Posts selected fromManagement Blog - Engineering Blog - Investing Blog and other blogs
- Solar Energy Capacity by Country (graph 2009 - 2013)
In the USA, even after growing 60% in 2008, 53% in 2009, 71% in 2010, 86% in 2011, 83% in 2012 and 64% in 2013 solar energy capacity only totaled 1% of USA total electrical capacity. In 2013 hydropower was 6.8%, wind was 5.3% and biomass was 1.3%. The increase in solar capacity should continue to grow rapidly and is starting to make significant contributions to the macroeconomic energy picture.
When you look at total electricity generation solar only represented .5% (compared to 6.6% for hydropower 4.1% for wind and 1.5% for biomass).
- Hacking Saved Apollo 13
The hacking culture is much more about figuring out ways to make technology work for people than about criminals. We shouldn’t let a small sub-set of hackers defile the term.
When the oxygen tank exploded, Commander Jim Lovell made the famous statement: “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” The engineers on the ground and astronauts had to devise solutions to several very difficult problems and execute them quickly in order to return the damaged spacecraft to earth.
- Motivation and Delivering Solutions When You Work for Yourself
When you work for a company you have clear expectations for performance. If you become your own boss, for example as a digital nomad, you operate in an system that doesn’t have the same structures to enforce you focus and deliver. In many ways this is exactly what people seeking the digital nomad life want, but it also can bring challenges...
- Scientific Inquiry Leads to Using Fluoride for Healthy Teeth
I love stories of how we learn for observing what is happening. We don’t always need to innovate by thinking up creative new ideas. If we are observant we can pick up anomalies and then examine the situation to find possible explanations and then experiment to see if those explanations prove true.
When working this way we often are seeing correlation and then trying to figure out which part of the correlation is an actual cause. So in this dental example, a dentist noticed his patients had bad brown stains on their teeth than others populations did...
- Mosaic Art at Wat Xieng Thong, Luang Prabang, Laos
I really like the mosaic artwork on the walls of buildings at Wat Xieng Thong in Luang Prabang, Laos.
Luang Prabang is full of interesting temples and is a great place to walk around. The old city has been designated a World Heritage Site by the UN and I highly enjoyed staying in Luang Prabang.
- Did Deming and Drucker Agree on Important Management Practices?
There were cases where Deming and Drucker disagreed but in many ways the ideas they proposed were compatible.
- Selling Out the Country - We are Electing the Wrong People to Control Our Government
As long as the parties are lead by people happy to sell out the country and we continue to elect them things won't change. The process of changing that is difficult. There is a system that re-inforces this corrupt systems continuation. With so much of the power structure so corrupt you can't do much with the few crumbs around the edges that are not interested in selling out the country for personal gain.
- Lessons for Managers from Wisconsin and Duke Basketball
The lesson many people miss is that college teams are mostly about developing a team that wins. Developing individual players is a part of that, but it is subordinate to developing a team. I think college coaches understand this reality much more than most managers do. But a management system that develops a team that succeeds is also critical to the success of business.
- Housing Savings When Living as a Nomad
One of the big advantages of a nomadic lifestyle if you want to travel is you eliminate your primary housing expense. So when you are traveling your housing expenses are just the place you are staying while you travel not that plus your main housing as it normally is when you take a vacation.
- We Have Thousands of Viruses In Us All the Time
Biology and the amazing interactions within a human body are amazing. Our bodies are teeming with other life (and almost life – viruses). All these microbes have a drastic impact on our health and those impacts are not always bad.
The human microbiome is incredible and teams with thousands of species (bacteria, viruses, members of domain Archaea, yeasts, single-celled eukaryotes, helminth parasites and bacteriophages). The complexity of interactions between all the elements of what is in our bodies and cells is one of the things that makes health care so challenging...
- Tanjung Piai National Park – the Southernmost Point in Asia
Tanjung Piai National Park is the Southernmost point in mainland Asia – located in Johor, Malaysia. The park is about 80 km from Johor Bahru.
The part itself has mangrove swamps and nice views of the Straits. The walking trails and nice but pretty short, I would estimate under 3 km total. I enjoyed the park, but it isn’t incredibly special except for being the southernmost point in Asia.
- Encouraging the Next Generation of STEM Professionals
Those with STEM degrees have better career options than others (in terms of nearly everything: higher pay, lower unemployment and higher satisfaction with their careers).
It is true the education path for STEM is more challenging than for most careers. That is a reality that won’t change. If people are turned off by hard work, they likely wouldn’t like most STEM careers anyway. So that reality I think is fine. But the design of STEM education could be greatly improved to avoiding turning off many people who would enjoy the education and a career if the education process were better.
- Quality Beginnings: Deming and Madison, Wisconsin
David Couper: "Deming’s teachings had a strong influence in Madison. Under Mayor Joseph Sensenbrenner (1983-1989), there was a near-total involvement by city employees in applying Deming’s work to city government. These were Madison’s golden years as government, business, and educational institutions worked together to make quality an organizational lifestyle in Madison. Deming helped us to see police work as a system capable of being improved.
We also learned the value of collaborating with and learning from others outside of law enforcement. We came to see that the systems for which we were responsible, were dependent on others around us (like when we realized the important systems-link between poverty, jobs, education, and crime). Most of all we saw the work we did as a system – and a system that could be improved."
- Curious Cat as a Celebrity in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
The others asking to have me in their photos were usually from people I think were tourists from other parts of Indonesia. It was definitely a concentration of such request that I don’t normally see. I do occasionally get such requests, as I travel. Usually I think just people having a bit of fun interacting with other people.
- USA Health Care Spending 2013: $2.9 trillion $9,255 per person and 17.4% of GDP
The slow down in how badly the health care system has performed in the USA has resulted in the share of GDP taken by the health care system finally stabilizing. Health care spending has remained near 17.4% since 2009. While hardly great news, this is much better news than we have had in the last 30 years from the USA health care system. The percentage of GDP taken by the USA health care system is double what other rich countries spend with no better health results.