Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Foot The Meaning of Life

While bored in physics class I was scrawling in the margins of my notes and I produced Try and figure out what the answer to my question is, and while you are at it can you tell me where all my marbles are, the meaning of life, or why someone was going to build a huge aircraft carrier out of wood pulp and ice (even if it has amazing properties).

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Sitting ducks

I've been getting way too much spam recently so I put up a filter. To send me e-mail now you need to fill the subject line with "Online Pharmaceutical"

Okay, you guys did really well by the slide rule, now give this a shot: I was explaining something to Eli with this setup- the picture should just ask for comments. (everybody should read Avi's)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

I see London, I see France...

...I see a wonderful example of exponential decay! For reasons that I can't remember, I decided to record the number of cars burned in France during each night of their recent riot season in an Excel spreadsheet. When plotted, I discovered that this number dropped exponentially each day. And, before I found which day the number of burnt cars reached the "near-normal" amount of 93, I was able to predict when it would happen! Here is the approximating equation (note that it only holds true for the range of days starting Nov. 11 and ending when the number of cars burned returns to normal), and the plot (click on the image for a clearer picture):If I get around to it, I will see if I can derive a theoretical reason for this plot, which might yield an equation which allows for the ~93 cars burned regularly, and might show us just how good the French cops are. Stay tuned...

Incedentally, another potential case of exponential decay was cut short by Xanga. David Ludwig, who murdered his girlfriend's parents, had a blog hosted by Xanga. The day that the address for his blog was posted by various news sources, his SiteMeter log showed that his page visits spiked to 95,000. After that, the number of visits each day started dropping exponentially, until Xanga shut it down.

In any case, one can't help but marvel at the function whose wonderful properties can be expressed succinctly (ignoring arbitrary constants) as:

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

10 Ways to Know That It Is Getting Cold Out

You know that it’s getting cold outside…
1. When you go outside your ears fall off.
2. That strange shiny stuff inside that weird glass tube with the little lines on it shrinks.
3. While biking you have to dodge icebergs (NOT ICE CUBES) or risk going down like the Titanic (or at least like a 200 pound enraged lump).
4. You notice strange multicolored parasites have infested the human population and control the humans by attaching to their head, hands and torso.
5. All the fuzzy animals go to Florida (just as a side point, did you every notice that old people tend to be fuzzy around the edges, must be because they’ve lost their grip on reality and are starting to break up).
6. People with signs the say “The End of The World is Coming!!!” start standing on street corners (obviously they missed out on the fact that the end of the world was last Wednesday).
7. Human start strapping sticks to their feet and then hurl themselves down frozen mountains.
8. All your neighbors start calling your mother to get you to clear that toxic white stuff of their driveways.
9. Angels start falling from the sky and then have to walk back to heaven but before they do they leave tracks in that white stuff (I have been studying these tracks and determined that all Angels are the size of children).
10. When the change in Enthalpy (H) of the Northern Hemispherical system becomes positive, due to change in Heat (q) being negative.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

An open letter to the author of Stone Soup

I'm glad you are now expert after googling Meleva, you should really have googled Einstein instead- that Nobel prize money that went to a divorce settlement- he won it for the photoelectric effect, not relativity.
Even so, a few controversial people say "the ideas may have been Albert's, but Mileva did the mathematics." I guess then we should call them the Milelva transformations instead of . . . the Lorenz transformations! See Einstein is not known for being a mathematician because it was his ideas that were revolutionary, not the math behind them.
The bottom line is that even if it was true then I say Big Whoop. Stop belittling female scientist by trying to claim the most famous scientific discovery of the 20th century.
Give Jan a piece of your mind here.
PS: NJIT made an official press release about me and a friend last week, Press Release
Classic media, messed the story up a bit, see the real deal here on my website.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Gremlins on the Volga River?

Like many people, I occasionally watched Bug Bunny cartoons while growing up. One that I always remembered was called "Russian Rhapsody," where little Russian gremlins chop up Hitler's plane, all the while singing "We are gremlins from the Kremlin..." in a rather catchy tune.

Over the summer, I was watching a British TV show called "Ray Mears' Extreme Survival" where this guy named, surprisingly, Ray Mears shows how to survive in random places around the world without any real tools, food and so on. One of these episodes was on how to survive in the Belarus forests. Along the way, he told the story of a group of Jewish partisans who fought the Nazis in those forests. At some point in the show, I noticed that the background music was the tune of "Gremlins from the Kremlin," in choral form!!! I couldn't imagine why the BBC would want to use a Loony Tunes tune in a serious pseudo-documentary about the partisans. So I figured that Carl W. Stalling, the music person for Russian Rhapsody, must have made use of an already existing song. But what song was it?

After much Google searching, I discovered that the Gremlins are singing a song that is based off of a combination of two Russian folk songs: "Song of the Volga Boatmen" and "Dark Eyes."

Now, for your listening pleasure this blog is proud to present, in convenient MP3 form (please right click and save the files to your computer):
Gremlins from the Kremlin (6.04 MB)
Ray Mears' Version of Song of the Volga Boatmen (1.74 MB)
Red Star Army Chorus' Version of Song of the Volga Boatmen (3.49 MB)
Red Star Army Chorus' Version of Dark Eyes (4.2 MB)

And, for your viewing pleasure, in convenient (104.2 MB) .mov form [thanks to Area 77]:
Russian Rhapsody

Finally, I would like to point out that the
Song of the Volga Boatmen works well for Lecha Dodi.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

What is the shortest distance from point A to point B in New York City

I am a firm believer that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line, however people look at me strange when there are things in the way.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

The day I got on the wrong train

I took the wrong train one day last week . . . on purpose. The regular homeless were particularly delusional and my train was coming late, so I hopped on a Bayhead train passing the Airport station. When I showed the conductor my Edison ticket he said “you’re on the wrong train, switch at the Airport”
I lied “I was afraid of that” and happily got off.
As I sat in the cool breeze, I thought of other less adventurous commuters waiting in the dark smokey tunnel that is Penn station, the land of crumbling concrete. I was sitting in the sun on a clean bench that must be 50 years newer than those antiques at Penn. There were a few travelers around, but no crazy people (some nuts occasionally turn up, but they are quickly booked for the next flight to California). It was so nice, and even quiet, I thought about coming to study sometime. Then a loud airplane (flaps and wheels down, ready for landing) reminded me where I was. No loss really, because I don’t study anyway; I do like watching low flying airplanes though, so I plan to go back the next time my train is late.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Shooting the bull

Princeton professor emeritus of philosophy Harry G. Frankfurt has written a book entitled, "On Bullshit." The Princeton University Press website is kind enough host a video interview with Dr. Frankfurt, where he steps in intriguing and philosophically slippery topics such as, "What is bullshit? [Dial-up]" (leave it to a philosopher to ignore the obvious answer) and "Can anything be done about bullshit? [Dial-up]". In any case, I find this to be highly ironic since much, if not most of philosophy is, in fact, bullsh*t.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Sally Saves the Seashells by the Sea Shore!!!

Stop using chalkboards. Everytime you do, you are killing inoccent sea creatures millions of years ago. You and your "Calcium Carbonate," Shell Killers. Buy Whiteboards, and save the shells and afterwards, if you are in the mood, save the whales, and the condor, and the pengiun on the telly, and the ostriches and the...

Sunday, November 06, 2005

My New Toolbox

So I got a crimper the other day because I needed to use it. I've touched one maybe twice in my life and now I own one!
Anyway, I had nowhere to put it so I bought a toolbox. Now my new toolbox looked kind of empty so I decided to put in all my tools.
Why don't you leave a comment about what you think is in the long leather case.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

I stay up all night wondering if there's a dog.

Am I the only one who saw this Yahoo News headline and read "Researchers may have DI'd dyslexia gene"?

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

High Speed Chase, Wait A Second We Are In A Blimp!!!

While biking to school the other day I came across an interesting spectacle: two blimps in a line, one behind the other. I was thinking, "Wow! That’s the first time I have every seen two blimps at the same time," and then I thought, "Cool! An intense blimp chase." I could just see James Bond hanging out of the windows and firing at the other blimp, and then I thought, "Wow, what a stupid high-speed getaway vehicle." But of course, what if you have a ton of slow speed aircrafts just waiting to get picked off by enemies who hardly have to aim (missing a blimp is like missing a shot at the wall of a barn from inside the barn). But than again you always come across the great brainchild of some idiotic person and then you get this:

Am I missing something here? This just looks to stupid, and to make it even dumber I came across a lovely piece of information.

And here it is:

Army buys $12M in blimps for Iraq

WASHINGTON, July 5 (UPI) -- The U.S. Army is buying 16 tactical blimps for use in Iraq from a Columbia, Md., company, TCOM, L.P. announced Tuesday.

The deal is worth $12 million, and the unmanned, tethered blimps will be built in Elizabeth City, N.C.

The Tactical Aerostat System operates at about 1,000 feet, providing surveillance and a communications relay system aloft for up to a week at a time.

The contract award is part of the Rapid Aerostat Initial Development system contract the Army has with Raytheon.

The airship's use was demonstrated last fall over Washington, when an A-170 manned blimp hovered over the city for 24 hours. The helium-based blimp can fly for hours even if pierced by small arms fire, according to the Army.

TCOM blimps are also being used by the Marine Airborne Re-Transmission System, a program developed by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to extend Marine radio communication beyond line-of-sight in Iraq.

The blimp provides an airborne relay for UHF, VHF, SINCGARS and EPLPRS radios, in addition to standard analog radios. The actual relays are contained in a ground system. If the aerostat were shot down, the radios would not be compromised.

I even found a picture of a concept blimp that is being tested now that has been designed to move 500 tons 12,000 miles in less than 7 days, and do you know that they call it (pause for dramatic effect)…The Walrus:
Wow the pig on the side really adds to the intense fear I feel when I look at this. In fact I think I need to go put on a change of pants, so if you will excuse me.