So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.
Ethnicity. that of my father and his father before him
Location Cherry Hills Vil, CO
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The Link To Zanzibar's Past
This is my page in the beloved art community that my sister got me into:
Extra points for people who know what Samarinda is.
The Phases of the Moon Module
The Tree and the Telephone Pole
I Do Not Know Their Names
Today I am Young
A Night Poem
Siren of the Sea
If I Were a Dragon
To the Dreamers Leave the Sky
The Honor of the Oyster
Return From San Diego
A Late Summer's Night
Of Dragons and Men
The Edge of the World
The Snake's Terror
Metaphysics and the Middaymoon
Of Adventures in Foreign Lands
The Rogue Wave: The Unedited Version
Adventures in the PRC
Voyage of Discovery
Drinking the Blood of Goats
Ticket for a Phantom Bus
Os peixes nadam o mar
Three Villages Far Away
The River Weser
Children I Should Have Kidnapped, Part I
Let's Get You Out of Those Clothes
If Underwear Could Speak
Croc Hunter/Combat Wombat
Only My Favorite Baseball Player EVER
Aw, Larry Walker, how I loved thee.
M: Science and Exploration
T: Cook a nice dinner
Th: Parties, movies, dinners
F: Picnics, the Louvre
S: Read books, go for walks, PARKOUR
Su: Philosophy, Religion
The Reading List
This list starts Summer 2006
A Crocodile on the Sandbank
Tales of the Alhambra (in progress)
Dark Lord of Derkholm
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
The Lost Years of Merlin
Harry Potter a l'ecole des sorciers (in progress)
Atlas Shrugged (in progress)
A Long Way Gone (story of a boy soldier in Sierra Leone- met the author! w00t!)
The Eye of the World: Book One of the Wheel of Time
From Magma to Tephra (in progress)
Lady Chatterley's Lover
Harry Potter 7
The No. 1 Lady's Detective Agency
Introduction to Planetary Volcanism
A Child Called "It"
Is Multi-Culturalism Bad for Women?
Americans in Southeast Asia: Roots of Commitment (in progress)
What's So Great About Christianity?
Aeolian Dust and Dust Deposits
The City of Ember
The People of Sparks
When I was in Cuba, I was a German Shepard
The Golden Compass
Clan of the Cave Bear
The 9/11 Commission Report (2nd time through, graphic novel format this time, ip)
The Incredible Shrinking Man
The Elves of Cintra
The Gypsy Morph
Animorphs #23: The Pretender
Animorphs #25: The Extreme
Animorphs #26: The Attack
A Journey to the Center of the Earth
A Great and Terrible Beauty
The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian
To Sir, With Love
Alice in Wonderland
Through the Looking Glass
20,000 Leagues Under the Sea
The Hunger Games
Shadows and Strongholds
The Jungle Book
Beatrice and Virgil
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
No One Ever Told Us We Were Defeated
The Name of the Wind
Tao Te Ching
What Paul Meant
Lao Tzu and Taoism
Sand and Sandstones
Lost Christianites: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew
The Science of God
Great Contemporaries, by Winston Churchill
City of Bones
Around the World in 80 Days, by Jules Verne
Stranger in a Strange Land
The Old Man and the Sea
Flowers for Algernon
Au Bonheur des Ogres
The Road to Serfdom
De La Terre à la Lune (ip)
In the Light of What We Know
Devil in the White City
The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August
How to Be a Good Wife
A Mote in God's Eye
want to read: Last Hunger Games Book, Honeybee Democracy, The Bell Jar
Why do matter and anti-matter hate each other so much?
Thursday. 11.8.07 1:08 am
I dedicate this entry to delightful Thalweg, even though she does not read this blog.
I don't think Thalweg shares to the same degree my penchant for pondering the mystical and unseen mysteries of the human state and the Universe, but she always indulges me anyway, and with good result, too!
For example, I am perpetually maddened by the idea that positive is attracted to negative. But WHY is positive attracted to negative? What about negative makes it attractive? It might have something to do with the spins of quarks, perhaps, but that just bumps the problem to another level. What about the spins of quarks make them attractive to one another? And another thing: electrons are in pairs. Even nuclides with an even number of protons or an even number of neutrons and especially both vastly outnumber nuclides with odd-odd numbers of protons and neutrons. WHY? Why do protons "like" to be in pairs?
Please tell me if you have the answer to these questions.
In this spirit, I was asking Thalweg WHY do things tend towards a low energy state? To say that things "like" to be at the lowest energy possible seems to endow random particles and blocks and elements with rather humanlike emotions. So why is this law of Thermodynamics true? I wasn't really expecting an answer, but Thalweg gave me a good one, and that is this: Objects lie about, not caring at what energy state they are (after all, they are only objects, and not cognizant of what is happening). If the object is a ball, and it is sitting at the top of a hill, any number of random forces can act on it. It is "metastable", meaning that it is not moving at the moment, but there are quite a lot of different things that *could* happen to it which would make it move. So eventually something happens to it. It could take a long time. It could be anything. Since it's metastable, it moves, and it falls down according to the force of gravity to the bottom of the hill (or if it is an iron-rich boulder, maybe it gets picks up by a magnetic tractor beam. Let's say it was gravity acting for now). At the bottom of the hill, just the same number of forces could happen to it, really... but even if they do... the ball won't move anymore. It just hasn't any place to go. So it stays there. So In The Beginning, God put everything at different levels of stability. The ones who were already stable just stayed that way. The ones who were not stable moved. The ones which were metastable have or will eventually move until they are stable, and then they will stop moving. So eventually, if enough forces act in the universe, everything will end up someplace stable, which only really means that they'll be in a place where the forces of the universe can't affect them anymore. You're only most likely to find things there because that is the state that they'll reside in the longest, because once they accidentally get there, there is no way of getting out. The ball will roll down the hill, the electron will go back down from its excited state, some random floating mass will accrete into a sphere in space.
I mean, all of this you learn the first time you encounter potential energy. Everyone knows this stuff. But they always say it the wrong way around! "Matter accretes into a ball because it is the most energetically stable configuration." TRUE! But that doesn't really explain causality! Matter accretes into a ball because there is such thing as gravity, and until the matter coalesces into a sphere, gravity is going to mess around with it. Gravity is going to just mess around with it until it just doesn't have anything to do anymore. So matter isn't arranging itself at ALL, it shouldn't even be the subject of the sentence... it's just sitting around letting something else arrange it until there is no more arranging that can be done.
So that bring us to the next questions: WHY are some configurations more energetically stable? Why do we only have a finite number of forces? WHY DOES GRAVITY EXIST? Why is matter attracted to other matter? What about matter makes it attractive to itself? Did God create gravity as a fundamentally homosexual force, while electromagnetism is fundamentally straight? Does this lead to an orderly array of electric and magnetic dipoles, boringly lined up along magnetic field lines, and then just a big cluster.... of mass?
I'll have to ask Thalweg.
Very Bad Decision Making
Tuesday. 11.6.07 6:08 pm
Two choices for tonight...
A) Play 8-player Mario Kart on gigantic projector screens all night with my Welsh friend, his roommate, and the entire Brown University Men's Soccer Team (ranked 2nd in the nation!)
B) Draw a circle around every crater on Mars within a 300kmx300km box, knowing as I do that my results will probably be meaningless at worst and indefensible at best. For a conference in the Netherlands that I don't even get to go to.
...I am going to die alone.
UPDATE!:: The Mario Kart Extravaganza was cancelled due to some problem with the people who were going to bring the GameCubes. Balderdash! But still, it is very convenient when Fate makes all my important decisions for me....
Sunday. 11.4.07 3:00 pm
While the powercord to my laptop has now been replaced (it was frayed and sparking), the laptop itself is still a slow, overheating POS.
According to the forums, this can be easily fixed if you take out the heat sink and clean it. Then you put it back, apply some thermal paste, and VOILA! the computer is fixed. UNfortunately, my computer isn't the kind that has a panel where you can access aforementioned heat sink. Nay, I would have to take apart the whole back of the laptop (and the keyboard... though I've been kind of wanting to take apart the keyboard for some time to clean it out...)
So. I have instructions for taking it apart. If I bend one of the pins, I could risk having to replace the motherboard. Plus, I'm wary of anything that involves paste. The thing says that you should do this if you have experience with computers. But how do you GET experience taking apart computers if you've never taken one apart before? The computer is no longer under warranty.
What should I do?
Friday. 11.2.07 1:52 pm
"I don't want to make this obtuse for you guys."
He means "abstruse". He is obtuse. It's trying to use words like that that makes his class abstruse, anyway.
In the immortal words of Mark, "My mama always said, 'Don't use a five-dollar word in a one-dollar conversation.'"
It isn't really him. I'm not one to speak about malapropism, just see my somewhat dubious use of the word "officious" a couple entries back. I did wrestle over that one, I'll have you know, before I decided that was the closest I could get to what I wanted to say. I'm just so tired of this class.
But it reminds me of my favorite math come-on:
"If you were a triangle, you would be acute!"
You totally would be, by the way. <3 <3 <3
MAN SHOULD AT ALL TIMES BE IN CONTROL OF HIS OWN DESTINY
Wednesday. 10.31.07 2:29 pm
Wednesday. 10.31.07 9:30 am
By the time I die, if someone hypothetically decides to make a movie about my life, I hope that the most appropriate soundtrack would be one composed by John Phillip Sousa. If he were hypothetically still alive.
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