Sunday, March 30, 2008

Back From Myrtle Beach Driving Barefoot

Driving on the highway is one of those things that I enjoy, driving barefoot is another one of those things I enjoy. Driving barefoot on the highway is naturally incredible fun.


To maximize the fun you need to be using cruise control- see this feature actually moves the pedal in small jumps to increase the gas the engine gets and to speed up the car. Generally you will not notice this, but if you rest your bare foot lightly on the pedals then it kind of tickles, try it one day. To say the least it kept me awake all 700 so miles on the way back from Mytle Beach!


Apparently some people think that driving barefoot is illegal. It is not according to this motivated nut who sent 50 personalized letters out to each of the states just to find this out.

This one reply from a department was pretty funny

June 9, 1994
Mr. Jason R. HeimbaughR.R. 1, Box 120Champaign, IL 61821
Dear Mr. Heimbaugh:
Thank you for your recent letter concerning the legality of operating a motor vehicle barefoot. It is always a pleasure to respond to citizens interested in familiarizing themselves with traffic laws.
You are correct in your belief that there may be a misconception concerning this issue. We do from time to time get inquiries such as yours. I am pleased to advise that there are no provisions in the Illinois Vehicle Code that prohibits operating a motor vehicle "barefoot".
I hope this information has been of interest. Please feel free to contact this office any time I may be of assistance.
Sincerely,
Greg O'Connor Director Drivers Services Department

In other news, my trip has brought me up to 42 states that I've been in, the ones I haven't been to being:

Washington, Oregon, Hawaii, Alaska, Kansas, Missouri, North Dakota and Alabama.

Regrettably there are no pictures of sunny Myrtle Beach this week because I left my laptop's charger at my parents- hang in there till next week!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

I submitted a paper to the American Journal of Physics

I recently submitted a paper ["A different derivation of the acceleration of a particle in a non-inertial reference frame"] to the American Journal of Physics. Although some of my research has been published in various places, this is the first time I am submitting something on my own, and not together with the professor who came up with the idea. I don't know if they'll accept the paper, but I'm still excited about this.
I won't bore you with the details, it involves the physics of rotating things. If you are interested, I submitted it to the physics pre-print archive arXiv, as well (this means there's potential for lots people to see it, even if AJP doesn't accept it). It's accessible here: http://arxiv.org/abs/0803.3826

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

More Fun With Airplanes

Last week me and some friends volunteered at a airplane museum in southern New Jersey. This basically meant that we could go where u can't normally go and touch what you can't normally touch, while we cleaned everything. Here are some pictures.

This is me standing on a F-14

Propeller on an E-2 Hawkeye

Me sticking my head out of the cockpit of an E-2, it was really cool I just had to pull open the hatch on the top of the cockpit.

In the cockpit of the E-2

This is the set up in the back of the E-2

F-4 phantom

This is what is inside and F-4 Phantoms cockpit

The museum is located on an airfield, and this was a bulletin board in the main building for the airport.

Just for fun

Finishing with a what the heck is that thing, we passed this right after we left the museum. An guesses as to what it is?

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Thursday, March 20, 2008

I love it when a plan comes together

I recently designed a cat tree for our cats in Google SketchUp.
You can download the whole model at the SketchUp 3D Warehouse [link].
With the help of Aryeh, last Saturday night we cut up various pieces of lumber for the project.
Then I borrowed our building's superintendent's power screwdriver and put the thing together:

Although I haven't carpeted it, completed the little house on bottom, or wrapped the posts in sisal rope, the kittens still like it:

The shirts draped on it are to make it slightly more comfy for the cats before I get a chance to carpet it.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Boston II



We randomly met some cool physics grad student who was making a crazily accurate clock.

This is the door to his lab- invisible lasers . . .


This is the spot where he freezes his Ions Bose Einstien Condensate Style until then tunes the laser to their frequency (bascially their color) and ramps it up in the standard atomic clock style for great accuracy and fun!


So in the MIT campus center there was a random guy that just came and sat down with a bucket of electronic gadgets. After speaking to the guy for like 10 mins we found out it was for some class where they use it- but when his buddies came by he didn't introduce us or anything- loosing even more points for MIT sociability.


Random MIT blackboard.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Good Eats on the Volga River

I am a big fan of Alton Brown. And of his books I'm Just Here for the Food and I'm Just Here for More Food. And of his show Good Eats. It's a clever cooking show that highlights and stresses the science of cooking, and how that can help you cook, so you're not just following recipes. (Same thing goes for the books.) Although the books and show seem to be based around On Food and Cooking, by Harold McGee, (also an excellent book,) they're much more fun to read and watch! The show is really amusing - often/usually in a geeky sort of way.
Anyway, part of the genius of the show is the music and its clever composer, Patrick Belden. There's a very basic theme song:

powered by ODEO

But Patrick modifies this music slightly for each episode. For example, "The Egg Files" intro music parodied "The X-Files" intro music:

powered by ODEO

Elsewhere in various shows the background music is part of various parodies, etc.
In any case, imagine my surprise when I watched "Pressure" and I heard this during the intro:

powered by ODEO

That's right - The Volga Boatmen, yet again! Of course, unlike the Batman episode which used the music, or the Loony Tunes episode, this Good Eats episode had nothing to do with Russia or the Volga river at all. But, always interesting to hear how this tune has infiltrated American culture.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

MIT, Boston I

So I've missed a few blogs lately because the Internet has been down in my place.

Anyway- I went to Boston over the last break

MIT is pretty cool, this building though is known to have a lot of problems, like ice sheets dangerously smashing things on the edge of the building and i think leaks.


I forgot now who this guy was, but I think his office won some sort of award for messiest office.
But I think the following office should have won! (also at MIT)

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Anything else?

I know I've been blogging a lot of signs recently, but too bad. When you figure out a way to beam all of quantum mechanics into my head at once I'll have more interesting posts.
In any case, here's another sign I found while wandering around the bowels of a City College building:What in the world are they storing in there? Everything? Are they missing anything dangerous? I mean, they even scrawled on a "Please do not block door." Maybe I'll buy a "Beware of Dog" or a "No Lifeguard on Duty" sign and stick it there, just to cover all bases.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Fun With Springs

I recently purchased some springs from McMaster. The company allows you to put a warning on the package, and the invoice, as well as instructions for the McMaster people. I of course decided to have a bit of fun.

In case you can read it, Attention: DANGER CONTAINS SPRINGS

On the invoice Attention: DANGER MAY CONTAIN PAPER

You should be able to read this one no problem.