Friday, August 31, 2012

ABC Wednesday: G is for Green Gas

This one is for Carver on conserving natural resources: Green Gas, or How Cow Farts May One Day Save the Planet!

Oceanic methanogens.  Image from the Oregon State University Subsurface Biosphere Initiative

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sundays with William Blake: A Divine Image

Hannibal probably would be stuffed by now.

Mappings are a way to associate objects from one group to another.  I remember when I first encountered this concept in  one of my very first logic courses and was struck at how useful a concept it was.  (Image from Mathworld.  Yes, I know it turned itself into a sketch when it loaded on my blog.)

Thursday, August 23, 2012

What should I expect others to know and understand?

"Hahaha, you're stupid..." said Ian, my cousin-in-law, mocking my attitude of "How can you not know that?" when we were playing an American history trivia game.  I was about 21 at the time.

"Musk oxen are very closely related to goats...." I told my mother-in-law last night.  "I thought it was elk..." she said.  Later: "I looked it up; you were right..."

Monday, August 20, 2012

ABC Wednesday: F is for Far, Far Away...

This post is for PhenoMenon, astronomy, "F."  How do we figure out how far something is in astronomy?...  What do your blinking eyes have in common with how NASA calculates interstellar distances?...

Hold out a finger or a thumb and close your right eye and then your left.  Your finger will appear to move.  This is very much how distances are calculated in space!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A New Life...

I'm like a freakin' 6-year-old...

Professor Honeycutt, eh?

Monday, August 13, 2012

Friday, August 10, 2012

Free Will

I would posit that free will is separate from emotion and sensation.

If creatures cannot decide to change their behavior, then they do not have a consciousness or free will, regardless of feelings or emotions.

They cannot be said to be "aware" in any meaningful sense, even if they have the perception that they have a consciousness and are autonomous, without this ability.

To decide to change behavior and then to do it is the demonstration of free will.  Creatures that cannot do this are merely robots or automatons.

Extremely cool...

Vast volcanic 'raft' found in Pacific, near New Zealand

"A vast 'raft' of volcanic rocks covering 10,000 sq miles (26,000 sq km) of ocean has been spotted by a New Zealand military aircraft." - from BBC article linked above.

The floating rocks are pumice, a type of volcanic rock that's lighter than water due to gases trapped inside it.  It's hard, but it looks like a stone sponge.

To put that in perspective, the island of Hawaii is only about 4,028 sq miles (10,430 sq km.)  So it's more than twice the size of the island of Hawaii.

Monday, August 6, 2012

ABC Wednesday: D is for Detritus

"Detritus?  Are you s###ing me?..."

Plus!: Creepy crawling lilies of the deep!  They will astound you!

An image of marine snow, little gooey particles of a variety of organic matter that slowly sink to the bottom of the ocean, also known as marine detritus.  Marine snow plays an incredibly important role in the ocean's carbon cycle and is a major source of food for deep-sea organisms.  Image from Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute.

Learning Not to Care...

I've been working some months now on a poem called "Understood in Elysium."  It's still not quite done.

These flowers don't care who I vote for.  Yet another reason why flowers are awesome people.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Miso soup for the vegetarian soul...

Seriously?  I just played a video game for seven hours straight?

This is actually very tasty, vegan-friendly and very cuddly when you have a cold.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Hitler, TV News, Church Sing-A-Longs, Gays and Facebook

I caught a case of what appears to be Captain Trips, so I am really down for the count today.  Sad, because my husband, who is also sick, has the day off.  :-(  So, I'd thought I'd share some thoughts that I've been chewing on lately...

Freaky little midget with many psychological complexes.  Right now, just finishing up a re-read of Eric Fromm's "Escape from Freedom," which is about the psychology of Nazism.  It was written in 1941 (GASP!  An old book!!!)