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National Rubber Eraser Day

eraserApril 15th Tax Day is when you celebrate this weird and wacky holiday called national Eraser Day.  Office supply geeks, eraser collectors, artists, writers, librarians school children and rubber eraser lovers band together every April 15th to praise this simple product that has done so much for so many.

Since the day Nicolas Conte made the first pencil back in 1795, many have owed a d3ebt to the inventor of the rubber eraser.  Edward Naime, an English Engineer, mistook a cube of rubber for the commonly used piece of bread to get rid of unwanted pencil markings and discovered a new property of rubber.  Since that day erasers have been the bookkeeper’s best friend and the writer’s handmaiden.  To learn more please check out

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Look at this relevant books: pencil : a history of design and circumstance / 


Happy birthday Leonardo da Vinci

born on April 15, 1452 Leonardo da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, musician, mathematician, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist and writer.  He epitomized the Italian Renaissance, a period of great cultural change and achievement that began in Italy during the 14th century and lasted until the 16th century, marking the transition between Medieval and Early Modern Europe.  Leonardo was described as the epitome of a Renaissance man.

Leonardo was born in the Tuscan hill town of Vinci.  He was born out-of-wedlock the son of the wealthy Messer Peiro Fruosino di Antonio da Vince and Caterina, a peasant.  His full name Lionardo di ser Piero da Vinci.  The inclusion of the “ser” meant his father was a gentleman.  The first five years of his life Leonardo spent in the home of his mother, then from 1457 he lived in the household of his father, grandparents and uncle, Francesco, in the small town of Vinci.

At the age of fourteen, Leonardo was apprenticed to the artist Andrea di Cione, known as Verrocchio, whose workshop was supposedly one of the finest in Florence.  Bontticelli along with others is one of the famous painters who studied under Verrocchio.  For more information on Leonardo please read

For more in depth study of Leonardo da Vinci  check out these books on the many accomplishments of Leonardo in the Engineering Library: LinkLeonardo Da Vinci’s water theory : on the origin and fate of water ;  The science of Leonardo : inside the mind of the great genius of the Renaissance. The machines of Leonardo da Vinci and Franz Reuleaux : kinematics of machines from the Renaissance to the 20th century .

The MECCA Exhibit

check out the Engineering Library’s MECCA exhibit an Engineering celebration very popular from the 1920-1970 celebrated with parades, long beard contests, finding and kissing the Blarney stone by upper classman.  The Blarney stone imported from Ireland was lost for 27 years.

Some pictures from parades and events from political statements having to do with the war and thoughts about science with captions like “Science?–HELL NO! Mars is wet.”  To floates that were meant to be fun.

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A fly and a ship

Whenever a fly alights on an ocean liner of about 35000 tons, the ship tends to sink lower in the water by one tenth of the thickness of an atom (0.1 A) – this can be measured at present by means of an electrostatic capacity meter.  If the fly lands on the handrail, say 15 meters (17 yards) from the center line of the ship, the resulting downward deflection of the ship on the same side will be about 20 times greater (unless the vessel is efficiently stabilized).  In fact, it is not even necessary for the fly to touch the ship at all.  If it merely hovers just above the deck, the vertical pressure of the airstream generated by its wings will have practically the same effect on the ship.  So I ask you could a fly sink a ship?  Check out these books at the Engineering Library:  LinkJ.P. Morgan and the Transportation Kings : the Titanic and other disasters;  American canopy : trees, forests, and the making of a nation; LinkHandbook of marine craft hydrodynamics and motion control; LinkThe wave : in pursuit of the rogues, freaks, and giants of the ocean


Beaty’s Standard Handbook for Electrical Engineers

announcing that the 16th Edition of Beaty’s Standard Handbook for Electrical Engineers is now available on the site.  The new edition of this definitive Handbook includes coverage of green technologies, modern computer applications, and power grid control infrastructures.

To complement the new edition:

•    21 problem-solving videos using content in the Handbook, which demonstrate:
o    Calculations for AC and DC systems including conductor size, I2R loss, and voltage drop
o    Circuit Analysis techniques including Thevenin and Norton Equivalents, Phasor Analysis, and Laplace Analysis

•    2 new Curriculum Maps which cover:
o    Circuit Analysis (DC and AC)
o    Electronics

Find links to these at:
Thank you – as always – for using AccessEngineering, and do remember to check out the What’s New page to keep up with the very latest content on the site:

Bicycles: Machines that changed the course of history

The word bicycle is from the Latin, bis, twice and the Greek, Kyclos, circle.  This fashionable mode of transport was denounced by a Baltimore preacher in 1896 as a “diabolical device of the demon of darkness”.  His reason for condemnation was not on the perfectly justifiable grounds that the word is an ugly Latin-Greek hybrid (etymological purist would only ride a dicycle) but simply because too many of his parishioners were lured away from church on pleasant Sunday afternoons by the temptation of a bike ride.  Perhaps because they are aware of the potential corrupting danger to moral standards, British Columbia has imposed a 10 mph limit for tricycles.

There are many books in the engineering library on bicycles here are a few of them:  Build your own electric bicyle; The bicycling guide to complete bicycle maintenance & repair : for road & mountain bikesCyclepedia : a century of iconic bicycle design; Fifty machines that changed the course of history.

As winter turns to spring happy cycling!

MECCA Celebration

MECCA Picture Frame

Did you know? There is a MECCA exhibit at the Engineering Library celebrating the different colleges within the engineering department. MECCA was very popular around 1910-1970. It featured activities like the long beard competition, parade, and hunt for a green stone called the Blarney Stone. Stop by the library to learn more!

Eiffel Tower Day

Did you know?  March 30th is Eiffel Tower Day. Here are some facts about the Eiffel Tower: that you might find interesting. The facts contain construction facts, Eiffel Tower Height, area, weight, tower steps and elevators and much more.

Eiffel’s tower : and the World’s Fair where Buffalo Bill beguiled Paris, the artists quarreled, and Thomas Edison became a count / Jill Jonnes. — New York, N.Y. : Viking, 354 p. : ill., map ; 25 cm. (10051350)

Engineering Library T803.D6 E54 2009

Building the world : an encyclopedia of the great engineering projects in history / [compiled by] Frank P. Davidson and Kathleen Lusk Brooke. — Westport, Conn. : Greenwood Press, 2006  2 v. (xxiii, 937 p.) : ill., map ; 27 cm.  Table of contents —  Engineering Library T56 .B85 2006


New the Hydrological Sciences Journal

Hydrological Sciences Journal

The Hydrological Sciences Journal is the publication of IAHS International Association of Hydrological Sciences.  IAHS is the oldest and foremost international nongovernmental organization which deals with hydrology and water resources.  The Hydrological Sciences Journal is the official journal of IAHS.  The scope of the journal includes:

  • the hydrological cycle on the Earth
  • surface water, groundwater, snow and ice, in all their physical, chemical and biological
    processes, their interrelationships, and their relationships to geographical factors,
    atmospheric processes and climate, and Earth processes including erosion and
  • hydrological extremes and their impacts
  • measurement, mathematical representation and computational aspects of hydrological
  • hydrological aspects of the use and management of water resources and their change
    under the influence of human activity
  • water resources systems, including the planning, engineering, management and
    economic aspects of applied hydrology.

Original papers are welcome all papers submitted to the Journal are peer reviewed by an international panel of Associate Editors and other experts.  More information at: