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.
2017-09-06 Updated comment policy: Due to more and more spam comments pointing to spammy wordpress.com blogs commentators now need to have one manually approved comment.
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.