mercat: (Default)
oh my god, I'm actually not posting on tumblr or twitter or facebook! Actually, yes, I lied, I already posted this on facebook. But facebook is a horrible blogging platform though it is great for communicating with people.

So, if you like science jokes, here is the double-slit garage experiment, it is a thing of beauty.

Now cackle maniacally like the mad engineer you are. Oh, just me then? Alright.


Nov. 21st, 2010 10:10 pm
mercat: (Default)
I'm actually liking this daily challenge thing. Some days I'm a little busy to catch it in time, but for the most part, I'm actually making daily posts. :D SUCCESSFUL POSTING IS SUCCESSFUL.

Today's! My favorite subject to study... Man, I don't know. I love learning. I don't always love lectures, or homework, but I love the sense of accomplishment from understanding something, and the perspective you gain from it. I love love love reading. In case you couldn't tell from the fact that I probably spend a minimum of $50 every time I hit the bookstore... which is like once a month. And the fact that I spend sooooo much time online reading blogs. I LOVE INFORMATION. I think it's all one of the reasons I chose engineering--not just so I could get paid more for doing technical stuff (which I'm actually starting to think I might hate, as a job)-- but so I could have that background and understanding. Math and engineering and physics can be challenging, but once you understand it it's kind of amazing, the way you can see patterns. However, I'm not good at learning from proofs or methodologies; I sort of work from multiple examples, working my way through them to understand the subtle differences. This poses a problem wherein most engineering professors don't like to do tons upon tons of examples, I don't have the time to be in their office hours all day long, and the textbooks aren't much better (they usually just have one or two examples).

I like history, but I've found that challenging, too. I was fascinated by ancient history when I was really young-- Native American, Egyptian, Greek, Hawaiian (I remember checking lots of books on those topics out in gradeschool)--but I found learning American history out of a textbook difficult because our textbooks were written really poorly. This continued into high school where I already didn't have a great sense of world history, but I gleaned a little bit here and there except European History with the best history teacher I've ever had. He told events like stories, and would sort of reenact them with the help of his "time machine" (his closet), which often contained props like Napoleon's really cheap bendy plastic sword. He would often stop his storytelling at the MOST EXCITING PARTS, glance at his watch and tell us, "oh, looks like we're out of time!" There was one day, I believe, he was "out of time" with 20 or 30 minutes left in class. SO RIDICULOUS. But to this day I still remember the whole crazy story of Rasputin's death and the Russian royal family's deaths. And why everyone thought Rasputin really was a holy man (from either heaven or hell) by withstanding poison and being shot only to drown. (I think. He might have also survived drowning and then died of hypothermia or something...? Okay, wikipedia tells me he did die from drowning, but what I was forgetting was that he was beaten and secured before being thrown in the river, but then broke free of these bonds to then drown.) ANYWAY.

College history is a lot better, because we had a "World-War-II-In-One-Lecture-Using-Only-Battlefront-Maps-of-Europe" day, which gives just the kind of summary on the war that our crappy textbooks lacked that is kind of like a five-sentence-outline version of the politics of the time and let me start placing events within that timeline. Honestly, whoever wrote the textbooks we used in gradeschool and highschool needs to reevaluate their methods. The problem is, they told history like a bunch of individual stories, which makes it very difficult for someone with no overarching view to tie them together. There were basically no ways for me to string everything together into one timeline, at least, not well. BUT. Strangely, I got another good "summary" of globalization through Hawaiian and Pacific history, strangely enough--because it's essentially watching undiscovered lands mature into modern countries in less than two centuries. A century and a half, even. Not to mention, the Pacific was a significant part of WWII, which is a good education on the Japanese side of things rather than the standard Nazi/European focus.

I also like art, because it gives more relationships for history, and understanding the context of famous art pieces makes them a lot more meaningful. Although I now find Warhol annoying. I understand his intent but him, personally... he seemed kind of pretentious in his videos when we studied him. Like the forefather of Hipsters. (For srs.) Also, art history also makes you more prone to getting into discussions about the meaning and value of art (see: trivia night two weeks ago, haha!).

(For the record the argument was whether or not modern art is worthless. My position is that modern art is much more meaningful than other art because it is completely expressive at it is freed from the necessitation of replicating life exactly--that is, the invention of the camera and video, etc. allows for much more "creation" in art. The opposition was saying that this is pointless because you aren't simply looking at something, the art is in the emotion or the context, which isn't the art itself. SO. LET IT NOT BE SAID MY ART HISTORY MINOR WAS EVER COMPLETELY WORTHLESS.)

So! What have I covered so far? Math, physics, engineering, history, art... Music? Music is my-life-outside-of-design. I could do it as a career if it were the right thing. I miss marching and I don't know what I'm going to do without anymore marching band... ever. Although I am taking tap next semester, so, currently, dance is my closest-approximation-replacement. And tap is percussive, so it's closer than, say, ballet, which I can't watch anymore BECAUSE THE DANCERS DON'T MOVE NECESSARILY WITH THE MUSIC /rant

Okay. Am I missing anything else? Oh! English (and languages). I love grammar, and spelling, although that is something my gradeschool also taught poorly that I picked up in high school better. One, because I was learning a new language as well, so there was a focus on grammar, and two, because we learned to diagram, which is also a focus on grammar, and it's basically all like one big puzzle. Now if only I could do better with strange verb conjugations! OH, SUBJUNCTIVE/PRETERITE/IMPERFECT/ETC TENSES. (I also miss learning languages.)

Uh... earth sciences? I guess that's what's left? Also fascinating. I love nature. I find psychology fascinating. Astronomy is SO COOL. It probably helps that my parents are doctors, so my sister and I got a lot of weird biology talk (and a lot of big words) and a pretty good grasp on some areas of science when we were young. BUT, my gradeschool had a completely awful science teacher for 6th/7th/8th grades (shared teacher), so that wasn't great either. Although our books were at least better, more diagrams, more straightforward, so I could at least self-educate to some degree. Now, another topic for another day, our lack of good science communication is evident in science fairs in gradeschool and highschool, because my version of "original experiments" were never quite on par with what they wanted. I still don't understand what they wanted. Because it wasn't a demonstration of a principle, but my ideas were more often too strange to be taken seriously, it seemed.

My science fair projects throughout the years: whether people could actually tell the difference between cola brands, whether kids carried too much in their backpacks, whether cat saliva prevented germ growth (e-coli or streptococcus? or both? can't remember], whether edible fauna (a.k.a. pansies) contains vitamin C, and whether fake or real wine corks do a better job of preventing germ spoiling of wine. I'm missing seventh grade's project... I don't recall at all, really. At any rate, these projects were all off the wall because everything else I had come up with would have "been done before" (meaning my teacher didn't really want me to do that specific project, although they never really gave much advice as to what exactly I could do to improve it) so my methods were always slightly bizarre, and my data was never quite clean enough, and other than the science geniuses who managed to do amazing things (these are the people who make it to international science fairs, I mean) A LOT OF PEOPLE BULLSHITTED THEIR DATA. And got better grades because of it, because their presentations were easier when they didn't have to answer difficult questions about their data's subtleties. So basically despite the fact that "the data you get doesn't have an effect on your final grade", meaning, let science do it's job and don't force a proof of your hypothesis, I generally got fucked over by being honest. Yes, I'm still bitter about this. WHY? Because ethics are important to me. Because human treachery starts early. Because I get punished for being honest. Because my generation clearly doesn't have a problem with cheating and lying to get themselves out of a challenge. FUCK IT ALL I'M SO GODDAMN BITTER ABOUT THIS SHIT.

Sorry to give this a turn for the sad for a moment, but I really don't tend to trust a lot of people my age, and this shit is why. (On the other side, I trust them more on the technical side than I trust myself because, unless I feel I can do something perfectly, I feel very unsure of myself and second-guess myself to no end.) Same kind of shit even happened on retreats! One of my many disillusionments with faith--all the people who act like their religiosity made them so much better than everyone else, when they couldn't even set aside their phones and cd players and everything else for our week of poverty. (To the point that there were prank calls and a string of tampons and pads let down from our room to the guys' quarters. Complete bullshit for a whole week.)

ANYWAY I LOVE LEARNING BUT DON'T TRUST PEOPLE MY AGE. They are not above buying their way out of things. =/

I kind of want to do an anonymous study of gradeschoolers and see how many bullshit their data now. Ugh.

(This is why I've started to think I don't really want kids--I look at adorable babies and toddlers and think, "some day you are going to be an asshole.")

I may or may not be a horrible person.


Oh, I guess, in terms of "favorite subject", specifically, I guess I could say marching. Because drum corps is my life, and I don't know what I'm going to do without being able to do it any more. (Teaching is definitely not the same and I don't necessarily have the desire to be a music teacher. Although I could do visual, but it's still not the same as competitive marching.)


Apr. 10th, 2008 06:00 pm
mercat: (Default)
So I did end up giving blood today. Not really any problems. Getting your finger stuck for iron testing does hurt for a good few minutes, but not worse than any other cut. Plus it's cool to see them doing the iron test. One weird thing, they ask you if your blood can be used for patients, and they leave the room and you pick a "yes" or "no" barcode and stick it on your form. Anyone know as to why? I mean, they tell you that you can't be giving blood just to be tested for diseases, and I cannot think of another possibility whatsoever for a pint of blood. (Unless there's a secret hive of vampires somewhere feeding on blood rejects. They're already not-quite-dead-but-not-alive so I think AIDS and hep C is not a problem for them, as blood type probably is not. Can you imagine that, vampires subject to blood type? Like, an allergic reaction. That would be bad, I think.) ANYWAY. The needle going in wasn't really the bit that hurt, it's just that it takes a few minutes for the anticoagulant to settle, and it burns a little. My arm got warm after the burning went away and for a minute I was afraid that I was leaking blood into my muscle or something, so I mentioned it to the guy and he said "warm?" in a kind of weird look, but then I thought, oh, it's probably just the anticoagulant again, and it went away after that so I'm not too concerned. The weirdest part for me was them filling up all the sample tubes, because on the first tube of each set (seriously, two small red-capped ones and three big purple-capped ones. What are they doing with all these samples?!) you felt a little suction because there was all that space. I tend to be very sensitive to physics, so I don't know if most people notice it, but I felt it. I'm such an engineer sometimes. I sat there and worried that I was going to pump blood into my muscles and wondered what happens to your veins as you donate blood--do they just sort of deflate with lower pressure? Because I know getting air in your bloodstream is a BAD, BAD thing, and you're not getting pumped back up with anything. And when they fill the vials, where does the air go? Um, and something else, later, but I can't remember what it was, just that I am very much an engineer when I analyze things. I was afraid I would maybe faint or get dizzy so I made sure to eat two breakfasts and a big lunch and drink lots of fluids, but I didn't have any problems. I do feel kind of tired and listless now, and the arm that had blood drawn from it feels rather muscularly tired. So I'm wondering if it's just that there's lack of blood there or if the bandage was a little too tight and lessened the amount of blood going through there, but I could definitely fall asleep right now with no problem. I'm exhausted.

The package from my parents finally came, so I filled up on blondies. =) They're a little staleish already, but they're still so delicious. Plus since you're supposed to eat hardily after giving blood, I have no regrets. =)

I had to think though, I haven't been to the doctor in a while, but all the same I've never got a comment on my blood pressure. I mean, I didn't today, either, but I suddenly wondered what the numbers meant. I don't really get it but I texted the numbers to my mom hoping she'd explain the formula to me. Rather, she told me that was kind of high and that it was probably nerves but when I come home she'd test it again. Oh, and, just thought of this, I haven't been to the doctor in a while but I get shots often enough that I would probably still know if I had issues. But, uh, I was trying to keep myself pretty calm, and so I wasn't really nervous. Once they put the needle in later I started shaking because my hand was a little cold and I was nervous something would happen (I dunno, needle would get knocked, something), but it wasn't a bad shaking, more like a shivering shake, so, I dunno. But I looked up the BP values, and while my diastolic pressure is normal, my systolic blood pressure is "stage 1". Which, I dunno what that means, but looking at the chart there's normal, prehypertension, hypertension, stage 1, and stage 2. So that doesn't bode well, and considering I'm overthinking and analyzing things all the time, getting nervous over inane shit, I wonder what it all means.

At the same time, filling out the forms I was grateful that my health has been simple so far. No allergies, no diseases, no med problems, just broke my arms in 1996, you know? Anyway. Oh, the thing they took your temp with was pretty cool. It was this TINY stick with small metal dots under the plastic, and I really wanted to know how it worked. Hm, now that I think about it, my temp was 98.8 so maybe I was nervous. Anyhow. I got a blue bandage, it was pretty cool until it started feeling weird in regards to the circulation and strength in my arm.

I finished the Gaiman book, it was good. Gaiman, Adams, and Jones, being my favorite authors, make me wonder if there's something about being raised with a British sense of humor that makes you look at the world differently. I mean the Brits are, maybe stereotypically, but nonetheless truthfully, practical in the way they see things (whereas comparatively you may say Americans are stereotypically but nonetheless very prideful about things). Just the way they all address their topics, it's the same old world we all know but there's something we didn't see behind it. Not that it's some spectacular new thing that got discovered, no, it's old, it's been there ages, we just happened upon it now or just started caring. And I can't for the life of me think of an American author who has written like that, at least in the experience of the books I've read. The Giver? That's the first alternate-world book I can think of, and no, that's not it. And I think of all the fictions I can, and all of them are their own spectacular alternate universes, not this world, this real world, at all. Maybe Alice in Wonderland, but everyone says that guy was on drugs, and that makes me sad. And Narnia, maybe, but the fact that it's a Christian allegory really does kill a lot of it, though I suppose it helps to no longer believe all the things you're taught are true. Or, relatively true and now symbolically true, nonetheless, faith tenets or whathaveyou.

Ah! Well, Carroll was English and Lewis was Irish, so maybe that explains that. I don't know. I just wish I could lock myself away and read Gaiman and Jones and Adams all the time so I could still feel like I had stories to write. I dunno, I've always liked writing, but what I've determined is that I'm a modeler, of sorts. I'm obsessed with things. If I were a pirate I'd hunt treasure all the time, and it's pretty clear that my obsession with Indiana Jones isn't as much the character himself as what he's seen, what he's found. COSI? Adventure. And if I ever have good plot ideas, they're things. Objects that can help set the stage. I'm a stage-setter. I'm a designer. But I don't write the plays, I can't. I can't ad-lib for shit and I struggle to pay attention to my part in the dialogue anyhow. Ask me a question out of the blue, and it takes me a second to register you might be addressing me, unless you're looking at me or something. And the answers I give are never the answers I mean to give, usually. Which is why I can't stand being teased, I suppose, I don't know how to react and the puns and jokes and prods always come about ten minutes too late. Unless we start talking about how things work, and then I can expound for ages, reveling in the minutiae. But look what happened with my eighth grade play, um, let's not go there. Suffice it to say it's the reason, even though I live for singing, that I didn't put myself in the musical until senior year. And even then (and now) I'm still pissed as hell when people don't memorize their lines, don't standardize their actions so they can perfect the details. Maybe that's why I'm in my element with marching band. It's all memorized. Everything. Your voice, your movements, your focus, and when it comes down to it, my only real challenge is strength and the details I need to perfect it. Volume. Tone. Fuck, I don't even focus on tone anymore, it's instinctual.

But I (completely) digress. I can't write a plot for beans. Give me someone else's story, let me see their characters in the dimmest light, and I can fix plotholes and give them a better MacGuffin and rewrite their dialogue to be more in line with their emotion. But I can't see the characters. I could look in a mirror and see another world but I couldn't tell you the ghosts, only maybe that there were some and they had shards of dreams that kept them there, trapped. I dunno.

Hah, so, really, co-authoring's my shtick. You have characters and a good feel for the plot? Great, I'll solidify it, make it real. Maybe I'm missing something. Who knows.

I write a lot better in my head, too. When I'm driving or walking or whathaveyou. But I can't talk out loud to record it and when I sit down to write the things that need to be said have already been said and I can't say them as eloquently a second time, only grasp at straws and hope I can find the train of thought, if it's still there even.

Oh, I forgot to say, when I gave blood, I had a headache a little later, too. Hopefully I stop feeling so tired, though.

Intersting article I had to read from 2000; mild developmental autism may be linked to mercury poinsoning... found in medicine. So kids were getting mercury poisoning from their medicine, good going there on someone's part.


41 days! I'm back to being excited again, which is good news, for sure. Also found out there may be a mini-meetup in Ohio for people from my favorite Indy website, and it's in Fairborn. Woohoo! I offered to help out, since I was planning one already for Dayton-and-close-Ohio folks. That way I could meet some COW folks and not feel as guilty for probably not going to New York in June (wait, isn't there a song about that? help me, what am I thinking of). I was kind of stressing because I mean it would be the ultimate thing to go to the midnight premiere with local COW friends, but at the same time I would feel bad not taking my usual movie-going crowd with me. This is still, slightly, an issue, however, there's a chance it could be solved. One of the COW folks said he is friends with a manager (?) at a local theatre and was wondering if they could get a limited early-showing for the COW crowd. Now THAT would be fucking awesome because then I wouldn't feel it as necessary to show up at least (at least) an hour early to get top-notch seats and also I could take the usual crowd to the midnight premiere and not worry about them spoiling it with their freaking commentary.

Um, I mean, really, I love you guys (to all of you who may or may not be reading this, I'm not going to specify which), BUT, yes, I have several friends who give a bit too much commentary for something like this. I mean usually we end up seeing mediocre movies or movies I don't really care about, so a commentary is an improvement and not a huge deal. But really, this is a very important thing for me, as stupid as it may sound. The reason I love it is the completely mysterious adventure, and now I live for it. And this is really a once-in-a-lifetime thing, to see a new one, now, and I'll be damned if anyone's going to ruin it for me with commentary and snark, as harmless as it may seem. And really, it is harmless, and I mean no offense, but no matter, this is important for me, which is why I was (and am) leaning toward seeing my first viewing with people as equally obsessed. So for all those who were planning on going with me, I hope you can understand. Although I doubt you care, this movie isn't so important to you. E];D

BUT! Further than this discussion I bring more linkage. Shit is popping up everywhere and I haven't seen ANY of it! Cereal, pop-tarts, ice creams, candies... WHERE ARE YOUUUU, PACKAGING?! I think a trip to Wal-Mart may be in order. (That cereal? Looks terrible. But damned if you're going to stop me from getting it. I was going to refrain from buying ALL the stuff, because some of it is just "get the Raiders DVD with X proofs-of-purchase!" [proof-of-purchases?], and some of it wasn't anything other than a decorated box. But with poptarts you can get a canteen now and there is a... cereal bar? overseas that you can get a cool spoon with, and I am totally jealous.)

Oh god, after this year I am going to hate myself. I have always always always been a saver when it comes to money, and I used to only go overboard with books. (I still do.) I care a little more about fashion these days but nonetheless I am a cheapskate. ("Fashion" money goes more towards costumes, now, but it's still more than I used to buy.) But all this Indiana Jones stuff! It's a good thing I'm only in the market for the quality stuff (uh, all the books, though), probably the legos and maybe some action figures and maybe some cards (really all I want are the art cards, stills from the movies hold none of my interest). But, um, the Potato Head I don't care for (WAIT. Actually, I hate it, I just want the little hat so I can pose it on the cats and stuff.) and the MightyMuggs or whatever they're called look absolutely ridiculous, and I think a rather large proportion of the marketing is childish, which makes me upset. No idol models or anything? Seriously. Who wouldn't want one of those?! I guess I'll hold out for years down the line when I buy a SA nearly-perfect one (ah, which will run me around $500). But nonetheless. So far the money went into costuming (the hat, and a ring, which incidentally I'm not big on the costume so much as the character of each item), and if there's aliens in the movie I can't see myself buying much more toys-wise than the classics. I'm determined to get my hands on one of those action figures though, just so I can have the little gold idol so I can put a hole through it and wear it as a necklace.

Ah, right, I told you I had links.

Gravity-defying homes, some of which make me think the authors have never heard of cantilevering. Or seen a cylinder before in their lives. (Seriously, like, come on.) The first one is just bad design, from all the other articles on it I've read; it's all wood, a lot of it is unstable and rotting, so, it's weak engineering at best. Notably, House on the Rock's Infinity Room is not on the list, making me doubly sure that the authors don't really seem to understand their own name of "gravity-defying". Cantilevering is always amazing, to me, even if I know how it works. It's just that cool. Cylindrical buildings, or buildings with stilts? Hardly.

OH FUCK YES a Homestar Runner game! Sadly for Wii. I don't really like the Wii. I'm willing to give it a few more shots, I mean I've only done bowling, and yeah it's good for exercise but besides DDR and GH I'm a classic-controller kid. However, it will also be out for PC, I think, so there's always that damn-my-computer-is-too-slow route. (Speaking of which the, uh, Half-Life or Unreal-Tournament or whatever that networked game we used to play at Joe and Jen's was, I love it and I miss it. ALSO, I still need to get my hands on Ghost Recon, especially since we have a PS2 at home now. I loved that game.)

Interesting: Indiana Jones and the recession" (Do people know how to write titles anymore? Seriously? GRAMMAR) Interesting. Is it sad that I'm hoping the economy will get weak enough to cause people to start caring more about consumption of resources like food and gas and stuff? =( Our society is too wasteful.

Quite possibly the coolest cake I've ever seen. No, actually, I'm totally lying, I've seen things a million times better. But if you can imagine the skills of a real cake artist crossed with Indiana Jones, well, then, I'd probably put it in a museum instead of eating it. And for a shitty store-cake, that one's damn good (minus the boulder inaccuracy, but let's not even go there, I don't think you want to hear it). Almost as cool as my mom's homemade Little Mermaid cake and probably as cool as the Winnie the Pooh cake, from which I still have the Piglet and Pooh figures (which may have been the only ones). Or Laura has Piglet (I know she was the only one ever to have a Piglet doll), and I have Pooh. (I count it in my 2...2? I forget if I'm at 21, 22, or 23 now. FUCK. Forgot I still need a Hawaiian Pooh! Missioooooon~)

AND NOW! The links where I mock all the shitty advertisement that's going out with this movie.

*headdesk* I'm not sure this photoshopper has ever seen a whip move. I mean... EVERYTHING is wrong with that picture. I think artists just enjoy drawing the lines, like snakes, or something. I can't figure out how you put together--professionally!--something that bad.

No, that's not it either. *facepalm facepalm facepalm* You can't swing on whips. And if that's a vine, it's the most boring vine I've ever seen, and the body/face comparison is HILARIOUSLY bad. And, uh, I think his shirt's the wrong color, too.

MightyMugg idol... sadly that's the best one.

I...what? No, seriously... what? I have no words.

That... is kind of more creepy than anything.

NOW THIS IS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT. Do want. Also reminds me I should pull out my old (OLD) yellow airplane spoon, that thing was kick-ass. And more! Except we don't get that cereal here.

What is this shit? Scratch that, I'd buy the Snickers bars. But hell no on the other stuff, unless we're getting backs like this, and, from what I understand, we're not. (We're getting DVD offers, just in case you didn't already own the set from the original DVD release, and didn't plan on buying them when they come out in a few weeks [yeah, just the three], and don't plan on buying them when a set of all four comes out [I'm calling 2011, Raiders' 30th, you'll see]. WTF)

This magazine is only sold in hobby stores. Buy me two with the limited edition cover and I'll pay you back, loooove youuuu... (Oh my god, the first thing I do when I get home will be hit up Dark Star. SO SAD)

See? Portugal. Why can't we have these nice things?

DISNEYLAND. DO WANT. Somebody get their hands on this for me. (Ohmygod, I can ask my roommate Demyla! She goes all the time! Yaaay)

What the fuck is this shit? The jist I get from the website is that it's a deck of cards for playing War... with Indiana Jones pictures. See, decks like this piss me off. Nice if it was just an Indiana Jones deck of cards, but no, when you specialize it to one game it becomes wasteful and stupid. WHAT ARE YOU PEOPLE THINKING.

This canteen has the potential to be Really Cool.

This? The coolest action figure ever. I'm waiting til they release the price, but no doubt I won't get it. The bad ones are at least $90. Fuuuuuuck.
mercat: (Default)
Ahahaha... I just had a really, uber-geeky moment. I got waaay to excited about Hydrogen Bonding and its relation to surface tension and its relation to Newton's third law.

Umm... yeah, I'm serious. It was kind of sad, and kind of awesome, but mostly just really awesome.


mercat: (Default)

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