Friday, July 25, 2008

As Luck Would Have It

Good evening everyone,

Today had its ups and downs. Lady Luck was in a fickle mood today, trying to decide whether I should be the most unlucky guy in the world, or the one in a million lottery winner. Turns out I was close to the lottery winner… Although I usually always loose at gambling.

Let’s start with the tally:

-woke up to find my car had been egged… Again! (bad)

-got to math class only to find it had been cancelled, and I now have two more days to work on a huge project. (good)

-found a nice parking spot right outside the physics building where they would not tow my car. (good)

-went to pick up photos that I had printed for relatives from the water skiing trip, to find that the photo place had changed their prices, and it was twice as much as I had expected. (bad)

-went to GrayWhale CD Exchange to pick up an album that I couldn’t decide if I wanted or not, and they still had it. (good)

So as you can see, over all it was a good day to be me. The good luck odds greatly outweighed the bad, and it was a good day to be me. Not that it ever isn’t… ;)

So, ending the afternoon in the physics lab for about 4-ish hours, and going on about 4-ish hours of sleep, I spent the afternoon with Condi. If you do not know who Condi is, please look a couple of posts down for ‘the wonderful world of…’ post. This time around, I had to cool the semi-conductor instead of heating it. So I’m tired, drinking a warm Coke, and thinking about how I am going to do this, then the professor comes in with a tub of liquid nitrogen for me to pour under the thingy (yes, that is its technical term… probably) to cool it. He helped me set up the apparatus, and left the giant opened container of liquid nitrogen to be attended only by me and the hum of electrical equipment. So, I thought, why am I drinking a ‘warm’ Coke, when this situation has presented itself? So I decided that I should cool my beverage…

That was a bad idea... a really bad idea.

-Apparently, when a warm soda is submersed in liquid nitrogen, it explodes. I did not know this- until now. And it’s the last thing I would have thought too. So after getting paper towels, and dabbing up the mess, I thought this was fine and no one would ever know. Until I heard a clanking inside the liquid nitrogen tank… (bad)

I peeked inside to find two giant Coke ice cubes floating in there, dancing in the bubbles. Panicking, I searched for something to fish them out with. In the middle of my quest for a Coke-Cube removal tool, the professor came in to collect the liquid nitrogen, and promptly noticed the clanking noise. He inquired as to what it was.

Quickly thinking, I came up with an elaborate lie about how the soda had just exploded while I was over there, and some had gotten inside. And to my knowledge, he bought it… (good)

And that is the story my day out with Lady Luck. Call me honey, we should do this again some time. It was fun.


Wednesday, July 23, 2008

All The New Things

Good afternoon everyone,

Just a couple of quick thoughts this evening. I am here at work doing this between some rarther tedious tasks, so it will be a short one today. The first order of business is the changes here. The links on the left are for my other pages. The Cinema Project is where I am posting my movie reviews. I decided to have a separate page for that because, well, it's more fun for me. The R&D Pages are where I am going to post the details of my classes and other things I find interesting. That is a lot better than lumping them all in here. The Photography Page is pretty self explanitory. I wanted to have a page just for pictures.

That is all the blog updates that I have done so far. This page will be just for my daily adventures and amusing thoughts.

So, that is enopugh about this. Stay tuned everyone. And if you are interested, my review of Penelope is up on The Cinema Project.

Good night everyone! Hope you enjoy the new stuff!


Monday, July 21, 2008

The Wonderful World Of S&M And S.W.A.G.s

Good afternoon everyone.

For those of you who were wondering what I have been up to all this time, a have an answer for you. I have met some one new. From Russia with Love has finally accepted this fact, after much frustration. I call my new squeeze Condi. Condi fills needs for me that no one else can. She has opened my eyes to new horizons in the world of S&M (Science and Mathematics... What were you thinking? Crazy people...).

And let me tell you; these horizons are stormy ones. I call her Condi because she measures the conductance of various materials. In my case, a Geranium n-type semiconductor. Allow me to introduce you to the new bane of my existence:

And just look at that curvy backside:

Oh yeah…

Her Turn-Ons Include:

-2 SR 510 Lock-in Amplifier Power Switches
-1 EG&G Lock-in Amplifier Power Switch
-1 Keithley 169 Volt Meter Power Switch
-1 Tektronix 2225 Oscilloscope Power Switch
-1 Krohn- Hite 2200 Frequency Generator Power Switch

She enjoys:

-10 and 100 Ohm Resistors
-Frequencys of 13 Hz
-Volts on the 10 mV scale
-Doped Germanium n-type semiconductors
-Magnetic Fields

In a dark dimly lit room in the back of the South Physics building she waits for me, to humiliate me by challenging my knowledge of ‘what I am doing’. This is when I feel I am making what is known as a S.W.A.G. (Scientific Wild Ass Guess). She is a harsh Mistress...


Sunday, July 20, 2008

Bits Of This And That, But None Of Them Mine

Good afternoon everyone,

I don’t have much to go over today, and as I have promised to stop whining, I don’t have much to post about my life, just the pre- finals project/homework crunch. So let’s take a look at other people’s lives. Here’s the news that has interested me from Yahoo News:

Kids give pope Mickey Mouse cap but he prefers white

Fri Jul 18, 10:44 AM ET
SYDNEY (Reuters) - Pope Benedict, who generally wears a white skull cap known as "Zuchetto," was given a Mickey Mouse cap with ears Friday.
But, to the disappointment of photographers who would have had a field day with such a shot, he did not try it on.

A group of young people from Orange County, California -- where Disneyland is located -- gave the pope the black cap while they were lunching with him during World Youth Day festivities.
They also gave him a California Angels baseball and a stress ball.

According to the young people who briefed reporters about the private lunch, the pope smiled and squeezed the stress ball but passed the Mickey Mouse cap to his aides.

I personally think that it would be a much better fit. I know he only means well, but he trounces on a lot of scientific possibilities ( I have blogged about this before when he was talking about fertility research and artificial insemination). He is supposed to lead us, and morally advise us, not boldly lead us back into the 14th century…

Mississippi remains most obese state, CDC reports

By MIKE STOBBE, AP Medical Writer Fri Jul 18, 4:23 AM ET
ATLANTA - The South tips the scales again as the nation's fattest region, according to a new government survey.

More than 30 percent of adults in Mississippi, Alabama and Tennessee are considered obese. In part, experts blame Southern eating habits, poverty and demographic groups that have higher obesity rates.

Colorado was the least obese, with about 19 percent fitting that category in a random telephone survey done last year by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The 2007 findings are similar to results from the same survey the three previous years. Mississippi has had the highest obesity rate every year since 2004. But Alabama, Tennessee, West Virginia and Louisiana have also clustered near the top of the list, often so close that the difference between their rates and Mississippi's may not be statistically significant.
The South has had high death rates from heart disease and stroke, health risks that have been linked to obesity, some experts noted.

The CDC study only surveyed adults, but results for kids are similar, said Dr. Miriam Vos, assistant professor of pediatrics at Atlanta's Emory School of Medicine.

"Most of the studies of obesity and children show the South has the highest rates as well," Vos said.

Why is the South so heavy? The traditional Southern diet — high in fat and fried food — may be part of the answer, said Dr. William Dietz, who heads CDC's nutrition, physical activity and obesity division.

The South also has a large concentration of rural residents and black women — two groups that tend to have higher obesity rates, he said.

The study found that about 36 percent of black survey participants were obese, while 28.5 percent of Hispanics and 24.5 percent of whites were.

High poverty rates in the South probably are another factor, said Naa Oyo Kwate, assistant professor of sociomedical sciences at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.
In today's America, poor people tend to be obese: The cheapest foods tend to be calorie-heavy, and stores offering healthier, and more expensive, food choices are not often found in poor neighborhoods, she said.

And why is Colorado so thin? It's a state with a reputation for exercise. It has plentiful biking and hiking trails, and an elevation that causes the body to labor a bit more, Dietz said.

Obesity is based on the body mass index, a calculation using height and weight. A 5-foot, 9-inch adult who weighs 203 pounds would have a BMI of 30, which is considered the threshold for obesity.

CDC officials believe the telephone survey of 350,000 adults offers conservative estimates of obesity rates, because it's based on what respondents said about their height and weight. Men commonly overstate their height and women often lowball their weight, health experts say.
"The heavier you are, the more you underestimate your weight, probably because you don't weigh yourself as often," Dietz said.

Overall, about 26 percent of the respondents were obese, according to the study, published this week in CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

A different CDC survey — a gold-standard project in which researchers actually weigh and measure survey respondents — put the adult obesity rate at 34 percent in 2005 and 2006.

Is anyone really surprised by this? Really? Every one knows the South’s waist fat is rivaled only by the ‘head fat’…

That will do it for me tonight folks. Adios!


Saturday Morning Adventures On The Water

Good afternoon everyone.

I figured that I would give my co-workers a break from my groaning today and type a blog post. But why am I groaning all day? You might ask. Well, yesterday was another exciting day on the lake water skiing. I have pulled the muscles in my forearms, and making a fist is quite the painful task today. In fact, moving my arms at all is a challenge. That’s right folks, my co-workers get a break from my moaning and groaning so you can hear my whining. Any way, before I go overboard with that (bad pun intended!), here are some pictures:

The scenery (backside of Timpanogos, and the lake):

The people about to have their fishing ruined:

The 'Heber Creeper':

Me on the ski:

From Russia with Love on the knee board and water skis:

My uncle on the knee board:

From Russia with Love relaxes in the boat, and takes in the scenery:

J tries to get up on the knee board:

Can he make it??? - Nope:

Keep trying buddy. You will get it. It’s like riding a bike… This was also the first time I had met J. He is the son of my uncle’s new girlfriend. She tried the skis too:

All in all, it was another fantastic trip. And no sunburns this time! Just good times on the boat:

That will do it for me today folks. Please check out The Cinema Project for my review of Wanted, and the Photography page for better shots of the skiing adventures. Ciao!