I won’t recommend The Signal and the Noise to everyone, but here is a list of five intellectual and psychological skills that Nate Silver identified as predictors of major league baseball success. I think they are relevant to a wider audience.

1. Preparedness and Work Ethic

2. Concentration and Focus

3. Competitiveness and Self-Confidence

4. Stress Management and Humility

5. Adaptiveness and Learning Ability

Life is a journey. And these are observations from ours.


You’ve just read observations, a monthly column that illustrates in my personal life and leadership the technical concepts found in ATOMs. Some people may not want the technical content that appears elsewhere on this website–if you only want to follow these more personal updates, I set up a special subscription for that option here: by Email or RSS.

27 February 1945 was the first flight of the Curtis XF15C a prototype powered by both a propeller and a turbojet engine.

For more information visit wikipedia.


Airplanes by Design features photographs of aircraft from a test pilot perspective, highlighting aeronautical engineering characteristics and flight test facts.

WANTED: Your pictures and videos. Do you have pictures of aircraft that uniquely illustrate airplane design characteristics?

I’d be happy to post them and link to your website. Send a message to @FlightTestFact on Twitter to share your Airplanes by Design stories and photos. See more Flight Test photos flickr or Pinterest too.

Rose Petal Press is the digital storehouse for free downloads of pictures, like this collection of Apollo 16 photos. If there is a particular set of photos you need, contact me, and I’d be happy to upload a zip file for your use.

In the data science / statistical consulting space, I think there are 3 kinds of “need,” whether that’s individual or organizational.

1. Someone who is drowning in data

2. The “we already have analytics” crowd

3. Working in their business (e-myth) data scientists

Drowning in Data

This is the person who is always putting out fires in their life and business–always working in one of two “quadrants”: important-urgent or urgent-not important. They may or may not know that they are drowning in data, but it’s taking all their effort to just tread water.

For example, when the flight sciences department asks for another test sortie to measure X, and you are over 1,000 sorties into the test program–maybe, just maybe, they could find that data in the many terabytes of data already saved–but the algorithms or processes or expertise to mine that data just isn’t there.

Or the Wing Commander who wants to know “how this happened,” an airplane crash that exposes the rest of the iceberg, a breakdown in risk management practices: ORM has been part of the culture for years, but every day, the ORM data–written in marker–gets wiped off the ORM checklist, so they can start with a clean slate.

“We already have analytics”

These are the skeptics, either because they don’t know what value analytical tools of mathematics and statistics bring or because they have been burned by other purveyors of the trade.  I believe these customers have the tools and need advice for mastering them.

The (e-myth) Data Scientists

Let’s be honest, many of us would rather work in our business, continuing to practice our technical expertise, rather than “on our business” as Michael Gerber, author of the E-Myth, put it so profoundly.  Data scientists, statistical consultants, etc., might not know where to start. If you would rather learn a new computer language than learn to speak the language of the customer, we can help.

If you don’t know where to start, perhaps you can start be reading the white paper manifesto below…


Download the white paper manifesto below to learn more about ATOMs, Michelangelo’s paintbrush, and General Abrams.

ATOMs is a monthly column that introduces analytical tools of mathematics and statistics and illustrates their application. To read more about ATOMs, go to the incomplete index, read Where Do We Go From Here, or view the online workbook here.