Schmit Family
Welcome to , , , and virtual front porch. This web site is just that; a place to visit for family, friends, and anyone, who are too far away, to stop by in person. Pull up a chair and stay a while....

30 May 2004 5:06 pm

The Speed of Academia

Earlier this year, two articles based upon the research that comprised my dissertation were published in Chemical Engineering Science (Vol 59 p 1255-1266 and p 1267-1283). It took nearly two years for the review process to occur this time. Our original submission was received on 29 April 2002. The revised version received on 22 July 2003. The delay was primarily on the side of the journal. It took greater than a year for us to receive reviewer feedback. Not the speediest process. The article was finally accepted on 14 September 2003. And we received proofs on 18 February 2004, prior to publication.

If you're interested in reading the abstracts, they are available online: Investigation of X-ray imaging of vapor–liquid contactors. 1. Studies involving stationary objects and a simple flow system and Investigation of X-ray imaging of vapor–liquid contactors. 2. Experiments and simulations of flows in an air–water contactor

To view the entire text, a subscription to the Elsevier journal is required, or you can visit your local engineering library. If you are really interested, and don't know where to find the journal, drop me an email.

I published my dissertation through UMI. Only the citation is now accessible to those who are not part of a subscribing institution. If you are, you should be able to download at least the first 30 pages or so. Unfortunately, I can't test this. I would not recommend buying a printed copy of my dissertation through UMI. The graphics are all black and white, rather than grayscale, which makes them virtually useless. If you are interested in more about my dissertation, drop me a note.

If you are interested in knowing how the research has proceeded after I left the Department of Chemical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, contact my research advisor, Bruce Eldridge, who is part of the Separations Research Program.

Posted by geoff at 17:06 in /chemical engineering

27 May 2004 4:03 pm

Four-Month Visit

We just returned from Dylan's four-month visit to the doctor. As we sat waiting in the office for the nurse, I turned to Geoff. I said, "I bet Dylan weighs 16 lbs. 8 oz." Shortly after, we learned of the updates on Dylan's measurements. His head is now 17 3/8", which is between the 75th and 90th percentiles. His length of 26 1/4" is at the 95th percentile. And his weight was between the 75th and 90th percentiles at... yup... 16 lbs. 8 oz. That's an increase of four pounds since his previous well check-up, which was two months ago. It's almost a pound increase since we were in for a not-so-well check-up about three weeks ago. And it means that Dylan has more than doubled his birth weight. Overall, Dylan is healthy. His next scheduled visit to the doctor's office is at six months old.

Posted by geoff at 16:03 in /family/dylan

26 May 2004 8:50 pm

Electronic Voting Petition

Democracy for America is hosting a petition to call on Congress and the state governments to require that all electronic voting machines have audible paper records. There are few aspects of a democracy more important than voting and, therefore, as a democracy, it is our responsibility to ensure that every vote is accurately counted. I've previously commented on the problems with electronic voting. While California's Secretary of State, Kevin Shelley, previously decertified all touch-screen electronic voting machines, it is now reported that he will re-certify most, if not all, electronic voting machines for the November election. He is ensuring that some security improvements are made, but a paper trail is not required until July 2006. While much of the focus regarding this issue has been in California, this is a national issue. There are two pieces of federal legislation that will require paper records, House Resolution 2239, which was introduced over a year ago and is stuck in the House Committee on House Administration, and Senate 1980, stuck in the Committee on Rules and Administration chaired by Trent Lott.

If you are concerned about protecting this fundamental aspect of democracy, sign the petition today.

Posted by geoff at 20:50 in /politics

23 May 2004 9:57 pm

Lasting Impressions

This weekend, two companies made, what I'm sure will be, lasting impressions. One good; the other not so good. First, the good. One of my best friends gave Carolyn and I a really nice Waring Blending for our wedding. In Texas, we used it a handful of times to make margaritas. Since then, however, whenever we've tried to use it to make corn chowder, smoothies, or some other concoction, it has been less than ideal. (By the way, I'm trying to use the phrase "less than ideal" rather than "sucks" to set a good example for Dylan.) While we considered the possibility that the blender simply refused to blend any non-alcoholic mixture, we decided there was a more fundamental problem. Remembering that my friend purchased the blender at Williams-Sonoma, on a whim, we stopped in at our local store. We remarked that the blender worked well a couple of times, but not any more. The helpful associate asked if we had received it as a gift or purchased it from Williams-Sonoma. We replied that it was a wedding gift purchased at the Austin Williams-Sonoma. Before we could ask what kind of a warranty it had, she said that we should bring it in and exchange it for a new blender. I was pleasantly surprised. This weekend, I returned to Williams-Sonoma with the blender in tow. I mentioned, to a different associate, that I had been in the previous weekend and had a blender that hasn't worked for a while. Without asking any more questions, including where I bought it or how long I had it, the associated went in the back and brought out a replacement. Excellent customer service.

Snowdown I also bought a new razor this weekend, a Norelco Quadra 7866XL. While unpacking the razor I encountered the sticker in the above picture and couldn't stop laughing. This label was stuck to the cord for the razor. This is ridiculous for two reasons. First, who would consider cutting the power cord with a pair of scissors? Is this such a common action that consumers need to be warned not to do it? Second, sticking a label to the power cord encourages people to use their scissors to cut off the label. That is, as far as I can see, this warning label is going to increase the probability that someone is going to cut the power cord with a pair of scissors. The fact that this insane label passed through some engineering quality process without detection certainly made me hesitate before sticking this razor to my face. Fortunately for me, it worked just fine.

Posted by geoff at 21:57 in /rants and raves

8 May 2004 7:57 am

The Cycle

Leaves fall, a skeleton of limbs extends,
Yet with the warmth of springtime new buds grow.
The rhythms of the grizzly bear's heart slow,
Yet as the daylight grows, his slumber ends.
The petals of the rose the snow suspends,
Yet flowers return from the seeds below.
The earth is frozen by the hoary snow,
Yet desolate soils the spring rain amends.

Pestilence, war, famine, death daily ride;
Hooves spark the holocaust that lights the way
To Armageddon: Void. Nihil. Empty.

Light. Genesis. Spring. And a baby cried;
Then mankind toddles to begin its day
And strides to a halcyon melody.

Fenner, New York

This sonnet, one of two that I have written, was very much inspired by the Transcendentalism philosophy that I was studying in school at the time. The influence of the Transcendentalists is reflected in terms of theme and natural imagery as well as the language.

Posted by geoff at 07:57 in /poetry