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86 minutes | Sep 2, 2014
Episode 23: Technically Speaking - Planes Have Feelings Too!
Quick Survey - What type of Engineers are the best Engineers? While you search AIR and SPACE for the correct answer, here's a wonderful image to influence your opinion for you to enjoy while you think. Alright, the results are in, and EVERYONE seems to agree that Aerospace Engineers are the best! So, since you know we only bring you what you want to hear, this episode features THREE (that's right THREE) Aerospace Engineers! Engineer #1 - Jacob Stump, Engineer #2 - Joe Batwinis, and Engineer #3 - Our guest, Melissa Miesle! Melissa works on Jet Engines, so first we talk about Jet Engines (and how cool they are), before transitioning to talk about Aerospace Engineering in general in our "Who Wants To Be an Engineer!" segment! What can you do with an AE degree? (Answer: Literally anything) What kinds of subjects to AE's study in college? (Answer: Only the good stuff) How much money do they make? (Actually we didn't answer this one... email us if you're curious). After we finish gloating about how awesome we all are, we start trying to figure out the secret behind BAE's new "sensing" smart aircraft skin. Senior researcher Lydia Hyde gives a bit of hint in her interview on the topic, but it's hard to say how it really might work. Got any ideas? Let us know what you think!
86 minutes | Jul 13, 2014
Episode 22: Technically Speaking - Volcanic X-Planes
Finally! An episode about airplanes again! Strap into your ejection seat, secure the canopy, and turn on the afterburners, because this episode of Technically Speaking is about to go ballistic! On this episode of Technically Speaking, Joe and Jacob are joined by "bossman" and imaginaire extraordinaire, Ryan Haupt to talk about cool airplanes and volcanoes! First, Ryan submitted a paper on shape-changing wings for improved efficiency that Jacob doesn't seem terribly impressed by. How would a shape changing wing affect efficiency in the first place? How would it be built? What are the engineering tradeoffs involved in a shape changing wing? Find out when you listen! Next, we get all nostalgic talking about X-Planes! (not the flight sim) And much to our satisfaction, NASA appears to have earmarked some funding for 2015 to invest in new, innovative aviation ideas! Does this mean that Joe and his new 3D printer will be applying for some funds? We're optimistic (obviously), but is 79$ Million enough? I guess we'll find out! Lastly, in this week's Brainstorm, we have a listener submitted question about going scuba diving IN A VOLCANO! (and luckily we have a Geologist with us to talk about it, cuz' we know zippy-zap about Vo
78 minutes | Jun 12, 2014
Episode 21: Technically Speaking - How to Store Your Dragon
Chemicals! In! Spaceeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! This week on Technically Speaking, we invite another member of the Brachiolope Media Network to come hang out: Chad Jones, of The Collapsed Wavefunction Podcast! Hooray! Chad talks to us about his awesome podcast, and chemistry in general. Jacob finds out his favorite word (ubiquitous) is also a protein, and Chad gets insults engineers, even though he's about to be one himself. Harumph. Next up: It's our 1 year anniversary! That means it's time for a contest! A Flyer contest! So, a few years back, Science... Sort Of did a flyer contest. In an attempt to pick up some new listeners, and in honor of our show's birthday/anniversary/date-of-marginal-significance we'd like to copy SSO and have our own. However, unlike SSO, our contest is to be a 2 part contest, which means, multiple prizes! woot! Part 1) You, our talented listeners, use your computer boxes and photoshop/illustrator/MS Paint skills to come up with a flyer for us to use in the contest. 1 Sheet, normal letter size paper (8.5 x 11 in). The judges (Your favorite podcast hosts) will pick from the submissions their favorite. The artist receives a prize (still to be determined, watch the Facebook page and twitter) and their artwork will be distributed for part 2!
70 minutes | May 13, 2014
Episode 20: Technically Speaking - Taking a Bite Out of Poaching
DISCLAIMER: In this episode of Technically Speaking, we will be devising new and ingenious ways to prevent poachers from illegally killing animals in Africa. If you are a poacher, and are illegally killing animals in Africa, you should probably stop doing that and you should probably not listen to this episode because we're not going to say very nice things about you and the kind of people you hang around with. YOU'VE BEEN WARNED! On this episode of Technically Speaking, Joe and Jacob are joined by renowned Human Factors Psychologist Phil Jasper to talk about "the softer side" of engineering and technology - Human Factors! Fear not, young Techies... Phil's area of study is deeply ingrained in the world of tech. It's not exaggerating to say that every product which interacts with a human and requires an Engineer to design, likely also requires a Human Factors analyst to fine-tune and assist in the design. So with that in mind, even though Phil isn't "technically" an Engineer, he's certainly an honorary guest on our occasional "Who Wants To Be An Engineer" Segment! After learning about Human Factors, Phil walks us through his current research project - The Bite Counter. The Bite Counter is a device that counts the number of "bites" you take (of food) in a given day (NOTE: NOT the number of "chews". Yes, I was confused at first as well.). It does this through some incredible pattern recognition to distinguish the characteristic "wrist roll" humans tend to exhibit when they're eating food. Don't get it? Listen to Phil explain it, and we promise it will make sense. More importantly, Phil and his team have devised a way to use the Bite Counter to automate your diet! (So clearly this is right up out alley) Interested? Listen to Phil's explanation and our mini-br
60 minutes | Apr 16, 2014
Episode 19: Technically Speaking - Here Comes the Sun
Well Techies, I don't care what the weather report says... Summer is almost here, and things are heating up on Technically Speaking! This episode of Technically Speaking is dedicated to one of our favorite pieces of technology: Solar Power! And since we both love aviation, it makes sense for us to start with an exciting project to circumnavigate the globe on solar power! The Swiss R&D Outfit Solar Impulse has just unveiled their 2nd solar powered aircraft, dubbed the HB-SIB. Not exactly the most exciting name, but it has some incredible statistics: Wingspan longer than an A380; Gross Weight lower than a mid-size sedan, and a minimum cruise speed of just 25 knots (~28 mph!). Even more interesting is how similar the design of this aircraft is to certain other aircraft with completely different mission profiles. (And just how in the world can you make a wing that big anyway?) And even though it's a very slow flight, it's not "non-stop", and it's clearly not a model for how to make airplanes in the future, we still think it's pretty cool. And since solar powered cars aren't really a thing, we move on to the real success story of 2013, which is Rooftop Solar power! With a 26% growth in Solar Power capacity, 2013 turned out to be the biggest year for Photovoltaics in history. Please forgive our ignorance as we venture into a nexus of Engineering and Economics, and try to t
61 minutes | Mar 18, 2014
Episode 18: Technically Speaking - Coffee Piracy
Yo ho, yo ho a podcaster's life for me.... On this episode of Technically Speaking, Joe and Jacob reminisce about the good times with Windows XP, now that it's days are truly numbered. Why do so many people still use Windows XP in 2014? Do they even know what version of Window's they're running (Don't worry, Microsoft has got you covered) It's really an interesting question, when you consider how few people were likely still using Windows 3.1 in 2001. Does XP's long term success mean that we truly care more about functionality than design? Or does it simply have to do with money, and how little people truly want to pay for an operating system? Speaking of piracy, YOU WOULDN'T DOWNLOAD A CUP OF COFFEE, WOULD YOU? Scratch that, I know you would. See, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, the company behind the all-too-stylish "Keurig" K-cup coffee brewers, believes that they are losing too much money to "Coffee Pirates", and they feel the need to do something about it! GMCR says that because they made their K-cups too easy to copy, everyone and their mother are using "unapproved" K-cups in the Keurig machines. And instead of listening to consumers and understanding that convenience is the name of the game, Keurig has decided to employ Digital Rights Management (DRM) on their new Keurig 2.0 cups, ensuring that ONLY GMCR approved cups are used in their latest machines. Ridiculous, we know... Joe and Jacob aren't heavy coffee drinkers, but maybe you have some thoughts on the topic? We'd love to
77 minutes | Feb 21, 2014
Episode 17: Technically Speaking - Metrologically Speaking
I hope you're strapped in tight for this one, Techies... We've got a really exciting topic for you this time - Rulers! ... Er, sorry, I mean LASERS! On this episode of Technically Speaking, Joe and Jacob are joined by Engineer Extraordinaire and Laser aficionado, Jared Clark! Jared works with lasers (of the non-lethal variety) to scan and measure aircraft parts to within ten-thousanths of an inch(!), and happens to be very enthusiastic about a topic that very few people have heard of before: Metrology. Metrology is, in a nutshell, the study of measurement. It is the extremely complex answer to the deceivingly simple question of "How do we measure something consistently and accurately?" We attempt to explain the nuances of why Metrology is important (while avoiding the terrible-horrible-awful-nogood "Dartboard" analogy that most of us have seen in school), and ask the tough questions at the heart of measurement-science. How are standards of measurement made? Why is it important that everyone use the same measurement standard? Was Napoleon actually short? Listen to find out! Then, we test-out Joe's new Micro-Segment which Jacob is hereby naming "Who Wants To Be An Engineer?" In this new segment, each new Engineering guest we have on will tell us a
93 minutes | Jan 21, 2014
Episode 16: Technically Speaking - Yesterday's Home of Tomorrow... Today!
Greetings from the present, Techies! We've time traveled here to Today from Yesterday, to tell you about all the new and exciting things that are coming Tomorrow, courtesy of CES 2014! On this episode of Technically Speaking, Joe and Jacob report LIVE FROM CES... er, wait, no. It's not actually live. And neither of them are actually at CES. But you get the point... Anyway, where was I? Oh right! CES! And what was the buzz about during CES this year? Surprisingly, it wasn't smartphones or televisions or laptops, but "The Connected Home". We found a lot of great products that we loved that mixed home security and home automation in a way that traditional systems never did. Are consumers are going to be either elated and confused, as the myriad of products and protocols comes onto the market at near the same time? (We counted no less than 9 different wireless connectivity protocols on-site at CES. What is Qualcomm thinking?) What do you think? Are you interested in any of these devices, or do you think it's just a gimmick? Let us know! Next, we move onto a smarter way to build homes - and if you listen to our show regularly, you can probably already guess what we're thinking - 3D Printing of course! Unfortunately, we don't know enough about concrete to make a judgement on the lon
47 minutes | Jan 7, 2014
Special Edition 1: Technically Speaking - Go Karting for Podcast Glory!
First thing's first: We WON! Ha! Take that Science Sort of! So, for those of you who don't follow Technically Speaking or Science Sort of on social media... you should, because this would make much more sense. Joe and Ryan found themselves in the Washington D.C. area around New Years and decided that they should meet up (because they never have in person) and since Joe was there, they should definitely go karting. So, facing a 40 minute drive over to Autobahn Indoor Speedway in Jessup, MD, why not record a podcast on the way? The resulting podcast would become a special edition. Host with the fastest time gets the episode for their show, loser edits it. The discussion ranged from why Joe and Jacob don't understand cats and how they move, to DC traffic vs Wyoming traffic, to X-Men: Days of Future Past, to pangolins, to a Pacific Rim mod for SimAnt. It's all a bit scattered, but we thought you'd enjoy it. Apologies on the sound quality, it was recorded in a 2005 Chevrolet Cobalt. Best Lap Times: Joe: 29.440Ryan: 30.672
58 minutes | Dec 23, 2013
Episode 15: Technically Speaking - Welcoming Our Robot Overlords
We wish you a merry APOCALYPSE! We wish you a merry APOCALYPSE! We wish you a merry APOCALYPSE, and a happy Robot Overlord! This week on Technically Speaking, we try to guess Google's intentions behind their recent purchases of a bunch of companies that make robots. Will Google continue to stick with their founding motto of "Do No Evil?" We sure hope so, because some of these companies make humanoid robots that are just a little too capable, you know what I mean? Seriously though, one of the companies (Boston Dynamics) is known for making some really unique robots that change the way we think about robotic utility, and it will be very interesting to see what they do with Google money behind them! Next, we talk about a different kind of machine... Steam Machines! Will Valve's foray into the hardware department bear fruit for the storied PC Video Game Developer? (You've got to check out their awesome shipping container) Or will it just be a fun play-thing for Linux nerds? And what is up with that weird controller!? Jacob is optimistic, Joe is pessimistic... find out why when you listen! Finally, on this week's Brainstorm, we attempt to give the US Credit Card System some help after their latest 40 Million Card Breach, by brainstorming some better ways to secure
71 minutes | Dec 10, 2013
Episode 14: Technically Speaking - Don't Call Them Drones!
Happy Tuesday, Techies! Remember how we said it'd be a month until the next release? Surprise! You win! This week on Technically speaking, we join the Andy Botwin Club as we geek out over the latest in electric bicycles. One of the problems with current electric bikes is they tend to look a bit goofy as the electrics are generally added as an afterthought, or even if they are designed in, it all ends up a bit awkward. And the bikes that do it all well tend to be a bit on the pricey side. But the Superpedestrian Copenhagen Wheel looks to change all of that. By incorporating everything required into the wheel hub, you can easily convert your existing bike! And at $799, it's relatively affordable. Next, we take to the skies with Amazon Prime Air! Have you ever wished you could have that thing you bought on Amazon Prime, like, RIGHT NOW? Well, maybe in 2015 you'll be able to! Amazon hopes to deploy fleets (Squadrons?) of small Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) at their fulfillment centers to bring you your order in 30 minutes or less! Or it's free! Perhaps not that last bit... Plus we talk a bit about the different kinds of multirotor platforms and a little helicopter history. Then we remembered that we had actually received an email from listener Edan asking us to talk about UAVs. And don't call them drones! They are smarter than that! So we talk about UAVs, and possible future uses for them in
71 minutes | Nov 26, 2013
Episode 13: Technically Speaking - Mapping the Mind of an Engineer
Happy Thanksgiving Techies! It's truly been too long, and we're thankful that you're still listening! Ever wondered what's going on inside the mind of an Engineer? Us too! This week on Technically Speaking, we're joined by Jacob Moore, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Penn State Mont Alto, to talk about how to best teach stubborn engineers, and the future of college textbooks! Professor Moore talks us through the "concept mapping" and why this may be the blueprint for a better textbook! Try our Jacob's tool yourself (especially if you're an engineering student taking Statics!) and let him know what you think! Needless to say, Joe and Jacob are enamored with this tool - we think it represents one of the first steps into the future of textbooks and learning. Seriously, check it out. (Disable your pop-up blocker!) Next, Professor Moore was kind enough to slide into our discussion on the TALLEST, FASTEST, GERMANEST, WATERSLIDE IN THE WORLD! What is it that makes waterslides an interesting physics problem? And why are waterslides so fun, despite the fact that they've fallen behind compared to roller-coasters in theme-park entertainment? Find out when you listen! Finally, thanks to listener Louis L., we outline some pretty incredible feats of super-engineering! Massive bridges, sub-sea tunnels, and moving islands are all discussed and analyzed as we flex our imaginative muscles on this installment of the Brainst
70 minutes | Oct 29, 2013
Episode 12: Technically Speaking - What, What, What, Would You Print?
Happy Halloween, Techies! Are you ready to be scared out of your mind??? ...You aren't? Well that's good, because this isn't really a scary podcast. Knowledge is power, or as Carl Sagan says, "A Candle in the Dark." So with that in mind, on this episode of Technically Speaking, we hope you don't get too scared by the prospect of 3D Printed Guns. The Greater Manchester police certainly did, when they confiscated what they believed to be "parts of a 3D printed gun." Turns out they were a little too excited to make the headline, "First confiscation of 3D Printed Gun!" Next we move on to another scary topic that loves to stir up fear and paranoia in certain publications - "Planned Obsolescence," or the idea that certain products are "designed to fail" in order to force you to have to buy another product. What is it? Who's doing it? Why does an EU group want to ban it? Is it even a real thing? Find out when you listen! Finally, we approach this week's Brainstorm with a little bit TOO MUCH FREEDOM (No such thing. -America). What would you do if you had access to the following three items: A 3D Printer (Additive Manufacturing)
83 minutes | Oct 15, 2013
Episode 11: Technically Speaking - Grasshoppers in Space
Howdy, TechFolk! We've got a real treat of an episode for you this week, oh yes we do! So tie on your bolo, shine your boots, and put on your cowboy hat, cuz this ain't our first rodeo! On this episode of All Things Elon Musk... er, uh, I mean... Technically Speaking, Jacob gets European nations mixed up with each other while Joe tries to understand how Tesla Motors managed to make the Model S the #1 selling car in Norway in September. Are Norwegians just suckers for electric cars, or they all just rich off their fossil fuel gold-mine? Next, Jacob and Joe debate over whether or not the SpaceX Grasshopper re-usable rocket is a worthwhile investment. What sort of design trade-offs do SpaceX Engineers have to make in order to make the rocket re-usable? Is reusability even a good thing? And just how do big, tall rockets manage to point straight up anyway? We try to explain it all when you listen! Then Joe decides to respond to some fan feedback... Well, not a fan of ours, but a fan of Aviation Week who takes a pretty pessimistic view over the future of the US Space Program. With companies like SpaceX on the verge of dominating the Earth-to-Low-Earth-Orbit marketplace, where does NASA fit in with the future of manned spaceflight? Where do we go from here, and how do we fund it? Without getting too political, we make our cases for why we're optimistic about the future of human spaceflight in the United States. And finally, on this week's Brainstorm, we take some inspiration from the pedal-friendly city planning of The Netherlands
70 minutes | Oct 1, 2013
Episode 10: Technically Speaking - Grand Theft Automotive Safety
Alright Techies, here's the plan... This is going to be an ICE COLD heist with a need for STEALTH. We should be in and out in just over an hour. The target is HIGH VALUE. It's labelled as, "Technically Speaking - Episode 10". Are you in? On this episode of Technically Speaking, Jacob and Joe provide a "professional" analysis of some Top Gun-style showboating by an F-22. Just how intimidating is a 2012-model F-22 Raptor to an 1967-model F-4 Raptor? You tell us! Speaking of crazy ideas that just might work, next we take a look at Japan's plan to prevent irradiated water from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant from contaminating the local groundwater and seawater USING A WALL MADE OF ICE! Though not quite "The Wall" from Game of Thrones, underground frozen pipes just might provide exactly the barrier that Engineers need to safely spool down the still-active reactors. Find out more when you listen! Next, it's time for some exciting NUMBERS! The recent release of Grand Theft Auto 5 has given us some amazing numbers to consider... Most units sold in 24 hours for an entertainment product, highest revenue in 24 hours for an entertainment product, fastest time to reach 1 Billion dollars in sales for an entertainment product. Needless to say, we were impressed. (And if you're not already aware, Jacob and Joe are gamers! Join the Science Sort Of group on Steam and game with us!) And finally, for this episode's BRAINSTORM, we
58 minutes | Sep 17, 2013
Episode 9: Technically Speaking - Spaced Out Fan Requests
On this episode of Technically Speaking, Jacob and Joe respond to all variety of Fan requests and feedback – questions, comments, suggestions, and BRAINSTORM! Just how realistic is the premise of the movie "Gravity"? Will 3D Printing companies will "turn to the dark side" (like Ink cartridge companies) by making printing materials more expensive? Is Elon Musk actually *designing* with 3D holographic projection, or is he just playing around? And in the latest edition of the BRAINSTORM, how would colonization of a far-off planet (a la Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri) differ significantly from the Zombie Apocalypse? All will be answered when you download and listen! Run Time: 57:59 Music: Space Dementia - Muse
61 minutes | Sep 3, 2013
Episode 8: Technically Speaking - Supersonic Jet Trucks
10-4 Good Buddy! Get ready for some super-sized and super-sonic topics on the latest episode of Technically Speaking! On this episode, we invited Zach Weiner, Illustrator in Chief of Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, and co-host of The Weekly Weinersmith podcast, to come listen to us geek out about trucks and airplanes... and he said yes! We start off with the most exciting topic - WALMART. No, really, we did. What? So Walmart has unveiled a new Big Rig Truck design to... well, what else... haul more stuff. And from an engineer's standpoint, they made some interesting design trade-offs in order to achieve their goal. But does it LOOK COOL? We decide when you listen! Unfortunately, our 2nd story isn't quite as exciting... it's just some silly nonsense about supersonic electrically powered commercial jet aircraft (by Elon Musk). *YAWN* How would an electric jet differ from a dead-dinosaur-powered jet? And just how much POWER does a jet engine actually produce? We most likely get a bunch of numbers wrong when we try to figure this all out. Sorry. And finally, on this episode's patent-pending BRAINSTORM segment, we try to help Ryan keep his home in Wyoming warm during the cold winter months. (It's a simple question, but it actually gets into some advanced concepts in energy efficiency and system dynamics) Let us know if we missed anything, as none of us are native cold-weather people! (We know something about cooling a home, though!) Alright Techies, Have you still not sent us an Email/Facebook message/Tweet yet? Well hurry up and do it! We'
78 minutes | Aug 20, 2013
Episode 7: Technically Speaking - The Hyperloop
Ladies and Gentlemen... This is the topic that Technically Speaking was made for... This... Is the Hyperloop. Let's start with some numbers: 20 - Dollars per one-way ticket 35 - Minutes to travel between San Francisco and Los Angeles 72 - Pounds of Drag Force on the Vehicle 760 - Miles Per Hour top speed 10 Million - Cost of vacuum pumps 6 Billion - Total cost of the Hyperloop System In this episode of Technically Speaking, Jacob and Joe give the Internet's most in-depth technical analysis of Elon Musk's "Hyperloop" design, with the help of Metallurgical Engineer Mark Miller. Everything from propulsion to construction to user-experience is discussed and analyzed. Figures are checked! Numbers are calculated! Minds are blown! (It's pretty much a Michael Bay movie, except replace explosions with equations, and sexy women with Microsoft Excel) We answer the questions that no other show can answer, like: How far along is this design? How realistic is the design concept? How serious have the designers considered Safety? And what kind of TV Shows will I be able to watch while riding the Hyperloop? All that and more will be answered when you listen! And YES, we did throw a Brainstorm into this episode! (We knew you missed it)
70 minutes | Aug 6, 2013
Episode 6: Technically Speaking - Carbon Robots
Why hello there! Take your shoes off, take a seat, and grab a cold one, because Episode 6 of Technically Speaking is here to fill your brain-gut with KNOWLEDGE JUICE! Did you know that Ford is replacing it's human workers with robot workers? You did? Well... I guess we were a bit behind the times, because we were very intrigued when we heard that Ford has started using robots to drive it's durability course! Is this system designed to save money, or is it designed to achieve higher quality? Listen to find out! Next, we decide to mix it up a little by sprinkling in some Listener Feedback! And we start out strong with an email concerning our Bicycle Brainstorm in Episode 2. How exactly is air lost from a rubber tire? And what's the deal with Carbon Fiber bikes? (BONUS: Composites act like ceramics on a stress-strain curve, and here's the graph we promised we'd show explaining it. Check out Wikipedia on the topic too.) Speaking of Carbon Fiber - Joe and Jacob get a little nerdier than usual commenting on a great article from the Wall Street Journal about Composite Structures in commercial aircraft. Are they safer/better/cheaper/stronger? Or are they just a fad that engineers like think is cool? (Spoiler: Not a fad) Learn a little about Composite Structures, Design Requirements, and Design Intent while listening! (BONUS: Check out this awesome photo of the
86 minutes | Jul 23, 2013
Episode 5: Technically Speaking - DiRTy Video Game Design
Get ready to burn some rubber with the latest episode of Technically Speaking! In this episode, we have the distinct pleasure of speaking with Paul Coleman, Chief Game Designer of the DiRT game series with Codemasters Games UK! Paul *gets technical* with us as we ask him how his team managed to develop such a realistic driving feel in DiRT 3, without being too difficult for the average gamer to learn to control. And maybe, just maybe, he'll tell us about the awesome benefits of working at Codemasters UK... And since Paul is so awesome, he stuck around to Brainstorm with us about why it is that "nice" small cars have never caught on in the United States! I mean, we drive SO many more miles per person, you'd think that we'd want better fuel economy, RIGHT? How do we make fuel efficiency SEXY in the United States? What do you think? Email us your thoughts! Listen! Comment! Share with your friends and email us some future brainstorming ideas! Music: "Blind Faith" - Chase & StatusAs featured in DiRT3
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