1996 - 2016
BSEE - KB3UON
RF Cafe began life in 1996 as "RF Tools" in an AOL screen name web space totaling 2 MB. Its primary purpose was to provide me with ready access to commonly needed formulas and reference material while performing my work as an RF system and circuit design engineer. The Internet was still largely an unknown entity at the time and not much was available in the form of WYSIWYG ...
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The number of statements uttered verbally and/or in print is uncountable. Some are more noteworthy than others either because of sheer brilliance, good humor, or utter inanity. We all hope our own remembered words, if any, fall into one of the first two categories rather than the third. I do a lot of reading and find many notable quotes to use that fit the theme of RF Cafe; they fall into all three categories. I always try to verify quotes from original sources or at least from printed books like The Experts Speak, of which I own a hard copy. Enjoy.
Notable Tech Quote Archive
"Before the extraordinary range of short waves was discovered by amateurs, it was held as incontrovertible that the electric waves followed the surface of the earth, and that the strength of the field decreased in proportion to the distance." - Ferdinand Bödigheimer in December 1931/January 32 Short Wave Craft article titled "How Are Shortwaves Propagated?" (excerpted from his book, Radio-Amateur-Station für kurze Wellen). 'Settled Science' has been getting corrected since time immemorial. There are lots of contemporary claims of settled science being disproved on a regular basis.
"I cannot seriously believe in it because the theory cannot be reconciled with the idea that physics should represent a reality in time and space, free from spooky actions at a distance." - Albert Einstein, on quantum theory, in a letter to Max Born, on March 3, 1947.
"The ability to code is now as important as grammar and mathematics skills and it can unlock important new career options. I can easily imagine a new wave of design entrepreneurs looking back and citing today as the day their passion for technology began." - Simon Segars, CEO of ARM
"Spacetime tells matter how to move; matter tells spacetime how to curve." - John A. Wheeler, astrophysicist who coined the terms 'black hole' and 'wormhole.' Quote taken from his book Geons, Black Holes, and Quantum Foam: A Life in Physics.
"String theory may not be the fabled theory of everything, but it is definitely a theory of something." - Andrew Strominger, Harvard University theoretical theorist, in the June 2016 Discover magazine article "The Fall and Rise of String Theory." The mathematics of String theory, originally concocted to create a unified theory of everything in the universe, is now being appropriated by other realms of physics as well as by practitioners of pure mathematics to solve longstanding conundrums in geometry.
"The ship's transporters - which let the crew 'beam' from place to place - really came out of a production need. I realized with this huge spaceship, I would blow the whole budget of the show just in landing the thing on a planet. And secondly, it would take a long time to get into our stories, so the transporter idea was conceived so we could get our people down to the planet fast and easy." - Gene Roddenberry, "Star Trek" producer, in the May 2016 issue of Smithsonian magazine. This is another validation of the old saying that "Necessity is the mother of invention." The entire article is very interesting if you happen to be a Star Trek fan (being a fanatical 'Trekkie' is not required). You might be surprised to learn that Gene Roddenberry was a B-17 Flying Fortress bomber pilot during World War II and airline pilot afterward, and that his choice of the famous starship's name was in honor of the USS Enterprise that fought in the Battle of Midway.
is begging for a reboot - one that brings life into the equation." - Bob Berman, writing in the August
2016 issue of
magazine. Bob (a famous astronomer) and
Dr. Robert Lanza (a
leading stem cell researcher)recently wrote a book titled
Beyond Biocentrism: Rethinking Time, Space, Consciousness and the Illusion of Death,
in which melds the physics of biological life with the physics of star generation, including the ramifications
of relatively newly popular concept of quantum entanglement - what Einstein called 'spooky action at
"What progress individuals could make, and what progress the world would make, if thinking were given proper consideration! It seems to me that not one man in a thousand appreciates what can be accomplished by training the mind to think." -- Thomas Edison during an interview with B.C. Forbes in The American Magazine, January 1921.
"From a customer perspective, there is a demand for this service whether its accurate or not." - Nolan Doesken, Colorado State University professor, in response to AccuWeather's new 90-day forecasts (HuffPo article). Have you noticed that a few months ago the AccuWeather online forecast began extending out 90 days? I remember being dubious when they went from the original 2-week forecast to a 30-day forecast. Most of the time, for most locations issuing a forecast more than 4 or 5 days in advance is an exercise in vanity. A scientific organization populated with PhD level climatologists, meteorologists, mathematicians, and physicists, offering with authority a prediction of temperatures within an implied ±0.5° precision, wind speeds, levels of sun and cloudiness, and precipitation, justifying such behavior by citing the stupidity of their customers is very discrediting. Doing so is akin to measuring power and voltage with instruments that display values to two decimal points, then dividing voltage into power and reporting current to all 12 displayed decimal places on your calculator. Here is a brief tutorial on accuracy and precision.
"We have to be comfortable with the uncertainty of not knowing, resist easy answers, and keep exploring the universe with open minds and all the tools and techniques we can muster." - David Grinspoon, astrobiologist, "No Need to Feel Lonely," January 2016 Sky & Telescope magazine. That cited quote won a coin toss with another line in the same article for being the Notable Tech Quote: "...people tend to get attached to certainty and start to believe they know the answer." Hmmm, can you think of any contemporary examples of political, sociological, or scientific topics where hard facts seem to be getting in the way of rigidly held opinions? The ignorant (not necessarily stupid, but often times so) masses are easily swayed by silver-tongued charlatans. Such has forever been the case.
"Just because it's futuristic doesn't mean it's practical." - Crow T. Robot, MST3K, 'Design for Dreaming,' Mystery Science Theater 3000 (MST3K). MST3K was a TV series in the 1980s-1990s where a human was forced by evil scientists to watch B movies, with automatons Crow T. Robot and Mike Servo provided for comfort. Their silhouettes are seen in the theater's front row as they make wise cracks about and gestures toward the movie as it plays. One of my favorite clips is from the "Space Mutiny" film, where Crow, Mike, and Servo roll out a long string of insulting names for the 'hero' character. You'll definitely get a laugh out of it.