A podcast from the minds of Shane Swenson and Dave Smith

This podcast explains how things work, from the minds of two engineers. Our promise is we will only present topics we know well. No faking!

To listen:


Episode 7: Telecommunications part 3, party lines!


Onward to party lines! After the telephone was invented, the next thing people wanted to do was talk to their friends. But this was expensive! In this episode, we explain how the telephone gained mass market adoption, including the party line, and finally, the first digital (yes, ones and zeros) telephone transmission.

Episode 6: Telecommunications part 2, onward to the telephone


Technology advanced from the telegraph, but how did it work? Did you know they tried using compasses? What about error correction? Did you know Thomas Edison figured out a way to transmit 4 independent telegraph conversations on a single wire? We promise you will be surprised to learn how the telephone evolved from the telegraph.

In this episode:

  • Serendipitous user interfaces
  • Deep dive on the electromechanical telegraph
  • Morse code
  • Failure rates and probability
  • Overseas telegraph parties
  • Multiple telegraph conversations on a single wire
  • Frequency division multiplexing
  • Mirrors and threads
  • How Thomas Edison got rich
  • Duplex vs. half duplex vs. simplex
  • The accidental invention of the telephone

Episode 5: The telegraph is not what you think


We promise you; you don’t know what the telegraph is. You think you know, but did you know the first telegraphs had no wires? Did you know they used 30-foot tall towers with people standing on top of them? Did you know that electrical telegraphs were originally discovered thanks to a frog leg?

Episode 4: Moore's Law


Gordon Moore declared that CPUs would get better and better at a very ambitious rate, and it turns out, he has been mostly right for over 50 years! We talk about the technology innovations that have allowed Moore’s amazing law to continue from 1965 to the present.

Episode 3: Cookies


What are cookies on the web? You’ve heard about them. Now go deep on what they are, how they work, and what they let your web browser do.

Episode 2: Sailing part 2 of 2


Part 2 in the thrilling saga: The surprising physics of sailing!

This is the second episode of Explainercast where Shane and Dave explain sailing!

We covered more physics, optimization strategies, racing, and how to get started in sailing.

Episode 1: Sailing part 1 of 2


The surprising physics of sailing!

This is the first episode of Explainercast where Shane and Dave explain sailing! This is the 1st episode in a series about sailing.

The main question to answer is whether this will truly be 1 of only 2 total episodes on sailing given Shane’s profound depth of knowledge on this topic.