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Archive for October, 2011

Technology Gives Way to Spooky Readings

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Alright – I admit it! Last night wasn’t spent working on story about silicon manufacturing variability below 20nm. Instead, I snuck out with my better half and attended … must I confess? A poetry reading!


But true to the season, it was a soul satisfying recitation of terrifying tales with unexpected endings. The readers, well versed in their craft, were actors from the “Bag and Baggage” company. All told, it was memorable evening made all the better with the right company and a few goblets of Renaissance wine at Orenco Station.  What better way to prepare for tonight’s festivities on the eve before Hallowmas?


Although my time is timeless on this earth,
I still recall when days of gold turned cold
and how we all believed this new year’s birth
was eve that spirits roamed; bad ones grew bold!



Grisly Reminder

Jobs, Ritchie and America’s Media Obsession

Friday, October 21st, 2011

When you do things right, people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all.” –  God Entity


Two deaths this week reinforce America’s media obsession with marketing over engineering. One death is heralded as the passing of a demigod (Steve Jobs), while the other received obscurity (Dennis Ritchie). The former was the marketing genius behind Apple success. The later was the co-inventor of Unix and, more importantly, the creator of C. Without Ritchie’s innovation and hard work, there would be no technological foundation for a company like Apple.


But such myopic coverage is nothing new in theUS. It is the norm. Unlike other countries, the actual architects of technology of rarely recognized in our country. Instead, the focus is on consumption, on the shiny surface of things.


But this is the way of things. If we, as engineers, do our job well, no one will really be sure that we did anything at all. Unlike Jobs, engineers are not demigods. But our creations allow our business leaders and market visionaries (like Jobs) to shine – at least for a little while.

Robot Bender (not shown) talks with the God Entity from Futuroma’s Godfellas episode.

When A Physicist Comes Knocking

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

By John Blyler
Will neutrinos from a supernova in the Tarantula Nebula save Einstein endangered postulate? Does all research have to be immediately profitable? Will collisions at Fermilab’s Tevatron slow the speed of declining scientific prominence in the United States?

These questions evolved from a short interview conducted by LPE with Lisa Randall, renowned physics professor at Harvard University. Her insightful responses gave clarity to some of the complex issues facing science and engineering. Next Tuesday, Randall will launch a new season of speakers for the Institute for Science, Engineering and Public Policy (ISEPP) lecture series in Portland, Ore. Her presentation will draw heavily from her latest book, “Knocking on Heaven’s Door.”

Lisa Randall (photo courtesy of Christopher Kim)

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