April 2015 Articles

“Introverts have two unique strengths that, I believe, can lead towards opportunities to be stronger leaders…”

A common question I am asked, “How big should the team be?” My immediate response: Seven plus or minus three. There is a not a lot of hard theory behind this guideline, just common sense.


David Smith ·

A short essay by David Smith on sharing, being in the moment, and sharing while being in the moment. The scene is his kitchen, the cast includes David and his daughter.

Tom Murphy, an associate professor of physics at the University of California, San Diego, answered a burning question of mine (back in 2012): How much energy does it take to boil a pot of water? He answers that and much more with a terrific real-world analysis.

Ever wonder how efficient it is to heat water? Of course you have! Ever measured it? Whoa, mister, now you’ve gone too far!

I recently devised a laser-phototransistor gauge to monitor my natural gas meter dial–like ya do. As a side benefit, I acquired good data on how much energy goes into various domestic uses of natural gas. Using this, I was able to figure out how much energy it takes to heat water on the stove, cook something in the oven, or heat water for a shower. Together with the knowledge of the heat capacity of water, I can compute heating efficiency from my measurements. What could be more fun? I’ll share the results here, some of which surprised me.