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Femion » 2007 » December

On another note

December 25th, 2007

Merry Christmas everybody, or as Roy would say, Mary Christmas.

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The Koranes

December 25th, 2007

After another day of driving we got through Massachusetts, New York and Pennsylvania and ended up at my aunt Marcia’s house in Hudson, Ohio.
Aunt Marcia has two kids Joseph - 9, and Mattie - 8. We haven’t seen either of them since summer almost two years ago, and both have grown up a lot. Joseph, who has Down syndrome, is nearly potty trained and can say complete sentences (his favorite things to say are ‘What are you doing?’, and then when you tell him, he’ll answer with ‘No way!’ - it’s really cute and makes you feel like what you’re doing actually interests somebody, even if it’s just a little boy). Mattie is quite loquacious as well, though a lot of what she says is meaningless silliness (we were going out on a walk and she called my mom an adjective, the essence of her humor is saying ‘lollipop’ as often as possible).
Mattie showed me her Webkinz (which I guess is the latest equivalent of a combination of Neopets/Beanie Babies/Pokemon, meaning it’s like crack cocaine for little kids). In return I showed her Roller Coaster Tycoon. It was a big hit, and I ended up spending the afternoon with my computer on my lap and a kid on either shoulder. It was all going well - Mattie was advising me on which rides to build where - until Joseph, who had been hitting keys on my keyboard in an unsuccessful attempt to help me out, hit the power button and caused my computer to shut off. I decided that was when to put my computer away, even though Mattie threatened to ’stop being my cousin’ if I didn’t turn it on again.
I slept on a trundle bed in Mattie’s room and this morning was woken up at 6:50 am by the sensation of 8-year-old hands stroking my head. I think I may have grunted and rolled away from her bed, which made her lean out of her bed even more to reach my head. I told her to go to breakfast without me, but she told me that she wanted to do everything with me. So I told her, “I’m a teenager and we like to sleep in in the morning.”. She answered with “You should go to my daddy’s room. He also likes to sleep in.”
Nice try, Mattie.

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December 07 Roadtrip Update!

December 21st, 2007

I’m in a Super 8 in Portland, Maine, with wireless internet access. We managed to avoid the storms. I drove from the Canadian border to Bangor.

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Yatta!!!

December 14th, 2007

I finished my Intermediate Calculus exam about ten minutes ago. I am officially done with my third term of university.
That is all.

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Modern Physics

December 6th, 2007

I’ve written two more gazette articles in the past two weeks, but they aren’t up on the website yet.
In about half an hour I will go to the Dalplex to write my scariest exam yet: Modern Physics. It’s all on Einstein’s special relativity and quantum mechanics. I’ve been studying for it all week long. (I hate quantum mechanics so much.)
Instead of freaking out, I’m going to provide a collection of youtube clips that cover some of the material I need to know. Searching youtube for terms in quantum mechanics is so annoying because half the clips that turn up are for new-age ‘What the bleep do we know’ type groups that use the weird stuff in physics to support their loony beliefs.
Simultaneity in Special Relativity:

Quantum Tunneling:
This is what happens when a matter wave encounters any type of barrier. It means that electrons can sometimes go right through stuff, and that if you lean against a wall there’s a very very very minuscule probability that you will phase right through the wall.

Random Walks and Diffusion:
Not quite as simple as what we’ve studied, but pretty close.

Okay. Maybe I’ll just get wikipedia links instead:
Time Dilation
Length Contraction
Gravitational Redshift
Random walk
de Broglie Hypothesis
The Compton Effect
Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle
The Schrodinger Equation
Quantum Tunneling
That’s enough of that. No matter how difficult this exam will be, I know that I will be very relieved three hours from now.
Until next year, when I have to take Quantum Mechanics 1.

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