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Showing posts from 2012

On Writing Rules...

You may be aware that I was a member of the Super Touring Advisory Committee for the Sports Car Club of America. The STAC's responsibility is make recommendations to the Club for regulations for that category. It requires a lot of thought, not only what you want people to do, but what you don't want them to do. I wrote the following on a racing forum some years ago, and I thought it bore repeating, with some minor updating... How to write a rule We seem to get into a lot of arguments about various rules. “This rule says this” or “this rule says that” or whatever. Typically the basis of this argument is "different strokes, different folks"; one person's read is another person’s cheat. I see the root cause for all these arguments because of one thing: poorly-written rules. Yep, sorry if it pisses off the rulesmakers, but I think I can credibly argue that most disagreements center around either people reading into the rule what wasn’t intended (maybe based on a failu

Automatic Transmission versus automatic transmission

Within the aviation community there's a spirited debate about the term conventional landing gear . Traditionally, the term refers to taildragger airplanes, those that have a tailwheel, like a Piper Cub, the Boeing B-17, and the Douglas DC-3. But since around the time of World War Two most aircraft have been manufactured with " tricycle landing gear " or a nose gear. Almost every airplane you see today is a tricycle with a nose gear; short of Homebuilt or other purpose-built aircraft (e.g., agricultural, aerobatics) you would be hard-pressed to find many airplanes with a tail wheel. Yet despite the fact that most aircraft manufactured within the last half-century use tricycle/nose gear, the term "conventional landing gear" continues to apply to the tail wheel. This is confusing to people new to aviation; to them "conventional" is what they see out at the local airport every day like the Cessnas and Cirrus, or every airliner they'll board, all of

Damn the Economy! Data Acquisition Engineers Needed

So I've got an opportunity to do some data acquisition for a pro team, guys that I consider personal friends. Problem is, with a 13-race schedule and a lot of testing, I'd need to devote more time off work than I've got available in vacation time (not to mention needing to keep some for my wife and otherwise-personal life). So I've been trying to find some good guys to suggest to the team for a full season of data engineering. No one to be found. As you are no doubt aware, data is big in motorsports, one of those former "unfair advantages" that, as they all do, has moved into "absolutely necessary". I was told by one data guy that I called that 2012 is going to be one of the largest Grand-Am fields in a long time, if not in history, and teams from the Continental series, Rolex GT, and DP are all looking for data guys (and this ignores all other series!) And there's just few good ones to be had. This guy I mentioned has been getting