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28th April 2009

10:20pm: 24th Grade Science Fair

Experiment 1

Observation

Vehicle fuel efficiency is usually listed in two parts: highway average mileage and city average mileage. Two numbers are listed because each driving style involves very different acceleration and braking profiles. Highway miles are usually driven at a reasonably constant speed with only occasional need for acceleration and braking. City driving typically involves "stop and go" driving in which a vehicle decelerates to a complete stop before once again accelerating to the desired speed. The frequent braking in conventional vehicles causes the vehicle's kinetic energy to be dissipated as heat and noise during the braking process, resulting in lower average efficiency. Acceleration is also more energy-intensive than simply maintaining velocity.

Hypothesis

Shorter spans of time between fillups should correspond to faster average driving speed. Faster average driving speed should correspond to higher proportion of time spent driving "highway miles". Higher proportions of time driving "highway miles" should correspond to higher average mileage over the life of a tank of gasoline. Therefore, shorter times between fillups should correspond to higher average mileage over the life of a tank of gasoline.

Materials

  • One Oldsmobile Intrigue GL (2000 year model with 3.5L V6 engine)
  • 1100 gallons of 87 octane gasoline
  • notepad
  • pen
  • snacks for driver

Procedure

Over the span of 32 months, data was recorded at the time of gas fillup. This data consisted of the date, the amount of gasoline added to the tank, and the number of miles driven since the previous fillup. No special effort was made to control for driving style. No special effort was made to control for terrain, road type, weather, vehicle maintenance condition, or traffic conditions. No special effort was made to control for geographic area, and while the vehicle spent most of its time in the Cleveland Ohio area, it also was driven in Michigan, Indiana, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario. Driving speed varied based on location, based loosely on the posted speed limit. The gasoline tank was filled 79 times during the course of the experiment. The first data point was discarded because the date was not recorded. The second data point was also discarded because there was no information about time since previous fillup.

Results

A scatter plot was used to show the average mileage for each tank of gasoline and period of time over which that tank of gasoline was used.

Some outlier points are known to be the result of recordkeeping errors. Some outlier points are known to be the result of most of a tank being driven in one session, followed by a period on non-use of the vehicle.

The data points that are clustered near the Y-axis (X values from 0 to 2) are most likely the result of extended periods of highway driving with rapid refilling necessary. The data points with higher values on the X-axis are likely to be the result of mixed driving, as characterized by short trips interspersed with periods of non-use of the vehicle.

Conclusion

The data supports the hypothesis. Shorter times between fillups appear to correspond with higher fuel economy.

Based on visual estimation, it appears that the vehicle averages approximately 26mpg on the highway (durations between 0-2 days), and approximately 20mpg in mixed driving (durations of 2+ days). The EPA estimates (2008 method) of highway and city mileage for this vehicle type are 26mpg and 17mpg (citation). The author suspects that the trend around 20mpg can be explained by the geography of the Cleveland Ohio area, which encourages mixed highway and city driving, thereby raising the figure above 17mpg.

Experiment 2

Observation

The Clean Air Act requires various different blends of gasoline to be sold at different times of the year, based on pollution profiles as each blend is burned in automobile engines. "Summer gasoline" blends require the removal of some volatile organic compounds which can contribute to smog production when burned (citation). Winter blends do not have the same refining requirements. Gasoline blends with different refining requirements should have different energy content and fuel efficiency profiles. Conventional wisdom asserts that summer blend gasoline yields higher fuel efficiency.

Hypothesis

Summer blend gasoline should produce higher fuel efficiency readings during the time period in which it is sold.

Materials

  • One Oldsmobile Intrigue GL (2000 year model with 3.5L V6 engine)
  • 1100 gallons of 87 octane gasoline, purchased as needed in 7-15 gallon increments
  • notepad
  • pen
  • snacks for driver

Procedure

Over the span of 32 months, data was recorded at the time of gas fillup. This data consisted of the date, the amount of gasoline added to the tank, and the number of miles driven since the previous fillup. No special effort was made to control for driving style. No special effort was made to control for terrain, road type, weather, vehicle maintenance condition, or traffic conditions. No special effort was made to control for geographic area, and while the vehicle spent most of its time in the Cleveland Ohio area, it also was driven in Michigan, Indiana, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, New York, and Ontario. Driving speed varied based on location, based loosely on the posted speed limit. The gasoline tank was filled 79 times during the course of the experiment. The first data point was discarded because the date was not recorded.

Results

A scatter plot was used to show the average mileage for each tank of gasoline and the numerical day of year on which that tank was purchased.

There is no discernible trend based on date.

Conclusion

The data is unable to support the hypothesis. There are too many uncontrolled variables that affect vehicle mileage other than gasoline blend.

Current Mood: geeky

13th April 2009

1:58am: Memetastic


Your result for True Colors Test - A Self Inventory...

NT - Scholar (Green)

Congratulations! You are the SCHOLAR.


First, the bad news. On any given bad day you're most likely to be perceived as cold, arrogant, know-it-all. At times you are closed off and independent, seemingly absentminded, and have probably been told that you've got your head in the clouds. You get lost in thought easily, and sometimes you leave people back on Earth when you go off on a reverie. All of this means that you can come off as aloof and unappreciative of other peoples opinions. You know better, you're probably just smarter than them.


Now that we've got that out of the way, on to the good news. You are a critical thinker and an innovator. A lifetime learner, your passion and thirst for knowledge will entertain you throughout your lifetime. You are the "ideas" person that people come to for solutions. To hell with implementing the ideas, you'll leave that for someone else to figure out. In the meantime, you're probably always eager to share solutions and wisdom with those who seek it. You're good at being alone, and probably need alone time periodically to recharge and just be in your head. You're a visionary, mentally tough, analytical and capable of meting out judgment. You are highly knowledgeable and people seek that out in you. Try not to let that get to your head.


Scholar Traits:


  • Visionary

  • Conscientious

  • Calm and patient

  • Sees the big picture

  • Serious

  • Competent

  • Inquisitive

  • Meticulous

  • Innovative

  • Insightful and intellectual

  • Adaptable

  • Can never know enough


Take True Colors Test - A Self Inventory
at HelloQuizzy

Current Mood: quiet

10th October 2008

11:04am: Princess Bride quote meme
Stolen from roseinmist

When you see this, post in your own journal with your favorite quote from The Princess Bride. Preferably not "As you wish" or the Inigo Montoya speech.

Vizzini: INCONCEIVABLE!
Inigo Montoya: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

27th August 2008

1:06am: I LOLed

23rd August 2008

11:53am: Matos Banned For Life From TKD Competitions
Angel Valodia Matos of Cuba was banned for life from any event sanctioned by the World Taekwondo Federation after intentionally kicking an Olympic referee in the face and throwing a punch at a judge. Matos had been receiving medical attention for a toe injury, but he failed to get up before the one minute clock elapsed, thus disqualifying him. His response was not very sportsmanlike.

I doubt this YouTube link will last very long, but here it is...

15th August 2008

1:07am: Obama stuff

6th August 2008

12:19am: Playing my own role
Videos like this make me want to play a bigger part in the online world. They also make me realize I'm just not an early adopter.

22nd July 2008

12:17am: Who saw that coming?
Your results:
You are Lex Luthor
Lex Luthor
72%
Dr. Doom
72%
Mr. Freeze
69%
The Joker
60%
Green Goblin
53%
Riddler
51%
Apocalypse
50%
Kingpin
50%
Magneto
48%
Juggernaut
45%
Poison Ivy
40%
Dark Phoenix
38%
Mystique
37%
Catwoman
32%
Venom
31%
Two-Face
29%
A brilliant businessman on a quest for world domination and the self-proclaimed greatest criminal mind of our time!


Click here to take the "Which Super Villain am I?" quiz...



(side note - the bad HTML.... it burns us! hsss!!)

23rd May 2008

9:58pm: "Vande Walles" brand caramel wins with big combo: tasty, sticky, and punny.

27th April 2008

11:42am: Earth Day indeed
I'm going through my bills for the month (yay budget day!) and I just realized that I only bought ONE tank of gas last month.

<keanureeves>Whoa.</keanureeves>

I usually fill up about 3-4 times in a month. Biking to work coupled with being out of town on a work trip during all of the dance events I wanted to drive to certainly makes a dent.

13th April 2008

1:06pm: Stolen from glasseye

22nd March 2008

2:52pm: Top Gear has decided to perform a new challenge: Quaint My Ride.

17th March 2008

1:24am: New rule
New rule: If the melody of a song is carried by muted trumpets, sit the song out. They mostly just make me want to thump the soloist and shout Cease that infernal noodling!

10th March 2008

1:38pm: bedroom toys
Powered By Love Toys

8th March 2008

6:01pm: I've been hiding out in Marietta, Ohio for the last two days, waiting for this storm to pass by so I can return home to Cleveland, which by all accounts is buried under a phenomenal amount of snow.

I came down here on Thursday night for a client install Friday morning in Logan, WV. The weather on the way down was clear and about 40 degrees, so the roads were beautiful. I got in about 11pm and spent an hour trying to find my hotel in Logan (Google Maps had the location wrong by about 2 miles). In the morning, I wasted another half hour trying to find the job site (West Virginia and GPS don't mix) and it was raining lightly. Around 1pm I had to head from Logan up to Huntington via Charleston to finish the install and do some training. It rained the whole way, sometimes pretty hard, but the temperature was in the high 30s so I wasn't worried about ice. Near the end of the job in Huntington, I overhead someone talking on the phone to their dad in Columbus, and he said they already had a full foot of snow there from this same storm system. It sounded like making it home Friday was hopeless, but I checked the weather and it looked like I could at least cut back to Charleston and cruise up to Marietta.

I was only expecting to stay here overnight, figuring they would have had a chance to clear the roads overnight, but it sounds like things have only gotten worse. From what I hear, the amount of snow has at least doubled, and the highways are mostly closed or restricted to emergency-only traffic. I feel a bit silly thinking I can't make it home when I look out the window and only see a few inches of snow, but I have to keep reminding myself that it's MUCH worse farther north. For now, I'll just settle in for my second day at this hotel and figure out how to keep myself entertained.
Current Mood: bored

25th February 2008

2:46pm: Cake or Death?
Oohhh.... I'll have both!

15th February 2008

11:22am: Fark Headline of the Day
"Harsh winters drive away all but the hardiest birds. Won't somebody please think of the chilled wren?"
Current Mood: amused

26th January 2008

3:05pm: I just signed a March 1 lease for a new apartment in Beachwood. w00t and such!

14th January 2008

5:23pm: Healthy car
My trusty Oldsmobile Intrigue is back to top running condition. My transmission has been making unpleasant noises for about a year and a half now, and I've just lived with it the whole time. Late last week it finally got to a point where the transmission would slip when I applied power early in the morning after not running for a while. This was accompanied by some pretty awful scraping noises. It was time to take it in.

The transmission has now been completely rebuilt. The old worn out, scraped up, broken parts have all been replaced with newer, better, hardened components, and it is running very well. Joy!

3rd January 2008

12:09pm: Quote of the day
"We can be trusted with sharp objects and radioactive material, but not access to the Internet."

--one of our customers

31st December 2007

1:09am: Wii head tracking
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