Saturday , February , 17 , 2018
The Institute Way Blog
Have you heard the common legend that scientists have proven that bumblebees, in terms of aerodynamics, can’t fly? This is a myth that came about because about eighty years ago an aerodynamicist made this statement based on an assumption that the bees’ wings were a smooth plane. It was reported by the media before the aerodynamicist actually looked at the wing under a microscope and found that the assumption was incorrect. While the scientist and the media issued retractions, the legend lives on.
There has been a lot of interest in my recent blog post: “Balanced Scorecard Gone Bad: What’s that Funky Smell?” Several people have posted comments and questions in various forums, but one in particular deserves special attention.
The rock music industry in 1991 was in transition. After about forty years of fans preferring rock music to country music by a reliably constant percentage, sales figures were indicating that preferences were shifting from rock to country. Was Garth Brooks popular enough to influence a dramatic shift? Or was there actually an underlying measurement problem?
I am an engineer by training and a math geek at heart. So articles about girls and math catch my eye. Did you know that researchers agree that one’s ability to excel at math and science is as much about attitude as it is about “natural gifts” or gender?
On the radio the other day there was mountain climber that shared her experience standing atop Mount Everest. She said that while standing on that summit she was surprised to find that rather than revel in her achievement and enjoy the view that so relatively few people have seen, her thoughts were dominated by an unexpectedly unsettling realization: now, I have to get back...