Saturday, September 29, 2007
The fun thing is that there are notebooks from ages ago. Please enjoy some robot doodles from my chemistry class freshman year of college. Aside from these, I notice that most of the doodles are in all the notebooks except the science and math ones. I must have actually been interested and paid attention in those classes.
I should put these on a t-shirt. I was such a better artist then!
Stay tuned for more as I crack open more boxes and explore the archives.
(doodles from ~1986)
Monday, September 24, 2007
Regardless, I still have a Philadelphia accent. Which I have decided I am proud of, since many of the questions were centered around whether I pronounced pairs or even triples of words differently. I guess the dialects in the rest of the United States are making do with fewer vowel sounds or phonemes.
|What American accent do you have? (Best version so far)|
Also known as a "Philadelphia accent" but also heard in south Jersey, Baltimore, and thereabouts.
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More information and data on dialects and tests can be found at this earlier post, I was a Philadelphian in this quiz as well.
We thought that it would be difficult to buy this, pack it up and take it home on the plane in the current security environment. I don't even know if Geiger counters contain radioactive materials themselves as a control or to make them work. I see some Googling or Wikipedia research for some future fun.
These four copies will never be read, but at least some kind citizen had finally removed them (but not the leaves) by Monday morning.
Even worse we haven't gotten our own copy on Stoney Creek Lane in many weeks. I see so many of these free papers wet and abondoned in driveways and roadways, this was the most amusing and egregious example.
Thursday, September 20, 2007
I Sing the Body Electric is also a poem from Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman.
Walt Whitman is also a bridge in Philadelphia.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
The new Liturgical Referee described by the Curt Jester (I assume it is a joke) is a position right up my alley. This person could jump out during the mass to stop liturgical abuses and generally bad masses, such as when the priest adds their own words to the liturgy or just skips steps, or when they ring the bell at the elevation or slip back into Latin in the middle of the mass. Sometimes they could stop parishioners from adding their own craziness to the mix. Two signals that are my favorites are:
The "rulebook" for the mass is the General Instruction of the Roman Missal (abbreviated GIRM and said like germ, which is a cool acronym in its own right). I happen to own a copy of the GIRM and some ancillary documents. I guess I am a nerd about things both sacred and profane.
The sad truth in this story is that the officer, Barkley, suffered paralysis from the shooting and had health problems the rest of his life. Still, I would have thought that justice was served when Barnes was convicted of the crime and served his time. The articles do not say what Barnes was convicted of so long ago, and so you can see how an overzealous prosecutor might pull out one of the many crimes that wasn't used 41 years ago, or the "new" one of murder and retry the case. Don't get me wrong, I think that if you commit a crime you should submit to justice and punishment for it, and it seems to me that that is what happened to Barnes. I have heard of charges moving from attempted murder to murder when a victim dies in the hospital days after the fact, but usually that happens long before a trial, conviction and serving a sentence. Barnes has already been denied bail for his "offense".
This is not the same as if they just discovered the murder from 41 years ago. Barnes is no great citizen, he has been in and out of jail his whole life until a recent "turnaround". All of that still seems irrelevant to the the fact that this really looks like double jeopardy. I am not a lawyer so I am sure I am missing an important point. The whole case looks like it will center around medical experts trying to prove or disprove that the infection that Barkley finally died from was a direct result of the injuries from 41 years ago. Shooting a police officer and 40 years of paraylsis are so emotionally charged that I don't expect a reasoned rational discussion of the facts. I would just like some lawyer to explain the basis for the murder charges.
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Unfortunately Catholic churches these days seem enamored of the piano and don't play even the electric organs they have anymore, let alone the real pipe organs in some of the older churches. I miss that "God has entered the room" sensation described above that you get when a good organist is playing a good organ and really pumping out the low notes. Almost any Bach organ piece is sufficient for that effect.
Thus, I was inspired to go search the web for some free performances of Toccata and Fugue in D minor, and was looking for a site that I remembered with videos for visualization of the notes of the music as they were played. The site is the Music Animation Machine and one of the most popular animations is in fact for Toccata and Fugue in D minor. See it embedded below, just click:
There is a ton of other great stuff at the site, the page with the list of music with videos is here. As regards Bach, I would say that I am more a fan of the fugues than I am of the toccatas, I suspect it is the rigor and repeats with variations in the fugues that I like so much. My favorite is the Little Fugue in G minor. Unfortunately the visualization (youtube link) is a midi piano and it really sounds best on the organ. A good version on the organ can be (paradoxically) found at the PianoSociety webpage (link to mp3, BWV 578 - Fugue in G minor ("Little Fugue")).
You could and should spend many days searching and listening to all the great free stuff at the Piano Society. Some of my favorites from the Piano Society are ...
- Liszt Hungarian Rhapsody (mp3 link Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 in C-sharp minor, S.244/2). You will remember this from the cartoons.
- Debussy Clair de Lune, (mp3 link Clair de lune). My mom wants me to finally learn this and play it for her at the nursing home someday. The Music Animation Machine visualization (youtube link) will blow your mind with all of those notes.
- Mozart Piano Concerto No. 20 in D Minor, KV 466, Romanza (mp3 link Romanza). Possibly his most famous tune, made famous again in the movie Amadeus.
Saturday, September 08, 2007
That Friday, Field spoke on NPR's talk of the nation Science Friday to describe some of the work. They investigated several different compounds, illegal drugs, such as pseudoephedrine, cocaine, rave drugs (like Ecstasy), LSD and heroin. They also looked at some drugs that are not illegal like pseudoephedrine, amphetamine , one of which break down products of methamphetamine use and the other can be used to manufacture methamphetamine illegally.
She was cagey about reporting which community has a bigger drug problem, appropriately suggesting that these are early results and probably because they are working out the accuracy of the findings. Most of the coverage of the paper centers around the use of the technique for drug enforcement officials. Some of the articles about the study reflect this concern.
"Cities in the experiment ranged from 17,000 to 600,000 in population, but Field declined to identify them, saying it could harm her relationship with sewage plant operators."She also seemed hesitant to list the cities in particular they studied. I was impressed with her stand on privacy concerns when it was suggested that the technique could be used further upstream by law enforcement officials to catch people using illegal drugs. From the OSU press release:
“Waste water analysis is a more powerful indicator at the community level,” Field said. “We are interested in the 'community load' of drugs, so we want to take samples as close to the urinal as possible without violating the privacy of individuals.”The team also looked at caffeine, which she described as a human urinary biomarker, perhaps it could serve as a control compound to normalize the other concentrations.
One interesting part of the study involved looking at the levels change in drug use for one coop municipality over 28 days to look for time effects. They measured benzoylecgonine, which is a breakdown product of cocaine. They found that cocaine use increased on weekends, indicating that it is used recreationally, while methadone, a prescription opiate, used to treat cocaine abuse remained constant. Methamphetamine, not know for its recreational use, but for its addiction, showed steady use over the time period. One of the papers co-authors, Caleb Banta-Green, is a research scientist at the University of Washington's Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, and is especially concerned about meth abuse, which has been increasing in the Pacific Northwest.
It looks like the group will also present similar findings at the 6th International Conference on Pharmaceuticals and Enocrine Disrupting Chemicals in Water in October.
Friday, September 07, 2007
76%The Movie Quiz
FilmCritic.com - Movie Reviews
Try it yourself.
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
I imagine there is now a search for the teeth to identify the head to identify the body in the house that Jack built.