Barcelona, I barely knew you. To those who asked: I was only on the ground for ~50 hours, and during that time I noticed the political unrest about as much as I'd guess a foreign visitor would have upon visiting NYC after the 2016 elections. Note that I don't speak Catalan, though :/
More on topic: BioLite, which is NYC based and also awesome, is hiring! They've got a number of roles, including a senior EE. More on BioLite in our interview with Jonathan Cedar from a few weeks ago.
And: Are you an industrial designer in NYC who does freelance work? Holler - *especially* if you're not a white dude!
Planning & Strategy.
- A strong critique of Amazon's 2nd HQ competition. "Like many companies before it, Amazon is playing a game that states and local governments have designed themselves and that only they can lose. State and local governments happily accept this. They have proven over and over that they are all too willing to give up their tax base for growth that would have occurred somewhere anyway."
- On Westinghouse's AP1000 nuclear reactor. There was a time in the early 2000s when the AP1000 was poised to power the next generation of Chinese expansion. Then it almost took down Toshiba, and solar got cheap, and now its future is totally unclear.
- Horace Dediu on Tesla, whose production levels show few signs of the "exponential" change that Musk continues to predict. "There is no data on how fast an incumbent learns the EV experience delivery process, as it’s never been tried before, but there is data on how fast a manufacturing company learns lean production. Those times were measured in decades."
Making & Manufacturing.
- On the podcast, we talk with Janet Lieberman about engineering & manufacturing sex toys + what it's like to be a woman in hardware. As a bonus, Janet wrote a *great* description of the effect that atmospheric moisture has on injection molded nylon's spring rate, and how that affects the design process for something that tucks behind the labia. Super interesting.
- A very good 99% Invisible episode on the development of the sports bra.
- A good shopping list of tools for hardware startups. Caveat: Use lead-free solder! I've been liking this stuff.
Maintenance, Repair & Operations.
- On Chinese soil pollution, the grave threat it poses to Chinese population growth, and the immense logistical challenge of cleaning it up.
Distribution & Logistics.
- Berkshire Hathaway is buying a non-controlling stake (with plans for more) in Pilot Flying J, the operator of truck stops.
- A good video tour of a container ship.
- Horace Dediu on why he thinks E-bikes are the future. The intro is in Danish, but the rest is English.
Inspection & Testing.
- Me, writing in Simulia Community News (starts page 24), about using Abaqus & nTopology Element to analyze and optimize lattice structures. Bonus: the example part is the titanium headset cap that I've been working on :)
- Despite the short Barcelona trip, I was able to walk past the Sagrada Familia and was struck at how long it's taking to build. This Quora post provides some good context - in short, the ~150 year projected duration is actually average to short for Great European Cathedrals (cf. Cologne, whose construction spanned more than 600 years).
- On the quality of various San Marzano - or, more accurately, "San Marzano style" - canned tomatoes.
- Vactrain, the long lost predecessor to Hyperloop.
- Woah - Brian Eno wrote the Windows 95 startup sound??!?!
Thanks as always to our recurring donors for supporting The Prepared. Credit also to Jay, Gabe, Kane, Drew and Mike for sending links.
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