain. The bun was crunchy to the touch but soft in the mouth. The Farmhouse Burger is served with bacon and an egg over easy. The meat was cooked to medium, still pink.

10. Manna Cafe in Fresno. We did not have the burger, but the breakfast was wonderful.

11. Hero Certified Burgers in Ontario and Quebec. We ate at the lone outpost in Montreal. This one comes near the top of our list for its locally made gluten free bun with poppy seeds. Most of the other burgers we've eaten use the same off the shelf gluten free bun from a major baker.

12. B Good - 27 locations around Boston. We visited the one on Washington Street, near the State Street T station. The burger and sweet potato fries were tasty. They have some healthy brand of fountain sodas that still met my caffeine needs. Their niche seems to be healthy, locally-sourced food.

13. Mooyah Burger - Los Gatos, Morgan Hill, Walnut Creek, southern California, AL, AR, CO, CT, FL, IL, LA, MA, MT, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, TN, TX, VA, WI, Canada, Mexico, Middle East. Not all locations have gluten free buns, but Los Gatos has it listed.

14. Burgerville - 39 locations in the Portland, Oregon area. We ate at the one in Albany, Oregon. The bun was not toasted.

We visited these before they had GF buns

15. Santa Fe Bite - Santa Fe, NM
This one is owned by the owners of the Bobcat Bite, which closed. Bobcat was one of GQ's 20. Their burger was ok, but the small restaurant made it difficult. They are in a larger location now. Here is a recent review.

These locations are near us in northern California

  1. Moxy Beer Garden - Berkeley
  2. Farm Burger - Berkeley, San Anselmo, North Carolina, and Georgia
  3. Kronnerburger - Oakland
  4. Drake's Brewing Company - Oakland
  5. Fast Food Francais - Sausalito
  6. Saturn Cafe - Berkeley
  7. Bernal Star - San Francisco
  8. BurgerMeister - Daly City, Alameda, San Francisco, Berkeley
  9. Mona's Burgers - Walnut Creek
  10. Broderick Road House - Walnut Creek, Sacramento
  11. Shoreline Coffee Shop - Mill Valley
  12. Moss Beach Distillery - Moss Beach

OK, still on the west coast, at least

  1. Burger Lounge - 20 locations in Los Angeles and San Diego
  2. Blue Moon Burgers - Seattle
  3. Cheeseburger Nation - Las Vegas, 4 on Oahu, 3 on Maui (we saw the one in Lahaina but we did not eat there)
  4. Wahlburgers - Las Vegas, FL, MA, MI, NY, PA, SC, Canada
  5. Blazing Onion - 7 locations in the Seattle area

At least some locations west of the Mississippi?

  1. Burger 21 - 20 locations mostly in Florida and Georgia, but also TX, IL, MI, PA, NY, VA, NC, NJ
  2. Culvers - 600 (?) locations in (in order of frequency) Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, Michigan, IN, FL, IA, MO AZ, KY, SD, CO, TX, NE, OH, TN, UT, GA, KS, ND, SC, NC, ID, WY
  3. Cheeseburger in Paradise - FL, SC, VA, MD, NJ, IN, NE
  4. Guru Burgers and Crepes - Sugar Land, Texas
  5. Cafe Abiquiu - Abiquiu, NM
  6. Guru Burgers and Crepes - Sugar Land, TX - and it looks like they have gluten free crepes too!

The east coast or somewhere else far away

  1. The Nomad Hotel - New York
  2. The Little Beet Table - New York
  3. Vinsetta Garage - Berkley, Michigan
  4. Bareburger - 25 locations, mostly in NY and NJ
  5. Dakota Blue - Atlanta
  6. Sprig Restaurant - Decatur, GA
  7. South City Kitchen - 2 locations in Atlanta
  8. Yeah Burger - 2 locations in Atlanta
  9. Mainely Burgers - Cambridge, MA

Closed since this list was first created

  1. Four Burgers - Cambridge, MA

Friday, July 29, 2016

Took a walk on a beautiful Maui beach before packing up to head home.

Got breakfast at Hawaiian Moons health food store, then walked across the street to Kamaole Beach. We walked the length of it, about 1/4 mile. This was at the far end where it turns from sand into rocks.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Friday, July 1, 2016

Student Test Answers

These are from test papers and essays submitted to science and health teachers by junior high, high school, and college students around the world.

"When you breath, you inspire. When you do not breath, you expire."

"H2O is hot water, and CO2 is cold water."

"To collect fumes of sulphur, hold a deacon over a flame in a test tube."

"When you smell an odorless gas, it is probably carbon monoxide."

"Three kinds of blood vessels are arteries, vanes and caterpillars."

"Blood flows down one leg and up the other."

"Respiration is composed of two acts, first inspiration, and then expectoration."

"Artificial insemination is when the farmer does it to the cow instead of the bull."

"The body consists of three parts- the brainium, the borax and the abominable cavity. The brainium contains the brain, the borax contains the heart and lungs, and the abominable cavity contains the bowls, of which there are five - a, e, i, o, and u."

"The pistol of a flower is its only protections against insects."

"The tides are a fight between the Earth and moon. All water tends towards the moon, because there is no water in the moon, and nature abhors a vacuum. I forget where the sun joins in this fight."

"A fossil is an extinct animal. The older it is, the more extinct it is."

"Equator: A menagerie lion running around the Earth through Africa."

"Liter: A nest of young puppies."

"Magnet: Something you find crawling all over a dead cat."

"Momentum: What you give a person when they are going away."

"Planet: A body of Earth surrounded by sky."

"Rhubarb: A kind of celery gone bloodshot."

"Vacuum: A large, empty space where the pope lives."

"To remove dust from the eye, pull the eye down over the nose."

"For a nosebleed: Put the nose much lower then the body until the heart stops."

"For drowning: Climb on top of the person and move up and down to make artificial perspiration."

"For fainting: Rub the person's chest or, if a lady, rub her arm above the hand instead. Or put the head between the knees of the nearest medical doctor."

"For dog bite: put the dog away for several days. If he has not recovered, then kill it."

"For asphyxiation: Apply artificial respiration until the patient is dead."

"For head cold: use an agonizer to spray the nose until it drops in your throat."

"To keep milk from turning sour: Keep it in the cow."

Thursday, June 30, 2016

End of the world

When the end of the world arrives how will the media report it?
USA Today:
The Wall Street Journal:
National Enquirer:
Microsoft Systems Journal:
Sports Illustrated:
Rolling Stone:
Readers Digest:
Discover Magazine:
TV Guide:
Ladies Home Journal:
America Online:
Inc. magazine:

Monday, June 27, 2016

The Four F's

A psychology professor of mine used to say the following in the neuropsychology section of his intro course:

The hypothalamus is one of the most important parts of the brain, involved in many kinds of motivation, among other functions. The hypothalamus controls the "Four F's":

1. fighting;
2. fleeing;
3. feeding; and
4. mating.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Group Meeting Announcement

Reminder: There is a group meeting tomorrow, Friday July 28th, at 11 AM, in the usual place. Wai-Mo Suen will be speaking.

As you were probably unaware, Wai-Mo is a Mad Scientist masquerading as a normal member of our group. At this group meeting, he will reveal his Secret Plans for dominating the entire planet, proving once and for all that he is an Evil Genius on par with the best. His strangely twisted theories are far too unconventional to be accepted by the pathetic idiots who pass themselves off as "scientists." Indeed, we can probably expect Wai-Mo to treat us to a passionate speech ending with the phrase, "Fools! I'll destroy you all!" (though Wai-Mo will probably say it with an accent). The meeting will end when a muscular young man with an astonishing tan breaks down the door to the meeting room, and destroys Wai-Mo's apparatus of doom.

At tomorrow's group meeting, we will also learn the risks of describing the topic of one's presentation as "To Be Announced."

Friday, June 24, 2016


First, God created the Irish. He said to himself, "These people are fun. They're very fun. But I don't want them to ever rule the world." So to handicap them, He gave them Whisky.

Then God created the Scots. He said to himself, "These people are almost as much fun as the Irish. But I don't want them to ever the world, either." So to handicap them, He gave them Kilts and Bagpipes.

Then God created the Welsh. He took one look at them, and said, "No way!!" So to handicap them, He gave them the Welsh language.

Finally, God created the English. And for the smallest possible moment in time, He was worried. For he knew that these people would come closer to ruling the world than any of the others. So he realized that he needed to give them a great handicap. So He gave them ... the Irish, Scots, and Welsh.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Universe

Remember, the universe is composed of:

• 13% Electrons,
• 13% Protons,
• 14% Neutrons, and
• 60% Morons.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Explaining the Inexplicable

These are responses to a contest sponsored by OMNI magazine.

Grand Prize Winner:

When a cat is dropped, it always lands on its feet, and when toast is dropped, it always lands with the buttered side facing down. I propose to strap buttered toast to the back of a cat; the two will hover, spinning inches above the ground. With a giant buttered cat array, a high-speed monorail could easily link New York with Chicago.


1. If an infinite number of rednecks riding in an infinite number of pickup trucks fire an infinite number of shotgun rounds at an infinite number of highway signs, they will eventually produce all the worlds great literary works in Braille.

2. Communist China is technologically underdeveloped because they have no alphabet and therefore cannot use acronyms to communicate ideas at a faster rate.

Honorable Mentions:

1. The reason hot-rod owners raise the backs of their cars is that it's easier to go faster when you're always going downhill.

2. The quantity of consonants in the English language is constant. If omitted in one place, they turn up in another. When a Bostonian "pahks" his "cah," the lost r's migrate southwest, causing a Texan to "warsh" his car and invest in "erl wells."

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Deep Thoughts

Deja Fu: The feeling that somehow, somewhere, you've been kicked in the head like this before.

A polar bear is a rectangular bear after a coordinate transform.

Photons have mass? I didn't know they were Catholic!

If you had everything, where would you keep it? ~ Steven Wright

I am returning this otherwise good typing paper to you because someone has printed gibberish all over it and put your name at the top. ~ English Professor, Ohio University

What was sliced bread the greatest thing since?

Q: How many surrealists does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
A: Two. One to hold the giraffe and the other to fill the bathtub with brightly colored machine tools.

Character density: The number of very weird people in the office.

Save the whales. Collect the whole set.

This is not a novel to be tossed aside lightly. It should be thrown with great force. ~ Dorothy Parker

To err is human, to moo bovine.

The meek shall inherit the earth -- they are too weak to refuse.

I can't complain, but sometimes I still do. ~ Joe Walsh

Diplomacy is the art of saying "nice doggy" until you can find a rock.

There are two major products to come out of Berkeley: LSD and UNIX. We don't believe this to be a coincidence.

Monday, June 13, 2016

The Tattered Billboard

As I was walking down the street one dark and dreary day,
I came upon a billboard and much to my dismay,
The words were torn and tattered from the storm the night before,
The wind and rain had done its work and this is how it goes,

Smoke Coca-Cola cigarettes, chew Wrigleys spearmint beer,
Ken-L-Ration dog food makes your complection clear,
Simonize your baby in a Hershey candy bar,
And Texaco's a beauty cream that's used by every star.

Take your next vacation in a brand new Frigedaire,
Learn to play the piano in your winter underware,
Doctors say that babies should smoke until they're three,
And people over sixty-five should bathe in Lipton tea.


Some remarked that they sang this at camp to the tune of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Science According to Children

The beguiling ideas about science quoted here were gleaned from essays, exams, and class room discussions. Most were from 5th and 6th graders. They illustrate Mark Twain's contention that "The most interesting information comes from children, for they tell all they know and then stop."

One horsepower is the amount of energy it takes to drag a horse 500 feet in one second.

Thunder is a rich source of loudness. You can listen to thunder after lightening and tell how close you came to getting hit. If you don't hear it you got hit, so never mind.

When they broke open molecules, they found they were only stuffed with atoms. But when they broke open atoms, they found them stuffed with explosions.

When people run around and around in circles we say they are crazy. When planets do it we say they are orbiting.

While the earth seems to be knowingly keeping its distance from the sun, it is really only centrificating.

South America has cold summers and hot winters, but somehow they still manage.

Most books now say our sun is a star. But it still knows how to change back into a sun in the daytime.

Water freezes at 32 degrees and boils at 212 degrees. There are 180 degrees between freezing and boiling because there are 180 degrees between north and south.

A vibration is a motion that cannot make up its mind which way it wants to go.

In some rocks you can find the fossil footprints of fishes. Many dead animals in the past changed to fossils while others preferred to be oil.

Genetics explain why you look like your father and if you don't why you should.

Vacuums are nothings. We only mention them to let them know we know they're there.

Some oxygen molecules help fires burn while others help make water, so sometimes it's brother against brother.

We say the cause of perfume disappearing is evaporation. Evaporation gets blamed for a lot of things people forget to put the top on.

To most people solutions mean finding the answers. But to chemists solutions are things that are still all mixed up.

In looking at a drop of water under a microscope, we find there are twice as many H's as O's.

Humidity is the experience of looking for air and finding water. We keep track of the humidity in the air so we won't drown when we breathe.

Cyanide is so poisonous that one drop of it on a dogs tongue will kill the strongest man.

Clouds are high flying fogs. Rain is saved up in cloud banks. Rain is often known as soft water, oppositely known as hail.

The wind is like the air, only pushier. A hurricane is a breeze of a bigly size. A blizzard is when it snows sideways. A monsoon is a French gentleman.

Friday, June 10, 2016

A Short History of Medicine

I have an earache:

2000 B.C. - Here, eat this root.
1000 A.D. - That root is heathen. Here, say this prayer.
1850 A.D. - That prayer is superstition. Here, drink this potion.
1940 A.D. - That potion is snake oil. Here, swallow this pill.
1985 A.D. - That pill is ineffective. Here, take this antibiotic.
2000 A.D. - That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Did you know?

If you toss a penny 10000 times, it will not be heads 5000 times, but more like 4950. The heads picture weighs more, so it ends up on the bottom.

The glue on Israeli postage stamps is certified as being kosher.

Every time you lick a stamp, you're consuming 1/10 of a calorie.

Los Angeles' full name is "El Pueblo de Nuestra Senora la Reina de los Angeles de Porciuncula."

Only one person in two billion will live to be 116 or older.

An ostrich's eye is bigger than its brain.

Ben and Jerry's send the waste from making ice cream to local pig farmers to use as feed. Pigs love the stuff, except for one flavor: Mint Oreo.

Dueling is legal in Paraguay as long as both parties are registered blood donors.

It was discovered on a space mission that a frog can throw up. The frog throws up its stomach first, so the stomach is dangling out of its mouth. Then the frog uses its forearms to dig out all of the stomach's contents and then swallows the stomach back down again.

Charles Lindbergh took only four sandwiches with him on his famous transatlantic flight.

Goethe couldn't stand the sound of barking dogs and could only write if he had an apple rotting in the drawer of his desk.

A group of unicorns is called a blessing. Twelve or more cows are known as a "flink." A group of frogs is called an army. A group of rhinos is called a crash. A group of kangaroos is called a mob. A group of whales is called a pod. A group of geese is called a gaggle. A group of ravens is called a murder. A group of officers is called a mess. A group of larks is called an exaltation. A group of owls is called a parliament.

In England, the Speaker of the House is not allowed to speak.

If a cat falls off the seventh floor of a building, it has about a thirty percent less chance of surviving than a cat that falls off the twentieth floor. It supposedly takes about eight floors for the cat to realize what is occurring before it relaxes and corrects itself.

Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks; otherwise, it will digest itself.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Wholly Babble

It is truly astonishing what happens in Bible stories when they are retold by young scholars around the world:

In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, God got tired of creating the world, so He took the Sabbath off. Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree. Noah's wife was called Joan of Ark. Noah built an ark, which the animals came onto in pears. Lot's wife was a pillar of salt by day, but a ball of fire by night.

The Jews were a proud people and throughout history they had trouble with the unsympathetic Genitals. Samson was a strongman who let himself be led astray by a Jezebel like Delilah. Samson slayed the Philistines with the axe of the apostles.

Moses led the Hebrews to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread made without any ingredients. The Egyptians were all drowned in the dessert. Afterwards, Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the Ten Amendments. The First Commandment was when Eve told Adam to eat the apple. The Fifth Commandment is to humor thy father and mother. The seventh Commandment is thou shalt not admit adultery.

Moses died before he ever reached Canada. Then Joshua led the Hebrews in the battle of Geritol. The greatest miracle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him.

David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar. He fought with the Finklesteins, a race of people who lived in Biblical times. Solomon, one of David's sons, had 300 wives and 700 porcupines.

When Mary heard that she was the mother of Jesus, she sang the Magna Carta. When the three wise guys from the east side arrived, they found Jesus in the manager. Jesus was born because Mary had an immaculate contraption. St. John, the Blacksmith, dumped water on his head.

Jesus enunciated the Golden Rule, which says to do one to others before they do one to you. He also explained, "Man doth not live by sweat alone." It was a miracle when Jesus rose from the dead and managed to get the tomb stone off the entrance.

The people who followed the Lord were called the 12 decibels. The epistles were the wives of the apostles. One of the opossums was St. Matthew who was by profession, a taximan.

St. Paul cavorted to Christianity. He preached holy acrimony, which is another name for marriage. A Christian should have only one wife. This is called monotony.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Writing Advice

Remember to never split an infinitive. The passive voice should never be used. Do not put statements in the negative form. Don't use contractions in formal writing, and don't use no double negatives. It is incumbent on one to avoid archaisms. Proofread carefully to see if you words out or incorect speling. It has come to our considered attention that in a large majority of cases, far too many people use a great deal more words than is absolutely necessary when engaged in the practice of writing sentences. If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of redundant repetition can be stamped out and removed by rereading and editing.

A writer must not shift your point of view. If the writer is considerate of the reader, he won't have a problem with ambiguous sentences. Don't write a run-on sentence its hard to read you must punctuate it. If a dependent clause precedes an independent clause put a comma after the dependent clause. But avoid commas, that are not necessary, and don't overuse exclamation marks!!! Use the semicolon properly, always use it where it is appropriate; and never where it isn't. Reserve the apostrophe for it's proper use and omit it when its not needed. In particular, do not use apostrophe's for plural's. In statements involving two word phrases,make an all out effort to use hyphens, but make sure you hyp-
henate properly.

Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors. Always pick on the correct idiom. Avoid colloquial stuff, and trendy locutions that sound flaky. Also, avoid all awkward or affected alliteration. Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all. Beware of and eschew pompous prolixity, and avoid the utilization of enlarged words when shortened ones are sufficient. Avoidification of neologisms strengthenifies your prosification. It is not resultful to transform one part of speech into another by prefixing, suffixing, or other alterings. Perform a functional iterative analysis on your work to root out third generation transitional buzz words. Steer clear of incorrect forms of verbs that have snuck into the language. The de facto use of foreign phrases vis-a-vis plain English in your written tete-a-tetes makes the sentence harder to understand.

Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing. Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents. Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided. One will not have needed the future perfect tense in one's entire life. If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is. Write all adverbial forms correct. Don't verb nouns. Verbs has to agree with their subjects, and the adverb always follows the verb. This sentence no verb. Which is not a complete sentence, but merely a subordinate clause. A preposition is something you should never end a sentence with. And don't start a sentence
with a conjunction.

Last but not least, avoid dyed-in-the-wool cliches like the plague; seek viable alternatives.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Why Engineers Don't Write Recipe Books

Chocolate Chip Cookies


1.) 532.35 cm3 gluten
2.) 4.9 cm3 NaHCO3
3.) 4.9 cm3 refined halite
4.) 236.6 cm3 partially hydrogenated tallow triglyceride
5.) 177.45 cm3 crystalline C12H22O11
6.) 177.45 cm3 unrefined C12H22O11
7.) 4.9 cm3 methyl ether of protocatechuic aldehyde
8.) Two calcium carbonate-encapsulated avian albumen-coated protein
9.) 473.2 cm3 theobroma cacao
10.) 236.6 cm3 de-encapsulated legume meats (sieve size #10)

To a 2-L jacketed round reactor vessel (reactor #1) with an overall heat transfer coefficient of about 100 Btu/F-ft2-hr, add ingredients one, two and three with constant agitation. In a second 2-L reactor vessel with a radial flow impeller operating at 100 rpm, add ingredients four, five, six, and seven until the mixture is homogenous. To reactor #2, add ingredient eight, followed by three equal volumes of the homogenous mixture in reactor #1. Additionally, add ingredient nine and ten slowly, with constant agitation. Care must be taken at this point in the reaction to control any temperature rise that may be the result of an exothermic reaction.

Using a screw extrude attached to a #4 nodulizer, place the mixture piece-meal on a 316SS sheet (300 x 600 mm). Heat in a 450K oven for a period of time that is in agreement with Frank & Johnston's first order rate expression (see JACOS, 21, 55), or until golden brown. Once the reaction is complete, place the sheet on a 25C heat-transfer table, allowing the product to come to equilibrium.

Saturday, April 2, 2016


I had a dream last night that I was back in college and I forgot to turn in the last assignment, rushing to finish it the last day, and the instructor insisted that I turn it in on a FLOPPY DISK, and I’m wondering, where the heck is my FLOPPY DISK drive that I can attach to my Mac and how long is it going to take, those things are so slow, and will my project even FIT on a floppy disk, and ARGGH!!!

Monday, March 21, 2016

What programming language should I learn next?

The latest programming language rankings came out last month, and the most popular languages have not changed much since last time, nor have they changed much over several years.

When I think about learning a new programming language, I think about several things:
  • How easy is this language to learn?
  • How will I learn the language? In a community college class, online tutorials, or just study the manual?
  • What can I use this language for?
  • What tools does this language require? Can I install it on my computer?
Here is a summary of this information for the most popular programming languages.

LanguageDifficultyUsed forLearn at
JavaScriptEasyWeb clientCollege
JavaMediumGeneral purpose, AndroidCollege
PHPEasyWeb serverCollege
PythonEasyGeneral purpose, scripting, QA, ITCollege
C++DifficultGeneral purpose, embeddedCollege
RubyEasyWeb server, scripting, QA, ITOnline
CSSEasyWeb stylesCollege
CEasyGeneral purpose, embeddedCollege
Objective-CDifficultMac and iOSCollege

These languages have a ranking from 1 to 10, but the fact is, they are all very popular languages and no one language is used a lot more than any other language on the list.

JavaScript is used on more than 90 percent of all web pages worldwide. You can use JavaScript to create animations, validate web forms, create web applications that run on data, and exchange data in the background with a server. JavaScript is a very easy language to learn, and you can learn it at almost any community college.

Java is a general purpose language that is used in many embedded systems. Embedded systems are things we don't typically think of as computers, like set-top boxes and electric meters. But Java is probably most famous for programming Android apps. Java is not too easy to learn, but it is not super hard either. You can learn it at most community colleges and some universities.

PHP is used to create web servers that can access SQL databases. It is the most widely used web server language, being the language of choice for about 70 percent of web sites worldwide. It is easy to learn. You can take a class at several community colleges.

Python is one of the easiest languages to learn. It is used a lot for IT scripting. You can learn it at many community colleges.

C# is used to program Windows and Windows Phone applications in the .NET framework. It is a hard language to learn. Some community colleges offer classes.

C++ is an older general purpose language. It is used a lot for embedded systems programming (see above). C++ is hard to learn. Many community colleges offer classes, and some universities.

Ruby is an easy scripting language. It is used in many of the same applications as Python, but the Ruby on Rails framework lets you set up a web server quickly without having to learn PHP and Apache. For that reason, a lot of startup companies use it to quickly set up their web sites. But later, they will switch back over to PHP for the long term. Ruby is one of the few languges that is rarely offered as a college class. You'll have to buy a book or take an online tutorial. Ruby is an easy language to learn, but setting up Ruby on Rails is difficult.

CSS is the language for making web site styles. I'm surprised it is on this list. It is important for making web sites, but it is not a true programming language. You can learn CSS as a part of most HTML classes in college.

C is an older version of C++ that is not object oriented. It is a very fast and powerful language, easy to learn, but also dangerous. It has many features that only experienced programmers should use, but beginners try it anyway. It is mostly used in embedded systems that must work very quickly, "in real time." You can learn C as a part of a C++ class in college.

Objective-C is the language for writing Mac and iOS apps in Xcode. Until two years ago, it was the only option for writing Apple apps, which explains its wide use. Some colleges offer Objective-C classes, but most colleges are switching over to the newer Swift language. You can find a Stanford class in Objective-C and Swift online, but they expect you to be a smart Stanford student.

What about other languages?

Swift is Apple's replacement for Objective-C. It is much easier to learn than Objective-C. But Swift hasn't yet caught up with Objective-C because it has some idiosyncrasies and it is missing a few features. Also, programmers have been using Objective-C for many years, but Swift has not been available that long yet.

SQL, particularly MySQL, is not on this list but it ought to be. MySQL is a language for accessing the most common form of database. It is used a lot with PHP. So it ought to rank up there almost as high as PHP. The reason it is missing from this list is because of the way the data was gathered.

Perl is a popular language that has been losing ground to Python and Ruby, because they all do similar things but Python and Ruby are much easier than Perl.

Go (or Golang) is a new language from Google that is easy to use, but hasn't really found its niche yet.

Groovy is a new language that combines the best of Java and the scripting languages like Python. It uses Java syntax, but it can be run as a script without needing a Java compiler.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

St. Paddy's Day

My dear Aunt Roe had a *big* cat she named Patrick. We liked to call him Paddy. She always said, "Don't call him Patty, that is a girl's name!" I bet there are a number of fine Irish lads who'd beg to differ.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

The Software Development Process


It starts with the customer telling you what they want in the software project. The customer might be a paying customer. Or it might be another department within your company, your boss, or the instructor in your class.

It is important that the customer, whoever they are, tell you clearly what they are looking for. The main avenue for communicating this information is the requirements document. This is a written formal document that lists everything the customer is looking for.

The communication of the requirements document is usually followed up with a face-to-face meeting to settle details and verify there are no misunderstandings.


You or your company will then reply to the requirements document with another document called the specification. The specification will list all the details about how you will accomplish the customer's requirements. The specification will usually be created with conferences and meetings, because it must be detailed and specific; it is rare that one single person knows all the details about design, coding, testing, pricing, customer contact, and so on. Those functions are usually split up among different departments. So the specification document may require a bit of coordination.

The customer will then review the specification and sign off on it once they believe it sufficiently handles all the details they require.


Of course, someone must code the customer's final product. Traditionally, coding does not start until the specification document has been signed off. In the modern world of technology, this rarely works. Instead of proceeding neatly from step to step in this process, we frequently work together on all steps at the same time. All modern companies like Google and Facebook work this way. You can tell if you are looking at an older or more traditional company because they want you to know about SDLC or Software Development Life Cycle. You can tell if you are looking at a more modern company because they are looking for things like Agile.

In Agile programming, there may be a lot of back-and-forth between requirements, specification, and coding. Because of this, the requirements may change while you are in the process of coding. So you have to be ready to change plans at a moment's notice without complaining. This is why the process is called Agile (able to change direction quickly).


Every software product must be tested. Larger companies usually devote whole departments to nothing but testing. This is an important part of the software process. Without it, you may release a product that has bugs, and this will give you a bad reputation. If your product is not fully tested, it may get bad reviews in the iTunes store (or Google Play) and other potential buyers may decide not to try it.


This can easily be the longest part of the software process, because maintenance can last many years. Every time Apple changes Swift or Xcode, or the libraries, or a new product comes out (iPad Ginormous?), you may have to change things in your code. Also, buyers will report bugs in your code, and request new features.

So it is important that you write your code clearly, with comments, so next year, when you are trying to fix a bug, you can remember how your own code works. You'd be surprised how easy it is to forget what you were doing after you've not looked at your code for a while.