Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Aerodynamic Quonset Huts on #Jeopardy

One of the questions from Th 5/1/2014 double Jeopardy:

Kludgedly recorded off TV with an InnoTab3:

From  j-archive "ON THE 'Q...T'" for $1600:

(Kelly of the Clue Crew presents the clue from Los Alamos, NM.) This prefabricated corrugated steel hut was developed for the U.S. Navy by the George A. Fuller company in 1941 to serve as inexpensive and quickly-assembled offices, barracks, and storage facilities

reminded me of my undergrad aerodynamic engineering textbooks  Bertin, John J., and Michael L. Smith. Aerodynamics for Engineers. 2nd ed. Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1989. Print. whose author seemed monomaniacally obsessed with Quonset huts in the homework problems (3.25 and 3.28 below):

Best way to solve a homework problem is to find an already worked example problem in the text and plug and chug. Luckily, there is a similar exercise to Problem 3.28 whose solution we can follow step-by-step: Example 3.5, starting on page 92:

Unfortunately, Example 3.5 doesn't help us answer part (a) of Problem 3.28. When all else fails, read the text. Answer is found on p. 85:

Of course, mind your units and remember to convert from English to metric units, to avoid repeating error NASA made when it lost a Mars probe. From September 30, 1999 CNN article  "NASA's metric confusion caused Mars orbiter loss"

"NASA lost a $125 million Mars orbiter because one engineering team used metric units while another used English units for a key spacecraft operation"

And finally, Jewish Jewels lessons on learning the Hebrew alphabet asserts that the second letter "Bet" was originally a pictograph depicting shelter or tent, which is corroborated by others.

And the English letter "B" looks like two quonset huts end on end, so there's that.

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