The other day I was watching a TNT rerun of Castle, a show I recently decided to check out and discovered I liked. I’m actually vaguely embarrassed—not in liking the show, it’s a good show—because I didn’t realize the male lead, Nathan Fillion, is Malcolm from Firefly (and the movie based on it, Serenity).
A while back (probably when they first began airing older episodes), TNT was running a lot of ads for the show, and I kept thinking, “Gee, that guy looks so familiar.” It took another blogger reviewing the show to make the connection. (I’m oddly bad with faces sometimes.)
It’s a good show, but this isn’t about Castle so much as coffins and creepy things.
I find myself in an increasing funk the last few weeks. By now I’m feeling maximally funky, but unfortunately not in the good way. Funky often refers to smell, and in this case the increasing stink is mental. I’m just … fed up, halfway between tired and disgusted, many miles south of annoyed.
Work accounts for much of that, perhaps all of it. Yet another week of literally zero progress. In fact there was a setback: vendor work that didn’t, and the vendor is being difficult about dealing with it. I seem to be on the IT project equivalent of the Titanic (and there are a scary number of parallels).
And for a variety of reasons I’m feeling a strong sense of impedance mismatch with the world.
“We’ve arranged a global civilization in which the most crucial elements — transportation, communications, and all other industries; agriculture, medicine, education, entertainment, protecting the environment; and even the key democratic institution of voting, profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces.”
Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, 1995
I ran across the above quote on a blog, and it really hit home on a point I’ve been pondering and struggling with recently. It has to do with that line about how “almost no one understands science and technology.” It has to do with how weary I am of living in that world.
But rather than rant about it, here are some other quotes I like from a truly great man and wonderful scientist.
In Monday’s post I started writing about light and color. I described how white light can be created by adding three primary colors (red, green, blue), and how mixing any two result in secondary colors (yellow, cyan, magenta).
I went on to describe how subtracting two of the secondaries gives you the primary color they have in common, and how subtracting all three filters out all color, giving you black. The secondary combinations are the negative of the primary ones (e.g. blue is “anti-yellow”).
Finally I touched on how color is the “pitch” (frequency) of light. X-rays, radio waves, microwaves and gamma rays are all forms of light.
Today I continue the topic by exploring some details and nuances.
This is a post I began quite some time ago thinking it would be a quick and easy one, since it concerns a topic I know very well.
But—perhaps due to my own inability to be brief—it turned out to be more involved than expected. Maybe I just have a hard time leaving out all the details. In any event, I set it aside until I had more time.
Then I had an idea for making this post a bit more fun (at least for me). The problem was: I needed to build a theatre! You see, this post is about color and light.
The maps you find in some buildings and malls have a little marker flag that says, “You are here!” The marker connects the physical reality of where you are standing at that moment with a specific point on a little flat map.
Your GPS device provides your current location in terms of longitude and latitude. Those numbers link your physical location with a specific point on any globe or map of the Earth.
But to fully represent our location, longitude and latitude are not quite enough. (We might be high overhead in a hot air balloon!) To fully represent our position, we need a little more ‘tude, but in this case that’s altitude, not attitude.
We need three (and only three) coordinates to completely represent our location in space. This post is about why.
This is a post I’ve had sitting on the shelf for when I wanted an easy one. I don’t know about other bloggers, but it takes hours for me to crank out a post. Some can take most of a day. (There are some where I spent days making graphics, and an upcoming one has work that took weeks! (You saw a glimpse in a recent post!))
The situation this concerns is long past. This is no rant, just a piece on a life change that surprised me a little, made me sad a little, and which doubly reflected the end of an era.
I could write this any time, but today I got another plea from Scientific American magazine. Again they beg me to come back. Again I won’t.
This, then, is an open letter to SciAm, a dear old friend with whom I’ve parted ways.
This may be the first actual Brain Bubble I’ve ever posted! The original intent was to provide a mechanism for sudden (short) thoughts I wanted to record or put out there. But the BB posts quickly turned into mini collections of thought bubbles.
But today I started trying to get into Immanuel Kant (again), and that naturally led to a bit of Wiki Walking.
It was when I got to the article about the subject-object problem that a sudden brain bubble burst!
It seems fitting to take this opportunity to write a Sideband post the way I had originally intended when I began them. That intent goes back to the beginning; the first Sideband post was my second post here. For better or worse, the original intent didn’t last long.
In fact, it’s hard to see much difference between the Sideband posts and the other posts. That probably reflects a lack of focus on the main topics. Sidebands were intended for stuff that was off topic. But I’ve been so all over the map on topic that at least one blogger asked if I had a short attention span. [insert here one of the short attention span jokes you've heard before]
That’s not going to change. I’m eclectic; so is my blog. Sidebands will evolve. For now, here’s a Sideband on yesterday’s post, just like Blogger originally intended.
I had thought, on this third day of Chillaxmas, that to entertain and terrify you, I would post a true tale of alien invasion and species murder. I know you’re expecting the punchline to be that I would if I could, but I don’t have such a tale, so I can’t, ha, ha. Well, I do have just such a tale, and I could, I’m just not.
Not today, anyway. It’s all queued up for tomorrow, and it’s just as well. This will give me a chance to issue a little advance warning. I have pictures of the aliens! War is never for the faint of heart; it’s all the worse with an exoskeleton-wearing alien enemy!
Today, very much like Dug, I was distracted by some virtual philosophical squirrels.