Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Get healthy or DIE!

Hey! It's that time again! The sun is out for long periods of time and, if you don't live in Vermont, all the snow is gone finally. Any attempts to stay inside is met with accusations of being "anti-social" or "a vampire". But months of staying inside having taken their toll, so chances are good that you do not look good in a bathing suit.
It's time to get healthy. The summer is the perfect time to do it too. No more using the cold as an excuse to not go outside and run, walk, or bike ride. The outdoors is calling your name. The farmers markets have open up and you can go ride out to get healthy food from local people. Did you know by supporting your local business you increase pride in the community? If you increase pride, then you increase your chances of turning your local football team into the Wolverines when the communist invade. Buy local and don't the damn dirty reds win when they invade.
Back to healthy eating and healthy living. Really, there's a lot to be said about it, and not all of it I'm behind. I like living, but living forever seems over rated. But as writers, being healthy will help with creativity which is
Add exercise to your daily routine. When you pick something up, squat down and pick it up like it's fifty pounds. If you walk there, then do it. I'm a mathematician and biologist. I'm really the last person you should come to for advice. I'm setting my own goals to get in shape. I want to bike to work every day, shop at the farmer markets, and eat better. And if all that fails, I'll try Lucky cigarettes.

Friday, May 24, 2013

The world of 42 on the 24th.

Finally, a platform that I can introduce my logic to the world!
It has been said that 42 is the answer to life, the universe and everything. Of course, people who read the book know that humor and plot came from the fact the question is not known. It's similar to the question "Why is a raven like a writing desk?". They are both silly, and they both lack something important to make them a real question and a real answer. 42 has no question, and "Why is a raven like a writing desk?" has no answer.
This answer does not fit in with what the poets and song writers have told me what the answer is though: Love. Love is many things, according to the great romantics of history. It's all I need, it's a battlefield, and it's sweeter than honey. Most importantly, it's answer that has no question. So, can the ultimate answer be both love and 42? If love is 42, then yes. 42 can represent love, and love can be the value of 42.
With the substitution property, we can place 42 as the answer to all sorts of questions. "Why do we do crazy things? 42." or perhaps "42 is all you need." The second one brings me to my next point. Sometimes, people come to my door with what they call a "Book of Truths". Inside of this book, is all sorts of morals, laws and stories on the history of the world. To them, God is love. And some people may realize where I'm going with this, and others may hit the unfollow button at this point. Ahem. Through the use of the transitive property, A=B, B=C, therefore A=C, we can logically conclude that since God is love, love is the answer, and the answer is also 42, then God is 42. Which, according to the statement "42 is all you need", would make sense.
42 does have some importance. It is the only number universally retired in baseball. 4.20 is 4.2 on a calculator, and 420 is important number in the Modern American Stoner culture. But, like God and love, 42 is unquantifiable and cannot be analyzed. 42 falls apart when logic is applied, and therefore must be taken in faith. 42 is truth, 42 is wonder, magic and passion.
Hope you enjoy my towel day post. Go out and spread the word of 42.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


I talk about deep and intellectual things, I guess. But you know what, Star Trek. I am ready for this movie. Most of you have problely have seen it, but I haven't and I am so ready to watch this!
I used to watch movies that were smart. Pssssssh. It sucks trying to keep up with artistry and sometimes pretentious things. I really like dumb comedy, geeky comic books and comic book movie.
So yeah, nothing amazing to read here if you read a science blog.
I'm doing this all wrong. I'm going to start blogging about parties, booze, women, and pot. It will all be very safe, maybe some pills here and there. Got to get away from this nerd persona.
Tune in next time for "The best drunkest sluts at the best party schools!"

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Counting in Wonderland

You know what you do if you have an interest in math? You make up you're way to count. Be warned, this is not for the faint of heart.
I have to say counting in decimal isn't much fun. A lot of you may know how to count in binary, some of you may know something like hexadecimal or octal, and the true power nerds may know something obscure like Mayan counting or Babylonian. What's more fun than trying to count in these already established systems? Making up our own and learning the process as we go along.
When I was wee little lad, I used to enjoy learning code and making up my own to share with my friends. Of course, when you're young, your codes are nothing more than swapping one letter for another. That's how we'll start today, by using the symbols of the alphabet to represent numbers. The first letter and number in our counting system will be A. A will not represent the singular. A will be nothing. If we say we have A of something, then we have none of it. This might be confusing to some, but the idea of having nothing represented symbolically is an old idea that is fairly useful, to put it lightly. If I have a singular orange, then I'll have B orange. If I place B orange down, then the result is CD is B more than C. Now we can continue to extend this logic Z, which is B more then Y, C more than X, and more than D.
What comes after Z? This is a number far from infinity, you will hopefully reach an age older than Z, and I hope you will have way more money than Z. It may do for a silly paper on math, but for everyday use, it's useless.
Let us go back to A. In roman numerals, you change the sign at significant numbers to reduce the amount of  "I"s you have to draw. I can't add signs, but I can add rules! Mwahahahahaha. The first spot, you multiply the number by B. If you add another spot, BA, that B is now equal to BA = Z + B. We can now call that the "BA" spot. And you can extend it further, BAA, is equal to ZZ + B. You can do this for as many numbers as you like. As you extend the spots, any place will be equal to (Z + B) Ж where Ж is the number of characters. For example, (Z + B)G would be BAAAAA. (Z + B)J would be BAAAAAAAA. BB is B more than BA. CA is (Z + B) * C. CB is B more than CA, and CZ is Z more than CA and is B less than DA.
We can create a decimal point by using division. A.B  is equal to B/BA. A.AB = B/BAA. And logically this can be extended outwards.
This is probably confusing and silly to most people. Quite honestly, I've been reading about Lewis Carrol recently, so this in part is inspired by him. Also, this was an old puzzle I used to post to dating sites when I got bored, and I decided it was time to bring it out. What I really want to work on with it though, is how math works within this set. This uses basic logic to set up rules. After reading a book about quaternions, I was curious how to set up a mathematical system based on any other system of logic. That essay will be coming at some point, but for now I'll set up the numbers first.
Enjoy this alphadecimal system.  Feel free to play with it a little, and post and questions or comments below.

Friday, May 10, 2013


This a day late and a dollar short, but the world is great and so are you. I hope you spend your weekend like a rockstar, and you enjoy every minute on this big blue ball of earth. Shine on, you imaginary numbers.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Amateur Scientists! - Russell W. Porter

I want to try writing some biographies about scientists. Chiefly scientists who fall in the realm of more amateur, because science isn't just for the people with degrees and millions of dollars. It's an art based of off the observation of nature, asking questions like why and how, and using reasoning to begin to look for those answers. Anyone with a curious mind or the desire to have a curious mind can begin to take steps to look for their own answers and draw their own conclusions through a process of trial and error.
After that speech, the first person I want to talk about is Russell W. Porter, who did have a degree from MIT. I choose him for two reasons. The first reason is he was born and raised in Springfield, Vermont which was literally right next door to where I grew up in Rockingham Vermont. I had never heard his name until two years ago, when my grandfather was giving away his library of books and one of Porter's books was in there. We'll get back to the book in a minute. I partly never heard of him because I went to Springfield's rival school, Bellows Falls, so we choose not to talk about them. Both towns had a rich history around the turn of the century, Bellows Falls was the biggest paper producer, had the richest woman in the world, Hetty Green, and the first canal in the Western Hemisphere. Springfield had James Hartness, who was an engineer and former Vermont govener, and a manufacturing industry so large the town was on Hitler's list of places to bomb in WW2. And they Porter. The second reason is his work in amateur astronomy.
Porter was born in 1871. He studied engineering at University of Vermont and Norwich, and later studied art and architecture at MIT. He became a professor of architecture, but that was only one of his many talents.
His art and drawings, shown to the left, made the cutaway style of drawing popular (more here). But wait, he did more! He was an arctic explorer as well. He volunteered his efforts as an artist to the voyages of Fredrick Cook's voyage to Greenland in 1893, and made several more trips to the arctic, sometimes as an artist and surveyor, sometimes as an astronomical expert.
It's the astronomy I would like to talk about, because his reputation in the field is greater. You see, the book I was talking about was called Amateur Telescope Making which is a collection of articles he wrote for Scientific American. He noticed a lack of books and articles in America at the time about how amateurs could build their own telescopes, and began to use books from Europe to write articles remedying the problem. In it, he describes how to build lenses for any sort of telescopes in your basements. Telescope were not cheap at the time, and they still cost a bit of money today. By building one, someone interested in the universe could not only have a good quality scope, but, with practice, they could build one that was better than what is offered. He was a founder of Stellafane of Springfield, which is still around today as the oldest Amateur club in the US and now one of the oldest in world. They give lessons there on building your own mirrors, which I took part in.
He later worked for the war effort by drawing cutaway drawings for military equipment in his later years. On the day he died in 1949, he had been working on a lens in his basement.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Reflections on the Challenge

Well, that was a nice break.
This is late, but here are my thoughts and reflections on A to Z.  It was fun. I was exposed to many other blogs to read, even some science blogs that update! I've already put up some of my thoughts and reflections. These are my thoughts as a whole. This was my first year participating in this, and I didn't really have a theme. Sure, I mostly posted about science and math, but I try to do that anyways on daily basis. And, well, some days I just wrote about random things if I was busy or lazy that day, like my E post, or my M post for that matter. It was tough trying to keep up and on top of it, I know I'm not the only person who has other obligations besides this blog. In fact, going through the people I follow, some people seem to still be finishing up.
So what knowledge did I gain from this?
People responded well to my first post, and my last post about mushrooms, but not the other one. I want to go back to some of the post I did and start to figure out what I did well, and what didn't work. I know that my V post did so well because I was so proud of it I posted it everywhere I could. It payed off. Others, like the mushrooms, sort-of did well but I think they need some work. See, this is the stuff I like to work on. I used to stomp around when my posts where I'm tired and writing to get rid of thoughts did well, because I'm not a fan of it. So I like it when I write something about vectors, mushrooms or non-Greek mathematics and it does really well.
I learned that I need to have a point when I'm writing. I did my post on the Krebs Cycle, and no one read it. That's fine, I hated it, and I know now that it was partly because I sat down and just started writing. I had no destination in mind, no goal, I just wrote. So it goes everywhere and can't decide what it wants to talk about. I almost ran into this problem again when I tried writing my first post after the A to Z challenge. Probably because I spent a month writing short posts, I figured out why I was so unsatisfied and preceded to hand-write 4 pages which I then posted. Yeah, it's long.
I tried some programing I've been working on this month. I drew some pictures to post. I got out of this long deep funk I had about writing by having fun and experimenting. I'm going to lay off trying anything wild for a while though, and go back to practicing for the next time a month long challenge happens.
I said it before, but I want to try posting at least twice a week this month to see how it does. Now, when I say Tuesday and Thursday, I mean later on those days. Yeah. So keep your eyes open for that. I want to start making more of a social network presence (except for Facebook, maybe I'll make some sort of page soon, but I like a little less than 200 friends). As I get around to it, they'll go up here. Also, I want to do another blog hop challenge thing. It was fun and exciting, I liked seeing new readers, and I get better as a writer when people read what I write (go figure).
Before I forget, I want to say that I'm disgusted. The winter Olympics are in Russia this winter, and like many countries that get the Olympics, they are working to make they're country beautiful to visitors. People who've been keeping up with my site recently might see where this is going.
Did you know it's easier to catch and kill stray dogs then to put them in a shelter? Moscow is budgeting $54,000 to exterminating stray dogs. And they have a reputation of doing it in cruel ways. To sum up both articles, funding shelters would put a strain on the cities finances, but they can budget money to kill strays. And in the past, authorities handed out air-rifles with poison to volunteers to kill the strays. People have pointed out that this does not solve any problems, in fact the rat population increases when the stray population decreases. So click above to find out how to donate and spread the word.

Friday, May 3, 2013


I signed up for the "A to Z aftermath thing", but I really want a break from A to Z and posting more than anything. My reflections will go up tomorrow.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

A young man's Journey with music.

I spent a month having to do research on a topic in a rushed sort of way. So today I want to stretch my self mentally and talk about albums and music I like.
This is ten albums I find myself listening to over and over again. This is not my favorite songs, or musicians. These are albums that I've listen to a hundred times and still can listen to today.
Let's start this journey with Pink Floyd's  The Wall. Just a fair warning, the first few albums are albums you may have heard of or have been praised by every generation since they came out. The reason for this is that I did not like what was being played on the radio when I was in high school. I did love classic rock because I could dig through my dad's old albums and discover songs I couldn't hear on the radio. I would stay up all night and read wiki links on these bands and memorize facts about these long dead bands. The Wall was one of the first albums I bought, but I thought it was boring save for Another Brick, Part 2. I ignored it for the longest time in favor for another CD I bought called Guns and Rose's Live Era. Then I discovered Dark Side of The Moon.
It introduced me to the idea of concept album, and how you could have a group of songs around a central theme. I thought it was amazing, so I did more research into the band. The Wall is a story, and is a well written story. It is the reason why I still buy the album, and not just the song to this today. The way the music would segway into the next song or how each song was just a peice of the story showed me what music could do. And I used to put on a good set of headphones and write. Sometimes I drew. It was the perfect back ground music to relax to. It is a long way from Dark Side or any of the albums after. In my opinion, it was the height of Roger Water's song writing abilities.
So I began to explore the other artists on the radio. I took a class senior year called "History of Rock" which spent a chapter on the Beatles. And I discovered  Disraeli Gears by Cream. This and the White Album were on my car sterio during my trip to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. This makes my list, though, because of my first and only full year of college, when I would hand girls my CD case to look through. To this day, I still don't know why they always got excited over this album. I think it has something to do with Eric Clapton.
It's great. You should listen to it if you haven't. It's heavy before heavy was a thing, and it's trippy as all hell. And it's last track Mother's Lament was plain fun. Story goes that critics didn't think much of it when it came out, leading to the demise of the group. But, it inspired generations of rock.
Including Black Sabbath! There's a handful of metal I can actually stand. Most of it is too fast and the singers screaming about Satan and darkness makes me laugh more than anything. I'm generalizing, yes. As I said, there is metal I can listen to and enjoy. Paranoid by Black Sabbath is an album I've listened to so many times and can still rock out to.
These albums make my list because they had  memories tied to them. Disraeli Gears has the memories of traveling to rocks mecca for a summer. Paranoid exists in a time after high school when I decided to try and get away from home for the first time. Some of the memories may not have happened when the songs were playing, but the albums served as soundtracks to my life. Many people out there may relate with other songs and albums, or maybe books or movies highlight the experiences in your life.
Paranoid helps me with a point. These are the soundtracks to a confused kid trying to grow up in a world where the motivations of its characters are not always clear. The person who listens to theseParanoid plays on fear, and it spoke to  him years ago after the world tried to destroy him. He thought he was insane. He saw what a person could do when they where frightened and for years he lived with that guilt. Paranoid has always been on since then to help him forget for just a little while what dangers lurked outside of his head.
now is not the same kid who felt betrayed by the girl he was always hanging out with. He's not the same boy who tried to sort out his own emotions while struggling to understand the thoughts of the opposite sex.
So I went to college, like everyone told me I should. I wnet because successful people went to college. You meet people like yourself in college. You grow, you expand, you become someone new.
I listened to Layla to deal with the thoughts that still bothered me. I attempted to use Disraeli Gears as a way to get laid (doesn't work). Music doesn't hide you from yourself for long, and I didn't want to be at college. I thought the system was a god awful mess. High school sucked. People played the system and got ahead with learning a damn thing. I tried hard to be the best at everything and failed. I was sick of school.
The energy and mayhem of punk spoke to me in freshmen year of college. And the blues comforted my emotions. I hated things and I wanted to break, hurt and smash. Sometimes I wanted to hide from everyone and the world. The two styles met in Consolers of the Lonely by the Raconteurs. That and Let it Bleed by the Rolling Stones became the soundtrack as my friends and I began to tear the school apart. We tore up signs, lit them on fire and shot fireballs from the windows. Consolers played in all of our rooms as we became the three bringers of chaos.
Wild children must grow up though. As the world around me matured, I was still caught in the thoughts of a girl who hurt me so long ago. Music no longer offered the same support, so while I listened to Sticky Fingers by the Rolling Stones I used more drugs. We drank tea made from poppies with effects like Vicodin and later listened to Hot Rats. I consoled distraught friends while I was on shrooms and Herbie Hancock played. The young man flipped his truck on an icy road in Vermont, slid on it's cab and walked home 7 miles in the middle of February. Luckily opium calms you down.
I still maintain Sticky Fingers is the best album by the Stones. The sex, drugs and rock were out in full on that album, but the slower blues songs sounded remorseful. They had begun to watch their friends and acquaintances die from the lifestyle. "Sister Morphine" is the greatest song on pain ever written. I drove everyone crazy when I came back from my first farm job. But I couldn't walk due to an infected cyst on my lower back, and I thought I would have to give up my dreams after dropping out of college then finding and losing my dream job and girl. After that, I have many songs from them that bring back memories (The stories of "Angie: is good love story of lost love, and "Ventilator Blues" tells the story of my relapse.) No Rolling Stone album since then has had the same impact.
When I dropped out of school and lived in tent while working on an organic farm, No Other Love by Chuck Prophet is what I listened to. I saw how the science they crammed down my throat for years was present in nature, and how math made a beautiful puzzle. I listened to this album while I shoveled stalls and told pigs stories like Heracles and The Three Little Pigs. I raced storms on bicycles, fought cows and punched my boss in the face. "Storm Across the Sea" reminded me of a girl I met and it's possible "What Makes the Monkey Dance" is nonsense, but the beat helps set "the mood" without being obvious like Barry White.
The period of anger and violence soon ended. It was turned inward as depression. What I wrote I hated. It was from the hallucigenic stuff I wrote before. It was depressed. I listened to If We Can't Trust the Doctors by Blanche. The dark country lyrics about pills, fear, and trust issues were perfect for the time. "Jack on Fire" is a haunting cover about a man who wants sex. They own it. They also make an original version "Running With The Devil". Meanwhile, the young man was trapped at his parents house and trying to clean up while trying to beat the voices that bothered him. It's easy. All you have to do is stop hanging out with your friends.
Someone thought to get him tested for adult ADHD. The therapy helped him more than anything. I learned to face a problem head on and not just to fight it. I listened to Passages by Ravi Shankar and Philip Glass. It kept me calm and focused towards new goals. It played while I sat on the docks of Auckland. I hitched-hiked in New Zealand, tried to explain the appeal of the Grateful Dead to a french girl, and explained the math I learned in my free time to a dutch girl. I came back to the U.S. and left the state I grew up in. And while I worked on yet another farm, I introduce others to the calming sounds of Passages.
The sounds of The Black Album was the soundtrack to a kid on top of the world. The confused, hurt, angry kid was fading in the distance, replaced by someone with confidence. Success was something he could see. The crazy kid still exists, but comes out less and less. I saw Jay-Z in concert recently, I just had to sneak up to the stage Metal Gear style to see him.
And now I listen to the Dead Kennedy's Frankenchrist to prove that growing up is hard. Sometimes you try to shake off the past, but somethings you want to hold on to. Like trying to change a system that you find unfair, even if the system threatens everyday to swallow you up with it's bills and rent and health care. To hell with the world!  I still crave irrelevance, and adventure. I want to work towards dreams as a means of making a success that I can be happy with. I talk my way into Research, write blogs and learn to program as homage to that young man who has changed with his sense of music through the years. So here is to the ones who make a little chaos in the world. Let's hope they grow up and survive.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Insecure Writers group after the month long writing challenge.

Oh, right. Insecure Writers are meeting today. Just when you thought you were going to get a break after the A to Z challenge, it's time for the monthly blog hop put on by the great Alex J. Cavanaugh.
Man, it feels so good to get to the other side of that, doesn't it? I had been kind of ignoring this blog for other things, so it was nice to write everyday. Still feeling young and new to this this whole thing, I was able to learn a lot during it and put some things I've been practicing into motion. I guess I'll just keep changing as a writer, blogger and a person.
One thing I had to learn how to do was plan ahead, and to not fret that much about what I was posting. My self editing needs some work, but I'm working on it. This month, I want to post twice a week and see how that works out. I have a plan for what I want to post, so stop by on Tuesdays and Thursdays to see if anything interests you. Tomorrow I'll just write about music. I like music.
But now I don't have to worry about writing everyday! I can go back to practicing and learning new skills to help my writing, my website skills, and my math until the next month long challenge.
Did you get anything out of the challenge? Did you see many new blogs? Do you have no idea what I'm talking about? Have you had a chance to look at that Button called "A word about dogs?"
See you around.