Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The semester has ended

There is nothing left. I am done with the courses I have been working on for the past sixteen weeks.

And I am at home having fun!!!!!

Yes, I am. I made cookies yesterday and finished them today. I have watched some funny movies, danced with two sisters, wrestled with my brother (and beat him twice), ordered books online, changed baby's diaper, practiced juggling, folded laundry, and made a lot of noise.
It will be a good vacation. But I am getting excited about next semester's classes.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Pumpkin and Cheese

I forgot something else I wanted to post before going back to studying.

I had a most delicious dinner tonight: cheese and pumpkin filling sandwich.

Doesn't that sound just wonderful?

It was this way: Two of my roommates went out for dinner with family, one was busy else where, and the other was on a weird eating schedule caused by sleeping in too late. So I was left to my own devices.

I hunted around in the pantry and the refrigerator and spied a bowl of pumpkin custard (I'm calling it that because that is what it most resembles. It was really that the roommate who made it ran out of crust when making pie, and just poured the leftover filling in a bowl and cooked it). So I seized it and took my cheddar cheese along too. I had already pulled out my bread. I sliced the cheese and laid it on one half of my sandwich. Then I put the two slices of bread into our toaster oven. When the cheese was melting, I pulled the bread out, slapped some pumpkin stuff onto the side with the cheese and closed the sandwich with the other piece of bread. It was really good even though our toaster oven toast bread in a most unusual uneven pattern.

My blog

I am supposed to be looking over my first physics exam in preparation for my upcoming final, but instead I am procrastinating. I have been indulging in that rare but interesting pastime called "blog-hopping".
After seeing many pages written by many people I did not know about the many things going on in their lives, I began to wonder about my own blog. If some stranger decided to go blog-hopping and accidentally landed on my blog, would the afore-mentioned stranger find my posts interesting or part of another long line of blogs that talked about things and events and people unknown to those outside of a limited reading circle.
I am afraid the last couple posts at least would not attract any hopping stranger. Too bad.
Perhaps I can do better by posting more things about physics or strengths of materials or other things like that. Those would be different. They would not be apologies to friends and family for not writing in a long time, or brief paragraphs about how busy the writer is, or long paragraphs describing every detail of their lives and pictures to illustrate as well. For indeed, this is mostly what I ran into in my little excursion.

Ah well, now I must leave and be good. Keep tryst for the finals!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

The third floor

This is rather random, but funny.

One of my roommates and I are going to be looking for a new apartment for next year. So we've been discussing the things we need to look for. My roommate has sensitive sinuses, so it is important that the house is mold free (or at least as close as possible to being so). That is really the biggest concern, but we have smaller issues that can be compromised if necessary.

But one thing is decided. We cannot live on the third floor apartment of any house. The second floor is possibly pushing it, but can be worked with. The reason is that neither of us are quite strong enough to carry the TUBA up and down all those stairs every week for band. My roommate has been going to band since she was a freshman and her tuba is quite respected and loved. But it is rather heavy.
Fortunately, her sister's fiance lives downstairs at the moment, so he has been carrying it down and back for her these past several years. But since her sister is getting married in the summer, they will be living in their own house and not under us.

Our solutions to this are as follows:
We can only live on the third floor of a house if: We find some very nice guys to live in the downstairs apartments who are willing to carry the tuba for us,
we find some guy so dedicated to band, that he will even come to specifically bring the tuba up and down the stairs (but we're doubtful of finding someone of this sort or of quite trusting his intentions if we did),
my roommate finds a boyfriend who also goes to band (so I don't have to hang out with him while waiting for her to come back),
I get a boyfriend (so he will still be around when my roommate comes back from band - presumably doing homework with me).

So those are our conditions to living in a third floor apartment. If we hope to fulfill any of these, we're going to have to work hard these next couple weeks before our actual housing hunting begins. Or we could just not live in any third floor apartments.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Nothing yet

I have not yet posted any reviews or anything. I have had too many exams.
But I shall work on them after my last two exams before finals.

Also, I wanted to share the good news with you all. The trailer for Prince Caspian is released online!!!! You can watch it at NarniaWeb.
I have restrained myself, and shall not watch it until after my physics exam this evening. It shall thus be a little treat for afterwards and insure that it does not interfere with my study time.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Wednesday again!

It is that day when I have on my to-do list "blog something interesting". I always hope to have something interesting when I do go to post. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't.

But today, I do have something interesting. I want you all to go read Annie Fellows Johnston's books, at least as many as you can. They are most excellent. I am in the middle of one about Mary Ware.

I must now leave for work (that work which I do on Wednesday afternoons in a professor's lab). But perhaps I shall expound more later on why I believe these books to be so wonderful. Or maybe, better yet, I shall write a book review.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have many things to be thankful for. To show you some of these things, I shall describe my family at this moment.

My dad is sitting on our gray couch in the living room. He is reading The Hobbit out loud. Annie is sitting between him and Jo. Elle is rocking in the large rocking chair next to the couch. Joe crouching on the love seat. He keeps moving around. Bethy is walking around and making much noise. She has Annie's slippers and is carrying them around, occasionally taking time to bite one or the other. She has left a couple of toys on the floor showing a trail from the piano to the couches. Mum is sitting at her desk. She is playing Spider Solitaire while listening to Dad. It is windy outside, but it is not really sleeting like my Dad first thought. It turned out to be only my fingers on my keys as I began typing this post on my laptop.

Now Joe is hanging upside-down on the little couch. Dad is reading an exchange between goblins and Gandalf as he and the dwarves perch in trees and the goblins dance around below. Bethy is causing trouble. I know this because Mum is saying softly "no, no, no." Then she scooped Bethy up and gave her kiss. Dad is asking Annie what happened to Gandalf. Elle is fidgeting by playing with her ear and tapping her head with her hand.

Mum has just placed Bethy into her playpen. Bethy protests. She will calm down soon. Joe falls off the couch and rolls across the floor.
Mum asks me about my status message. Dad pauses. Annie asks if they are nearing the end of the chapter. It is past her bedtime and she is getting sleepy.
Bethy has stopped crying. She peers over the edge of the playpen and chews a toy. Joe makes faces at her. She laughs and then starts to cough. She finds it funny and tries to cough more.

The wind has picked up. I can hear it rushing around the house. The sound is mixing with the dishwasher from the kitchen and Bethy singing with a stuffed duck.

Elle chews the edge of her shirt and rocks gently. She is listening intently to Dad's story. Joe has stopped moving on the love seat. He is instead staring off into space. He jumps up suddenly to pick up a toy Bethy drops. He leaps over the back of the couch and back into his place.

Elle moves from her chair to play peek-a-boo with Bethy. Bethy is not appreciative of her efforts. It is nearing Bethy's bedtime.
Dad has just finished the chapter. Annie is disappointed. Dad wonders because she had wanted it to end earlier. "She also doesn't want to go to bed" Jo points out. Elle asks Annie if she has brushed her teeth. Joe and Annie leave to brush their teeth. Their bedtime is at eight thirty.

Jo mentions watching The Lord of the Rings. A rumor of the possibility that Mum may watch it as well goes around. Mum does not encourage it. Elle hangs over her chair to coax her.

Joe comes back down and Dad is wondering what I am doing.
I will now post this and you can draw your own conclusions as the what I have to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

This blog needed some pictures. Here is one from several weeks ago.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Concerning a bit of ground on my campus

It is like a small cliff, but very short. And it has several layers or steps going up. Trees grow on it, climbing down each step and leaving their root in long tangles over the rocks. The trees have leaves that are all golden and green and brown, and many are on the ground. That is the most beautiful part of all. The fallen yellow leaves stream over the rocks like gold waterfalls. It is most amazing. It truly looks like a flow of gold coming down between the gnarled tree roots and the massive rocks.

I stand and stare at it.

And praise God once again.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The odd weekend part II

Here is the sequel to the previous post at last.

My roommate's fiance took the loss of his clarinet amazingly well and went off to the Pep Band to yell instead of play the clarinet.

The rest of us felt terrible for him. It was, after all, a fifteen year old, plastic, school-issued clarinet which he had played for years. We all imagined he must have sentimental attachments to it.

We drove home. My two roommates suddenly remembered their grandmother, who lived nearby, had a jar opener with a long handle and a grasping claw at the end. They decided to ask her if they could borrow it. We took along two brooms, a mop, an odd bar, and a bent curtain rod to make sure we had enough length to reach the bottom of the storm drain. My roommates' friend brought along masking tape and two flashlights. And at the last minute, one of my roommates ran back into the house and came out with paper towels, hand sanitizer, and a plastic bag (in case we retrieved the clarinet piece). Then we climbed back into the mini van and went to grandma's for the jar opener.

After returning to the scene of disaster, I attached the curtain rod to one of the brooms and lowered it into the storm drain while my two roommates held flashlights and their friend took pictures (because of course we must have those). We poked around for a bit, but unfortunately, the clarinet did not float as we had hoped (seeing as how it was made of plastic). Two guys walked by and gave some suggestions which consisted mostly of calling the department of public works. We finally gave up trying to rescue the clarinet in this manner, and decided to call. No one answered, but we had expected as much. After all, it was a Friday night. Then we hunted around for the police department's phone number and found something we thought was it, but nobody answered that one either.

So we admitted defeat and returned home with all our equipment. Then we trudged up the hill to the hockey game. Fortunately, a friend was driving by and gave us a lift because we were all getting cold.

My roommates' parents were quite surprised at the lateness at which we arrived, but they were amused at our explanation.

And that ends the very strange story of that weekend, except that nearly all of the people we have told this too say we are crazy or nuts. It is most puzzling because I can't imagine what else they would have done in our place. We thought we did remarkably well with all our plans. At least, we felt the plans did credit to the engineering school we go to.

Monday, November 05, 2007

My weekend (That sounds so boring)

But it wasn't a bit.

But first I must give a word of praise to God. I prayed for peace and calmness for my physics exam this past Wednesday and He gave it to me. And I did much better on it than my previous exam.

I had three exams this past week: one in Macro Economics, one in Physics II, and one in a fun (read sarcastically) engineering class called Strengths of Materials. I was not pleased to discover this, but by God's grace, I got through them all. Since this post is not about exams though, we shall move one. But it sets the stage because for the weekend, I planned all sorts of fun things to do.

Like getting a haircut.
And spending some time with my family.

And going out to dinner with some roommates, friends, and roommates parents to a Chinese restaurant.

Then I and my roommates and friends climbed into the friend's mini-van to drive back home. We were going to meet my roommates' parents at a hockey game later. Also, I did not mention this before, but one of my roommate's fiance came with us. He plays the clarinet in our school sports band (called by the aptly descriptive name the "Pep Band").
On our way back home, we discovered we could drop him off closer to the hockey game so he could be there early for the band. Strictly speaking, he was "voted off" the van (okay, we were just kidding). So he gathered all his stuff, including his fifteen year old, plastic school issued clarinet, and hopped off the van as we stopped at a corner to let him off.
Unfortunately, he dropped some stuff. Like the case containing his clarinet. It promptly landed on the grass near the sidewalk and burst open, scattering clarinet pieces on the ground (They weren't broken; that's just the way they are stored). I watched dumbfounded as the barrel of the clarinet rolled down off the edge and tumbled right into the storm-drain!
We asked if we could help, and found a flashlight for him. He peered down and decided it was too deep and wet to get the piece back.

This ends part one.
It wasn't going to be in more than one parts in the beginning, but I realized it was kind of a long story.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Something Interesting

I actually have "Blog something interesting" for today written on my weekly to-do list. But I did not realize how interesting it was that I was going to blog about. I forgot even, that it was on there until just now when I was thinking about my day and why I wanted to blog about it. But there it was, so of course, now I have to blog.

This is what I wish to blog about: my day at the lab.
If this sounds dreadfully boring to you, please do not give up reading. It will be more interesting as you go farther on.
First, the preliminaries:
I work for a professor at my college every Wednesday from one to five. He does work in nanoparticles. He has two labs: one in which we play with chemicals and one with a microscope so we can view our results.
I was working in the chemical lab on my project at around quarter to three when the grad-student came in (Enter important "grad-student" music - whatever you might think appropriate for such an occasion). He was friendly and asked me a couple of questions. Then I left to observe my results. A few minutes later I came back to not see the grad-student but to see his work on fire.
Yes, that is what sometimes happens when chemicals are heated on a hot-plate. Except I prefer it not to happen when I am the only one in the lab. So I freaked out, but I had enough sense left to turn off the hot plate. Then I frantically looked up and down the hall for someone. The other undergrad student who is working on the same project as I am came down, so I asked him to go to our professor asking what to do. Eventually, it burned out. But it was quite a lot of excitement.
Shortly thereafter I knocked over my vial of solution with the sleeve of my lab coat. It spilled but fortunately it was easily cleaned up.

I told the other undergrad that I felt today was a bad day for me. Accidents seemed to be happening where ever I went. He said thanks, he'd stay away from me.

And then I came home and watched Beauty and the Geek, which, by the way, we are trying to figure out whom of the guys from our college should best be sent to for social improving.

Friday, October 19, 2007

How I Freak Myself Out

Here is what I use to freak myself out:
Go to NarniaWeb and scroll down to the little counter for Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. The counter for The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is counting down to May 2010.
May 2010 is also my expected graduation date. So essentially (assuming everything goes as planned, both in my college plans and the movie plans) that counter is also counting down the days to my graduation! And that can be very unnerving if one happens to see it when there is a lot of homework waiting to be done. It literally ticks away the seconds and I can sit and watch my college life go by, second by second.

It puts new meaning on life as a vapor.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

I have added a new blog

It is really new!
Not like the other couple ones I have added.
It was only started just today.

Please look at The Writer's Notebook

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Sleep deficit (Dyke Darrel) = injuries * clumsiness

So this week, I think I have been trying to see how long I could last before killing myself, or at least badly injuring myself.
It all started with Dyke Darrel...
Tuesday evening, I made plans not to do homework but instead to do some serious organizing so I would stop dropping things off my to-do lists and forgetting important things like due dates for homework. So I did that. And then, I decided to stay up a little later and read a little more of "Dyke Darrel, Railroad Detective". Meaning...I went to bed at three.
Now Dyke Darrel is not so enthralling in matters of plot or character or even writing style, but one can't take a break when the hero is shot by criminals, left on train tracks in paths of oncoming trains, rescued by escaped convicts, and nearly murdered again by aforementioned convict, etc.
So thus I went to bed early Wednesday morning.

Knowing I would not be functioning well the rest of the day, I decided, that morning, to go to the gym. I usually go to the gym Wednesday mornings after Differential Equations, but I wanted particularly to go because it would give me some energy. But my tired brain overestimated the power of my arm muscles and I injured the muscles in my right upper arm and shoulder and slightly hurt those of my left arm as well. These injuries, however, did not bother me much Wednesday. That evening, I determined to complete my Macro Economics homework before taking a break to watch "Beauty and the Geek", the one TV show I watch because my roommates introduced me to it and we watch it together. Only, we watch it online instead of on the TV. I was nearly able to implement this plan, but then I fell asleep while working on the homework because of my sleep deficit from the night before. I slept for an hour or so and then woke up to find my uncomfortable sleeping position had thrown my jaw out of line. After watching something with my roommates (we had to watch "Numbers" instead because "Beauty and the Geek" was not up yet), I returned to my Econ homework to work over it until two in the morning.

So now I had added more lack of sleep to my already large sleep deficit and by Thursday morning, I was tired. But I still had things to do. Like making dinner for that night. After lunch, I made up a salad to put in the refrigerator for dinner. And I sliced my finger in the process with a really sharp knife. It made a clean shallow cut so it didn't bleed a bit, but it was just a teensy bit sore. Also my arms were aching and I found my right arm to be so stiff and sore I could not lift things with it. At four, I had a review for an upcoming Diff Eq exam. When I left my seat at the end, I tripped over a little stair and landed on both my knees and banged the hand whose finger I had previously sliced.

It was after the last mishap that I stopped to think. I had hurt myself so much in the past two days it was quite funny. So I decided the topic needed to have a blog post of its own. I walked back to my apartment and began frying chicken for dinner while composing this same post in my mind. And burned my hand by splattering oil from the fry pan.

But I still had work to do. So I went to bed at four yesterday morning. I am saying yesterday because today is Saturday now and my knee is still hurting from the banging up it received Thursday.

End of post.

Lest any of you think this means I have had a terrible week, you are mistaken. Of course I would not care for this to happen every week, but it has provided excellent opportunities for God to show His faithfulness to me every day in all my work and daily living.
So of course I must give glory to Him even as I write a post about my own foolishness.

And note: Clumsiness comes from not taking your Mother's advice about staying up late all night reading.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Dyke Darrel the Railroad Detective

"My dear boy, it's dangerous---"

A low laugh cut short the further speech of
Mr. Elliston.

"I supposed you knew me too well, Harper,
to imagine that danger ever
deterred Dyke Darrel from doing his duty."

"Of course; but this is a different case.
'Tis said that four men were
engaged in the foul work, and
that they belong to a league of
desperate ruffians, as hard to deal
with as ever the James and Younger
brothers. Better leave it to the
Chicago and St. Louis force, Dyke. I
should hate to see you made the
victim of these scoundrels."

Mr. Elliston laid his hand on the
detective's arm in a friendly way,
and seemed deeply anxious.

"Harper, are you aware that the
murdered messenger was my friend?"

"Was he?"

"Certainly. I would be less than
human did I refuse to take the trail
of his vile assassins. You make me
blush when you insinuate that
danger should deter me from doing my duty."

And thus that daring detective Dyke Darrel and his whole barrel full of alliterations takes off on his adventure.

I am sorry. That quote was just too good not to share. I have been poking around Project Gutenberg under the P's these past couple days and finding amusing books such as Dorothy Dale, a girl of today which was a series started by that great syndicate that wrote Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. I almost think Dyke Darrel could be another one of those, except it seems the characters are not young teens like I might expect. But then, I have not looked up the author yet, nor even finished the first chapter. But Project Gutenberg states the author's name is a pseudonym, so perhaps it is a series written by some other person in his own right.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

What would you think if you spent over two hundred dollars for an hour in which you could walk around with sore feet shaking sweaty hands and dodging people?
Well, that is what I did with the consummation being this afternoon.
Okay, I did not spend two hundred dollars just for one hour. But the one hour was the beginning.

I went to my campus's career fair today. Twas interesting to say the least.
Here is a picture of me in my suit after coming back:

I did not actually realize my shirt had fallen out until after I came home.
Here is a picture of the things I collected:

Is that not a lovely picture? I am sorry to say I did not take the binoculars handed out at one company. I am regretting that now. But now I have nifty little lunch bag that says "Engineered for Life" on it which makes it cooler than Jo's.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Quote of Wednesday

Look! it's Wednesday again!
But I am tired.
I had a physics exam today. And it went very long. I mean, I needed longer than the hour they gave. But so did most everybody else.

So I do not want to give you a physics equation as a quote for today. But I must still find something. Unfortunately, my roommates have all been under stress, so I have no inspiration from something they have said or written recently.

Too bad, I guess you will all (or none) have to be quoteless today.
Perhaps I shall find something interesting tomorrow.
Then it will be the Quote of Thursday Which Ought to Have Been On Wednesday.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

The Quote of Wednesday

My quote for today is actually a link to The Two Sisters:

The Quote of Wednesday

Please go read it.

Equations again

Apparently some people find my excitement about equations to be amusing.
I really do not know what is so amusing about liking equations. If there were no equations or no people who enjoyed them, where would we all be?
We would be lacking large bridges, cars, trucks, airplanes, computers, dishwashers, economics, space shuttles, cell phones, cannons, cleaning chemicals, vacuum cleaners, diving boards, and many other things. You could even say food recipes were a sort of equation, so we wouldn't even have those.
Now do you see what excellent and amazing things equations are?

Of course, some equations look horrid and are horrid to solve, but others are absolutely beautiful and simple. Those are the most fun and sometimes even the most important. And those are the sort I like to share with everybody.

I have a story instead of a license

Yes, I failed my first road test because I got too nervous and forgot everything I had learned. Really! Diff Eq exams are much easier than road tests!
But I have failed one, and that will be something interesting anyway. I have the little receipt they print up for you telling you what you did wrong. I am going to scrapbook it for fun.
And the moral is:
-Make sure you take care of yourself so you don't catch a cold the night before a road test.
-Convince your dad to let you practice parallel parking much more in advance to a road test.
-Look out for hidden stop signs which could be lurking at any corner.
-Even if your car has a sharp turning radius, they still want three point turns instead of u-turns.

So there you have it. Now you can take your road test with no fear of failing.
If you do happen to fail, get something good to eat instead and walk to class thinking about how wonderful your feet are and how economical you are being.
And scrapbook your receipt so you can always remember the occasion.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


I have more equations for all the people who (don't) read this!
I love equations, especially if I can use them.

So, there are three equations for three cases of finding solutions for differential equations. This is not going to be an explanation of differential equations and how to find their solutions, so just ignore that if you don't know what they are. The important thing is that I have three new equations that I like and that I have memorized because I have been doing so many problems with them and I would like to share them with everyone.

The three equations are as follows:

I am sorry they are so small. If you click on the picture, you can see them better. I have to figure out how to get alphas and betas in a blogger post still. Anyway, the first equation is for case 1 where you find the roots of a quadratic equation and the roots turn out to be nice ordinary ones (this is just more mathematical jumble, so if you don't understand it, don't worry about it). The second equation is for case 2 where the roots turn out to be one repeated root. The third equation is for complex roots. Those are the roots that get imaginary numbers in them.
And I think these equations are so fun. They save a lot of work.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007


Here is a most perfect article for today by John Piper. It is fairly short, so please read it.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Something from the Summer

This is from the second time I went to see a great big supercomputer in the summer. This time, I turned one of the computers on. Dad took a picture of me doing so with the camera on his phone.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

It is my dear Mum and Dad's anniversary!

Happy Anniversary!

I hope you have a wonderful day!

The Quote of Wednesday (except on Saturday instead)

This is what I heard while sitting in my room:

Dave: It's hot!

Laura: I concur.

Laura is one of my roommates and Dave is her fiance. They were playing a card game in the living room. It was a hot day - about 29 degree C outside, but terribly humid so it felt hotter.

Crosstrainer 1

I am now smelly and sweaty and you really wouldn't want to come too close to me. But I have just been on an elliptical trainer which is really interesting.

So, I am now living in an apartment close to college. I share it with four other girls, three of whom are here and one we are expecting to arrive Sunday.

And I am learning all the things one learns when living away from home and parents and siblings.

I have my own room (something I only had when I was quite little before our family grew so much). I have to do my own shopping (good thing I already knew about unit prices). And there are so many things I can now do such as:
Go to the campus gym!

I went there this morning with a roommate and her friend. That was good, because I would probably never enter one of those places by myself. I love exercising, but a roomful of exercising people who probably come here every week, if not every day, is rather intimidating to myself who dislikes large groups of people.

Anyway, the initial going is past, and I now feel like an old pro, at least on the elliptical trainer. As long as you don't watch me stepping off it...
Hopefully now I shall be able to go once a week...or month...or something like that.

For those who don't know what an elliptical trainer is, it is a machine that you climb onto and it kind of imitates walking up and down different things. It's not like a flat treadmill where you run and hurt your feet and slide off of because you can't keep up with it. And it's similar, though not quite, like a Nordic track which is supposed to make you feel like you are skiing and you put these long sticks on your feet which run in two smooth tracks. It's got two shoe sized platform things and it just bobs up and down with you on top.

I was on it for 35 minutes. 30 minutes for exercising and 5 for cooling down.
And now I am hungry.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Quote of Wednesday

Here is another quote from The City of God from Book I, chapter 8.
For though some of these men, taking thought of this, repent of their wickedness and reform, some, as the apostle says, "despising the riches of His goodness and long suffering, after their hardness and impenitent heart, treasure up unto themselves wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God, who will render to every man according to his deeds": nevertheless does the patience of God still invite the wicked to repentance, even as the scourge of God educates the good to patience.

This is about why "divine compassion" is bestowed even on those who do not love God and why sometimes terrible things come upon those who do.

Monday, July 30, 2007

What an Extraordinary Friday I Had!

This past Friday was most unusual in that I got to see and observe some very large and important pieces of equipment that very few people get to see, much less young sophomore engineering students. They were equipment especially used for research in various fields.
On Friday morning, I was able to see and walk in the room that contained one of the top ten largest supercomputers in the world. This was only possible because of certain connections I had...
Actually, I ran my fingers down one of the large racks. They are interesting because they look like big black boxes that have been tipped. Like a parallelogram. And they make quite a lot of noise, though not as much as the chillers do.
Then, I went to my lab thinking that was a great deal of excitement for the day.
But then,
my professor came in at four and asked the only other student in the lab, Mike, and I if we wished to go with him right then to the SEM. Of course we said yes, even though that meant I had to stick around a little bit longer than I normally do.
So we walked down to the clean room and put some really funny looking costumes that reminded me of the costumes the kids were wearing in the old version of Willy Wonka where they all went to see the large chocolate bar made small. Except our suits weren't white. They were blue striped. And they were rather baggy. Mine was especially baggy because my professor thought I was about 2XL in suit size because I was so tall, but that was way too big. We had to put on boots that went over our sneakers, gloves, hoods, and suits. And Mike had to wear something over his beard and mustache.
After all that preparation, we shuffled into the clean room which is actually a whole section of rooms each dedicated to some sort of equipment. The SEM room actually has two SEM's. Now I will explain what SEM means. SEM stands for Scanning Electron Microscope. It's basically a large microscope that shoots electrons at whatever you are looking at. That enables you to see things on the nano-particle level. Mike and I couldn't touch it because we hadn't had three hours of training plus a test. But our professor could. So I spent over an hour in the clean room looking at things no one can see with their naked eye. My experiments turned out to have failed in accomplishing our project goals, but I didn't really care. Who can think of things like that sitting in the clean room with such amazing pieces of equipment?

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

The Quote of Wednesday

This quote of Wednesday is from Saint Augustine's work The City of God, Book I, Preface.
The glorious city of God is my theme in this work, which you, my dearest son Marcellinus, suggested, and which is due to you by my promise. I have undertaken its defense against those who prefer their own gods to the Founder of this city, - a city surpassingly glorious, whether we view it as it still lives by faith in this fleeting course of time, and sojourns as a stranger in the midst of the ungodly, or as it shall dwell in the fixed stability of its eternal seat, which it now with patience waits for, expecting until "righteousness shall return unto judgement," and it obtain, by virtue of its excellence, final victory and perfect peace.

Augustine likes to write long sentences, I think. It is best to read this out loud to fully get the meaning. And he is referring to the city of God when he speaks or "it". So it is living by faith and it sojourns in the midst of the ungodly. And it shall dwell in fixed stability, but it is waiting with patience for that time.
I hope that makes it a little more clear. I had to read it thrice to fully grasp its meaning.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

The Quote of Wednesday

This quote comes from a problem from Fundamentals of Physics, seventh edition, part 1 by David Halliday, Robert Resnick, and Jearl Walker.

Chapter 8, Prob. 53
A large fake cookie sliding on a horizontal surface is attached to one end of a horizontal spring with spring constant k = 400 N/m; the other end of the spring is fixed in place. The cookie has a kinetic energy of 20.0 J as it passes through the spring's equilibrium position.

Now what I am particularly wondering is why they are using a large fake cookie. It doesn't really make a lot of sense. Why didn't they use a real cookie? Or even all those balls and weights common to beginner's physic's problems? No, they had to use a cookie. And to make it worse, it was a fake cookie. I mean, they couldn't even eat it when the experiment was done.
Problem writers are really strange or have a weird sense of humor.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Lab Work

Look at that! I just sort of dropped out of blogging for a little bit.
So where have I been? Learning things.

First thing I'm learning about is loans. I've been talking my money situation over with my dad lately. He and Mum are helping me as much as they can, but my rent for my apartment is getting more difficult to pay. And I'm not finding any paying work around (and by now it's pretty much too late for anything). So the next thing is a loan. By God's grace, I have been awarded several student loans. So now I am learning about how to take care of loans and interest and other stuff like that.

The second thing is about lab work.
When I first started working in a lab on Fridays, I thought I was just doing work for a professor. It was rather impersonal. But as I was talking with my dad, he said I should pray to God to bless my work and to bless the professor. It may seem strange, but that had never occurred to me before. I realized that the work I was doing was really my work which I should be doing for the glory of God. And the work has become more interesting to me now, and I am more interested in the success or failure of the research I am doing.

So I have been learning things lately.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Nothing To Do This Fine Summer Day

I have found nothing in the job search, but I was pleased to remember that I am now counted as one of the "unemployed" and a part of the "labor force" because I have been looking for a job in the past weeks and months.

My mother is not a part of the labor force because motherhood is not considered a "job" nor is one payed in wages. And she is not even unemployed because she is not looking for a job.

The labor force is composed of only the employed and the unemployed.
The employed are all those people who are working.
The unemployed are all those people who are not working but are searching for jobs.

Everyone else is not part of the labor force.
That includes my mum, my sisters and my grandparents.

Anyways, now I will work on some projects which I have time to do seeing as how I have no job.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Hum... I've been tagged for the first time that I am aware of.
It's quite interesting actually because I've often thought about what I would say if I ever was tagged, but I never was so I never was able to say all those things.
And now I can't remember what they were.
So I suppose I shall have to think of totally new things to say.

Seven Random Facts About Me That You Might Not Know (interesting name for a tag, isn't it?):

1. Hmm...I dislike touching my socks when they are on my feet because I feel that they have been all over the place and are probably disgusting. I always wash my hands if I touch them.

2. I found a funny little book called the Revised U.S. Edition of the Official Royal Canadian Air Force Exercise Plans For Physical Fitness (copyrighted 1962) in the basement.

3. I started writing my own language and constructing my own world long before I realized it was a popular thing to do among young people. My language's chief goal is to be easily pronounceable. There's nothing I dislike more than somebody's made-up names in a book that only the person who made them up can properly pronounce. And I don't like having to keep checking the glossary while reading.

4. I think woods are lovely. I live near some woods and I love to watch all its different moods through the seasons. They are dark and gloomy today. I do not wish to be in the darkest places of it at the moment, but the wind is blowing the branches of the trees and that is beautiful.

5. I have just written five reasons each of which begin with the word I. I wonder if I can write the last two using a different word.

6. Root beer is tastier when you drink it from a glass bottle than from a cup or can. At least it is more fun.

7. The color pink is getting on my nerves. That is probably because I was working with pink clay yesterday afternoon and this afternoon. After a bit, any color gets rather tiring.

Hurrah! There are seven random facts about me. None of them are ones I planned on putting down, but if they were, they wouldn't be random any more, would they?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Of The Deadly Perils of Minesweeper

The name sends thrills through your spine right down to your finger tips.
This fatal game, a mind trap, a chewer of time!

You have a paper due, and of course you must take some time to think about it.
But it is no good staring at a blank Word Document.
You must stare at a little box full of squares.
Carefully you make your first click on a square, hoping desperately for a number of the squares to clear with it. But it might not. It might be a mine and explode the whole box on you.
Or, even worse, show a single clear square with a number in it.
Then you are forced to click around it till you have enough numbered squares that you can start marking the mines.
But where were we again?
Oh yes.
There was a paper due.
But we might actually find all the mines this time and thus win the game...

Twenty minutes later...
You realize you also had some calculus homework to work on, besides that paper.
You haven't one a game yet, but squares are beginning to dance before your eyes.
So you leave the computer to take a break.

And the paper isn't written until eleven in the night.

That is only one of the possible consequences of this perilous game.

Um, right, what was I writing about again? I got sort of distracted, playing games and stuff, you know.
Oh yes! The deadly perils of minesweeper.
Besides wasting your time, you might get carpel tunnel or break the buttons on your mouse.
I am really not kidding! My aunt got the carpel tunnel and a friend broke his mouse.
Both from playing minesweeper.
stay away from this horrible game, this brain drain, this robber of sleep, minesweeper!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Still Job Hunting

It is almost fun hunting for jobs. Everyone finds one they think you will be interested in, but of course you aren't, or they tell you they wish they could help but they know of no openings. Then you yourself look out for signs on stores and in stores and in newspapers. And it is amazing how many places are looking for people to hire. But actually finding a good job is a little more difficult.

However, I am set for Fridays. I am working for a professor on Fridays. There are three other students in his lab on Fridays. One is tall and quiet. I do not know what he is working on. I think he would prefer to work alone but that is impossible in such a tiny crowded lab. Another is pioneering in some study of nanoparticles. He has been working on his project for at least two summers now. He likes to talk and patronizes the two newcomers, myself and a short round guy. The short round guy is working on a similar project as myself, so we share many of the same materials and give each other advice. We work with some nasty chemicals which ought to be used under a fume hood except there isn't enough room for us there.
My mum got slightly worried after I described this situation, so I think she is glad I go there only once a week.

Perhaps you are wondering what a fume hood is? It is a tall box thing in a lab that has counter on which you put things and a great big hood over the top of it like a cabinet that is hollow and opens underneath. There are ventilation holes all around it and I believe it pulls the fumes up and out. There is a picture of a fume hood on Wikipedia.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Uncertain Summers

Tomorrow, I will be seeing the professor who works on nanoparticles. We will be going over schedules and projects. Definitely interesting.
Now I'm waiting to hear back about a job I applied for. If they like my application, I get to be an assistant teacher at a child care center. Otherwise I'm working at Target or Hannaford or one of those large shopping stores.
It is all in God's hands.

Sunday, May 20, 2007


Do you know what nanoparticles are? They are tiny pieces of some kind of metal like gold or silver. They are a little larger than molecules.
I hope to do some research with nanoparticles this summer. They are very interesting.

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Suppy and Demand

This is a picture of supply and demand curves. Supply and demand are two terms talked about in economics a great deal.

"Demand" refers to how much of a product do people want to buy. As you can see, the horizontal axis (the line with "quantity" under it) tells how much of some product people want to buy. The vertical axis (the line with "price" above it) tells what the price of the product is.
If the price is very high, people buy less of the product, but if it is cheap, people buy lots of it.

"Supply" refers to how much of a product the people selling it want to make. When the price of some product is high, people selling want to sell as much as they can of it, so there is a lot of the product supplied. But if the price is cheap, people do not want to sell that product, so the there is less supply of the product.

On the graph, there is a place where the two curves meet. That is called equilibrium. It is the price of the product where the sellers want to sell the same amount of the product as the buyers want to buy. It is generally the best price for the product.

Thursday, May 03, 2007


I should change the name of my blog. Instead of "The Young Thinker", it should be "The Non-Thinker" because most of my posts lately have been ones that required very little of my brain to be used, maybe .001% of it or something like that.
Anyway, I wish I could change that, but it's been rather difficult and my brain has been tired every time I actually get on to post something.

Today I would like to talk about the differences between compressible and incompressible flow. In case you are wondering, flow refers to the movement to some sort of fluid (water, gas, air, etc...) around some object.
There are a number of things one can talk about when discussing flows. There is the velocity of the flow and the pressure of the flow and the density of the flow, and so on. But each of those things I just mentioned change depending on where you are in the flow. So we have a bunch of equations to help us figure out what some of those things are in the place we are looking at.
Now compressible flow is a flow that the density changes from point to point. Density, by the way the the amount of mass of object or fluid that has a particular volume or basically how much stuff is in a space. So that is compressible flow.
Incompressible flow does not exist really. We just pretend it does. In this kind of flow, we say the density does not change from point to point. We pretend that slow moving flows are incompressible because we can use some really nice simple equations to find things then. They are fun equations and much easier to use than those for compressible flow.


Finally, all classes are over. Just finals left.

I am so happy!
God has been so good to me these past two semesters. It has been amazing.
To Him be all glory!

Friday, April 27, 2007

White in the Spring

There are three small trees that stand in a line.
Beautiful trees (or are they shrubs?)
They have slender trunks and long thin branches that hang over like a spider plant.
Oh! how lovely they look in their white blossoms. Each branch is covered all the way up in little clumps of white flowers. It might look like snow except snow does not stick to those trees nor in that fashion.
I like the flowers. They are small with tiny petals. Little dark-colored middles stand out from the white petals. And every day more buds are opening and growing bigger.

What Next?

Apparently a lot of colleges have what they call a "Relay for Life". It is an event where lots of people show up and walk around a track for a long time and raise money to find a cure for cancer. There is one of these going on at my college now. There have been many fundraisers beforehand.
I am wondering how much money has been raised and to whom it all goes to. Perhaps I should look it up. I wonder what sort of cure they are looking for.

I am feeling sleepy. The semester is nearly over and I am so glad.
I will recover for a few days and then begin to ask "What next?"

Each week is something different and new. I do not know what God has in store for me.
It is interesting to find out.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

e/m ratios for electrons

What do you know about electrons? Well, probably you know that they are little particles that fly around the nucleus of atoms. At least, you would know that if you ever studied atoms in school, which most people are supposed to do. So we have these little particles called electrons and here's something else: they have a charge. An electrical charge. So you can use electrical things to talk about electrons like voltage and current and stuff like that. Also, have you ever played with magnets? And you know how if you put the two south poles close together, they push each other away, but that the north and south poles like each other? Well, the magnets have something called a magnetic field. It's kind of related to electricity, so we can use magnetic fields and electric stuff to talk about electrons.

That's what I did in physics today. Actually, we were finding the ratio between the electron's charge and its mass, e/m.

We used a neat little equation and some very interesting equipment. We had a glass vacuum globe filled with a gas. Then we shot a stream of electrons into the globe and had a magnetic field nearby. The magnetic field caused the electrons to all move in a large circle. The electons had energy which they gave to the gas in the globe causing the gas to glow green. That was how we could see that the electrons were moving in a circle. There was a large green circle in the globe. By playing with some knobs, we adjusted the current which made the electron circle grow bigger or smaller. When we had gotten the circle to the right size, we looked to see how much current we were using. Then we could use this nice little equation:

e/m = 2V/r2B2

The V means the voltage we used, the r is the radius of the circle of electrons, and the B is the magnetic field. In our experiment, B was 7.80*10 to the -4th power times I. I is the current we found.

It was a great deal of fun.


The library on my campus is getting too crowded!
This is a common occurrence at the end of the semester, but it is one that really annoys me. The wireless connection is always being lost and desks or tables with power outlets are hard to find. It will get worse in about two weeks. Then all the slackers will join study groups and fill large areas of the library. Any loners have only gotten their seats by coming early in the morning and claiming them for the rest of the day. Noise is rampant from the many study groups.
I used to think the library was huge being a whole building of four floors, but it seems to have shrunk.

Speaking of libraries, my siblings and I went to our town library again for the first time since my dear sister was born. All our library ladies were thrilled to see us. In case you are wondering what a library lady is, here is the explanation: Nearly all the librarians at our town library are women (except for the occasional teenager working there for the summer) and they are on rotation through out the week. Since we did not know their names we called them ladies, and because they worked at the library, they were "library ladies". Anyway, these library ladies love to see us because we always troop in and say hello with huge grins on our faces. Then we all scatter and our hidden from the world until our dad comes to tell us we need to leave. Then we all reappear carrying amazing stacks of books to check out. And we do our best to bring them back on time. I think that would delight any library lady's heart.

At home, we have a large library ourselves. My dad has many books in his study, enough to fill a tall book case and a little bookcase and a medium glass-enclosed bookcase and the shelves of his desk. In our family room, we have a tall bookcase of children's books, another tall bookcase full of miscellaneous books, and a third shelf about half as high as the other two full of dictionaries and other grammar related things. And that isn't all. In the basement are another two full bookcases, but these are books from Dad's college days and other technical books plus some odd books Mum's not sure where else to put. And then there are books in each of our rooms and in desks and under beds, and packed up in boxes. And lots of cookbooks.

Oh! Reading is fun!

Friday, April 06, 2007

An accident

My first car accident, and it wasn't my fault.

I was calmly sitting at a gas station with my blinker signaling I was turning right while waiting for the traffic to clear sufficiently to let me in. I am a very unoffensive driver.

Suddenly, just as I was moving out, a large bump in the back of the car startled me.
My dad and I had no idea what it was, but he said "Keep going."
So I kept pulling out and as I did so, we both looked behind us. A young man with a purple car had backed out of a parking space and obviously did not look where he was backing into.

So now we have a nice scrape and a crack in my dad's rear bumper, but as Dad says, "That's what bumpers are for."

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

James 3:13-18

In the Bible study I attended this morning, we looked at James 3:13-18.
"Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meekness of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and self-seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth. This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic. For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. Now the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace."

We discussed many things in the hour we spent on this passage, but I wish to instead give some other passages I found when we were looking for a definition of wisdom in Proverbs.
"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, But fools despise wisdom and instruction." Proverbs 1:7

"Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD and depart from evil. It will be health to your flesh, and strength to your bones." Proverbs 3:7,8

"The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." Proverbs 9:10

"When pride comes, then comes shame; But with the humble is wisdom." Proverbs 11:2

And finally, another passage from Galatians:
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit,let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another." Galatians 5:22-26

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Look at all the posts I have(n't) written!

I meant to write a lot this week. I had big plans. But...
God had other ideas.

So, instead, I spent the first half of my spring break helping out around the house because half the family was sick. Then I took a day off and sewed the bodice of a dress I was making. Then I spent the other half of the week sick myself.

Not what I was expecting,
but God knows best.

A Bible study I attend on Wednesday mornings is going through the book of James.
We will soon be learning how we should say "if the Lord wills, we will do such and such".
I guess this was preparation to be sure I really got the lesson.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Flight Exam

I had the most lovely exam today.

It was the first midterm exam for a course with the imposing name of "Fundamentals of Flight".

We had to use our textbooks because we needed to look up data in tables. And we had fun problems like using dimensional analysis to determine why the pressure was a particular equation. Nearly everyone was working right up to the last bit of our alloted two hours.

Just think! One more of these and then the final. I'm rather glad we have only two midterm exams.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Book Reviews

I will be posting my book reviews here and also at my new book reviewing blog "Corantolavolta."
Supposedly Jo will post some book reviews on Corantolavolta as well. I found the word corantolavolta in a book The Marquis of Lossie by George Macdonald. It is an interesting book about a young man named Malcolm and his sister Florence. Towards the end of the book, there is a description of a boat dancing on the waves in the early morning. The word corantolavolta was used to describe the motion of the boat. Jo looked it up and found it was actually two words that had to to do with dancing and waltzing. I would like to write a review of this book sometime, but I have homework to do at present.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Book Review - Penelope's English Experiences

I have just finished reading Penelope's English Experiences by Kate Douglas Wiggin, the author of Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm. It is an amusing account of an American woman's visit to England.

Penelope's English Experiences is written in first person as thought it were a diary or a series of letters from an American artist Penelope Hamilton. She describes her time in London with two other women from America in the first half of the book. In the second half, she describes her stay in a small house in the country. She begins by summing up herself and her companions in a few short sentences thusly:

Smith's Hotel,
10 Dovermarle Street.

"Here we are in London again,--Francesca, Salemina, and I. Salemina is a philanthropist of the Boston philanthropists limited. I am an artist. Francesca is- It is very difficult to label Francesca. She is, at her present stage of development, just a nice girl; that is about all: the sense of humanity hasn't dawned upon her yet; she is even unaware that personal responsibility for the universe has come into vogue, and so she is happy.

"Francesca is short of twenty years old, Salemina short of forty, I short of thirty. Francesca is in love, Salemina never has been in love, I never shall be in love. Francesca is rich, Salemina is well-to-do, I am poor. There we are in a nutshell."

As the book progresses, we discover that this neat profile of Penelope and her friends changes. Penelope does fall in love and in doing so finds her aspirations of being an artist do not satisfy her as much as being a woman.

"I am not painting, these latter days. I have turned the artist side of my nature to the wall just for a bit, and the woman side is having full play. I do not know what the world will think about it, if it stops to think at all, but I feel as if I were 'right side out' for the first time in my life; and when I take up my brushes again, I shall have a new world within from which to paint,--yes, and a new world without."

The book is interspersed with descriptions of scenery in London and the country and funny incidences like the one of the three women trying to learn to gracefully eat soft-boiled eggs from the shell. Although Penelope falls in love, this is kept in the background and only appears in small segments in which she wonders whether she is in love with love or with the man who proposed to her.

I think my favorite incident was from the chapter The ball on the opposite side. In this chapter, Penelope and her companions notice a gentleman and his two daughters enter a nearby house for sale. After questioning the butler about the man, they find that the man is Lord Brighthelmston who has rented the house for a week for his three daughters and two orphan nieces to give a ball. The three find the preparations being made all week engrossing. They send invitations to some of their close friends to visit them the night of the ball for a "Private View". The evening of the ball, they watch the proceedings with as much interest as if they had prepared, cleaned, and decorated for it and were going to it themselves. The women and their friends try to guess what everyone is saying and doing, and they build romances for all the people involved. I liked this part best because it is exactly the sort of thing I would do myself.

Although I have never visited England, and I do not know if this book is an accurate portrayal of England, I recommend this book to those who wish for a bit of amusement. The descriptions are well written and well worth reading. Each chapter describes some part of London or the country in a peculiar fashion. I think I will read this story again sometime.