Friday, January 19, 2007 at 3:47 am 1 comment

Hey all-

This is probably going to be a short post, but ya never know… Reason for writing this entry? I am sitting in my room at 1:55am and completely awake. I really wanted to write a good entry, one that people can benefit from. My idea of the best thing to write about in that regard is teach something! Now, it’s no fun for the writer if he already knows the information! So, I’ve been trying to think of things to learn and then write about… Topics I thought of were pretty technically-based. I figure, if you were thrown a ball, why not have it be a ball made out of high-carbon steel (ultimately meaning why not challenge yourself instead of learn things you expect to pick up from everyday life, ya know?)? Every day, I see countless numbers of people who are perfectly fine with not knowing how things work. What’s with that? I love knowing what makes things tick (literally and not so), and then at least attempting to fix it when it breaks. Some things are sooo much simpler than others; I used to think cars were complex… That was before learning how they work. Now, I won’t be the one to explain an internal-combustion engine for you. I can do it, but when I think about em, my mind runs back to thermodynamics class and how many diagrams and schemes we had to analyze which broke the energy of it all down: annoying!

I love the concept of Diesel engines, I must say! Some of you might use it… do you know what’s so different about them? They eliminate the need for a spark plug to ignite the gas vapor which moves the pistons. Instead, they play upon a widely-known scientific rule that many people often forget about: the combined gas law. Have you ever noticed on the back of a food product’s packaging (ones that you have to heat up) a note saying (not word-for-word): if at high altitude, cook to ___ (often a higher temp).? The combined gas law implies that if you’re at a different altitude (and thus residing in a different air pressure), the temperature used to boil or ignite the element must be adjusted. The Diesel engine ignites it’s fuel simply by having a compression ratio of as high as 25:1. This means that if the pressure is high enough, in the gases that are present (air, I think), the fuel will ignite without a spark. The result of the entire diesel system is that they are indeed more efficient and as a result, require less fuel than gasoline engines, when all paramaters are the same. I could continue on and on… I hopefully sparked an interest in some of you. Funny, the whole idea just came out of nowhere. If you would like more info, visit this Wikipedia page about it.

I succeeded in writing about something! Out of nowhere, too! One cool little fact about the diesel engine, while I’m stuck on the topic in my head, is that the first usage of that type of engine wasn’t for an automobile! It was actually used in a Busch brewery, in St. Louis. All you driving fanatics: engines aren’t just meant for transportation! Okay, in this case I think the diesel engine transported molecules of alcohol from one sector of a vat to another (mixing)… But you get the idea.

Okay, I’ve made you listen to my ramblings long enough! Just wanna remind you that McFarland’s Bicycle Shop, located on Main St in Ambler is closing down for good after this month. Their last day as a shop will be January 31. I might as well bring about more news… And it happens to be of another Ambler location!



Entry filed under: learning, nerd.

movin’ on So hey

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Janice Gorenflo  |  Sunday, January 21, 2007 at 8:31 pm

    Hey, Doug. Haven’t stopped by Dougtales in a while. Glad to see you are doing well… and yes I did learn something – I never knew that was the main difference to a diesel engine. Thanks for enlightening me! Keep up all the good stuff & take care.


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