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I have a particle physics background and live happily with my wife Sukie and our five ferrets.
Interests: ferrets, physics, astronomy, atmospheric optics, os x, numerous technologies, large and dangerous electrical devices, simple hacks, social computing, history, history of science and technology, music, digital music, photography, image manipulation, and story telling
Recent Activity
That's a really stupid idea Steve. It was somewhere around 1992 and wasn't the first or last time I heard something it. In fact it's part of the process of doing science - I just was applying it somewhere else. The PR people and business units of AT&T were for... Continue reading
Posted Sep 12, 2017 at omenti
For a few years I've been been asked to talk to speak to a science class at a local high school. I've always chosen the topic. Usually I ask a few kids in the class a few questions and go from there, In the past few years it's been global... Continue reading
Posted Sep 7, 2017 at omenti
Walking in the woods a few months ago I had one of those moments of synthesis. A dozen or so threads I'd been thinking about for a long time suddenly wove together into a single something that made sense. It is something of a form of story telling and I... Continue reading
Posted Sep 4, 2017 at omenti
Astronomy was where America began to emerge from European domination of science. The wealthy patrons who funded telescopes and universities made certain the discoveries were heavily publicized. Even out in Kansas Clyde Tombaugh found his interest. He did well inscience and math student and dreamt of leaving the farm for... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2017 at omenti
just kidding .. well .. sort of.. About a month ago I noticed my left shin and foot had swollen enormously. There are a few nasty possibilities and a close friend died from one in December, so it was off to the emergency care unit. It turned out to be... Continue reading
Posted Aug 23, 2017 at omenti
When I was a kid my Dad would bring comic books home. My favorite involved the Donald Duck series character Gyro Gearloose. Gryo was a brilliant semi-failed inventor for hire with offbeat ideas that I loved. I wanted to be Gyro when I grew up - I even pestered my... Continue reading
Posted Aug 20, 2017 at omenti
Ah total solar eclipses. My first was somewhat East of Lewistown, Montana after driving in the dark on an icy Highway 87. The Sun had just set on all of the horizons around me when the sonic boom arrived . I looked up and saw a delta wing, afterburner blazing... Continue reading
Posted Aug 17, 2017 at omenti
I've seen it rainin' fire in the sky Ah the Perseids - My favorite meteor shower. The peak falls somewhere on the 11th or 12th of August. That usually means you can be out all night without a jacket. If you're in a very dark area on a moonless night... Continue reading
Posted Aug 13, 2017 at omenti
Many of you spend a lot of time traveling around the world. While the act of travel can be frustrating, new places, people and experiences dramatically richen our lives. But this usually only makes use of our normal everyday senses. We're missing so much. Human vision is only a tiny... Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2017 at omenti
Two days ago I found myself on the bus out of Manhattan. The trip was a treat - I had managed a few hours with a dear friend. As the bus crawled through commute hour traffic I wondered about the odds of deep friendships like these. The path to this... Continue reading
Posted Aug 9, 2017 at omenti
Years ago one of the neighbor kids, probably about 11 at the time, asked me what fire is. Sometimes frustrated parents point their question-rich kids at me. The answer came immediately: fire is what happens when atoms get so excited, that they just start farting out light He cocked his... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2017 at omenti
It was really stupid - not quite Darwin Award stupid - but close. Now that my parents are gone I can write about it. As a teen I became fascinated with the sensitivity of the human eye. It turns there are a lot of tricks you can use - I've... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2017 at omenti
Fifty years ago this month Jocelyn Bell was going through the chart recorder output from a new radio telescope she and a few others had built at Cambridge . She had worked herself up to about a hundred feet of it a day looking for anything interesting in the squiggly... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2017 at omenti
You'd see the differences during dinner. Our neighbors the Eriksens had a mixed marriage. Her ancestry was Swedish, his Danish. He liked sour cream on his jello, she went for whipped cream. Not that jello was a Scandinavian food - they had been regionally Americanized like the rest of us.... Continue reading
Posted Jul 13, 2017 at omenti
Six months ago one of my closest friends died unexpectedly. Norm happened to be brilliant, but you could probably say the same of most people with an Erdös number of one. What set Norm apart was his warmth, a bit of craziness and his natural storytelling ability. He was a... Continue reading
Posted Jun 29, 2017 at omenti
There is this dairy farmer with a problem. He's tried everything he can think of, but milk production from his herd just won't budge. The dairy new online push hormones, but no .. it was time for something unconventional. He hired three consultants - a mechanical engineer, a psychologist and... Continue reading
Posted Jun 18, 2017 at omenti
On the bus ride home Friday night I found myself thinking about my renewed optimism that we have a chance to do something about global warming. I was on my way back from the New York City Open on Pier 26 in lower Manhattan. The crowd and the people I... Continue reading
Posted Jun 13, 2017 at omenti
thanks I edited the post recommending a read of your comment
Toggle Commented Jun 12, 2017 on a deep dive into tumeric at tingilinde
If you had unlimited funds for a philanthropic big bet in education - a real game-changer - money is not object - what would it be? About a week ago a friend posed the question. I asked about the scope .. American education and a few examples were given. The... Continue reading
Posted Jun 6, 2017 at omenti
Imagine you wanted to power an iPhone or MacBook with apples. You might drop the fruit from some height onto a generator that would stop the accelerating apple and turn it's kinetic energy into electricity -- sort of like a turbine does in a hydroelectric. While not exactly practical, you... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2017 at omenti
Because I could not stop for Death, He kindly stopped for me; The carriage held but just ourselves And Immortality. We slowly drove, he knew no haste, And I had put away My labor, and my leisure too, For his civility. We passed the school where children played, Their lessons... Continue reading
Posted May 18, 2017 at omenti
Sound is an ornery beast. Even serious people use different definitions. To a physical scientist it's a vibration that moves through a solid, liquid or gas as a mechanical compression .. moving regions of alternation compression and expansion. To a psychologist or neurologist it's the result of processing the brain... Continue reading
Posted May 14, 2017 at omenti
So frustrating! I was reading the transcript of an interview of the chief environmental officer of one of America's largest companies. Their efforts appeared to be real rather than the normal corporate environmental green washing so many use. Then she spoke about energy, but used units of power (watts) rather... Continue reading
Posted May 7, 2017 at omenti
And at the end he'll blow your minds and it won't be computer science. Thanks. Nothing like being put on the spot. I was giving a visiting lecture in a friend's class the other day when he did this to me. The lecture was going to be fun. Last year... Continue reading
Posted May 5, 2017 at omenti
Perhaps something useful.. a quick cheat sheet on the care and feeding of the rechargeable batteries in your devices. For historical reasons rechargeables are known as secondary batteries and one non-rechargeables are primaries. We may complain about constantly having to charge everything, but you'd have to spend a few bucks... Continue reading
Posted May 2, 2017 at omenti