Earth Science and Continuous Inspection

Earth showing one quadrant breaking-up into disassembled bits.

Earth as the product of the continuous integration of its bits.

On this Earth Day I’m preparing to start a new job, one full of IT management buzzwords like continuous inspection (CI), continuous integration (my other brother, CI) and continuous delivery (CD). When making policy towards our homeworld though, it strikes me that these proven management practices fall by the wayside of many “pro-business” policymakers. What does CI for earth science really mean? Continue reading

Shellvarnia: Shell Variables Down Unix

Political map showing Shellvarnia on the left side of the continent, Flapjackia, separated from Userland (on the east coast of Flapjackia) by Environmentopia in the middle. No direct connection between Shellvarnia and Userland is shown.

Political map of continent, Flapjackia, showing countries of Shellvarnia, Environmentopia, and Userland.

This is a fun short story about the fictional land of Shellvarnia, located Down Unix, that occurred to me one night while I was reading Brian Ward‘s excellent book, How Linux Works: What Every Superuser Should Know. Mixing one dash of political satire with a heaping serving of Unix lore, it will entertain and inform novices approaching a Linux VM for the first time.  If you’ve ever wondered about distinctions between local shell variables and environment variables, /bin/sh from /bin/csh, and who built that wall between Shellvarnia and Environmentopia, then this story was written just for you.  Continue reading

On Earth’s Cracks and Crevasses

Earth Day is a wonderful time for reflecting on our planet. In today’s post I wanted to avoid the temptation to simply post a picture of Earthrise, a momentous vista which showed us our fragile planet for the very first time from lunar orbit. Instead, I’ve taken a look at some of the Earth’s cracks and crevasses as seen by NASA’s Terra satellite. Continue reading

How Much Water for a Hamburger?

A hamburger takes 634 gallons (2400 liters) of water to make. That’s enough water to make more than six bathtubs overflow!

World Water Day promotional video claims a hamburger requires 634 gallons of water (0:50).How can a 1/3rd lb. (150 gram) hamburger patty, special sauce, lettuce, tomato all on a sesame-seed bun take so much water to produce, you ask? Since you can’t squeeze that much water out of your hamburger, it’s reasonable you should ask. Today is World Water Day, so I’m going to take a look at this question myself. Continue reading