Friday, October 08, 2004

My good pal Joey, a reformed gambler, advised against me going to Las Vegas.  

But my good pal Joey forgot one key point:  I am not a gambler; I'm a drunk.

Thursday, October 07, 2004

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Firstly, everyone who knows Luis should read his latest post.

The boy's scathing wit more than makes up for his almost complete lack of punctuation. (I see his writing style as a grim premonition of the state of the English language after a few more decades of AIM.)

I'm drinking tea in the school library at the moment. I want to better explain myself about how I thought eyes worked.

I consider the eyes to be a part of the brain because of their complexity (and partly because in Robocop 2 when they removed the brain of that guy to put into the evil robot they took the eyes, too.)

What I didn't know was that seeing an object with the eyes and closing the eyes and imagining that same object is neurologically identical.

The exact same thing happens when you see something as when you imagine it.

I always thought there were seperate processes for imagining something and actually seeing. Nope. Uses the same part of the brain. Knowing this, now I don't feel so bad about hallucinating...

Oh, and Jared asked about the old template.

I was trying to get that blogger navbar to stop cutting off the top of my page. I don't know what I deleted, but it must have been important because nothing shows up anymore.

I'm a little scared of adding anything to this template for fear of causing the same thing.

So, I guess I'll have my old template back up as soon as I can wheedle and cajole David to stop working so damn much and work his magic on the thing.

Erk, I'm running out of time. I wanted to talk about the Nobel prize for chemistry. I doubt I'll even have time to make my quark joke.

I didn't explain the quark thing either. I'll try. From what I understand, the closer quarks are together the less they are attracted to one another. But the crazy thing is, the farther away they get, the greater the force of attraction becomes. This is like the opposite of gravity.

The article I read illustrated the idea with the analogy of stretching a rubber band. I was surprised by this. I would think that the obvious way to explain how to increase attraction by increasing distance would somehow involve women.

And now I'm late for class.

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Too often have I gone through my day blissfully imagining that I was a little closer to understanding life, the universe, and everything.  Then, inevitably, as I learn something new I realize that I never understood some of the things I thought I knew.

One of the latest Nobel Prizes awarded (for medicine) was just awarded to two Americans, Richard Axel and Linda Buck, for discovering how our sense of smell works.

If you are anything like me, your ears perked up and you thought, "Whatever do you mean?  We already know how the sense of smell works.  You can't very well discover something twice, now can you?  Well, I suppose a goldfish might..."

I've been running around thinking I knew how I was smelling things like a pompous oaf when I really had no idea.  I feel so ashamed.

Our ability to detect and distinguish between 10,000 odors is controlled by a huge gene family of "odor receptors."

Amazing.  This actually rocks my little world a bit.  I thought our noses worked like our eyes.  Then I saw "What the Bleep Do We Know" and I learned that eyes don't work quite the way I thought they did.  Now I find out about these odor genes and the way they function reminds me of our eyes.

We have genes to detect certain smells.  Thus, what we smell depends on our genes.  So it's possible that there are smells out there that we can't detect.  This upsets me.  If there is something that smells better than freshly-baked brownies and I can't smell it I am going to be pissed.

Oh, some other Nobel Prize winners figured out Strong Force.  It was quarks all along.  Who knew?

Monday, October 04, 2004

Volcanos are erupting, private spaceships are completing multiple sub-orbital flights, and Billy Joel is getting married.

What I'm doing right now is very, very similar to all of those things.

Wait, no. What I'm doing right now is called "lying." It's very similar to actually doing things, but takes much less energy and a little more memory.

Work has been going well. School has been going...okay. I've been having a difficult time paying attention in class. If I had to guess, I would say it was because I haven't been sleeping much. No, that isn't accurate. I've been sneaking off and sleeping under a desk during my lunch break at work pretty much every day.

I haven't been sleeping much at night.

I find my mind wandering. Instead of paying attention to the mysteries of the Kreb cycle in biology class, I was planning out defensive strategies in case ninjas broke into the classroom. I had successfully planned up to scenario #4, which was a frontal assault by no more than 5 ninjas but at least one robot when something my teacher said penetrated the dense fog of my imagination. "There was a man who made very complex devices to perform simple tasks," he droned. "I believe his name was Goldstein or Goldman-"

I jerked up. "Goldberg!" I didn't quite shout, but a lot of heads turned in my direction. "Rube Goldberg," I added weakly. I sank back down into my seat.

In a few moments my outburst was forgotten and the class was caught up in their precious Kreb cycle. My mind began to slip away and I found myself devising very simple machines that would have to perform very simple tasks. My plans were flawless, but my machines were unnecessarily complicating everything, mostly by stopping for fast food or trying to get one of the other machines to do it for them.

I called my machines "Humans." I decided that I didn't like the name and resolved to think of a new one for them. Just as soon as I can find the time.