Dumb Foucault Pendulum

Thursday, May 24, 2007 at 11:23 AM | Filed under ,

Normally in the physics building, a pendulum swings all over the place due to the way the earth spins. It's called the Foucault Pendulum, after the French guy who invented and studied it. Only, today, the pendulum is not swinging at all. Either the pendulum has been deactivated, or else (gulp) the earth has stopped spinning altogether. This may be a consequence of how Pluto was stripped of its planetary status last summer. I'm afraid the earth may be rebelling against us, my friends...

Electronic Price Tags

Saturday, May 19, 2007 at 4:19 PM | Filed under

I'm at Kohl's right now in the shoe department and noticed something very intruiging: electronic price tags. This is weird. I've never seen digital price tags before! I guess they do this so they can update the prices of their shoes remotely at a computer or something. It seems a little wasteful when you consider how much power these all use up. I wonder if everything in the future will have electronic price tags. This surely is a sign of the times.

Holding the Door

Friday, May 11, 2007 at 12:42 PM | Filed under

In an exercise of politeness, I held the door open for all my classmates after statistics class today. This in itself isn't entirely very thoughtful, as my stats class today consisted only of me and Katie. And, well, I didn't actually physically hold the door open myself. I just pushed the handicap "door open" button and gestured Katie through. She thanked me, of course, and I realized how little effort it takes to be polite.

Crazy Hopscotch

Wednesday, May 9, 2007 at 9:08 PM | Filed under ,

Today, I finally fulfilled my goal of bringing chalk to the university and drawing something on the ground. Originally, I thought of writing some palindromes, but I settled on drawing a few hopscotch courts around the fountain. I decided against drawing numbers in them because people could approach them from either side and I didn't want to alienate anyone (see Sidewalk Chalk). I wonder if anyone is actually going to jump on these. I sat nearby for a little while, and didn't actually see anyone jump or even notice, but it wasn't passing time, so not many people were walking by while I waited.

After drawing two hopscotches, I mustered up some courage and drew a ridiculous one with the hopscotch trailing off into the pond water. I hope nobody is foolish enough to try. As a precaution, I wrote "STOP! THINK!" in the last box before the water (and to parody all the political chalk messages on campus), but I had to really squeeze it in there and it turned out being less than perfect.

Sunshine

Tuesday, May 8, 2007 at 1:54 PM | Filed under ,

I thought I'd point out in case you hadn't noticed that the weather today has surpassed any weather we've experienced so far this year. Yesterday was pretty good too. Of everyone I know, my cat is the person who most likes sunny weather most. I'm sure that when I walk in through the front door when I get home, he will make a mad dash for the door, but I've gotten pretty good at stopping him. (He wants to eat the grass, but it makes him puke, so we try to limit his intake.) The thing I like most about warm weather is the fact that it prevents cold weather; as I'm sure you know, I hate coldness. It sucks, no explanation necessary. But no coldness today! It's really nice out. It's probably 80, though I haven't measured. I've said before that the weather is acceptable only if it can heat the inside of a car to above the "comfort" level. So, yeah, it's getting real warm out. It's nice to
have a change.

Tree Pushers

Thursday, May 3, 2007 at 3:49 PM | Filed under

Across the street from my cul-de-sac used to be a beautiful little forested area, but now a bunch of jackasses are tearing down all the trees. We've known about it for months—they're going to instead use the land to build more apartments or something. As if there aren't enough apartments in the area already! I guess I shouldn't gripe too much because some of my cousins happen to live in apartments on the same block, but I think they should have asked my permission before they started tearing down the trees (and I would've said no).

It's just a little disheartening because I've been used to seeing trees there for the 15 years I've lived here. But now there's nothing because these dolts have taken down all the trees. Mom kept saying that she could have sworn that the real estate agent told her that the area was a protected greenbelt and therefore protected from devastation, but she couldn't find any paperwork to back this up. Indeed, further down the hill is a "Wetland" sign (indeed, I'm confident that the stream running through my backyard connects to a little pond right under the sign), and none of those trees have been killed, but everything up to the top of the hill is gone.

The only benefit I can see from this is that perhaps we'll see a little more sun around here—I wrote earlier this year that a lot of snow lingers around here because those trees created a lot of shade. But I have no idea how tall the new buildings going in will be. Another potential benefit I could see was that if they were going to have apartments, they would probably add stairs and I might be able to go up their stairs (even if I don't really live there and would be trespassing)—the hill is really steep and there really isn't a sidewalk. I was also hoping that I would be able to go through the newly barren area as a shortcut to my cousins' apartment, but there are too many fences in the way.

To point out how horrible this desolation is, I've provided some before and after pictures. The before pictures aren't the best representation I have because it was winter and the trees were more bare than usual, but it's the best I have, and it's pretty because they're covered in snow. They're from two months ago.