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."