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Friday. 2.22.13 12:56 pm
This week has been chock-full of great conversations with people. Seriously, it's weird.

I'm setting up a boss playlist for the drive home tonight. Not the greatest day for driving, but it's all I got. Stupid driver's license is expired and the DMV is only open every other Saturday, so figuring out when to drive home has been slightly frustrating when you combine that with my school schedule. To account for traffic and my occasional music ADD, the playlist is over six hours long.

It rained last night, so I didn't sleep outside. Really need a tarp.

I wrote a haiku with love and math. I'm going to refrain from sharing it, though, because it's pretty awful and something that corny should at least be well-written.

I was using Stellarium to simulate the path of the North Star over the next few millennia. Right now it hardly wobbles at all. Every night, the night sky seems to rotate around it. Hence its nickname. But in about 1000 years it will have moved enough that our rotation will make it wobble about ten degrees. In another thousand years it'll be around 25.

That's so weird.

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Apartment Camping
Thursday. 2.21.13 11:27 am
So it just occurred to me that I never committed to this post-per-day challenge. Also, I never got those emails from undisputed. So why be trippin'? I can miss a day or two. Also, WHOA it's the twenty first and I've only missed one day. That's nuts. Why am I writing so much?

Anyway, here's something of a full post.

So my spiritual birthday was on Tuesday, and yesterday was (coincidentally) the spiritual birthdays of one of my roommates, and another roommate's girlfriend. Generally, we try to really encourage each other on our spirthdays with a small party and a time where people just take turns sharing about the...uh, spirthee?

So we had a surprise party for J and G. I was a bit late because of Chapter, but I showed up right during the sharing. That's something I'm not very good at: enumerating the ways I think a person is awesome and/or Godly and sharing that with them in front of a dozen other people. But I think I'm getting the hang of it.

But after the sharing was finished, there was a surprise: the party was switching focus to ME


This was my first year as a Christian, so it was weird having people say all these nice things about me. I generally don't know what to do with myself when people are complimenting me. I'm afraid my head can get swollen pretty easily. We did something similar in high school youth group, sometimes, but that was generally "You're a great friend, you're great with the kids, you make me laugh, I'm gonna miss you, etc. etc." This was on a whole other level. People are exposing attributes that I hadn't even considered about myself. And it wasn't just the guys from my apartment, or just guys and girls from Tech. We had a bunch of people from OTHER campus ministries coming down to share about J, G, and me.

"Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.�

Unrelated: Here's some weird progressive metal music. Gotta get back to my roots.

I've made some colloidal silver. It's a bit of psudoscience that I find particularly interesting; apparently, silver ions kill or otherwise neutralize virtually all single-celled organisms, like bacteria, viruses, and fungi. You just stick some silver rods into a jar of water, run a current through it, and bam you've got ionized silver floating around in solution. There are people who DRINK this. Like...a lot. Drinking a little won't hurt anybody, and I only occasionally gargle it. What I'm really interested in, though, is making my Five Finger shoes not-stink. I've been soaking my right shoe in the solution (I know, colloids technically aren't a solution, bear with me) and when I wear them I'll see if it stinks any less.

The problem is that it's way too cold to be casually wearing my Five Fingers around. I have poor circulation in my toes, so they're liable to just turn white and stop having sensation. I don't want that.

On a slightly related note, I got a camping hammock for Christmas, and I finally got around to using it. Our apartment has a tiny little porch area, and I can tie it up to the railings and chill out. Last night and the night before, I actually slept outside on our porch all night long in literally freezing temperatures with nothing but a sleeping bag, a pad, and a too-small blanket.

And a small pillow.

I'm quite pleasantly surprised by how warm I am in there. And I haven't had a problem from the trains at all so far, which could either mean that I can sleep through almost anything or that they haven't been as active the last two nights. (You can't see them in the picture, but JUST behind the fence there are five active train tracks.) As long as it doesn't rain, I think I'll keep staying outside. It's...a ton of fun. The main problem (other than possible precipitation) is that I normally use my phone as an alarm clock, but I don't want to have my phone exposed to the elements, so I have to rely on roommates to wake me up.

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Spirthday/Oh Discordia
Tuesday. 2.19.13 7:03 pm
Today's the day!

This day, last year, I gave up my life. And it's been a wild ride ever since. I wish today hadn't been such a rat-race; it would've been nice to really be able to sit back and appreciate how far I've come. I can get down on myself throughout the day, but honestly God's done a lot in my life. I FEEL the same, but when I read what I've written or remember what I've done, (or watched videos, for that matter,) there is a definite change in my attitude, in my thoughts, and in my love.

It's obvious how my friendships have changed. Now it's commonplace for me to ask for help, to get open about stuff that I don't want to beat out or that I already feel in control of. It's weird because...I don't like to be open with people. I like to impose my thoughts, when it's applicable, but as for being vulnerable about things...that's not me. Or, it wasn't me. I'm really excited to see where my character is going.

Another thing I think I've learned pretty well is how to do male-female friendships without...spoiling things. I've ALWAYS said that girls and boys can "just be friends," but I wasn't terribly good at it. But I'm happy to say that aside from K2, (who I met before I became a disciple, actually,) I haven't had any trouble or drama with girls in...well, not at all in the past year. And this is with me going on more dates than in the rest of my life put together, literally. DATING relationships are another matter. I'm not jumping into that pool yet. But it is pretty rad to be able to treat Girl X as my sister and know how to protect her and myself from...well, from awkwardness, hurt, small-scale idolatry, etc. AND it's pretty rad to know they're doing the same for me.

Mmm there's more. I have LOADS more of an understanding of my faith, my strengths and weaknesses, what being a disciple even means, (that was an interesting time of my life,) and what I can expect from a life of following God and making Jesus lord. It's intense. And it's ALL just from studying the Bible with people who aren't afraid to do what it says. I had a lot of random feelings-based faith and dogma floating around my life that...well, it wasn't biblical. Scary stuff.

But I'm going to cut off the intensity for the moment and head off for TNL. Peace

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Yahoo and crash courses
Monday. 2.18.13 6:22 pm
Never ask a deep physics question on a Yahoo Answers forum. I'll give you a hint: there aren't any experts (seemingly of anything) who bother using Yahoo.

For anything.

During my furious and ultimately pointless study session last night, I realized something interesting. Let me begin with the obvious. Matter has potential energy and kinetic energy. Kinetic energy is easy: it's the energy an object gets from being in motion. When I throw a ball, I add kinetic energy to it. M(V^2)/2.

Potential energy is a little trickier. It's the amount of energy an object MIGHT have. It's situational; if I have a have a ball on a table, I could say it has 0 potential, or some number x, or some huge number X, depending on if I use the table, the ground, or the center of the planet as my reference point. If I "drop" it onto the table, it won't gain energy because it's already there. If I drop it from table height to the ground, it'll have x joules of kinetic energy when it hits. If I drop it to the center of the earth, it'll have...a lot more kinetic energy when it hits.

Potential is based purely on position and acting forces. Kinetic is based purely on mass and velocity. Energy flows between one and the other. If I hold my ball over the ground, it has x potential and 0 kinetic. After I drop it, right before it hits the ground, it has exactly 0 potential and x kinetic energy. Pretty cool.

So we're studying electrodynamics. It's time dependent electronic and magnetic fields, and how they get mixed up. A single charged particle creates an electric field, sort of like gravity (except gravity always attracts, but electric fields can repel). If the charge is moving, it creates a magnetic field, which is pretty complicated. I'm skipping a lot of stuff, but basically when you put the two together you can get crazy things. If I drive a current through a loop, it creates a magnetic field. Let's say that field goes through a different loop that isn't connected at all to the first loop. If my current changes, the magnetic field changes, and that changing field drives a current through the second loop.

That's pretty cool, but it's not my point. Another effect is that if there's a current, the field lines from the first loop are actually affecting it as well. If I try to change the current, the changing field lines make a new current that counters the change I've made. It's called self-inductance, and it's sort of like inertia, the property of mass that makes it want to stay the same speed. The current wants to stay the same. In fact, if I call the inductance L and the current I, then the energy I have to expend to create the current is L(I^2)/2.


Inductance acts just like inertia, and the energy stored in a magnetic field looks and acts the same as kinetic energy.

As for stationary charges, the energy I have to expend to make a configuration of charges (for example, holding together two charges that don't want to be close) is related to their position...and the force that they exert on each other.

Do you see what I'm getting at? Kinetic and Potential energy of matter correspond to electric and magnetic energy, respectively.

That's about as far as I've taken the parallel. Not very exciting. :D Have a good day guys.

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