• January 22, 2021

    Parking Problems!

    This week, I’m going back to the good ole engineering brainteaser. This one is for all you who have to fight to find a parking spot at work! The probability of finding the parking slot occupied is 1/3. You find it empty for 9 consecutive days. Find the probability that it will be empty on the 10th day. You can find this brainteaser and many others at GineersNow.com: Can You Answer These Brain Teasers Like a Silicon Valley Engineer?
  • This is a cute little post I wrote about the science behind Santa’s Enchantment. There are fictional interviews with three of the world’s leading experts on Christmas Magic.
  • There haven’t been too many famous snowmen over the years, the most recent one is arguably Olaf from Disney’s Frozen movie series. Here’s a quick list: The Abominable Snowman, A.K.A. The Yeti The Wampa of Hoth, from Star Wars, Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back Michelangelo’s famous 1494 snowman for the Medici prince, Piero the Unfortunate Jack Frost, from the 1998 Warner Bros. film of the same name starring Michael Keaton as the eponymous character The Bumble, seen in the 1964 stop-motion animation television Christmas special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer The aforementioned Olaf And Frosty the Snowman! And this is where our story begins, with Frosty. Arguably no one has done more to raise awareness for snowmen and snowwomen than good Ole Frosty. After all, he was a jolly happy soul. It all began on a temperate winter’s day. The school kids were making a snowman who sported a corn cobb pipe, a button nose, and two eyes make out of coal. They had just finished when one of the children found an old hat to place upon Frosty’s frozen head. Well, there must have been some magic in that old silk hat they found, for when they placed it on his head he began to dance around! From that point on, Frosty was as alive as he could be! However, the sun was hot that day. So they knew that they had to get him to the North Pole before he melted away. It was a sad goodbye, but Frosty said, “Don’t you cry, I’ll be back again someday!” And has come back, many times! One of Frosty’s most famous friends is Santa Claus, who along with the elves up at the North Pole, have given him a great home where he and his snow-family live a comfortable life...
  • November 5, 2020

    Progressive Puppies Ready for Duty!

    And keeping with the “factoid theme” this week, I thought I’d take a quick look at our furry friends who are also Progressive Pioneers—not just limited to humans you know. So here are some great facts about Military Dogs. Fact 1: Dogs have been part of military history for as long as people have been fighting. The Romans, the Vikings, and even in the Revolutionary War, all used dogs during conflicts. Fact 2: The official recognition for four legged soldiers didn’t come until World War II. Fact 3: Originally, dogs in wars involving the United States mostly were used to carry messages. Fact 4: Over 5,000 dogs served in the Vietnam War and many helped the soldiers in different capacities. Fact 5: Sergeant Stubby, a very famous Boston Terrier who was part of the military was the most decorated War Dog in history. He saved an entire group of soldiers from an enemy attack and thanks to his help, everyone made it out safely. He also met three presidents during his lifetime. Fact 6: Another big hero who served with the military was a German Shepherd named Chips. The dog single‐ evenhandedly forced a large group of enemy soldiers to surrender. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, Silver Star and the Purple Heart after people heard of his bravery. Fact 7: A dog was part of the SEALS special forces team that was known to accompany the unit during the famous Osama bin Laden raid. Fact 8: Rin Tin Tin is the most famous dog military dog of the movies. A German war dog, he was abandoned, then adopted by American troops and brought to the U.S., where he became a movie star after World War I. American soldier, Lee Duncan, brought the dog back to America where he...
  • November 5, 2020

    Emojis for Life😀

    With Apple, Inc. adding 117 new emojis for iOS 14.2 update, I thought it might be interesting to look at some cool emoji facts for a change:🎉 Fact 1: World Emoji Day is Saturday July 17, 2021🌎 Fact 2: Emojis were created in 1998👍🏻 Fact 3: Emojis originated in Japan🇯🇵 Fact 4: Over 48% of adults use emojis👫 Fact 5: Most tweeted emoji is Tears of Joy (14.5 billion mentions)😂 Fact 6: Number of emojis sent by brands – 145 million messages📱 Fact 7: Number of people/smiley emojis – >2000😎 Fact 8: Number of animals & nature emojis – 212🐕 Fact 9: Average number of emojis sent on Facebook each day – >60 million🦄 Fact 10: Amount of money earned at the box office for The Emoji Movie ‐ $217 million😐 Fact 11: Apple’s iOS 14.2 update now supports 3,292 emojis, including one with a medical mask (appropriate in this time of the Global COVID-19 Pandemic)😷 Fact 12: Emoji 13.0 is the set of emojis approved for release in 2020 (3,304 emojis supported all or in part on iOS 14.2, Android 11, Samsung, and soon Windows)👏 Fact 13: There is an entire website dedicated to tracking and cataloguing everything there is to know about emojis: The Emojipedia📔 Now we just need an emoji of 2020 and Satan, that’d be great way to convey via text how everyone feels right now!😱
  • June 14, 2020

    Going Pro!

    I’m sure that you’ve all seen those crazy videos on YouTube of dogs being left alone in their homes with a GoPro camera attached to them. They invariably end up getting into all kinds of mischief while their owners are away. And of course, the dog gives a, “I didn’t do it…” look that always melts their humans’ hearts. GoPro, Inc. themselves is one of those hugely successful companies that were borne out of a simple idea from a completely unrelated event. A guy by the name of Nick Woodman (hmm, Digital Batman’s alter ego’s name is Nick) back in 2002 was out surfing one day in Australia. He was hoping to capture some awesome action photos while riding the waves but was unable to because no amateur photographer had neither the affordable equipment nor the experience to get close enough for the really good shots. So was borne the idea of a high resolution, incredibly compact, and easy‐to‐use camera that could go anywhere and take any kind of action shot—and eventually action video. Not only have GoPro’s have been put on mischievous dogs but they’ve been everywhere from attached to flying drones getting impossible aerial shots (now used in motion picture productions), to spelunking and sky diving, and even into space—as one little girl did a few years ago onboard a Hello Kitty‐crewed rocket (see the Best of them All vid to the right)! This company has grown incredibly fast since 2002 and sports a huge line of products that have literally transformed the digital photography and videography landscapes! We’re building solutions that enable people to capture and share life experiences…and as a result GoPro is growing virally via content creation and sharing. ~ Nick Woodman, CEO of GoPro, inc. GoPro, Inc. received the Technology Emmy for 2013 from...
  • May 5, 2020

    Keep on Trucking!

    Ah, the Cybertruck! Elon Musk’s newest offering in the vast untapped market of electric vehicles. Someday, not too long from now, we will all be driving EV cars. Telsa, Inc. is a true market disruptor when they introduced their first fully electric vehicle on the automotive market the Tesla Roadster in 2008, soon followed by their Model S, Model X, Model 3, and there more recent Model Y—with prices ranging from a whopping $135K+ for an original Roadster, down to a more affordable $35K for the Model 3. Tesla delivered a whopping ~500K units in 2020 according to Statista. It may have taken a little over a decade but now a good deal of the major automobile manufacturers are either rolling out or planning to roll out their own EVs. However, it is the $39K+ Cybertruck that we’re looking at here. Telsa is trying to disrupt the market again with the Cybertruck, as it did with the Roadster. This is an all electric battery-powered light commercial vehicle with an estimated range of 250-500 miles on a single charge, and a purportedly 300K lb towing capacity. It will come in rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive variants. The Cybertruck’s most notable feature is its unique oddly-shaped unibody design made from the same stainless steel material as Musk’s SpaceX is using for its interplanetry vehicle, Starship. However, what’s really got the media buzzing is the spectacle that Musk put on last month announcing the Cybertruck. It included a demonstration of its armor-plated body withstanding blows from a sledgehammer. However, Tesla had a little mishap when they tested how “bulletproof” the Cybertruck’s windows were. However, the Cybertruck’s unveiling was still a huge success with Tesla taking over 200,000 initial pre-orders! And now on to the real challenge for the Cybertruck… The Cybertruck’s chief competitor is...
  • April 15, 2020

    IDIC Personified

    Today’s Progressive Pioneer comes from far away—not a galaxy far, far away (that’ll be in another TenthSphere.com post)—but from far in the future, about 300 years. Yep! That’s right. I’m talking about the one and only Mister Spock! A Starfleet captain before his retirement, a United Federation of Planets Ambassador to the Romulan Star Empire, and a lauded scientist. Ever since Zefram Cochrane’s first contact with the Vulcans on April 5, 2063 (A.K.A. First Contact Day), humans have been in awe of their outstanding scientific prowess that stems from their almost completely logical minds. Born on Vulcan in 2230, Spock son of Sarek son of Skon, had achieved the level of accolades in the sciences as well as in other disciplines few in the Federation have been able to match. Half Vulcan and half human, Mr. Spock is truly a Progressive Pioneer. Here are some of his more notable accomplishments during his time as first officer of the USS Enterprise (NCC 1701, NCC 1701‐A): Made first contact communication via the Vulcan Mind‐Meld with a remarkable alien species known as the Horta Successfully implemented the Cold Matter/Anti‐matter startup equation saving the Enterprise from certain destruction Successfully plotted time‐travel slingshot path around the sun bringing Humpback Whales back to the future to save Earth Solved inter‐dimensional space crisis rescuing both his commanding officer, Captain James T. Kirk, and the ship Reconfigured Warp Drive engines on refitted Enterprise to enable ship and crew to intercept the VGER threat to Earth Built a quantum computer out of antiquated 1930s technological resources in an effort to restore the prime timeline Survived encounter with giant Space Amoeba in order to take vital readings that in turn helped save the ship and potentially the galaxy Devised a way to beat an attacking rogue Klingon Bird of Prey’s...
  • This week’s Progressive Pioneers  will focus on two very special “other worldly” people who tirelessly worked behind the scenes the make the world a better place. I’m talking about none other than Tia and Tony Malone. And now thanks to WikiLeaks and the Freedom of Information Act, we know the full truth about these two amazing beings, which will blow your mind! Their story is a rich and complicated one that has taken four documentaries to tell! Escape to Witch Mountain Return from Witch Mountain The Blair Witch Mountain Project Race to Witch Mountain And though Digital Batman cannot fully do justice to their story, I’m going to give you a glimpse into their contributions to our society. Escape to Witch Mountain & Return from Witch Mountain documentaries can be currently watched on Disney+. Endless movies and TV shows. Always ad free. The best of Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, and National Geographic. From new releases, to your favorite classics, and exclusive Originals, there’s always something new to discover. Race to Witch Mountain documentary can be currently watched on Netflix. Watch Netflix movies & TV shows online or stream right to your smart TV, game console, PC, Mac, mobile, tablet and more. The Blair Witch Mountain Project documentary can be currently watched on YouTube (embedded below for your convenience). Tia and Tony Malone come from a binary star system some 3,000 light years from Earth. Their world was in the late stages of climate and environmental collapse (much like where our own world is headed). They were part of an advanced group of alien colonists seeking to find a way to reverse the self-inflicted damage done to their planet by studying our own in the early stages of exceeding the nine planetary boundaries. However, things did not go as planned. In 1975, their ship was damaged upon arrival at Earth and the two children were almost...
  • Recently, Jim Heppelmann (President and CEO of PTC, the company I currently work for) was featured in an article in the Boston Globe talking about PTC’s exciting move to the Boston Seaport, A.K.A. The Innovation District. The article also featured the story of how Boston’s Mayor, Marty Walsh, came to PTC for a visit and spoke to the employees at one of our famous socials. He praised the company and the employees for making the move to Boston’s newest up and coming hub for business and cultural innovation! And the seaport is pretty much an amazing new innovation district at that—especially with all the incredible simultaneous construction projects going on down there. However, it might be interesting to take quick walk down memory lane to reminisce about Boston’s other innovation districts, of the past. Let’s go all the way back to Colonial times. Over by where North Street meets Moon Street is Paul Revere’s House. This historical landmark is located in Boston’s North End district, now synonymous with the Italian-American community. However, back in the late 17th Century, this area was well known for it’s silversmiths (like Paul Revere, an innovator of his time), blacksmiths, artisans, journeymen, and laborers. For a city that was founded in 1630, this part of Boston became its innovation district of that time. Fast forward through the Industrial Age which affected the entire world, Boston included, and you will see that another innovation district presented itself. This time on the Boston waterfront known as Boston Harbor—part of which is where today’s Boston Seaport Innovation District now resides. For over two hundred years, Boston Harbor, which compromises all the famous Boston wharves such as Long Wharf, Rowes Wharf, Fish Pier, Commonwealth Pier, and Union Wharf to name a few, were the gateways to shipping, railroads, international commerce, jobs, markets, construction, and of course innovation. Without the wharves of the 18th and 19th Centuries, Boston could not have grown...