Richard Smith's blog

Why Do Cyclists Shave Their Legs?

After watching a recent stage of the Tour de France I started wondering; is there any reason from an aerodynamic and heat-transfer perspective, why cyclists shave their legs?

Science Museum: Vertical Takeoff and Landing

The London Science Museum houses some historic exhibits as I found out on my recent visit. I've already posted articles on computing and rockets. Next up I'll cover a series of exhibits that related to the world's first Vertical Takeoff and Landing (VTOL) fixed-wing jet fighter - the Harrier 'jump jet.'

Science Museum: Rockets and Space

Following my computing-themed post about my London Science Museum visit, it's time to move on to the rockets and space exhibits. Hold onto your hats, here we go.

Science Museum: Computing

While on a recent visit to London I spent an enjoyable afternoon at the Science Museum. What I found was more sustenance for my computing-fluids obsession. In fact I came across enough fascinating exhibits to fill several blog posts. I'll kick off with a computing-themed post, first covering computing prehistory starting with the Babbage Difference Engines and the Phillips Hydraulic Computer, and moving on to the dawn of supercomputing with the Cray-1.

Formula 1 Diffuser Controversy

The ongoing Formula 1 (F1) diffuser controversy has raised the awareness in the general public (especially in F1-mad countries, such as the UK) of a key aerodynamic device used in many forms of motor racing. And if one diffuser is good then two must be better, right? So goes the latest thinking in F1.

April Fools: Hotelicopter

I couldn't come up with an aerodynamic themed April Fools' joke this year, but even if I had, I'm certain it wouldn't have fared well against the Hotelicopter.

Aerodynamic Golf Clubs

Aerodynamic considerations in golf ball design are nothing new, but the other golfing implement, the club, has resisted aerodynamic optimization until now. A new generation of golf drivers is now sporting streamlined, aerodynamic profiles in order to improve driving distances due to reduced club-head drag.

Cape Wind: Engineering is the Easy Part

You'd think that siting and constructing an offshore wind farm would be all about engineering and financial challenges, but you'd be wrong, at least in the case of the proposed Cape Wind wind farm in the waters off Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Cape Wind is a US$900 million project that aims to construct and run 130 horizontal-axis wind turbines to generate 468 (at peak) megawatts on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound.

Creative Destruction

The economist Joseph Schmumpter popularized the idea of Creative Destruction, which states that the rise and fall of companies is an integral part of long-term economic growth. You'll find a similar theme in The Innovator's Dilemma. Given the current economic crisis we've seen a lot of companies in near freefall. There's the fall, where's the rise?

The End of Clusters?

Are we approaching the end of cluster computing for Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) analysis tools such as Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD)? Or is it simply the end of the beginning of an era to be further dominated by clusters?

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