Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Z is the omega. It is the end.

Z was going to be a variable, but I thought it would be better to be zero. As in nothing. As in Celebrate! It's done for the year! The past month was fun and intense, but now I'm going to go back to studying things and trying to get better at this writing and blogging thing. Also, this got me back into thinking about blogging again, so I'm going to make two posts a week. Lets hope for the best.
Zero hasn't been around forever. In fact, some ancient cultures may find it a bit redundant to represent nothing. It's better than that though. It's makes a great place holder. Um, I was going to say it's easier than writing a lot of letters, but the Roman's had a great system of just writing a box around things they wanted to multiply by 10,000. It's good as a limit in infinite series, and without it you can't confuse people by talking about negative numbers. It looks like tiny donuts. Replace it with an o. Make emoticons with it o_0 Yes, the little zero is certainly a useful little guy, but today, I'll use it to say that the number of A to Z posts are 0.
Thanks everybody who ran this, and thak you to everyone who came by. I saw many cool new blogs and learned a lot of new things. Hopefully this will happen again next year.


I slipped up a new page quietly and without any sort of fanfare, because I like to be inconspicuous like that. You should check it out though if you are an animal lover. You might have noticed my slight obsession with Russia, I like to sneak some Russian words into my posts sometimes and I spent a post talking about the visitors I get from Russia. I have some friends from the area and they told me about the stray dogs in Moscow.
The problem is nothing new, but what is new is that people have taken it upon themselves to start killing the strays through poisoning, knives and other means. This also affects the domestic animals as well. The shelters themselves are not that great, they look like they've just been thrown together. So I am attempting to raise some money to help various shelters so they can take in more dogs and help protect them from the freaks More information above. Can't afford to donate? Well, I have a badge just for you to help spread the word!
Yes, I understand strays are a problem every where. But we can look at this as a way to extend a helping hand to a country where relations have been shaky for a while. At very least, please spread the word.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Y is just a symbol.

Start with a series of numbers. It can be simple:
1,2,3,4,5 . . .
Or if you feel a little more adventurous, it can be a little more complex:
1, 4, 16, 64, 256 . . .
Maybe you choose to write whatever number comes to mind. Maybe you have darts and decide to throw them at the wall with numbers on it. Any way you decide to do it, after a while, it will become boring.  As you are probably aware of, there are ways to represent a series, finite or infinite. Being new to the whole blogging math thing, I still suck at trying to write formulas online. Bear with me. Or bare with me, I don't mind.
In order to work with this formula, you need a series that uses a pattern you can figure out. The second example is one I'll use for discussion. You can figure out the pattern of a series of random numbers, it just involves probability and that's a discussion for another day.
Ok, the series above is simple as 4n where n is any number greater than or equal to zero. Use any number, like 20, and you will get what that number is in that position is in the series,  1099511627776.
You can go on for ever. Figure out 4 to the power of googol is, for all I care. Or we just say that any answer you get is y.
4n = y
The point I'm trying to make isn't series are fun, but letters are meaningless. Y is a symbol that can be given rules and reason, whether it's mathematical, or I'm texting dumb people with "y u so dumb?"
Symbols gain their power by some from an all powerful, all knowing book (The Dictionary!) or most people give them power by context.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Prutty pictures in da spring.

Some pretty pictures drawn with math for you to enjoy on this Sunday. I'll post the equations I used in Javascript for you to go along with the picture. The one at the top is one I did a few weeks ago, and I can't really remember the equation for it.

The first one is a simple spiral. I'm calling it "Ripples on a pond"  because that's what it looks like to me. It's an Archimedes Sprial with a parametric equation of  x = (3 + 4 * theta) * Cos(theta), y = (1 * theta) * sin(theta), where theta is a series of numbers between 0 and 720 that increases by 0.01. This is giving me a magic eye vibe, honestly. It might be my screen resolution, but I think I can see a bend in the shape o an hour glass on it.

 It would be fun to discuss random patterns within finite possibilites. These pictures are probably nothing new, since they use every day fomulas to make. What makes the pictures fun to make is cranking up the number of lines and seeing what kind of patterns emerge. My computer is a constantly disappointing pile of crap. For whatever reason I can't do a really high count. So enjoy these pictures as something to look at, and enjoy your Sunday.
This looks like an eyeball, right? If you trace the lines, you can see the reflections of light. Uses the parametric eqaution of a circle x = 200 * cos(theta), y = 200 * sin(theta), theta is the tangent of a series that increases by 1.

X is for . . . OMG! I have to leave!

Almost forgot to post today! X is a commonly used stand in for numbers in math. According to some, Descartes is the reason why. He introduced it in one of his many works, and he had been using it years before.
This is a very short post because I have to run, I have a math thing to go to. But I want to use the last three days to do varibles in math because it's a light and easy way to end this intense moth. Also, I have a project I'm working on that needs care and attention.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Witch's Butter


Tremella Mensenterica (A.K.A. Witch's Butter)


Looks kind of like marmalade on a log. If you poke it with a pin the inner juices will pour out. Is more yellow in color.


Legend has it that this is called Witch's Butter because if you found it on your walk way, it ment you were under the hex of a witch. The only way to break the spell was to poke it with a pin to let the juice run out, killing the fungi. It devolps on hardwood that still have the bark. They are parasitic on wood decay fungi, like Stereum or Aleurodiscus. There is a second type of fungi that is also known as Witch's Butter called Dacrymyces palmatus, which is more orange in color and gorows on dead pine trees with the bark stripped off. Both varieties are edible only after they have been steamed and boiled. Can be found over North America, Europe, North Africa, and parts of Asia from May to November. For a more detailed and fun account of this mushroom, visit Tom Volk's Fungus.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Vectors of the Blogosphere.

I thought for V-Day it would be good to explore vectors. But instead of exploring the basics of vectors (They are lines that represent the magnitude of a force in physics. There, I saved you a 30 minute video on youtube) I thought it would be more interesting to explore the surface of the blogosphere riding on the back of mathematical vectors.
A vector in physics represents the magnitude of a force, and there are many ways in which these forces can interact geometrically. But since vectors exist in imaginary 2 dimensional space, mathematicians can represent them with complex numbers. Or numbers. Or pineapples, really, just have a good proof behind you and use pineapples for math. "Mathematics rests on numbers, but is not limited to them" - Why Beauty is Truth.
A vector can be represented in the way of [x,y]. In imaginary space, that represents a point. For shits and giggles though, that can be called point a, and now the vector can be represented by [a]. So what if that point did not exist in imaginary space, but instead resided in the Blogosphere?
In blog-o-space, I will choose myself to represent the first point, not out of narcissism, but because Rene Descartes laid the ground work to determine self existence in his famous work Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting one’s Reason and Seeking Truth in the Sciences (the one that said "I think therefore I am"). If I am a point in blog-o-space, then some of the rules of The Elements apply to the problem at hand. If I am a point, represented by [me], then I can big another blogger for the sake of argument and call them [u]. The blogger u is a complex person full of dreams, desires, and dread and, as a complex person, is the product of a real person and an imaginary person, and therefore is point in space. A vector exists between these two star-crossed bloggers, and the vector can be represented by [me, u]. This is Euclid's 1st postulate:
It is possible to draw a straight line from any point to another point.
Euclid's second postulate claims that we extent this finite line into an infinite line. To do this, we need more points in space. These points are also bloggers in blog-o-space. We'll say that we can extend the line using the bloggers we follow and the bloggers who follow us. For a vector of меня, it is represented as
[me, u, dupree, . . . bloggern]
By describing the blog-o-space in our own geometry, we can assume some other rules in vector anlaysis apply. There exist an infinite amount of vectors through a point. We can add vectors together - If vector меня has a vector length of 3 bloggers and vector твой has a vector length of 5 bloggers, together they make vector свой with a vector length of 8 bloggers. Two vectors intersect at a common point -
меня - [me, u, dupree]  and твой - [u, mark, jessica] intersects at point  u.
From Wikipedia
If the blog-o-space is just a zoomed in version of the Blogosphere, then Euclid's 5th does not apply because this space exist on the surface of a curved object, most likely a sphere. There are no parallel lines, as all lines in spherical geometry are are great circles and intersect at some point. I call this Bacon's Proof from the parlor game of "6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon" and the intersection of points on the Blogosphere can be found in accordance to the rules of the game.
1. Pick a blogger. Sadly, I can not find a blog for Kevin Bacon. This blogger you choose and their corresponding vector will be our test vector.
2. Using your own point, use the "shortest path algorithm"  to plot a vector between yourself and blogger x. Write the vector as [x1, x2, x3, x4,. . . xn], where x is a point in blog-o-space.
3. Continue the first two steps for as long as you want.
What you should find is that all vectors intersect at some point. For example, you the reader and me the reader probably find our vectors intersecting at the A to Z challenge. Or The Insecure Writer's Group.
This can be developed further. If you promote your blog through other means other that the Internet, these readers can be looked at as other dimensions to the sphere. You may able to create objects within this blog-o-space, and rotate them further. Fractals and patterns may emerge from the chaos of the connecting vectors. The possibilities of this geometry are limited to your imagination.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

T-U is for combining posts!

I wanted to write about Thymine and Uracil, but I've very busy working, working on a different project, and playing the distracting game of Fort Conquer on my phone to do the necessary research on these two very complicated chemicals. For now, let's pretend I explained it and it was very moving and passionate and try a different U-T post.
Today's post will be about the wonderful world of Utility Trucks, or Ute's as they are called in New Zealand. I was there for 2 months, and honestly could not figure out what made a truck a Ute, and what made it a truck. I finally decided that pick-ups were Ute's, because no one ever used the word pick-up while I was there.
The trucks were so god-damn cool though! When I see mini-trucks being used for main transportation, I always smile because they are powerful for their size (we used to use 3 cylinder mini-trucks to pull wagons 2 times their size up steep Vermont hills when I was a farmer). But I loved the fact that so many trucks, big and small, were diesel. They trucks needed for roads that were under water or climbed 3000 ft into the air. These trucks looked cool and felt cool when you drove them. There. There is my busy half-assed T-U post. I promise something thought out tomorrow.

Monday, April 22, 2013

S is for sodium acetate

It's time for a Monday Morning Hangover! You might be asking "Oh, my head! Why do I feel like crap? Why do I continue to abuse myself everyday? When did my life go so downhill?"
I can't give you all the answers (suck it up and take some aspirin like rest of us, you baby) but the reason why your head hurts is the subject of today's A  to Z post!
Sodium Acetate is an electrolyte with the chemical formula of CH3COONa or NaOAc for short. It is the sodium salt of acetic acid, which many of you may know as Vinegar. It is used in many things, like flavoring for salt and vinegar potato chips, or neutralizing sulfuric acid waste streams.
Now, the real reason for a hangover headache is speculated, moving from dehydration to cogeners, byproducts of alcohol fermentation. But it is worth noting that studies done by injecting rats with 20 to 60 mg per body weight of sodium acetate caused the same photosensitive headaches that occur during migraines and hangovers. This simulated the oxidation of ethanol in the liver to create acetate. None of this information is helping you feel less queasy though.
As it turns out, Sodium Acetate is surprisingly easy to make in your kitchen, in case you want to become an ametuer chemist. When you a purified form, you can create hot ice, which has a crystallization process that is really cool to watch. It's an exothermic reaction, which means that it produces energy as apposed to ice which draws in energy in order to form. So it becomes hot when it begins to crystallize. Really, crystals from a science standpoint are pretty damn cool.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aC-KOYQsIvU - Watch a video on how to make Hot Ice.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

R is for Saturday morning posts

R is for reality, whether or not it exists.
     In science, you are asked to look at the world around you, make observation about how the world works, and use math as a way to reason out predictions. But, what if our observations on the world around us are unreliable? We rely on our senses to relay information to us, but we can often fool the senses and the brain. Our sense are not infallible. Look at the classic "rubber hand illusion" and observe how our sense of body ownership can be tricked. Illusions and magic tricks have amazed us for centuries. What I'm trying to say is can you trust own observation of the world. How can we trust ourselves? We can compare these ideas to the observation of others, and build a view of the world from that. In a way this may work, because as one person we can only see one part of life, but others will also give us more pices to the puzzles.
We are put upon this earth and asked to sort out the chaos and madness around us, yet the tools we are given may or may not be defective. How do we know this is a real world, or is this just a world that we create for ourselves? Do other minds exist, or is the idea of being an individual an illusion? At our level, the actions of others seem chaotic and messy, but when we change perspective, what was once random now makes sense. An example would be viewing our actions from a historical view, or seeing how people move from a birds eye view.
Patterns emerge in the chaos, and the world begins to make sense.
Well, enjoy your Saturday. Listen to the Kingston Trio.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Q is for Quaternions.

Science week in Philadelphia this week! They have stuff for kids and adults! Go! I'll be hanging out at some events.

Going from phi, a simple concept most people with no interest with math understand, to quaternions, which actually has three complex numbers in it.

Quaternion Basics

A quaternion is a four-element vector that can be used to encode any rotation in a 3D coordinate system.  Technically, a quaternion is composed of one real element and three complex elements, and it can be used for much more than rotations.
There you, a basic introduction to quaternions. You see, they're a vector. . . which have elements . . . this one has four . . .  complex elements. . . mumble. . .what the hell does that paragraph say?
From the beginning complex numbers are scary. For a complex number, you need an imaginary number, the memory of which might haunt your nightmares if you ever took high school math. Remember the square root of negative one, except you can't get the square root of a negative number? This is a hour long conversation in itself, but for the purpose of discussion forget about high school math. All I want you to remember is x + yi = [x,y] which I hope you remember from third grade is points on a Cartesian plane. Yes, imaginary numbers can be used to plot points in imaginary space, which you might recognize as a place that unicorns and dragons live. I love the history of imaginary numbers because it's full of sarcastic mathematicians saying sarcastic things like "Well, since you can't square a negative number, then you can call it whatever you want! It doesn't really exist!" or "If you can just add complex numbers together to plot imaginary space, why don't you just do it to infinity?"
xi is called a complex number, because it's dark and mysterious and it will never let you in, even though you just want to love it! Also, i by itself is meaningless. You can't add it to itself, i + i, because it's the square root of negative one, so it's pretty useless. You have to multiply it by itself for it to actually do anything. I know this doesn't make sense, I might have to write a "history of i" soon. It's one of my favorite stories. So x+yi allows us to plot objects in 2 dimensional space. A quaternion allows us to plot points in 3D. A mathematician got the idea to add a number to three complex numbers in order to graph 3D space, which led to a friend asking him what's to stop someone from adding them forever. And now octonions exist, which are 7 or so complex numbers. *sigh* We can't even picture a dimension like that!
A quaternion looks like a + bi + cj + dk, where i, j, and k are all imaginary numbers. You can structure it like a vector, which I'll talk about on V-day, and you'll get points in 3D space. So you can build Dreamatorium Community style, and use quaternions to figure out where everything is.
Really sorry about this post. Complex numbers and imaginary numbers are hard for anyone to grasp. If you have any questions, send me a message on Google+ or ask about it in the comments.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

The golden ration comes in at P.

Phi, golden ratio or Divine droportions in a Penguin
The question of whether math imitates nature or if the inverse is true has been a question often asked by mathematical philosophers for ages. When you look at nature long enough, patterns begin to emerge: cells and bacteria multiply according to certain formulas, unless x happens, and then the pattern changes slightly as it moves on; flowers and trees grow in fractal patterns as they grow; and then there's Phi.
There is always some type of math people who don't like math know, and for the spiritual, that is phi. Phi is a ratio that is described as (1 + sqrt(5))/2, or an irregular number of 1.6180339887. . . and that ratio is often found in nature. If you were to encase a creature in box, more often than not that box would fit the proportions of phi.  Our little friend the penguin there demonstrates that his markings fall along his phi ratio. Flowers grow their petals at an angle of phi. As a logarithmic spiral, it can be seen in sea shells, pine cones, and snails. So what does it mean?
 It can mean whatever you want to mean. Your world is product of the conclusions you draw from experience and the influence of the world around us. I know what a world full of chaos and order means to me at this point in my life, but that's not to say it will not change as the years go on. In fact, I expect it to.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Omphalotus Olearius


Omphalotus Olearius (A.K.A. The Jack-O-Lantern Mushroom)


A bright orange mushroom that has gills that glow in the dark. Visually similar to chanterelles.


They are poisonous! Symptoms include blurred vision, cramps, and diarrhea. They are not lethal, but really, that does not sound like a lot of fun. Look at that picture above though. It glows in the dark. This is due to an enzyme called luciferase that acts on a compound called lucifern, also found in fireflies.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Non-Greek Mathematics

From Wikipedia
The 20th century was a wild time for mathematics, and don't let any one tell you differently. In fact, scientific advances often go hand in hand with mathematical advances, and you can find leaps and bonds in any century, really. I'm calling this Non-Greek Mathematics because of how math broke away from the early Greek laws in the early 19th century, and again in the early 20th century.
The story goes for that when Euclid wrote his book "The Elements" that it seemed to bother him and every mathematician after him that he didn't spend as much time and care proving his fifth postulate: 

If the sum of the two interior angles equals 180°, the lines are parallel and will never intersect.
 So for years mathematicians worked on this postulate, trying to prove it in anyway possible. Then, around the end of the 18th century, a mathematician came up with an idea to disprove one of the other four. Honestly, this is akin to proving stories from any holy text are wrong. It's said that as a good mathematician, Einstein had read The Elements and carried around a copy. That book is what a lot of modern math is based on. But, some of the postulates were not always correct.
In the 1820's Nikolai Lobachevsky devolved an imaginary geometry in which two parallel lines would eventually intersect. This proposal helped support the idea of Hyperbolic geometry. Janos Bolyai developed trigonometry, circles and spheres that could exist outside of 2 dimensional Euclidean geometry. And Georg Riemann proposed the basis for spherical and elliptical geometry. This is important because these ideas show themselves in how light moves across a warped space-time. It's important because spherical geometry helps circumnavigate the globe. It's important because we can describe fractal math as Fractal Geometry.
Later, in the early 1900's, logic became an obsession with the world as a whole. A detective was created that solved mystery with logic, and he became very popular. A mathematician wrote three famous books, depending on what world you live in. In the world of pop culture, Lewis Carrol wrote the Alice books, but as a mathematician he wrote a book on linear logic that a teacher of mine swore was the greatest book on linear logic ever written. The puzzles are what you expect; just completely off the wall strange. Lots of fun though, you should check it out if you like logic puzzles.
During this time, many mathematicians began to experiment with logic and developed their own rules for logic that went against Aristotle's principles. My favorite is Kurt Godel who seems to be intent on finding paradoxes in everything. Logic created the computing languages and strange counting systems (Binary, Hexadecimal) that we know and love today. To go deeper into both non-Greek systems would find us neck deep in mathematical theory. So I'll leave it for another time.

Monday, April 15, 2013

M is for music

"I got it, I got it. Last words - I dig music. (Beat) I'm on drugs!" - Russell Hammond, Almost Famous
 I've always like listening to music. For the longest time in and after high school, I made it my goal to become a walking encyclopaedia of music. It was mostly classic rock, though, and my musical tastes have expanded since then. I no longer keep factoids of classic rock history in my head, that space is needed for other things. I've shared some of what I listen to on this blog, but that's mostly the classical stuff I listen to that keeps me focused on writing. Lately, I've found my self listening to more noise rock bands, like the Velvet Underground or the Sonic Youth, probably because the works of Philip Glass and Frank Zappa showed me the world of avant garde music. It's a nice change of structure. The minimalist sounds of John Cage keep me motivated and focused to the end of a post. Sometimes, though, I need loud, angry punk to get me through a task. The sounds of the Sex Pistols, the Dead Kennedys, or even Iggy Pop can give the energy to move myself through a task. Sometimes I crave the drug fueled lyrics of the Rolling Stones "Sticky Fingers" or the Red Hot Chili Pepper's "Blood Sugar Sex Magik". The doom, gloom and fear of the album "Paranoid" by Black Sabbath has always been a favorite of mine. I used to sit down, listen to Pink Floyd's "The Wall" through headphones, and write and draw for hours. So much music, and so little time.
I can pretend that the only reason why I care about music is in it's connections to math, but that's really only a perk. Music fills the world with sound and, like math, it finds it base in the beauty of nature. We try to explain the world around us because it seems life makes no sense. We try to find patterns in nature with mathematics, recreate the visual beauty through art, relate life experiences through stories, and try to fill the world with sounds based on what's around us. We create, and that creation is art. So on this Musical Monday, stop and listen to the sounds around you.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

L is for Logarithmic Spirals

This text is displayed if your browser does not support HTML5 Canvas.
Oh wow! I am so proud of this! Sorry I'm late, but I was playing with the draw function in HTML5. The picture you see is a spiral I drew! There are many different shapes and sizes that they can come in, and they follow a pattern of r=e^(a*theta), where r is the distance from the origin, e is Euler's Number (about 1.618282) and a is the angle. I lied above, what I drew is an Archimedes spiral with an equation of r=a+b(theta). I know, it should be a logarithmic function, but I've already spent a day on this trying to get this right. It's easier, especially for someone with little programing experience. This spiral uses (1 + sqrt(5))/2 as it's angle. Why? Well, I'll explain it on P day.

Friday, April 12, 2013

K is for kreb cycle. Move along. Nothing to see here.

Ok, K. A nice science K post for the evening. I've been meaning to brush up on the Krebs cycle for a while now, so today is a good excuse to do it.
We have questions. It's part of being alive. This is definitely the beginning of a rant I would love to get into, but I'll hold back for now and it feels as if we are taught the what to think and what the answers are, but not always how to get there. Some the story of how they came across the answer is fun. Sometimes the people are interesting. Sometimes, the story helps people understand the concept (I'm looking at you, Imaginary numbers!)
The Krebs Cycle (or the citric acid cycle) is really hard to wrap your head around if you don't speak chemistry (alpha-ketoglutarate?) but it's interesting to think about because cells are fascinating once you start learning about them. I personally find the computational side a great time, but cells exist in living organisms and reproduce. Have you ever wondered how a cell gets energy, or even if a cell needs energy?
There are two different types of processes, an anaerobic process, and aerobic process. The Krebs cycle is the second step in the three step cellular resperation phase that occurs after glycolysis, which doesn't use oxygen. I'm told that the discovery of this first step happened by mistake, which is definitely something I'm looking up later. Anyways, many worked to try and understand how oxygen played a part in celulluar resperation, until Hans Adolf Krebs was able to able to piece together the research that came before him to come up with the steps to the citric acid cycle.
It's an 8 step process that produces NADH+H and FADH, vital compents for ATP whcih provides energy for cells. I quickly losing focus here, so I going to wrap this up so I can go watch TV and drink beer. Can Adam Intrigue A Super Foxy Mama Okay! There's a way to remeber the steps. And you should read this, because my ADHD has taken hold. It's time for me to run naked through the streets.
Busy day again. My K post will be up late. Stay tune!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

J is for edible mushrooms

J is for Jelly leaf fungus. I work with mushrooms, I should talk about mushrooms.
From Wikipedia


Tremella Foliacea (AKA: Jelly Leaf Fungus)


A large, lettuce like fungus, with ruffled, irregular leaf like lobes1. A cinnamon brown to purplish brown color.


Truthfully, I picked this because I though it's picture looked like red leaf lettuce, which I have more experience with. This variety of mushroom is edible, and is a parasitic mush room that can be found on the mycelium or fruiting bodies of fungi found on the branches of broad leaf trees or conifers. It's said it doesn't taste like much, but research from 1973 suggest that it may have anti-tumor properties. It can be found in the northern hemisphere from July to November, after rainstorms.
 http://www.fnanaturesearch.org/index.php?option=com_naturesearch&task=view&id=1931 http://www.mushroomfarm.com/mushroom-species/jelly-fungi/tremella-foliacea.html

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

I is for exteremly late

It's hot and sticky today. I was going to write about ions, but imagination in the realm of whatever job your doing is way more important. Creativity is an important kill, and the imagination is like a muscle. If you don't use it, it can get weaker over time. In my mind, some of the most successful and well known mathematicians and scientists were creative. Like Lewis Carrol. Or any thinker who can put strange and abstract ideas together and forge a pathway for mankind to walk down for generations.
There is my I post. I'm gonna take a cold shower and relax after this day. Did you know if your job has farming or agriculture in the title, it means the summers get Busy!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Just some thoughts I had on a wonderful spring day.

I went for a walk to ask myself questions about life, love, and the journey I am on. I was not alone on this walk, because I had the poets, philosphers, dreamers, and teachers of ages past to ponder this question with me. We argued and bickered and agreed on many points, but like so many walks before it, we came to no conculsions.
Mathematicans before me have built equations to explain the universe and the human expeience. What is possible in a human's lifetime is limitless. The poets and philosophers have explained that any given point in a person life holds the possibility for any event concived by the colective mind of a hundred thinkers. We interact with many other people, objects, and concepts on daily basis; and these interactions is what what make our minds dynamic, and it's what makes us alive. We are change. We are a creature that is naturally curious, and that curiousity is what inspires us to interact with our surroundings. These interactions build more questions, which lead to new answers, which builds technology, science and culture! But in the end, these results make new questions, so we find new answers, gain new new insight and technology, and what we have really build is a never-ending loop.
Our realations with those that we keep in our lives is something that is never black and white. I once saw women as goddesses when I was a teenager, and later I saw them as something to be feared when I saw the goddesses wrath. They are people though, and my relationship with the opposite sex is just as complex and confusing at times as my relationship with my friends, parents, and acquaintances. That is to say, I can guess at their motives, but I will never understand their minds. Hell, I will never understand my mind. I will never understand relativity or reality. There will always be too many questions and never enough answers.
I suppose I can satisfy myself with what I have. Find myself a good wife, in a good neighborhood while I work for a good paycheck. But if I do, would I find myself fit to take walks with the poets, philosophers, dreamers and teachers of ages past?

H is for hyperbolic shapes.

Hyperbola is the word of the day. With math discussions, it's hard to get people to care. "Oh, numbers. I'm not good with numbers. Therefore, I don't like math." Of course, my straw man just used logic. Of course, if numbers make people confused, the words "conic sections" tend to make their eyes glaze over while their mind retreats to a happy place.
So let's forget the "math is fun" section, and lets just talk about hyperbolas. Nothing new and fancy here. Where to start? Let's talk about their occurrence in nature. Math is a language to describe patterns we see in nature, correct? Here is something interesting to think about: a sonic boom shockwave has the shape of a cone, and the intersection with the ground forms a hyperbola. The greatest teaching device know to modern man, the Pringle, has a saddle shape consistent of a hyperbolic paraboloid with the equation z = x^2/a^2-y^2/b^2. Also, did you know Pringles make a great baby-sitting tool? If you buy three cans of pringles, duck tape, hairspray and a lacrosse ball, you can feed the kids Pringles and use the cans to make a cannon to teach them about newtons laws of motion? Something to think about today.

Monday, April 8, 2013


G is for guanine, which means I'm 75% done with the nucleobases.
Now, you might be thinking about some of these chemicals "This is really interesting, but where can I get some?" I'm glad you ask, aspiring amateur chemist! Well, you see, it can be found in many natural forms such as guano, spider excrement (How in the world do you collect spider poop? An answer for another time, probably), urea, and fish scales. Even though guanine was first discovered in guano of sea birds in 1844, the man won't show me any books or techniques on how they did it. I tell ya, it's a plot is what it is! A plot to keep science to the rich elite with degrees! *Cough* Sorry.
Well, I wish I started this post a little earlier, then I could have found some useful information. This should get posted. So this is what I've come up with so far. Guanine is soluble in water, and has a melting point of 220oC. Guanine crystals is what gives fish scales their shiny colors. You can dissolve fish scales into glue. Now internet, I need your help figuring out the rest of this puzzle, because when you work together, you can be much smarter than the average human. Why would should this information be known? In order to create a whole generation of amueter chemists who can in turn build a new world of science and understanding.
Other Links and refrences:

Saturday, April 6, 2013


F is for fractal, a mathematical pattern often found in nature. Often, when I tell biologists that coolest part of biology is the fractals and the math, they look at me like I have two heads (sigh). What you see on the left is a Sierpinski triangle that can induce seizures. If your high school math was like mine, then the triangle was first introdution to fratcals, along with that tree.
Have you looked at a Queen Ann's Lace flower? (Looks like hemlock flowers?)  If you study it, you can see the the fractal pattern. Stems break out of the top, and become smaller and smaller, forming that beautiful lace look. It shows up in pine-cones, trees, and even bacterial growth follows fractal patterns. It what got me excited to start working as a mycology lab flunkie. Here's where I got the image. http://curvebank.calstatela.edu/sierpinski/1deposit2sierp.gif

Friday, April 5, 2013

E is for not reading about science today.

Taking a break from the research and the learning from the last few posts to just write something relaxing for my brain. "E" for today has nothing to do with the science and philosophers and propaganda of the last few days, but it poses a personal mystery for me. Why do people from Russia come to this site looking for "the earliest"? The first time I saw it, I figured it was spam. By the third day, I became amused. It's cool to see other people from other countries and cultures reading what you wrote. However, when the post they are coming to see becomes the most viewed thing on my site within two weeks, I become very confused. This definitely goes back to my insecurity of "Why is everyone looking at me?" I talked about on Wednesday.
Isn't it cool though how international this internet thing is? I've spent the first week of the challenge reading posts of people from Spain, India, and the UK. I'm reading things from people all over the country, like Alaska, California, and Hawaii. And using stuff like Skype, you can verbally chat with people in different time zones! I wonder what the world will be like in 20 years as a result.
Если вы ищете России "ранним", а затем привет! Пожалуйста, присылайте мне ссылки на блоги России читать, потому что мой русский плох.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

D is for DEATH!

Dihydrogen Monoxide! The Unknown Killer!

Hello, friends! I am taking this A-to-Z post to spread the word about an unknown scourge - DIHYDROGEN MONOXIDE! For too long, this killer has been allowed into our homes, our schools, our work places, AND EVEN OUR BEDROOMS! The government does nothing to stop it! Websites and petitions have been created to spread the word, but they are treated like a joke! According to research done by the non- profit group DHMO.org, Dihydrogen Monoxide (DHMO) is involved in numerous industrial incidents each year. It is a major component in acid rain, and high levels are found in creeks and streams. Despite recent bans on dumping dangerous chemicals, farms and industry are still releasing into the environment. Legislation won't stop it. The government will not ban it, despite the known risk. It is our job to spread the word!To learn more, visit its Wikipedia page for more links and information: Dihydrogen Monoxide

Did you know?

--->It only takes 5ml to KILL!

--->It causes cancer!

--->It could be in your Home!

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

C is for more Chemistry! Oh, and I'm insecure too.

I thought that I would give this month a loose theme, so today is about cytosine (remember, because A was was for Adenine?) Get it? It's also a part of DNA! Which is a part of you! So really, this month, I plan on explaining the four chemicals that make up you, ipso facto I'm explaining you!
Cytosine pairs with Guanine. With Adenine, I just talked about caffeine and sleep, so today, I'll discuss what makes cytosine a nucleotide and a little about base pairing. Nucleotides are made up of one sugar molecule, one phosphate and a base. In that classic double helix structure you've seen everywhere, the sugar and the phosphate make the backbone of the structure while the bases connect with each other. Cytosine, a pyrimidine, and Guanine, a purine, will connect with each other with a weak hydrogen bond. This bond can be easily broken by the Helicase enzyme, which I simply remember with this pickup line - "Baby, if I were an enzyme, I'd be Helicase so I could unzip your genes."

It's also Insecure Writer's Wednesday, put on by Alex J.Cavanuagh. Really, my insecurity comes from everyone staring at me this month. I signed up for this A to Z thing, and I expected to see an increase in views, but I was not expecting this. I guess I'd make a horrible author. "What do you mean people are reading my book? I can't deal with this! I'm going to hide in the mountains."

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B is for Bertrand Russell

"If the matter is one that can be settled by observation, make the observation yourself. Aristotle could have avoided the mistake of thinking that women have fewer teeth than men, by the simple device of asking Mrs. Aristotle to keep her mouth open while he counted. He did not do so because he thought he knew." - Bertrand Russell.
I was hanging out in a used book store, buying books on math, when it was suggested that I should give Bertrand Russell a try. I found a book called "Mathematics and the Imagination" and was told if I like mathematics and philosophy, I should check him out. I would extend the same suggestion to everyone else, and add that the man had great wit.
The above quote comes from "An Outline of Intellectual Rubbish". In it he attempts to find the rationality of man, and only succeeds in finding the folly in everything from the ancient Greeks, religion, politics, secularism, pacifists, aggressive people, and really just about anyone. It is home to many, many good quotes as well. I'm not kidding, this essay is great.

Among some of his gems in the essay is a part about spending time with people who disagree with you. Honestly, so often I forget that people have different opinions then myself. Naturally, I want to stay away from "toxic" people whose opinions just seem to hold me back. These people can be a blessing though. Contrary to what I like to believe sometimes, I am not the greatest thing in the world, or universe, or even the greatest thing in this state. I have flaws, and when others are used correctly, they can help point out those flaws. Other opinions show you that world is dynamic, it is change. Mostly though, it's what reminds that the world is not a figment of my own imagination.

Besides writing essays, he was also a mathematician. He wrote some classics on logic in the early 1900's, including Principia Mathematica, in which he and Alfred North Whitehead attempted to describe a set of mathematic truths in which all of math could be proven. Kurt Godel later prove with his incompleteness therom that this was not possible.

Here is his essay
Here is Principia Mathematica
And here is a dog trying to stay awake

Monday, April 1, 2013

Much Ado about Caffeine.

Wow. I just got my first glance at the first day of the A to Z challenge. There is a lot of diversity out there it seems. So it's time for me to post my A post for the month.
A is for Adenine, a nucleobase that pairs with Thymine. That's right, my first post and it's about chemicals. But wait, this is important! C5H5N5 is it's name, it's a nucleotide that makes our DNA.That is it pretty important in itself, because it makes us exist. It's the quad-decimal code that makes us, us, as apposed to a tree or a duck.
Doing some quick research on the subject though, leads to other things that the chemical is part of. When adenine forms a bond with a ribose sugar molecule, it forms Adenosine. It is also a part of it's own important processes, like energy transfer as adenosine triphosphate (ATP) or adenosine diphosphate (ATP). This post need to be short, though, so what I want to talk about is the use of adenosine to promote sleep and caffenine keeping you awake.
Did you know that reading blog posts about adenosine can put you to sleep? It's true! It's mostly a bunch of words you don't understand, written in uninteresting ways. Besides that though, adenosine (abbreviated as Ado[1]) has been heavily linked to sleeping in ways other articles. A short summary of it is that for every hour that you stay awake, adenosine levels in the brain increase, and attach to the receptors in the brain. This causes that drowsy feeling. Caffeine chemicals look a lot like adenosine, so the consumption causes caffeine to attach to these same cell receptors. It has a reverse effect on the cells, causing them to speed up instead of slowing down. For a more in depth look into sleep and Ado, look here. For those of you that don't speak science, but want to read a little more about coffee and science, look here. And here is a link to some music.