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Dr. Malow’s Hammer vs. The Scientific Method

Fewer than 1 percent of papers published in scientific journals follow the scientific method, according to research by Wharton School professor and forecasting

Breitbart News, 29 Mar 2017

expert J. Scott Armstrong.

Professor Armstrong, who co-founded the peer-reviewed Journal of Forecasting in 1982 and the International Journal of Forecasting in 1985, made the claim in a presentation about what he considers to be “alarmism” from forecasters over man-made climate change.

We also go through journals and rate how well they conform to the scientific method. I used to think that maybe 10 percent of papers in my field … were maybe useful. Now it looks like maybe, one tenth of one percent follow the scientific method” said Armstrong in his presentation, which can be watched in full below. “People just don’t do it.

Read more:…/j-scott-armstrong-fraction-1-pa…/


From the Physics Dept. of the University of California, Riverside

What is the “scientific method”?

The scientific method is the best way yet discovered for winnowing the truth from lies and delusion. The simple version looks something like this:

1. Observe some aspect of the universe.
2. Invent a tentative description, called a hypothesis, that is consistent with what you have observed.
3. Use the hypothesis to make predictions.
4. Test those predictions by experiments or further observations and modify the hypothesis in the light of your results.
5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 until there are no discrepancies between theory and experiment and/or observation.
When consistency is obtained the hypothesis becomes a theory and provides a coherent set of propositions which explain a class of phenomena. A theory is then a framework within which observations are explained and predictions are made.

The great advantage of the scientific method is that it is unprejudiced: one does not have to believe a given researcher, one can redo the experiment and determine whether his/her results are true or false. The conclusions will hold irrespective of the state of mind, or the religious persuasion, or the state of consciousness of the investigator and/or the subject of the investigation. Faith, defined as a belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence, does not determine whether a scientific theory is adopted or discarded.


Engineering Approach or Hammer-and-Nail Solution?

How do political agendas drive pseudo-science? Most, almost all, research is funded by liberal groups who wish to have the backing of credentialed academics in order to pursue some plan to control society. If the researcher can provide ‘proof’ of a given cause and effect, the researcher will continue to receive funding.

This impetus behind most environmental policies is a political agenda.

Even God invites us to question Him. If we can question the Almighty God, surely we should question all research findings.

If the researchers follow the scientific method, then there will be a reason for the researcher’s theory and thus worthy of further investigation.


The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom.” ― Isaac Asimov


The Rockwall Company follows the scientific method. We welcome questions from our customers.

Are you in need of a cheap solution to your problems or a do you prefer a valuable, cost effective solution?

John White
Rockwal Controls Company, Inc.
(972) 771-3514

Freedom from the Myths of Anthropogenic Global Warming & Climate Change

Genuine science based on the geologic record trumps pseudo-science based on political suppositions.

According to an article in titled Variations in the Earth’s Orbit: Pacemaker of the Ice Ages:

It is concluded that changes in the earth’s orbital geometry are the fundamental cause of the succession of Quaternary ice ages.

A model of future climate based on the observed orbital-climate relationships, but ignoring anthropogenic effects, predicts that the long-term trend over the next seven thousand years is toward extensive Northern Hemisphere glaciation.”

  • Fact: Glaciation and ice-free polar regions come and go without either the aid of or interference by mankind.
  • Fact: We know from the geologic record that Earth’s early history featured atmospheric carbon-dioxide (CO2) concentration of over 8,000 ppm. Nominal CO2 concentration today is 400 ppm.
  • Fact: We know we are heading into a little ice age, so keep the firewood near and don’t throw away those old sweaters grandmother gave you.
  • Fact: The junk science promulgated by the United Nations and widely taught in this country by the likes of Al Gore is all a lie. It’s fake science that serves two purposes. First, it is a means of gaining control over our lives and second, it is a means to enrich those who invest in so-called ‘green’ technologies.

Rockwall applies genuine science to determine cost-effective solutions to solve your comfort and energy conservation goals.

Contact us to see how we can apply genuine science to your facility.

John White
Rockwall Controls Company, Inc.
(972) 771-3514

What if nature produces more hazardous waste than 7 billion humans

Radioactive Waste

What do we humans do with it? We store it. Forever.

Uranium has a half-life of approximately 4.5 billion years. But, let’s look at the effects of cesium spilled into the Pacific Ocean from the storm-damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan.

“The initial nuclear accident from the Fukushima reactors released several radioactive isotopes, such as iodine-131, cesium-134, and cesium-137. Cesium-137 has a half-life of 30 years and remains in the environment for decades.” –

What will Japanese humans do with all the massive radioactive wastes? Store it. Freeze it. A PBS article on the effects of the Fukushima incident predicts the “Japanese will be wrestling with the cleanup for decades and will spend trillions of yen in the process“.

What will nature do with the nuclear waste released into the ocean? Eat it. Neutralize it.

“Scientists have learned how several bacteria decontaminate water that carries dissolved uranium. One species of bacterium combines the phosphate in the water with the uranium to make uranium phosphate crystals. These crystals are stored harmlessly in the bacterium. Another species uses enzymes to make uranium ore that then settles harmlessly out of the water.” – Creation Moments: GOD’S HAZARDOUS WASTE EXPERTS | Learn more from this informative video of the same title.


Occupant comfort: Is it just something in their heads?

Since the 1970s, as a consequence of the Arab oil embargo, temperature control has been generally perceived as an economics issue, particularly energy consumption. But temperature affects productivity, sales quotas, interpersonal relationships, mental health, and so much more. Indoor temperature does indeed affect economics and as you read on you will discover the cost of energy is almost irrelevant.

The traditional “cold call” will take on new meaning for you sales people.

The following is an excerpt from the March 2017 issue of Scientific American: “The Warmth and Friendship, the Chill of Betrayal

” During the past decade, scientists have discovered that our physical temperature can affect how ‘warm’ or ‘cold’ we feel toward other people. For instance, studies have found that when we are hurt, isolated or betrayed, a short dose of heat — in the form of a hot beverage, warm bath or even the sun — may help restore feelings of trust and bonhomie. Likewise, other investigations have shown that a chill in the air can raise our suspicions. In general, this line of inquiry belongs to a larger research field called embodied cognition, which holds that our body — and not just our brain — plays a role in our thinking, emotions, and memories. The field has its critics, but when it comes to temperature, there is little doubt that the link between physical and psychological warmth and coolness is built on more than just metaphor. Researchers have uncovered overlapping mechanisms that govern both the system that regulates body temperature and the one that governs our emotional state. Imaging studies have tracked both systems to the insula in the cerebral cortex. And as neuroscientists and psychologists begin to understand this circuitry better, they are looking for ways to manipulate it to treat depression and other disorders that can put a freeze on our social connections. Yale University psychologist John A. Bargh first began exploring the links between physical and psychological temperatures in 2008. At the time, he says, his laboratory was ‘scouting into a new territory about the warm-cold effect.’ As part of that initial foray, he paired up with psychologist Lawrence E. Williams, now at the University of Colorado Boulder. They invited 41 undergraduate students to visit their fourth-floor psychology lab. During the elevator ride up, the students all encountered a woman carrying an armful of books, a clipboard, and a coffee cup. She asked each one to hold her cup, which was either steaming hot or icy cold, while she scribbled something down on her clipboard. Once in the lab, the students read a short description about a fictitious “person A” and then had to rate the warmth of his or her personality. When the scientists analyzed the results, a clear pattern emerged: most of the students who held the hot cup had judged ‘person A’ to be significantly more generous and caring than those who held the chilly cup. Many similar experiments soon followed, extending the association. …

“For definitive proof that physical and psychological temperatures are linked, scientists have turned to neuroimaging. ‘Neuroscience has confirmed the reality of these phenomena, using much more powerful measurement tools,’ Bargh says. These tools have tracked the source of the connection to the insula, a small, pyramid-shaped structure deep within the cerebral cortex. This region plays a role in how much we trust others and how much empathy we feel toward them. A 2015 study, for example, showed that damage to the insula causes people to misplace their trust and be overly naive in some situations but cagey in others. Critically, studies also reveal that the insula is important in temperature perception. In 2010 neurologist Hans Lüders of University Hospitals Case Medical Center in Ohio and his colleagues investigated the cases of five women with intractable epilepsy. In hopes of better understanding their seizures, they surgically placed electrodes in the women’s insulae, among other brain structures. They reported that stimulating regions within the insula made these patients experience sensations of warmth in different body parts.

“That same year, working with his colleagues at Yale and Boulder, Bargh conducted an experiment that linked both feelings of interpersonal trust and temperature perception to the insula at the same time. They asked 23 participants to play a game inside a functional MRI scanner. The game required players to hypothetically ‘invest’ small amounts of money with other people. As they lay inside the machine, some of them held an ice pack for a few seconds; others held a pack heated to a toasty 105.8 degrees F. The scientists observed clear differences in activation within the insula, depending not only on the decisions the players made in the game but also on the temperature of the pack they held. In addition, they noted that participants primed with cold were less willing to invest. …

“The big question, of course, is why? Why are physical and psychological temperatures linked in the first place? There are two theories, which are not necessarily mutually exclusive. ‘One notion is that from birth we’ve learned that warmth signals the presence of loved ones, so one experience brings to mind the other one,’ Inagaki says. ‘The second theory is that it’s part of our innate system.’ For years researchers have explained the connection by way of the first theory, but recent neurobiological evidence gives more weight to the second idea that we have evolved this way. ‘For all warm-blooded animals, temperature regulation is very metabolically expensive and also required for survival,’ psychologist Hans IJzerman of Free University Amsterdam points out. ‘But it becomes cheaper when there are others to help us regulate our temperature.’ Indeed, animal research has revealed that kleptothermy — or stealing warmth from others, much as huddled emperor penguins do in Antarctica — saves metabolic resources. One 2014 study estimated that in a species of Chilean rodents, sharing a cage with just a few other animals lowered an individual’s basal metabolic rate by up to 40 percent. Similarly, a 2015 study of vervet monkeys showed that friendly grooming not only helps these animals with tangles and pests, it also renders their pelts better insulated against the cold. If we can save precious energy and feel warmer among others, it makes sense that we would also feel more socially included and trusting when primed with physical warmth. ‘Throughout evolutionary time, if you needed somebody else to cuddle with, you needed to know how reliable they were,’ IJzerman explains, ‘so temperature expectation became involved as a “sociometer” to assess how we think of other people. Despite modern conveniences like central heating, thermoregulation has remained important for how we understand our relationships, which is why in English we refer to emotionally responsive people as “warm” and emotionally unresponsive as “cold.”‘”

The word insula is Latin for island. Unresolved temperature control problems may leave you feeling as though you are on an island from which there is no escape. Call on Rockwall Controls. We have a long track record of comfort and energy problems resolution.

I hope what you read today contributes to your understanding how two women in the same office space can have a radically different sense of comfort. Yes, comfort truly is in your head.

Call for an appointment. Let’s work together to create a people-friendly indoor climate in your facility.

John White
Rockwall Controls Company, Inc.
(972) 771-3514

Truly Renewable

What is ‘renewable energy’?

Renewable means “to restore to a former state esp. so as to be used again” and implies human effort. Therefore, solar and wind power are not renewable because mankind has no ability whatsoever to restore either natural phenomenon to its original state.

There emerges an exciting renewable “Swiss made” energy technology and it will truly work as well as any Swiss watch.
Learn how Swiss researchers discovered this amazing process in an article titled New technique stores summer heat until it’s needed in winter

Economical Performance: Customer-Centered Serivces

Over my fifty years of service to customers, the traditional corporate business model has served to enrich the wealth of stockholders, often at the expense of the corporations’ customers. Such a business model rewards salespersons who sell products and services then rewards project managers to not deliver what the sales force sold. Salespeople are paid to sell against quotas and the managers are incentivized to hold down overhead and raw costs.

In my last corporate role of corporate account executive, I worked to meet the goals set for me and my sales team AND I worked to assure the satisfaction of our customers. To my disadvantage, I couldn’t fire branch office personnel. All too often customers would call to report dissatisfaction with one or more aspects of the delivered sale. So it was I began to imagine how things could be different if I were in charge of everything from the initial sale to sign-off. When I started my business three decades ago, my focus was not on project profitability, but on customer satisfaction.

Participation in major design-build performance contracts over many years firmly established the business focus for Rockwall Controls Company, Inc.

We rarely, perhaps only once over two to three years, participate in street work based on low price. Instead, we provide customized solutions that economically resolve problems while also introducing significant monetary benefits to the customer. I give two examples.

Example 1 – A five-story courthouse featured a high-pressure dual-duct air handling and distribution HVAC system. There were continuous comfort complaints. Originally this system had pneumatic thermostats that were replaced with a simple DDC system that replaced those pneumatic thermostats with voltage-to-pressure transducers.

Two tandem Joy vane axial fans powered the cold duct while a single fan powered the hot duct. Two joy vane axial fans served as common return fans. Electric heaters on the discharge of the dual duct terminal boxes were the source of heat. This system had an air-side economizer.

Structurally, the old building was as porous as a sieve.

Our remedy was to convert dual duct terminals to variable-volume and to add isolation butterfly dampers to the vane axial fans. Fan tracking based on actual system air flow resolved most of the infiltration/exfiltration problems. An intelligent air-side economizer and elimination of all pneumatics did the rest.

Results? Practically all occupant complaints ended and actual annual kiloWatt-hours energy consumption was cut in half.

Example 2 – A hospital for which HVAC maintenance was neglectful for ten years was approaching a point of total HVAC failure. Antiquated and disparate controls left the new facilities manager in the dark.

Phase 1 addressed central plant operation. Remedies to central plant operation produced annual savings from reduced gas, water, and electricity for a quick payback.

Phase 2 integrated systems of two manufacturers that were installed over several years, giving a window onto the other needs of this hospital.

Phase 3 is pending, but when implemented will dramatically improve overall HVAC systems performance and cost of operations.

Our smart operator interface greatly relieved the facilities management team of stress. How so? We installed our own internet service, wholly independent of the hospital’s IT infrastructure. This measure empowers hospital staff to use our SmartPhone app on-site and away, all without compromising hospital IT security.

What do the two examples share in common? They are self-funding projects; our implementations are designed to pay for themselves.

The Bottom Line

Our customers enjoy energy savings along with greatly improved performance and these projects pay for themselves.

What Are Your Needs?

How can we serve you?

John White
Rockwall Controls Company, Inc.
Rockwall Broad Energy, LLC
(972) 771-3514

There is a body of thought that we can run America on #RenewableEnergy

There is a body of thought that we can run America on Renewable Energy.

There is a body of thought that we can run America on Renewable Energy.

There is a body of thought that we can run America on #RenewableEnergy.
First of all, let’s clarify the meaning of renewable. One of my dictionaries defines renew, “to restore to a former state esp. so as to be used again”.
While true, this present administration produces a lot of hot air, the immutable laws of physics remain unchanged. The president cannot now, nor will he ever be, capable of changing the natural laws of nature with his phone and his pen.
Any suggestion that wind – air in motion – is ‘renewable’, meaning we the humanoids of earth, can turn it on and off at will, is the zenith of foolishness.
Yesterday, my wife and I visited our grandson who studies at a west Texas university. Our drive takes us through miles of giant windmills. For the record, approximately 1/2 were in operation.
Is it possible for windmills to generate commercial electricity? Most certainly. Is it possible for windmills to generate RELIABLE commercial electricity? Let’s answer this second question with a third: Can ERCOT (the ‘mafia’ that controls the Texas grid) command the wind to blow?
Last August of 2016, ERCOT peak demand surpassed 71,000 megaWatts for the first time ever.
If all the carbon-based power plants were to be shuttered tomorrow AND there were enough operational windmills online to supply the demand for power, what else could we possibly need? Answer: something RELIABLE, something we can turn on and turn off, something like cheap Texas coal and cheap Texas natural gas.
Do windmills perform? Are they viable sources of electrical energy? Yes and yes. However, unlike natural gas-fired and coal-fired power plants, you the taxpayer funds the installations of windmills and the construction of multi-billion-dollar transmission lines that connect the over 10,000 wind turbines into our grid.
West Texas wind is gusty and unreliable. In fact, it’s during the daytime and summertime that we hit our peak demand, but the windmills just aren’t able to provide power when we need it most.
Construction of windmills along the Texas Gulf Coast overcomes the problem of west Texas fickle winds, but there are other issues.
One issue: Ecological harm to birds and bats. Windmills are the only lawful means for killing game birds, vital insect-devouring bats, and even the eagle.
Another issue is noise. Ask people who live near wind farms.
A third issue is the reliability of wind power. What do we need when we have over 18,000 megaWatts of wind power? We need something reliable.
Only a free market serves the broad interests of our fellow Texans. I say let the windmill business go forward but put them on a level playing field with coal-fired, gas-fired and nuclear power plants.
John White
Rockwall Controls Company, Inc.

Three Perils to Facilities – Lightning, EMP, and Solar Storms

NASA warns – History will repeat itself. “Electrical surges due to a solar storm shocked telegraph operators in 1859; today, they could wreak havoc on power grids and electronics.” Science Magazine
There are three natural threats to our power systems and electronic systems so vital to our way of life. Starting from the least to the most perilous: lightning, solar storms, and nuclear bombs bursting high in the atmosphere. Are you protected against even one?
The danger from solar storms is the heating effect on our atmosphere. When heated, the atmosphere expands, as heated air does in a hot-air balloon. Read the article to understand how an expanded atmosphere affects satellite communications.
Lightning strikes the earth 100 times per second, almost 8,000,000 per year.
To date, there have been no detonations of nuclear bombs in time of war, but experts warn the probability of such a strike by rogue nations like Iran increases day by day.
Both lightning and nuclear air bursts produce electromagnetic pulses (EMP) and intense electrostatic fields can affect electrical and electronic systems, the damage a function of the intensity of the EMP.
Scientists say we have 15 to 20 minutes warning, in the case of a solar storm. Weather forecasts generally warn us in advance with enough time to activate planned defenses. But, there will be only a few minutes warning before either a nuclear air burst or a solar flare happens.
Perhaps one of our consultants can review your facility.
Make an appointment today. Peace of mind can comfort you. Leaving your facility in one piece – even better.
John White
Rockwall Controls Company, Inc.
(972) 771-3514
Rockwall Broad Energy, LLC
(214) 810-7314

Plan-Spec vs Design-Build


Why does Rockwall not participate in the plan-spec market? Contrary to conventional wisdom “all things being equal, john-ruskin-low-pricelow price is the best buy” this is rarely true.

Understanding the plan-spec form, particularly where building automation and controls are at play, will determine the outcome of your project.

As a former corporate account executive for the former Barber-Colman Company in Rockford, Illinois, I know how the system works. Typically, the MEP engineer knows what fluids go. And, they generally know how to correctly design plumbing, HVAC, and electrical subsystems needed to fulfill the mission of the building.

Along the way, sales representatives from various manufacturers provide “guide specifications” to assure those mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems function as desired by the owner. The weakness is this: the reason sales people willingly provide those “guide specifications” is to create a favorable opportunity for the manufacturer or service provider to have the lowest price and the highest profit. This isn’t always a bad thing for the owner. All too often it is.

economics-vs-technical-solutions-balanceRockwall Controls is a design-build company providing custom-designed controls systems,  consulting services, systems integration.

Our method is to develop solutions that fulfill the primary mission of a particular building system while also building in energy efficiencies. We know that regardless the problem-solving solution we propose if it is not economical, it will not happen.

Over the last thirty years of business, Rockwall has provided systems commissioning. We ‘optimize’ existing systems. The economic benefits of re-using assets for which capital has been expended, adding equipment as necessary to optimize a system can be substantial.

Is your building system a true automation system or is it a manualmation system? Need help? We can do.

Our choice of Technology is Honeywell

Our choice of Technology is Honeywell


John White
Rockwall Controls Company, Inc.
(972) 771-3514

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Choosing a Solution: Hammer & Nail or Engineering Approach?

Abraham Maslow was a psychologist who loved people. Mr. Maslow focused on what made people happy and he understood that human nature seeks to simplify complex needs to some simple singularity.

We love our customers. Because we love our customers, we fastidiously research the means by which we can please them through the application of durable, cost-effective and practical engineered solutions.

While you may be unfamiliar with the work of Abraham Maslow, you have probably heard his observation on hammers and nails.

I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.” – Abraham Maslow

What you are about to read isn’t intended to discredit skilled air conditioning mechanics and technicians. Rather, the objective of this paper is to differentiate between two worldviews on problem-solving.

Engineering Approach or Hammer-and-Nail Solution?

When it comes to solving problems, craftsmen tend to rely on skills which, in turn, are the products of experience. Those high-value skills are not to be either minimized or dismissed. The point is the solution. It is at this point where Rockwall Controls Company, Inc. and Rockwall Broad Energy, LLC differentiate between the Hammer-and-Nail solution of mechanics and our engineering approach to problem-solving.

What is the chief difference between an engineering solution and the hammer-and-nail approach? The latter rests on past experiences; the engineering solution makes no assumptions, based on past experiences.

Rockwall Controls Company, Inc. and Rockwall Broad Energy, LLC, instead rely on empirical data, measurements with sophisticated instruments and proven engineering principles. Our scientific approach to problem-solving entails empirical measurements, ASHRAE standards, and reliable predictions.

At the end of the day, either method provides a solution to your HVAC problem. Which would you prefer? The hammer-and-nail or the scientific method.?

Here’s a true to life story about one customer who elected the hammer-and-nail approach of a mechanical service company over our scientific approach.

Problem: Condensate floods the mechanical room floor

Solution from first mechanical service company: Cut a trench into the concrete to draw condensate to a floor drain.

Solution from second mechanical service company: Resolve “negative suction” on the condensate drain line.

Our findings? The air handling unit in question was designed for 40,000 cfm. Our study revealed the unit flowing 53,000 cfm. Condensate had escaped the drip pan so long that mineral “stalagmites” formed on the deck of the unit. There were other issues:

  • Phase imbalance on two motors
  • An unreliable digital controller that could not be fine tuned to improve performance. This same controller tended to lock up when transient voltages passed through the structure.
  • Poor humidity control due to overspeeding fan
  • Poor indoor air quality control due to infiltration into the mechanical room. An IAQ sensor in the return-air stream at the unit was not effective in the management of ventilation.

Our solution?

  • Apply variable-frequency drives (VFD) to supply and return fan motors, thereby reducing unit air flow rate, correcting power factor and phase imbalance and providing soft-start that adds life to any machinery.
  • Replace the fixed application proprietary controller with an open-systems Honeywell programmable controller.
  • Install a multi-variable sensor within the conditioned space at average head height. Measured values of temperature, relative humidity and carbon dioxide concentration are raw data used by the new programmable controller to optimize comfort at the lowest possible cost.

Have you a problem with your building? We can help. You will be happy with the results.

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