This blog is mainly about physics, energy engineering, software related to these two, and about my life as a small a business owner and master of many websites. Plus a bit of experimental internet poetry.
elkement is an amalgam of my first name Elke and The Subversive Element. I run a small engineering consultancy together with my husband. Following Star Trek terminology he is Chief Engineer and I am Science Officer. We tinker with heat pump systems and control units. I am the theory department – developing software for automation and analysis of measurement data.
My background: MSc/PhD in applied physics + some years experience in R&D / long-term career in IT security based on zero formal credentials (I still support some long-term IT clients today) / MSc in renewable energy + plus an engineering stealth ‘pilot heat pump’ project – boostrapping myself back into engineering and physics / Bio and CV, LinkedIn profile.
Contact data here. For any questions related to my postings I prefer comments on my blog so that my answers will also benefit other readers. I provide detailed technical information on this blog, so I don’t do free consulting on top of that, and I don’t provide my raw measurement data.
I have another personal website: elkement.subversiv.at – precursor and companion site of this blog. I have given up on distentangling the two, but as a rule I only publish edited articles worth the name here on elkement.blog.
All images and content here is my own or our company’s, unless stated otherwise. The Subversive Elkement has a weird sense of humor but turns into a nitpicking stickler and painstaking submitter of DMCA complaints if somebody pirates content without consent. I hope my Legal Page is truly scary.
[Page last edited: 2017-05-22. Moved some official info to new Legal page and edited most paragraphs.]
Each section of this blog corresponds both to a standard blog category and to a page that lists all postings in that category:
Physics: I write about thermodynamics, heat transport, energy, and related history of science, e.g. about Peter von Rittinger’s Steam Pump or Carnot’s Theorem. Allegedly mundane things – as the freezing of water – are more complex than it seems: A Sublime Transition.
Heat Pumps (and renewable energy). We plan heat pump systems that use a special heat source – the combination of an underground water tank and a solar collector. Many postings here have been trigged by questions How does it work? and this blog is my way of publishing my data: Earth, Air, Water, and Ice.
IT Security: The page’s URL still reflects my former specialty – Public Key Infrastructure. I published some stories of a past life – When I Did Social Engineering without Recognizing It – but now I focus on monitoring, control snf Internet-of-Things related security issues: Hacking My Heat Pump – Part 2: Logging Energy Values.
Life (and work). Recurring topics are my ambiguous relationship with the corporate world, struggling with having skin in the game as an entrepreneur as a ‘doer’ versus fence-sitting commentator: Career Advice – Borrowing Wise Words from a Sailing Hacker
Poetry: I am looking for the weird and bizarre in seemingly random search terms and spam comments. I craft poems from the virtual scrapyard:
Imaginative Poetry. Inspired by the Second Name of Collected Space.
The Web: I am one of those meta-posters writing about the internet and blogging and thinking online about being online and crafting conspiracy theories about Google’s intentions: About 14,5 Random Thoughts on Blogging and Social Media.
Historical category: Reading. I kept tracks of books I read, sometimes I review them. But I hardly review books in a way doing them justice, so I the ‘book reviews’ are also listed on one of the other category pages: Hacking the Biological Clock.
Until Nov. 2015, the site’s title was:
Theory and Practice of Trying to Combine Just Anything
For a long time, the tagline has been:
Physics versus engineering
off-the-wall geek humor versus existential questions
IT versus the real thing
corporate world’s strangeness versus small business entrepreneur’s microcosmos, knowledge worker’s connectedness versus striving for independence.
I have been called a Dilettante Essayist, a fantastic mind with matching off-the-wall humor, and my writing has been called honestly irreverent. I don’t keep track of blog awards, but this one was special: I was honored to be named Geek of the Year and having a resume that reads like a character from The Big Bang Theory.
Since May 2017 the blog’s main domain is elkement.blog – I am now on a paid plan so that you do not have to look at ads any more.
Since 2014-12-24 this blog’s icon in an angry dinosaur. Nobody ever asked why so it must be self-explanatory.