Monday, February 27, 2006

Mathematical Dog

Dogs can do Calculus:

When Elvis and Pennings go to the beach, they always play fetch. Standing at the water's edge, Pennings throws a tennis ball out into the waves, and Elvis eagerly retrieves it. When Pennings throws the ball at an angle to the shoreline, Elvis has several options. He can run along the beach until he is directly opposite the ball, then swim out to get it. Or he can plunge into the water right away and swim all the way to the ball. What happens most the time, however, is that Elvis runs part of the way along the beach, then swims out to the ball.
Depending on the dog's running and swimming speeds, the strategy that Elvis follows appears to minimize the time that it takes to get to the ball. Indeed, Pennings found by experiment that Elvis performs in a way that closely matches a calculus-based mathematical model of the situation.

Take that ya stupid cat-lovers. Not only are dogs way cooler, but they can do freakin' CALCULUS. Brilliance.

Hat Tip: Corner, and check this post out, too.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

And for My Brother

Straight from the Corner, here's a post for those who enjoy recreating your favorite movie scenes using Lego's! Today's scenes are from "Brokeback Mountain." By the by, I have not seen this movie, and most likely never will. It mostly stems from South Park, and Cartman's one line: "Independant films? Aren't they those black and white films about gay cowboys eating pudding?" I don't think I could stop laughing during the movie; and God help me if they ate pudding. Meanwhile, here's my favorite Lego's picture.

I didn't realize that they made Sheep Legos.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

We're All Ignorant

I had a Professor once who enjoyed pointing out that anytime people make a "best guess" or average line, it means that they're just ignorant, and don't really know what the hell they're talking about; or rather, don't know all the variables in the system they are dealing with.

Nowhere is that more evident than in Climate study, where even when we think we know stuff we're usually wrong.

Take, for example, this story. See, in the 1980s it was found the CFCs (the stuff that used to be in hair spray and refridgerators) were really, really bad for ozone, and that our ozone layer was being destoryed. So the whole world stoppped using CFCs. Amazing, right? Well, recently the ozone layer has picked back up slightly, and most people concluded that this proves the dramatic effect humans can have on the environment. But wait!
The model indicates that the apparent slowdown of ozone loss during the late 1990's most likely resulted from a maximum in solar intensity rather than from the ban on CFCs, the team reported 8 February in Geophysical Research Letters.

Yes folks, it turns out that it probably wasn't humans causing a hole in the ozone, just the sun going through its normal cycles.

Like I said, we're all just ignorant.

Melted Butter

There's been lots of discussion about the Danish cartoons, but easily the best comment comes from Italy's Reform Minister Roberto Calderoli:

"I have had T-shirts made with the cartoons that have upset Islam and I will
start wearing them today," Ansa quoted Calderoli as saying.
He said the T-shirts were not meant to be a provocation but added that he saw no point trying to appease extremists. "We have to put an end to this story that we can talk to these people. They only want to humiliate people. Full stop. And what are we becoming? The civilization of melted butter?" Calderoli said.

God I love Italy.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Class Observations

Well, classes continue. It's the third or fourth week now (I can't remember) so things are kicking into high gear. Really strange stuff. I've had a few observations about things in my classes that I should share.
  • There's an older gentleman in my Theater class ("Race and Performance in American Cultures," I'll have more to say on this later, trust me) who wears a sweatshirt for the "College of Social Welfare," and I think: "Cal has a 'College of Social Welfare?' I don't even know what that means!" Anyway, it's strange indeed. To me, at least.
  • Also in my Theater class, I have found there to be several (5 out of 35) Fifth-Year Theater majors. I found myself wondering how do you get to be a 5th year Theater Major. It can't be that hard!! It seems to me these people are just wanting to stay in college because they can't get a real job. Lazy bums.
  • Have you ever had someone in your class where you're afraid when they talk? Not because that what they say will be opposite of what you believe, but because you konw they agree with you and sound really, really stupid whenever they open thier mouths? No? Count yourself lucky; it sucks.
  • Tough reading! That's what defines my Superheroes in Comic Books class. Yup, I gotta read Spider-Man, Daredevil, Fantastic Four, Green Lantern and Batman. I wish all classes were like this.

I'm Back!!

Ok, so why change blogs again? Well, mostly, because the Freewebs blog I had messed up the way the rest of my website looked (to me). This should be easier. For reference:

Here's my first blog.
Then my second.

We'll ignore my freeewbs one; it sucked major ass anyway.