Backtalk 12/08/2011

Dec. 8, 2011
Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment

AVIATION 101 — Part 2
– Good judgment comes from experience and experience comes from bad judgment.
– Aviation is not so much a profession as it is a disease.
– There are three simple rules for making a smooth landing: Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.
– The only thing worse than a captain who never flew as copilot is a copilot who once was a captain.
– Be nice to your first officer, he may be your captain at your next airline.
– Any attempt to stretch fuel is guaranteed to increase headwind.
– A thunderstorm is never as bad on the inside as it appears on the outside. It’s worse.
– It’s easy to make a small fortune in aviation. You start with a large fortune.
– A male pilot is a confused soul who talks about women when he’s flying, and about flying when he’s with a woman.
– A fool and his money are soon flying more airplane than he can handle.
– Remember, you’re always a student in an airplane.
– Keep looking around; there’s always something you’ve missed.
– Try to keep the number of your landings equal to the number of your takeoffs.
– You cannot propel yourself forward by patting yourself on the back.
– There are old pilots, and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold, pilots.
– Things which do you no good in aviation: Altitude above you. Runway behind you. Fuel in the truck. Half a second ago. Approach plates in the car. The airspeed you don’t have.
– Flying is the perfect vocation for a man who wants to feel like a boy, but not for one who still is.
– Asking what a pilot thinks about the FAA is like asking a fireplug what it thinks about dogs.
– Being an airline pilot would be great if you didn’t have to go on all those trips.
– Gravity never loses. The best you can hope for is a draw.

— Author(s) Unknown

Food engineering
The EngineerGirl Web site is part of a project by the National Academy of Engineering to bring national attention to the opportunity that engineering represents to people at any age, but particularly to women and girls. Part of this effort includes engineering contests, such as “EngineerGirl! Food Engineering Essay Contest - 2012.”

Contest description: Shopping at the supermarket is much different today than it was even 50 years ago. Today, the food we eat comes from around the world. Engineers are actively involved in every step of the process — they design the specialized machines used to plant and harvest crops and develop unique manufacturing processes to prepare, package, and transport foods in safe and secure ways.

The contest is open to girls and boys in three categories. Grades 3-5 (ages 8-11) will choose a food and explain how it is produced, from planting to harvesting. They have to describe what role engineers played in the process. Grades 6-8 (ages 12-14) and Grades 9-12 (ages 15-18) will begin their essays the same, but each level is assigned additional material to add to their essays. Both groups must choose a technology critical to the process and how it works. They must also describe how different types of engineers may have contributed to the design and key elements of that design. Grades 9-12 are also required to talk about what engineers are currently doing to improve the technology.

Contestants write an essay that addresses the requirements in the contest description. Deadline for entries is March 1, 2012.
* First-place winners will be awarded $500.
* Second-place entries will be awarded $250.
* Third-place entries will be awarded $100.
* Honorable Mention entries will not receive a cash award but will be published on the EngineerGirl! Web site.

For more information, go to

Top 10 Lists looks at the Top 10 of most engineering-related topics in its lists. From engineering schools to gizmos and gadgets, if it’s related to engineering, there should be a list. If you have an idea for a Top 10 list, e-mail it to them. Here are a few examples:

Top Ten Holiday Gizmos & Gadgets
1. Apple iPhone
2. Google Phone
3. Microsoft Surface
4. SlingCatcher
5. Wii Fit
6. Vudu
7. Microsoft Zune
8. Sony Handycam HDR-CX7
9. LG Super Blu HD Player
10. One laptop/child

Top Ten U. S. Engineering Schools
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2. Stanford University
3. University of California – Berkeley
4. Georgia Institute of Technology
5. University of Illinois – Urbana – Champaign
6. Carnegie Mellon University
7. California Institute of Technology
8. University of Southern California (Viterbi)
9. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
10. Cornell University

Top Ten Sustainable Engineering Programs
1. Carnegie Mellon University
2. Purdue
3. Oregon State University
4. University of Texas at Austin
5. Arizona State University
6. Yale College
7. Georgia Tech
8. Virginia Tech
9. Northern Arizona University
10. North Carolina Community College

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