A quick and odd blog post. A look into my mind during the course of a normal day. What are some of the things that go through my mind in a day?

Well, to start with, I work on the biggest research computer in all of the UK and the second largest in Europe, HECToR. You’d think that it would be enough to keep a persons mind occupied at all times while at work. Well, you’d be thinking wrong.  It is after all just an 11k+ processor linux machine. (-:

I started my day by catching up on my emails, respond to some data request in preparation for our added Cray X2 system that will arrive next week. Then onto the web to check out Dilbert, read Roberta’s Blog, check out the latest HPC news at InsideHPC, picking on my friend John Leidel in the process, and checking on the status of Randy Pausch, a professor at Carnagie Mellon who is battling Pancreatic Cancer. 

I’ve finished my first cup of coffee at this point and I’m off for the next. Starbucks coffee which I supply to the office, because I’m sick and tired of all the “Fair Trade” crap coffee that the university of Edinburgh buys, I like to refer to it as the “Goat Piss Coffee”. By the way, fair trade is nothing more than a marketing gimick here in the UK. It’s sad.

 I then head over to Climate Debate Daily to see if there is anything new and exciting on the “We’re all going to die!” Global warming arena. Nothing too exciting happening there, but it does remind me to do some more research in the state of Nuclear Fuel Recycling. I’m a fan of nuclear power, but want to know more about all the ins and outs of what that entails. One of the questions being why the US doesn’t do recycling, I just didn’t understand that. Now I do a bit better. Recycling the fuel rods, about 95% is reusable, is a nasty business. It’s expensive and dangerous, but there are about 10 different ways to do it now, and hopefully some brain will come up with a better way at some point in the near future.

By the way, they’re building a pretty cool mine over in Finland to store nuclear waste, taking into account the next Ice Age no less, it’s called Deep Geological storage. It’s an interesting subject and so I do some reading on that. Holes drilled in steel to hold the rods, then covered in copper and buried in a specific type of Clay, some research on crush pressures etc. After a bit I head over to Wikipedia again and start some research into the life cycles of nuclear power plants and the current reactor designs available and future thoughts. Pebble Bed reactors seem like a cool idea, but it looks like using a variety of reactors might be a better solution. The offal of one reactor being used to power a different one.

Somehow this leads to a youtube search which pops up the biggest rocket engine test ever. Not real sure how I hit that, but hey, interesting none the less. Which in turn leads to a video of a Shuttle Main Engine test in Mississippi and makes me miss my days at Stennis Space Center. This in turn leads to the workings of a jet engine, which is pretty fascinating. I probably spend an hour catching up on how a jet engine functions. Just thinking abou the tolerances required and stresses induced by a fan spinning at 11,000 rpm are impressive, and then watching a slow motion bird strike test is almost surreal. The way the blades absorb the energy, and then if a blade comes loose the tranfer of all that kinetic energy into the shroud. Pretty impressive stuff. This for some reason reminds me of the Pulse Jet engines that I read about in the past so I went out and looked at the current state of Pulse Jet Engines and some of the crazy people buiding them in their garages. Thinking to myself, who would get more pissed if I built one of these in my garage? The wife, the neighbors, or the local constables? hmmm.. Might need to find out. (-:

About this time my stomache growls to tell me to get some lunch. I head up to M&S to get a sandwich, come back, grab my fiddle and head out to play some music. Which starts a whole new train of thought for the afternoon. Which turns out to be even more interesting than the thought train of the morning.

I almost forgot, while following my morning train of thought, I have actually been working also.

Thank god they didn’t have riddlin when I was a kid.