Friday, September 11, 2015

Dreaming of other vocations

A discussion of the complaints and motivations of those leaving academia in Slate. Not terribly convincing...when getting grant funding becomes too difficult, I dream of doing many other things, such as starting a hedge fund, finding a use for a swarm of tiny bots, studying energy storage methods (batteries, flywheels, etc), picking up a unicycle again and proficient enough to juggle on it, maybe trying to charge for photographic services on a very limited basis, and many other things that are not coming to me as of yet.

Monday, September 07, 2015

Thursday, May 07, 2015


A neat movie of zooming into a fractal. I must have zoned-out for a good five minutes while watching it.

I tend to make a game of minimizing fees with currency conversions, and so I tend to have lots of cash leftover in various world currencies. I feel a bit like a spy when preparing for another foreign trip going to my secret stash of money. Too bad that I only have a single passport and, horrors upon horrors, it's in my real name! In any case, the amounts are not significant (to me at least) but it does expose me a bit to valuation risk. Right I've lost quite a bit on my Euros (not counting my conversion-fee savings).

I've always been fascinated by music. I have a strong affinity for listening (with little ability in performing), but why? I've read some that evolution explains it, but never convincingly so. And why do I like some songs right away (e.g. ``Rude'') and others only upon many listenings or never at all. And the one-hit wonders...why don't they ever have another hit? What's the relationship of hits to songs I like? I mean that I generally like the hits, but I like some music that many have never heard of.

More than you ever wanted to know about the gunk that builds up in your eyes when you sleep.

I'm almost to the point of giving up on Japanese and Thai restaurants in North America. It seems that folks think "hey, why open yet another Chinese restaurant when I can open a Thai or Japanese restaurant and charge twice as much."

I saw a strap hanging from the back of a box truck while driving down the highway. It was frayed on the end. And so, as a scientist/physicist, I was curious about how it might have gotten that way. In particular, I figured it got frayed from being dragged along the road surface. However, the strap was clearly too short to reach the ground (by at least a couple feet). Do I, guided by "naturalness", invoke something along the lines of the Anthropic Principle and say the strap just happens to be the length it is...long enough for me to see it swinging, but not long enough for me to understand why its length is what it is?

Visualizing thunder...there's a movie but somewhere I had seen a pretty picture as well. Apparently, the thunder originates from the part of the lightning near the ground.

Pretty neat story of a device arising from NASA research saving lives in Nepal.