Building an Excel One-Month Calendar

One of my duties at work is to put together a calendar of various due dates every quarter. Of course, I could manually put the day numbers in, but where’s the fun in that?! The trickiest part in getting Excel to do this automatically is getting the first of the month on the right day. Most people would jump straight to multiple IF() functions, but there is a much more elegant way using the CHOOSE() function.  Read more

Lithium ion battery breakthrough double’s the capacity! November launch!

“An MIT spinout is preparing to commercialize a novel rechargable lithium metal battery that offers double the energy capacity of the lithium ion batteries that power many of today’s consumer electronics.”

“SolidEnergy Systems’ battery (far right) is twice as energy-dense, yet just as safe and long-lasting as the lithium ion batteries used in consumer electronics. The battery uses a lithium metal foil for an anode, which can hold more ions and is several times thinner and lighter than traditional lithium metal, graphite, carbon, or silicon anodes. A novel electrolyte also keeps the battery from heating up and catching fire.”

What’s more exciting is that they are prepping for a November launch! Here’s the full article.

Markets at all-time highs: I’m outta here!

On April 24, 2014, I posted that I was jumping into the stock market again with both feet. At that time, the S&P 500 stood at 1,883.95. Today it closed at 2,187.02. That’s at 16% rise in the S&P 500, but if I take into account reinvested dividends its about a 21% gain on the mutual fund after about 2-1/2 years. Pretty good, I think. Of course, it didn’t just go straight up. I endured two huge dips, one that actually took the S&P below my initial jumping-in point! These were important learning experiences though. Read more

The epitome of Texas Freeway insanity: a 26 lane wide monster

If you’ve never been to Texas, let me give you a brief overview of the freeway traffic system. Instead of freeways just being large roads without signals, Texas builds (usually) one-way “access roads” along each side which can themselves be several lanes wide. They also allow development along the shoulder of these access roads which means there are shopping centers, gas stations, restaurants, homes, driveways and other things all along them. Also, actual speeds on the access roads are often not much less than freeway speeds. Read more

New phishing scam

Boy, I nearly fell for this phishing scam and clicked Confirm. Pretty sneaky. The Google image really legitimized the look of the email. The domain is registered to some dude in San Francisco. Probably not a huge deal had I click on the button since I would be just confirming what is already public info, but glad I didn’t. I did report it to Google.