May 20, 2013
I’ve always had a love for time pieces, watches, and elegant mechanical devices. The finest I’ve came across are those made by Pierre Jaquet-Droz in the late eighteenth century, showcased in this next video.
May 19, 2013
Well everyone, tomorrow’s a big day for me. I’ll be starting a new job working in a research lab. Dr. Yew San Hor recently asked me if I’d be interested in helping do research in his lab. He’s been receiving awards and grants to build up his lab and team, and he invited me to join. When I heard what we’ll be researching, I didn’t even have to hesitate. We’re designing, building, and growing superconducting crystals and insulators which will be used in quantum computers.
What will my function be in the lab? I’m not completely sure yet. From what I gathered, he wants me to design software to manage all the data they’re collecting. We also need to be able to interface our laptops with all the equipment, such as oscilloscopes and things, so I’ll be handling that. According to Dr. Hor, I’ll be doing experimental work at times, but he also wants me to do theoretical simulations, building computer models of the different crystals. This is right up my alley!
I think we’ll be directly collaborating with a lab at Princeton in some capacity. We’ll also eventually be building a special detector where we’ll be attempting to trap dark matter inside. How cool is that!
I’m far from an expert in condensed matter physics, but I’ll be working in this lab for years so I just have to take it one step at a time. I’m already working to build up a collection of condensed matter physics texts, and I’m sure I’m going to need them!
To think that I could actually get paid to study matter in exotic conditions! I was telling my friend Fraser that I would’ve easily worked in this lab for free, but hey, if they’ll pay me, sure! I’ll take it. This is the first time in my life that I’ve been paid money to do something that I really want to do. That’s never happened to me before. This is a big milestone. I’ve been spending most of my free time these days building simulations of all sorts and nobody has paid me anything!
I’m going to be building and working with machines like in the video above! For the past few days, I’ve been in a mild state of freaking out.
May 19, 2013
Anastasia sent me a link to Bertrand Russell’s ten commandments for teachers. I liked them so much that I wanted to repost them here on my blog as well. After reading these, it’s easy to see why I eventually ended up with an entire bookshelf of his works. He’s been a hero of mine for a long time, as many of you have surely noticed over the years.
Perhaps the essence of the Liberal outlook could be summed up in a new decalogue, not intended to replace the old one but only to supplement it. The Ten Commandments that, as a teacher, I should wish to promulgate, might be set forth as follows:
- Do not feel absolutely certain of anything.
- Do not think it worth while to proceed by concealing evidence, for the evidence is sure to come to light.
- Never try to discourage thinking for you are sure to succeed.
- When you meet with opposition, even if it should be from your husband or your children, endeavor to overcome it by argument and not by authority, for a victory dependent upon authority is unreal and illusory.
- Have no respect for the authority of others, for there are always contrary authorities to be found.
- Do not use power to suppress opinions you think pernicious, for if you do the opinions will suppress you.
- Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.
- Find more pleasure in intelligent dissent than in passive agreement, for, if you value intelligence as you should, the former implies a deeper agreement than the latter.
- Be scrupulously truthful, even if the truth is inconvenient, for it is more inconvenient when you try to conceal it.
- Do not feel envious of the happiness of those who live in a fool’s paradise, for only a fool will think that it is happiness.
May 16, 2013
We’ve all been mourning the lives that were lost in this recent Boston marathon bombing. Now that everyone’s calmed down, it’s a good time to ask why Tsarnaev did what he did. We now know the answer. After detonating the bomb, he was on the run for a while, eventually ending up on a boat. There the police and swat forces gunned him down, and as he was lying there, badly wounded, he grabbed a pen and wrote down his motivations on the wall. He scrawled out that his brother is now in paradise and that these deaths were “necessary collateral damage” for all the deaths in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. ”When you attack one Muslim, you attack all Muslims.”
When Tsarnaev was taken to the hospital, U.S. interrogators asked him why he did it, and he told them the same thing — it’s about all the deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Now I’m not here to justify this man’s actions. I find them atrocious, but I want to help you get into his mind. He wasn’t poor. He wasn’t without opportunity. He was going to a prestigious school on scholarships and could’ve lived a nice, comfortable life. So why would someone in his position do something like this? Well, how many innocent civilians died in the Iraq war alone? Brace yourself. The Associated Press estimated there were over 110,000 civilian casualties alone! The Lancet survey, a peer-reviewed study, totaled the death count at 654,965. That’s 2.5% of their total population!
Do we honestly think that we can kill that many innocent people and just walk away with no consequences? Iraq never did ANYTHING to us, at all. They weren’t even related to the 9/11 attacks, despite what a bunch of ignorant people watching Fox News may have thought. People have no idea how badly they hate us in the Middle East, and it’s not because of our “freedom”, or how “rich” we are. They hate us because we’re over there building bases, stealing their oil, and blowing their civilians to bits with bombs. And what justification do we have for all of this? Supposedly they had weapons of mass destruction, but did they really? No.
I can remember Ron Paul talking about this in the 2008 election. Watch this next video.
But listen to the crowd. People don’t want to hear the truth, and when they do hear it, Rudy Gulianai exclaims, “That’s absurd. I haven’t even heard of that idea!” and the crowd roars in applause.
Do you have any idea how much money we’ve wasted on these wars? According to a recent study published by Brown University, we’ve spent somewhere between $3.2-4 TRILLION dollars on the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Pakistan. A new 2013 study puts the total $6 trillion. Oh, what is this? Pakistan? We’re at war with Pakistan? Oh yes! The Nobel Peace Prize winning Barack Obama got us involved in that one, but we don’t hear too much about it. He’s too busy doing late night talk shows, smiling away, cracking jokes! ”Awww, he’s holding Michelle’s hand! He’s so wonderful! I love Obama!” *crowd swoons*
Think about how many people we could’ve sent to college with that money. We could’ve repaired our failing infrastructure. That could’ve taken care of people’s medical bills. How many research projects could that have funded? But no. All we got for all that spending was a lot of debt, a loss of respect and standing in the world, and a whole lot of people in the Middle East who are mad as hell at us.
Go on America, go back to looking up Kim Kardashian’s skirt. Go back to worrying about Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton, and whoever else is being talked about. Keep your head in the sand.
May 12, 2013
Did you all visit your mom today? Here’s me and mom, and well, my older brother felt he should sneak Meanus into the picture! I’m actually wearing glasses, though I oftentimes wear contacts. I’ve found myself wearing glasses more and more as I can read easier with them, and my eyes won’t dry out.
Here’s a picture of me and my brothers with mom.