Squirrel Proof Bird Feeder

The problem identified in this video was that the bird feeder, placed by Mark Rober, was intended to feed birds that would come into his yard so he could observe them, however, squirrels saw this bird feeder as a new source of food. With each new birdfeeder, the squirrels outsmarted these ‘Squirrel Proof’ devices. Rober wanted to find a way to stop the squirrels from using the birdfeeder as a food source and decided to build a bird feeder obstacle course to deter squirrels. I believe the problem was solved in two ways. The first way being through the obstacle course to make it hard for the squirrels to get to the birdfeeder yielding a reward of walnuts at the finish line. The second solution was the specialized squirrel size picnic table that would release walnuts at a specific time. This solution allowed the squirrels to target this source instead of the birdfeed.

I do not think I would have had the creativity or patience to have built a complete obstacle course for the squirrels. Although it was clever and imaginative, the squirrels were able to bypass the obstacles after trial and error. Instead I would have followed the latter approach in the video of creating a specialized feeder just for the squirrels to eat. Additionally, similar to the launching pad which was pressure activated, I would try to integrate that onto a bird feeder so that instead of launching the squirrel, it would sound a dog bark or growl to scare off the squirrels. I enjoyed seeing how each squirrel reacted and learned how to overcome the challenges present. It was also funny to see the squirrels caught in the Tourist Trap posing for the camera while eating. 

I can see this video relating to the Engineering Proposal Assignment because of the creativity behind it. Our group can choose a problem so common or trivial and find an imaginative solution to describe such as this one. Additionally, this video explains clearly the organization and process of the entire operation. With this information, our group can have more ideas to approach different problems.

Template for Description of an Ultrasonic Essential Oil Diffuser


-Ultrasonic aroma and oil diffuser designed to spread an oil’s aroma and fragrance to its surroundings


-Disperses aroma from an oil into its surroundings by breaking up the oil into smaller particles and releasing it with the mist or vapor of water

-Uses a vibrating disc powered by electricity to create a blended mist of the oil and water


Small device ranging from 6’’-10’’ tall with a circular base

-Several buttons for different functions: power, light, time

– Depending on model, may have two covers over water reservoir and different decorative cover


-Main base

-Cup body

-Cup cover

-Water reservoir

-Air inlet


-Ultrasonic membrane/disc

-Power cord and outlet


-Overall view from the front, from the top

-View when diffuser is off/on

-View of disassembled diffuser and its parts

-Labeled diagram of diffuser in action

-Labeled diagram of each component of diffuser

-Video of diffuser?


-How effective are they?

-Manufacturing costs

-Health warnings and recommendations

-Health benefits

-Different essential oils?


https://www.saje.com/blog/good-vibrations-how-diffusers-work.html, https://aromessential.com/best-oil-diffuser/how-it-works, https://www.byrdie.com/what-is-an-oil-diffuser-4766885, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/aromatherapy-do-essential-oils-really-work, https://www.flushinghospital.org/newsletter/the-benefits-of-essential-oil-diffusers/

Discussion Post: Reflections on Lab Report and Podcast

This assignment was and not meaningful to me at the same time. I believe so because this was not the first lab report I have written, however, it is the first report where I received very useful feedback and criticism from both my peers and the professor. A skill I learned and can use for the future is to stay away from being repetitive or using the same language and phrases. I was able to use a broader vocabulary when explaining certain aspects. One detail I both liked and disliked in this assignment was the degree of freedom. I was excited to be able to choose my own video and experiment to write a report on but it was also difficult to choose what information from the video was most important and how to structure it correctly. I am very proud of the structure and tone of my report because I felt that it was formal and I was able to use the passive voice throughout the paper.

I listened to the podcast about Elijah Jones because of his background in electrical engineering and manufacturing and his work in the medical field. Additionally, Jones’ work is the most closely related field to my major which is biomedical engineering than the other two engineers. It was also very interesting hearing his work with designing a better radiation machine that targets cancer more effectively. This podcast completely changed the way I view how important writing is in engineering because I did not realize how crucial communication is in the work field. One thing that stood out to me in the podcast was when Jones spoke how important it is to review your emails because it could have a bad tone unintentionally. Writing is a critical role in engineering because it is the basis of communicating properly especially with your team and others in non-engineering fields such as how Jones needs to deal with suppliers on a daily basis.

Lab Report Draft: The Genetic Attraction of Mosquitoes

The attraction of mosquitoes can be attributed to many factors including exercising and insufficient bathing, however, scientists tested whether there is a linkage between genetics and the attractiveness of mosquitoes. Scientists evaluated the mosquito attractiveness between identical and fraternal twins to determine the relationship. Results indicated a higher correlation with attractiveness between identical twins than fraternal twins which suggests that attractiveness is partially based on a genetic factor.

Mosquitoes feed on different elements including plant sap or nectar; in order to reproduce, offspring female mosquitoes feed on blood in order to produce eggs in order for their life cycle to take place. Many components influence the attraction of the female mosquitoes to their hosts such as their body odor, diet, pregnancy, blood type, and body mass (Fernández-Grandon
et al., 2015). These factors speculate as to why some individuals are more likely to get bitten, however, in order to determine whether genetics are also a factor, scientists used pairs of identical and fraternal twins to test this hypothesis. As known, identical twins share 100% of DNA due to developing from the same fertilized egg while fraternal twins share 50%. This
disparity between twins can suggest the basis whether attraction of mosquitoes can be contributed to genetics.

Methods and Materials
Researchers used female mosquitoes of the Aedes aegypti strain in order to conduct the experiment. Using a Y-tube olfactometer (Figure 1), 18 pairs of identical twins and 19 pairs of fraternal twins were used as bait for the attraction of mosquitoes. With each set of twins, they were asked to insert their hand on one end of the olfactometer and allow for the mosquitoes to swarm towards them. A large swarm of mosquitoes on one side of the tube indicated a strong attraction for that individual, while an equal number of mosquitoes indicated an equal attraction among the twins.

Figure 1: Y-Tube olfactometer

The results were then plotted to view their correlation.
Figure 2: Plot A represents relative attraction; Plot B represents flight activity.
Identical twins (closed circles) and Fraternal twins (open circles). Table 1: Intraclass correlations (r) and narrow-sense heritability (h2).

By looking at the scatter plots, there is a higher correlation for identical twins than fraternal twins. In comparing the intraclass correlations, identical twins had a higher value at 0.56 compared to fraternal twins at 0.29 which is almost half the value. Similarly, for flight activity, identical twins had an intraclass correlation of 0.90 while fraternal twins showed 0.48. These high correlation values suggest that genetics are a vital role in attraction to mosquitoes.

All in all, researchers determined a higher correlation for attractiveness of mosquito establishing that genetics influence the attractiveness of mosquitoes to individuals. Since identical twins have a higher percentage of shared DNA, it was expected for the data to result in a higher correlation and was held true. After viewing the correlation of fraternal twins to attractiveness compared to identical twins, it can be inferred that if this study were done comparing identical twins to unrelated pairs of individuals, the latter would have a lesser correlation. With this in mind, the data results express the certainty that attractiveness of mosquitoes is partly determined by genetics.

Fernández-Grandon, G., Gezan, S., Armour, J., Pickett, J., & Logan, J. (n.d.). Heritability of attractiveness to mosquitoes. Retrieved February 23, 2021, from https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0122716#pone0122716-t001
Veritasium. (2018, February 7). Why Mosquitoes Bite Some People More Than Others [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38gVZgE39K8&list=WL&index=22

Discussion Post: Baffling Description

          Every person was able to pinpoint that I wrote about mining for resources in the videogame Minecraft. The other students were certain when they spotted Minecraft terminology such as mobs and creepers. In order for an audience with zero expertise to understand the writing, I had to clarify and add to terms like enchantments because without background knowledge of Minecraft it would be difficult to know how this effects the player.

          In order to have a successful mining adventure in the videogame Minecraft, you must first have the adequate equipment. A well rounded miner always carries with them at least two pickaxes. One for non-essential ores like stone, coal and iron, and the other for useful ores such as diamonds, gold, and emeralds. A shovel is always useful when encountering areas that are full of dirt, sand, or gravel. Miners should also have enchantments or upgrades on their tools in order to increase efficiency, some enchantments include Unbreaking III, Efficiency V, and Silk Touch. The next necessity to carry with you are torches to place every so often and a sword to combat mobs such as zombies and creepers. These mobs are monsters that can cause damage to your health and are almost always found in dark areas, the use of the torches will help reduce the number of mobs from spawning in these areas. In addition to these tools, miners should always carry a furnace and crafting table in their inventory in order to craft any supplies that run out. A crafting table is used to make tools and equipment such as pickaxes and swords while the furnace is used to cook food. Lastly a good food supply should be carried, steak and porkchops are recommendations due to their high levels of saturation which represents the amount needed to eat. A higher saturation means the miner will eat less often.

          Before the individual has begun to mine, there are various strategies to increase the effectiveness of encountering resources. First, the miner may choose to find a surface abyss or go cavehunting. Then, the miner should mine in a downwards path; for optimal results of encountering diamonds, reach to y=11 which represents the coordinates of the miner in relation to the entire world of the game. From here, miners can choose to tunnel through an area, create strips of singular tunnels, or create a network or branches of interconnecting tunnels. Finally, miners should remember to not become over-ambitious when carrying many resources.