03/31/2006

Big news today in the world of atomic physics: scientists believe they have proof that neutrinos have mass.

This may not seem like big news, but it shakes the Standard Model– the theories that describe all of atomic physics– to its core. I’m particularly interested because I’ve always been fascinated by the two extremes of physics: the very small (atomic physics) and the very large (astrophysics). This is a staggering change that will have profound implications for both.

There are those who say mankind has pretty much “discovered everything” and that studying things like subatomic interactions is a waste of time. To those people, I say THHHHPBT!

03/29/2006

Zack was excited to get the mail today because there was a little remote-control key. Wrapped around it was a big red flyer advertising a sale at some local Ford dealership. Note the big text:

IF YOUR REMOTE UNLOCKS THE 2006 FORD F-150 4×4 CREW CAB AT CHAMPION FORD YOU OWN IT!

So apparently you go to the dealership this weekend and walk around the lot pressing your key, hoping it works. But wait, there’s some small print at the bottom of the flyer:

The winner’s name is registered with the promotion company; if your remote inadvertently unlocks the vehicle, no gift will be awarded.

Nice. You have to love fine print. In other words, if my remote unlocks the truck I might own it…

03/27/2006

Seen on a Linux newsgroup to which I subscribe:

My experience with Linux so far has been like a man looking for a vehicle.  He finds a nice car, but it costs more than he has or is willing to pay for.  Then a good friend says, “I’ve got a free vehicle you can have.”  So the man goes and finds this free vehicle is a bulldozer (very powerful and big) that is in pieces. His friend says, “It’s yours for free– all you need to do is put it together.”

Sad but true. Linux is amazing, does everything I need, I love using it, and I love the principle of it. But it can be a bulldozer.

03/26/2006

“I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use.”

— Galileo Galilei

03/24/2006

“Sure there are dishonest men in local government. But there are dishonest men in national government too.”

— Richard Nixon

03/23/2006

A tortoise named Addwaitya (Bengali for “the one and only”) died today in a zoo in Kolkata, India.

What makes this news is the fact that the tortoise was estimated to be more than 250 years old. Imagine– he predated the Civil War, even the Revolutionary War. He was crawling around India when George Washington was chopping down cherry trees.

That sort of puts things into perspective: a human lifespan is but a flash in the pan on the cosmic scale, and even in the eyes of a common tortoise. Do what you can, when you can, and remember you only have a certain amount of time…