Everyday Engineering

April 5, 2022Last updated August 9, 2022


A legendary learning adventure

Everyday Engineering has been my faithful companion since last September, when I came across it by chance on the back alleys of the internet and quickly became obsessed. "Understanding the marvels of daily life" is its subtitle, and its scope is ambitious: the course walks the viewer through the construction of houses; the civil engineering involved in stormwater, wastewater, and freshwater; the mining and power generation of coaI, natural gas, uranium, solar, and wind power; the inner workings of an electrical power grid; telecommunications, satellites, and cell service; internal combustion engines; bridges and dams; trash disposal; sustainability design and permaculture...

Dr. Stephen Ressler, emeritus professor at West Point, has a genius for clever yet simple explanations, and his lectures often come with an accompanying model or experiment. During home construction, it was foot-tall plywood houses subjected to the forces of wind and frost heave. During thermodynamics it was detailed 3D models of HVAC systems. He even built a differential for a car made out of wooden gears!

For the almost-year I studied this course, I made Anki flashcards at the end of each lecture. I will share the cards here, as a testament to spaced repetition's magic and a contribution to anyone studying this stuff.

I, an absolute doofus, now know basic concepts and terms of the entire world of modern engineering. This is something of a miracle. I must insist I am not a handy person, and honestly somewhat mentally slow when it comes to doing common sensical physical stuff. Now I look around outside and am kind of confident that I understand the human-built bits. I have a hard time expressing how wonderful this feeling is. You should feel it too.

Anki flashcards

Would you like to study Everyday Engineering and permanently download its knowledge into your mind? Step one would be to download Anki. If you don't know quite how spaced repetition works, or Anki in particular, there are lots of resources.

In the folders below, each lecture has its own exported flashcard file. Just unzip these downloads in chunks and when you finish a lecture, double click on it to automatically import it to your Anki vault.

There are lots of screenshots and images, which is why I had to zip them. Each card is tagged 'EE' and also 'EE(number of lecture)'. I took a while to make these in the hopes that even one person uses and enjoys them. So if you ever end up taking this class and using these cards, I would be very grateful if you emailed me and let me know!

Thank you Prof. Ressler! 🙏