Left field

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Mark
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Sun Sep 21, 2008 3:11 pm

I remember a wondrous science film of a black bar/rod about an inch thick and a foot long, stood on end in a shallow pan, and then struck by a hammer. After being struck, the rod instantly turned into a black tarry substance, becoming a puddle in the pan. The topic was thixotropic substances. Things like this really made me love science as a kid. I wish I had the formula, seems it would be a fun toy for kids or kids at heart if it wasn't toxic. Probably you couldn't eat it though. As much fun as a slinky or silly putty I should think, having a mass appeal.
And in related news ...
http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2008 ... ixotro.php
Last edited by Mark on Sun Sep 21, 2008 3:26 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Viv
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Re: Left field

Post by Viv » Sun Sep 21, 2008 4:08 pm

Hi Mark

Yes this is one of those astounding examples of a science fact that most people don't realize exists, thixotropic type substances are very interesting in the different ways it they can be used, crazy glue (super glue) for one example.

Viv
"Sometimes the lies you tell are less frightening than the loneliness you might feel if you stopped telling them" Brock Clarke

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Mark
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Sun Sep 21, 2008 4:56 pm

I one time bought a pound of guar gum powder and mixed a spoonful in a jam jar with some water and a few drops of green dye just toying around to play with the strong gelling action. I found that after it had gelled, this slug would slide up and down the jar as a single blob or piston if I shook the jar strongly. Then after a bit, the stuff would become like syrup and affix itself to the lid if inverted and form green stringy masses that would drip down. The gel would liquify if disturbed. I can't remember if I put a little borax in it too or not. You can make a kind of green slime this way.
Another thing I nearly found out was that after several days organic reactions occur and the stuff starts to decay, perhaps some bacterial action takes place. This was seen as a severe pressure which if I hadn't released it, might have possibly burst the jar and scattered the green slime all about.
There was an incident where they were using guar gum as a dietary aid, creating a sense of fullness. A person drank the guar gum product in water, but it gelled inside this person's esophagus and the individual died. It was then taken off the market for that use. What a way to go. There is an account here under "Nutritional and medicinal effects".
"Guar gum is economical because it has almost 8 times the water-thickening potency of cornstarch."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guar_gum

This brings to mind the walking on water and cornstarch clip. Old news/yawn.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f2XQ97XHjVw
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Mark
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Sat Sep 27, 2008 9:29 pm

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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Fri Oct 10, 2008 12:59 pm

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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Thu Oct 23, 2008 3:36 am

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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Fri Nov 07, 2008 2:37 pm

A song I heard on Austin City Limits the other evening when I was in Texas. I kind of liked these lyrics. Late at night it seemed haunting somehow.

What is it inside our heads
That makes us do the opposite,
Makes us do the opposite
Of what's right for us.
'Cause everything be great,
And everything be good,
And everybody gave,
Like everybody could.

Sweetest little bookworm,
Hidden underneath
Is the sexiest librarian.
Take off those glasses and let down your hair for me.
Take off those glasses, and let down your hair for me.

Simple little beauty,
Heaven in your breath.
Simplest of pleasures
The world at its best

Click "Play this song"
http://www.lyricsmania.com/lyrics/my_mo ... 03689.html

Another source
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzbfasV1 ... re=related
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Mark
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Fri Nov 07, 2008 3:14 pm

"Alice laughed. 'There's no use trying,' she said. 'One can't believe impossible things.' 'I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it half an hour a day. Why, sometimes, I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."
Lewis Carroll
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larry cottrill
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Re: Left field

Post by larry cottrill » Fri Nov 07, 2008 3:47 pm

A nice passage that a lot of readers find nonsensical but programmers grasp almost immediately:
__________

"Then there is the passage in which the White Knight proposes to comfort Alice by singing her a song:

"Is it very long?" Alice asked, for she had heard a good deal of poetry that day.

"It's long," said the Knight, "but it's very, very beautiful. Everybody that hears me sing it--either it brings the tears into their eyes, or else--"

"Or else what?" said Alice, for the Knight had made a sudden pause.

"Or else it doesn't, you know. The name of the song is called 'Haddock's Eyes'."

"Oh, that's the name of the song, is it?" Alice said, trying to feel interested.

"No, you don't understand," the Knight said, looking a little vexed. "That's what the name is called. The name really is 'The Aged Aged Man'."

"Then I ought to have said 'That's what the song is called?'" Alice corrected herself.

"No, you oughtn't: that's quite another thing! The song is called 'Ways and Means': but that's only what it's called, you know!"

"Well, what is the song, then?" said Alice, who was by this time completely bewildered.

"I was coming to that," the Knight said. "The song really is 'A-sitting on a Gate': and the tune's my own invention."


Now that is formal logic served up with an apple in its mouth! Those familiar with programming computers in higher-level languages will see there a clear delineation of the difference between a datum, the symbolic name of that datum, the address at which the datum is stored, and the symbolic name of that address."

__________

See http://www.alice-in-wonderland.net/scho ... e1020.html for a more expanded explanation than just the DP one.

The same thing can actually done without high-level languages, as in binary programming the Altair, and in that case it is even more interesting. Or, maybe not -- in the high-level language, if you dig down beneath it, there is another level of abstraction which makes the language work, so there is another level of locations and references. This was cool in the Altair equipped with Altair BASIC, because you could get at the underlying core values where the command interpreters of the language symbols were located, and change them once you knew what you were doing. Uncle Bill even provided a simple way within the language to branch out into a raw storage area set aside for binary programming, and return safely if you obeyed the rules. Thus, I was able to print to a Selectric printer from Altair 8K BASIC, even though the language had no innate understanding of Selectric codes, just ASCII devices.

Make fun of rich Uncle Bill if you want (I often do); Altair BASIC was an unbelievably useful language. Bill Gates, Paul Allen and Monty Davidoff developed the first version without ever seeing an Altair 8800 -- and the first time they loaded it up on one, it ran!

L Cottrill

pezman
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Re: Left field

Post by pezman » Fri Nov 07, 2008 4:00 pm

Ceci n'est pas une pipe!
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larry cottrill
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Re: Left field

Post by larry cottrill » Fri Nov 07, 2008 4:09 pm

pez -

Well, this might be an explanation.
Of course, this might just be a description.
Or then again, this might be a sentence.
But after all, this might just be a word.

or ???

At any rate, I agree that this cannot be false ;-)

Edit: I 'most forgot:
This might be characters in a line buffer.
On the other hand, this might be pixels on your monitor screen.
Or maybe, this might be bits stored in your video card screen buffer.
I doubt that that's all, but I take comfort that I still find nothing false in this.


L Cottrill

Mark
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Sat Nov 08, 2008 1:51 am

I liked the pipe art. Maybe we should have someone do a painting here proclaiming "This is not a pulsejet". ha
I kind of liked this one too, by the same artist.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:The_ ... n_1935.jpg

Thanks for the curious thoughts too Larry, I like to wind up in a left field thinking mode. Maybe I have always been there. ha
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Sat Nov 08, 2008 2:00 am

Magritte tidbits for a backgrounder/review.

René François Ghislain Magritte (21 November 1898 - 15 August 1967) was a Belgian surrealist artist. He became well-known for a number of witty and thought-provoking images.
Magritte worked as an assistant designer in a wallpaper factory, and was a poster and advertisement designer until 1926 when a contract with Galerie la Centaure in Brussels made it possible for him to paint full-time.
The Treachery of Images (La trahison des images), which shows a pipe that looks as though it is a model for a tobacco store advertisement. Magritte painted below the pipe "This is not a pipe" (Ceci n'est pas une pipe), which seems a contradiction, but is actually true: the painting is not a pipe, it is an image of a pipe. (In his book This Is Not a Pipe French philosopher and critic Michel Foucault discusses the painting and its paradox.)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ren%C3%A9_Magritte
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Sun Nov 09, 2008 3:04 pm

Proof positive some are more left field than me, well maybe. ha
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cxL0nUAO ... re=related
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Re: Left field

Post by Mark » Mon Nov 10, 2008 4:12 pm

How to spice up your life. "ha"
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/00000342.htm
Some flowers in case you get tired of playing your datura plant. Kind of a pretty genus I guess. (see previous Nov 9 post)
http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&i ... a=N&tab=wi
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