Author: Chuckles

Mysterious tech-minded ghost

Wankel rotary engine

Popular Mechanics:

Back in March, Martijn ten Brink, Mazda Motor Europe’s vice president of sales and customer service, ignited gearheads everywhere when he told Dutch auto news outlet ZERauto that the Wankel rotary engine will return to production.

Specifically, ten Brink said the rotary could become a range extender for an electric car in 2019, and for now that’s just a rumor.

Mazda Motor of America won’t discuss or confirm ten Brink’s comments, telling us only that “Mazda hasn’t announced any specific products featuring a rotary engine at this time. Mazda remains committed to working on rotary engine technologies, however.”

More here ...


And Maths:

Mathematician John Rainwater has published 10 research papers in functional analysis, notably in the geometric theory of Banach spaces and in convex functions. The University of Washington has named a regular seminar after him, and Rainwater’s Theorem is an important result in summability theory.

This is most impressive because he doesn’t exist.

More here ...


The story:

Sometime in late 1971, Peter Nelson, from Hewlett-Packard’s Corporate Relations Department in Palo Alto, enlisted Karen Cambria, from the Automatic Measurement Division (conveniently, in the same building), to pose with their new electronic device, a scientific calculator they named the HP-35. Norton Pearl took several photos of Karen with the calculator and it was this photo that ended up in the press kit.

The HP-35 had numerical algorithms that exceeded the precision of most mainframe computers at the time. […] This forced time-consuming manual comparisons of results to mathematical tables. A few bugs got through this process. For example: 2.02 ln e^x resulted in 2 rather than 2.02. When the bug was discovered, HP had already sold 25,000 units which was a huge volume for the company. In a meeting, Dave Packard asked what they were going to do about the units already in the field and someone in the crowd said “Don’t tell?” At this Packard’s pencil snapped and he said: “Who said that?

More here ...