Engineers hate doing original work. If you do original work you have to work shit out from first principles, you have to experiment and build scale models and calculate forces and bending moments and see if they exceed your material strengths. This is lame and boring and takes up valuable time you could be using to drink whiskey or oppress the native Indian population or whatever engineers used to do back in the 1800’s.
Fortunately, engineers somehow developed exactly one ounce of professional solidarity and poured it into the writing of handbooks. Handbooks are lovely: if your boss hands you a requirement document, you can haul out your copy of the CRC Handbook “Selection of Engineering Materials and Adhesives” and look up the appropriate material for the forces and torques involved in your design, which unfortunately still requires you to avoid day drinking and do some maths. Here, let’s look at the CRC handbook’s documentation on some materials. I’m gonna avoid the equation stuff for now and stick to flowcharts and tables.
Let’s say we’re looking for a metal that we want to use for something on a boat. Maybe this is some steam piping or something. Boats insist on getting wet, often in seawater. That’s a huge pain in the ass but you work for a naval contractor so you knew what you were getting into, you’d best get started.
(disclaimer: if you’re a real engineer you need to be a bit more careful than this I am skipping the boring steps)
At first you think “fuck I’m gonna have to look at reactivity series.” but fortunately to your rescue comes this handbook that’s hopefully on a bookshelf at your office. You open to the section on metals:
Alright cool let’s say we need a medium strength material and we can’t post-process it because we don’t have passivation equipment in the factory and they’re not buying it just for this. Looks like stainless steel then. The machine shop guys aren’t gonna be happy about this but they haven’t updated your phone number on the corporate directory so you can probably get this one in under the wire. Cool, what do I know about Stainless Steel. That’s right, nothing, I’m an electrical engineer, we don’t even have a material science class to fall asleep in, I’ll be right back.
Ugh, that’s like 30 pages. Fine, I’ll read it. At least I don’t have to get out the strength testing hydraulic stretch thing. Last time I used that a chunk of steel almost got me in the neck.
Looks like we want Austenitic steel. Duplex sounds expensive and this part isn’t that important, it’s probably fine. I don’t know what Austenitic steel is, what does the book say about that.
Man I hate it when I pick a chart and it just sends me to a bigger chart. The more specific this gets the more expensive it’s probably gonna be so let’s just pick something that sounds good. We’re gonna weld this so we don’t have to worry about machining, let’s try 304 stainless, and if the maths doesn’t work out then I guess we just cry about it. 304 comes in pipe according to the book, so we’re fine there. If it’s bad for pipe then it’s the manufacturer’s fault for making it pipe shaped.
Alright hopefully at this point you’ve already designed your item and calculated what the forces and minimum tolerances could be. If you haven’t done that, I guess go look if what you want to make is on McMaster Carr and just copy it. Now take those minimums you calculated and see if it exceeds these:
(aw damn I did end up with a couple equations in here I lied earlier sorry)
If something doesn’t meet your requirements, go back up the list and pick a new material, you messed up. If it’s fine, I mean, probably check the data sheet for actual 304 steel, you’re an adult with a job and you’re signing off on this, do it right. But if that’s all good, congratulations, you managed to choose the appropriate material for a job and you didn’t have to look up what “grain structure” or “galvanic series” means once.
Now it’s just a matter of making sure you replace all your “TODO FIND MATERIAL” notes in the drawing with 304 Stainless Steel, hand off to the fabrication department and hope to god they don’t come to your office you over frivolous matters like “unheard of screw thread dimensions” or “impossible weld geometries.”
Handbooks are a way to offload a lot of the mathematics, design and testing you’d otherwise have had to do yourself to a Boeing machine shop with a team of women in a room somewhere performing dozens of strain calculations for eight hours a day in the 1940′s.
18.09.2020 “Trees creaking with apples, fallen apples red on the grass beneath, the heavy sweet smell of them rotting on the ground and the steady thrumming of wasps around them. Commons clock tower: ivied brick, white spire, spellbound in the hazy distance. The shock of first seeing a birch tree at night, rising up in the dark as cool and slim as a ghost. And the nights, bigger than imagining: black and gusty and enormous, disordered and wild with stars.” — Donna Tartt, The Secret History
Anyone else feel like they’re just faking their way into good grades. Like by all standards my grades are good but I feel like every time the semester rolls around I always have to con my way up to straight a’s with like two weeks of panicking several different online final grade calculators and a healthy dose of overwhelming fear of academic failure
“Nobody listens anymore. I can’t talk to the walls because they’re yelling at me, I can’t talk to my wife; she listens to the walls. I just want someone to hear what I have to say. And maybe if I talk long enough it’ll make sense. And I want you to teach me to understand what I read.”
“It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing. It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.
It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.
I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it. I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own; if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, be realistic, remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself. If you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul. If you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty even when it is not pretty every day. And if you can source your own life from its presence. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, ‘Yes.’
It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone and do what needs to be done to feed the children.
It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom you have studied. I want to know what sustains you from the inside when all else falls away. I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.”
review of Kings Rising, having read the whole Captive Prince trilogy in about 48 hours, as one does with good books accessible via phone:
I laughed aloud at what I think we must call The Charls Incident, but the funniest moment of the whole series was actually
(translation: Damen: obviously we will do this traditional honorable warfare thing
Laurent, born & raised a snake, severely hungover and surrounded by a bewildering number of jocks: we’ll what???
Makedon: there’s a political reason
Laurent: oh thank god)
the real romance is Damen and Laurent both casually confident in each other’s ability to do the impossible. Damen wins an impossible ambushed battle at odds of like 4 to 1 and Laurent is like, “that tracks.” Laurent proposes a hysterically brazen scheme to get them across the border and Damen is like, “sounds like something you can pull off; I’m in”
[muffled sounds of me begging Damen not to draw his sword, knowing that Damen is absolutely 100% going to lose his temper and draw his sword]
tangentially: we all knew from like…halfway through book 1 that the Regent had molested Laurence, right? There was a scene - maybe after he’d been stripped of his lands?, maybe later? def. after we knew about Nicaise, so maybe later - where Laurent had to kneel, and the Regent cupped him by the cheek and was like, “I don’t know why you’re so selfish and terrible now, you used to be such a sweet boy” and I the reader was like, I See. (Damen, alas, is insufficiently cynical, even as the books go on)
“get fucked,” I whisper fervently to the Regent
sometimes the jock prince has to kill the jock prince and the sneaky prince has to kill the sneaky prince and that’s called beautiful beautiful narrative foils MARRIAGE, okay!?!
hey guys, i’ve gotten hit with car problems and a roommate moving out and i needed a way to make a little extra income so i’ve decided to peruse a passion of mine and i’m going to try and sell ~secondhand book mystery boxes~
I really liked this book. It’s definitely one of the most interesting ones I’ve read this year. It straddles that line between sci-fi and dystopian, but it’s also filled with so much hope.
This book at its heart, is about hope. It’s also about love, family, forgiveness, and finding yourself. I loved how everything just wove together to create such a beautiful story. I think the thing that I loved the most about this book was the unexpected friendships at the end of the world. I loved that Jesse found Corbin (and Mari), that Cate found Adeem. And the hope, the fear, and the shared experiences that brought them together. It was just lovely and unexpected in a book about aliens and the end of the world.
I really enjoyed this book and it’s one that I would highly recommend. It’s not your average alien sci-fi book. This is getting a solid four out of five stars.
Hey groundlings! Need something to liven up your Saturday? I’ll be talking Shakespeare, Villains, and all things literary on the Dallas Public Library podcast! Please join, share, and bring your burning questions.