Thursday 26 July 2012

Working in Ottawa today --Play safe

Good morning good people,

I will be working in Ottawa today.

So before I get too carried away on today's blathering of rare earth magnets, questionable dietary practices and home experiments in cold fusion, I just read that James Holmes --the Colorado Joker massacre shooter may have sent a notebook of writings and self-promotional material to a Colorado psychiatrist prior to the shooting.

May have.  You see there are two reports of notebooks.  Fox News reported that a notebook had been sent to a Colorado psychiatrist but had lingered in the university mail room since July 12.  But that notebook was determined to be unrelated to Holmes by the FBI, but wait!  There is a second notebook, and reportedly sat in the same mail room for 2 days prompting a second probe to determine if the killings could have been prevented.

By having faster mail?  This is what it comes down to?  A lunatic can acquire tear gas and assault weapon and sidearm fire power over a few week period and take it upon himself to exact merciless and senseless killing of innocent persons for his own twisted effort at obtaining notoriety and satisfying some demon of delusions of persecution, grandeur and inadequacy and the investigation will focus on the goddamned mail?

Sure, blame the Posties, they can get blamed for their own rampages and others as well.

This also in the news.. In the U.S. the Consumer Product Safety Commission, largely dormant and ineffectual for the last dozen years (bet you weren't even aware of it), has banned the sale of BuckeyBalls.  No not the long chain carbon (element 6 on my wallet sized periodic table) molecule, but those wacky fulfilled rare earth magnet balls that the annoying guy in the next cubicle keeps arranging to look like a cube, cone, tetrahedron or Gumby.

Seems that if you ingest these magnetic balls (!) that they can seek each other out and then end up getting trapped by binding or pinching the wall of the intestines, requiring surgical intervention.

Gosh.  Craig Zucker, CEO of BuckeyBalls has vowed to not go down without a fight.  I find it a bit absurd to ban them on this basis.  They are not sold as a child's toy, nor as a food substitute, perhaps a warning label with a really cool graphic of open abdomen intestinal surgery.

Don't try this at home kids!

Damn.  Not enough time to write in much detail about cold fusion nor how I made a 2000 watt carbon arc lamp when I was 12 years old from a tobacco can, carbon rods from several C size batteries, a saltwater rheostat and a wing window from a '66 Buick.

Yeah.  About 2000 watts.  The kid across the street said it made the whole second floor of our house glow, even where there were no windows :)

Yes it blew the fuses.  Mom and Dad never knew.

Perhaps the CPSC should ban the sale of batteries.

Have a good day, play safe.

Thursday 19 July 2012

Working in Montréal today --Olympic blues

Good morning folks and folkettes,

I will be working in Montréal today.  See some of you there, others.. not so much.

I read today buried in a back page that the Olympics venues constructed for the Beijing hosted games today sit empty and losing money.

I thought, "how can that be?" .. "why, after all an Olympics can no more lose money than a man can have a baby!".  Oh wait.. that wasn't me, that was Montréal's Jean Drapeau mayor of the fine city from '54 through '86 with a break of a few years in there somewhere.

Now Drapeau was a great mayor, built the Metro, brought baseball to the city, but the '76 Olympics.. niet!  After the revealing of the colossal loss in the budget newspapers ran a Mosher cartoon of a pregnant Drapeau on the phone, "ello, Morgentaler?"

So back to Beijing, like Athens, Montréal, Sydney, what of London?  Will the London Olympics lose money?  OF COURSE IT WILL.

What I can't figure out is why the lie of profits to be made and why do people believe it?

Hell, Vancouver even explored new ways of losing money, does any one remember the Olympic RV Trailer Park? Yeah, it lost $70,000 too.

Try this on for size, the London Olympics is counting on 1 in every 10 Americans to visit the London this year.  huh?  The prediction is only 12 million tourists during the Olympics, mostly from Europe, so when are these 30,000,000 visitors from the U.S. going to show up?

Are they expecting 3,000,000 Canadians?  I actually don't know anyone that has mentioned that they play on heading across the pond, so where does this fantasyland number come from and why do the Brits believe it?

Have a good day.

Thursday 12 July 2012

Working in Ottawa today --please keep the pleonasms to a minimally small number

Good morning folks,

I will be working in Ottawa today.

I am just standing at the gate about board and overheard an agents just say, "I'll be right back Mita" to her colleague.   Hmmm, I thought to myself, if this were a horror movie perhaps near a lake with unnaturally calm waters, she would not be coming back.

We'll have to wait and see.

Odd..  she didn't come back, but a lanky guy named Todd just came in her stead..  dissembled with something about Lambia being delayed for an unspecified reason.

We've boarded but will be a minute or two late getting off the ground,  The plane's battery was dead but they got a boost from some kid on a moped.  Still no sign of Lambia

Odd name, Lambia is a genus of algae, and is also the common misspelling of Lamblia the name of a particular intestinal parasite that usually results in diarrhea -- is generally why I think that prospective parents should attend and pass some rudimentary training in child rearing and child naming.

Perhaps parents should use the exercise, repeat after me with your child's name, "Ladies and gentlemen I am honored to present to you, , the next Prime Minister.". And then.. "Ladies and gentlemen, you too Ron Jeremy, man I don't know how you are still alive, I am happy and more than a little titillated to introduce to you, Wicked Pictures in association with Canoga Park's very own Godfather's strip club's pornstar of the year, ".

I have really lost my way on writing what today's email was even going to be about.  

So instead, I will eat my breakfast and just finish off with a personal encounter with the funniness of English.

While playing racquetball last night, I lobbed a return shot high off the front wall and dropped it into the back left side while Brian's and my opponents, John and Larry, were both mid-right in the court.  This resulted in a easy point and a very satisfied, "whoot whoot - no one was home!" from Brian.

While settling back in for another serve I taunted John with, "John, you left a huge big hole in the back of the court.". I then considered my choice of words and that John is a school principal.

"Sorry John, I guess that was a pleonasm."

"Yes it was.", he replied, "and somewhat redundant as well".

I'm still laughing :p

Have a good day.  for previous posts!

Thursday 5 July 2012

Working in Montréal today --Boson Buddies

Good morning folks,

I am working in Montréal today.

About a day ago scientists at CERN announced that they have detected the Higgs Boson particle.  You probably heard that.  You probably did not hear that the announcement was made in the font, Comic Sans.  That's right kids, the same font used in comic books read by nerds the world over was used to convey this exciting news.

Holy Lepton Batman!  Have you heard of those nerds that have found God?  Now Now Robin, what they have found wasn't God, but merely the specific Boson that provides for mass in an otherwise massless Standard Model.

Boson? What's a boson Batman?  Well a boson is like a force, or a field.   You've seen forces like electromagnetism, strong atomic bond, weak atomic fields, well the Higgs field is just like one of them, but it sort of gives drag to particles trying to fly through it, but not all particles, those godless, I mean massless, photons and gluons pass through without any interaction, but all else gets weighted down.  Simple Robin?

Not really Batman, what is the Standard Model?  Jeez Robin, did you fall asleep when we were in that alternate reality when Superman killed my son?  Um.. Batman.. That is a really obscure reference from more than 35 years ago and I wasn't even in that timeline.

Oh.  Well the Standard Model is a beautiful mathematical equation and when applied correctly has 19 parameters that predict the way that matter interacts.  The problem has been that the physical properties that would allow for interaction with the theorized Higgs field was up to now was not possible with the previously discovered particles.  Got it?

Sort of Batman.. So the Higgs Boson is the sort of oar in the water.  Hey, not bad Robin.  Any other questions?  Sure Batman, is the Higgs Boson what allowed the Xenomorph in the last Alien franchise movie to gain a tremendous amount of mass in an otherwise closed room in what.. an hour since it was extracted from the heroine's abdomen?

No Robin.  Nothing explains that.

But Batman, in the second movie weren't we educated that the Xenomorphs were able to absorb energy from things like the lights and they were all gravitating towards the station reactor, couldn't they convert the energy to matter, like an atomic explosion but in reverse?

Sure but consider that a very small amount of matter gets converted to an extreme amount of energy in such an explosion, so in reverse you would need an extreme amount of energy to make even a small amount of matter.  Robin you will recall that there was just a few ceiling lights and that medical device in the room.  Those lights would have to burn for a few billion years in order to release enough energy to make the Xenomorph grow that big.

Oh.. So it was like.. Cartoon physics?  Yes Robin, and that's really all we ever have.

But wait Batman, what about Dark Matter and the apparent inconsistencies between the Standard Model and Einstein's Gravity, and what about a reconciliation between String Theory and General Relativity?

Robin Robin Robin, this is only a quick email written during a short flight between bites of my breakfast and sips of my coffee.

Have a good day.  Interact when possible.