Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Hot Water, and Inside My Head Part 2

I saw this article today and am very seriously stunned. Apparently if a certain frequency of radio waves is directed at salt water, the elements in the water loosen so that the hydrogen will burn. Salt water is, of course, the most abundant resource on earth. So, initial questions:
  • If it is possible to burn water, could we eventually replace gas stations with water stations to run our cars?
  • If so, I wonder if this will affect the cost of bottled water ...
  • New terrorist attack: set the oceans on fire?
  • Does this mean another potential fuel would be saltwater taffy?
Of course, we can't win with this. It's only a matter of time before someone pops up with a reason why the use of ocean water as a fuel would damage the environment and should not be pursued. And unfortunately, I'm not kidding. Well, maybe a little.


Back in class last night. Made a few more notes. I probably won't do this every time, but ... :-)

6:10 I arrived early, picked a chair that is NOT broken, still near the front where I can hear the soft-spoken Prof. People are reading the text books quietly. I will too.
6:15 Have you ever sat near someone reading, and they moan lightly as they read? Me either. Until now.
6:20 Seriously, what’s up with Moaning Myrtle?
6:35 Class begins. Right on time…?
6:40 I ask a question about the syllabus, and the instructor answers, but his answer didn’t fit what's in the syllabus.
6:42 Further discussion and clarification from other classmates, and now the Prof stops and reads through his own syllabus. It's like he hasn't seen his own syllabus. But I’m pretty sure he wrote it. I think this is the definition of ‘Absent Minded Professor’.
6:48 He is still trying to explain his syllabus. He’s really struggling with it. I'd feel for him, but HE WROTE IT.
6:49 He’s looking back at the syllabus, confused about something he just said. A neighbor turned around and gave me a very knowing look, then said quietly, “He don’t know.”
6:52 I had trouble keeping a straight face when the Prof looked at me again, trying to wrap up answering my original question. Sometimes having funny neighbors can be bad.
7:37 As absent minded as he is, the Prof has hoardes of experience, and he really likes to talk about minute details of the business he manages. Do the details relate to the course material? Sometimes.
7:40 Interesting thing about graduate level classes. People ask a lot of questions, some of them helpful ... many not so much.
7:41 Another question from a classmate. This just in: contrary to what you've heard, it turns out there IS such a thing as a dumb question.
7:42 Not that the Prof can refrain from answering it.
7:48 Still answering the question. I'm waiting to see how it relates to the course.
7:50 Ok, I see a connection. I think.
7:51 No, I was wrong. Prof just admitted that the issue won't help us with the course. Not at all. Glad we spent 10 minutes on it, though.
8:30 Prof is doing good. No, seriously! He got Powerpoint running and is actually talking to the slides that go with the textbook. Very helpful. ... Why are you smiling? I'm serious!
8:41 A student on the front row asked whether a particular company uses a particular methodology. Let's move along, people.
8:42 The instructor started to answer, but then another student disagreed with front-row-joe. Is this really important?
8:43 *Sigh* Now the two students are arguing about it. Prof is listening. The truth is, they’re both right. And it still doesn’t matter.
8:44 Now others are taking sides. Work with me, people.
8:45 This is like watching Ultimate Fighting Championship. Only boring.
8:49 And… we’re back.
9:06 Prof is praising the virtues and effort required to do analysis. People apparently don't value it as much as they should. And yet, apparently, analysis is the single most important thing you can do. Or that's what I'm hearing.
9:08 Have you ever heard someone praise and rave about the virtue of a particular skill or approach, only to realize that they're really praising themselves? Just curious. I don't ask for any particular reason.

That's it for now. Cheers!

Sunday, September 09, 2007

BOO-YAH!!!! and Playing God

Tonight, my brother Kyle scored his first Major League Soccer goal, in the Real Salt Lake game against the Houston Dynamo. In the end, Dynamo won 4-3, but that didn't lessen my excitement much. It didn't hurt that I saw him score in high def.

HUGE congrats to Kyle!


So we're sitting down to lunch today and I wondered whether there were any rain in the weather forecast. A minute later, my daughter says, "I'll be God and you be Noah, Daddy. 'Go build an ark Noah.'" For just a sec I blinked and wondered at the sound of my daughter using the phrase 'I'll be God'. Seriously weird. Then we role played for a couple of minutes -- she knows the story well -- and eventually we went back to our sandwiches.

Later, we're playing hide and seek (yep, all 4 of us, inside), and we end up in a bit of a chase around the house. Piper and I go down the hall, Christian high-tails it through the kitchen, and Celeste is hot on our tails. Then a sound, like a cross between a slap and a SLIZZAP!! All by himself, Christian managed to face-plant on the tile floor in the kitchen. We held him, soothed him, he cried awhile, but soon seemed ok. He commented a little later that his head hurt, but that can mean a lot of things, and we didn't see anything visibly wrong -- vague red spot on his forehead, but no blood or anything. Eventually we go to the neighborhood pool, and only then did we see the bruise and goose-egg forming on his forehead. He's fine. But yikes!

One more on Piper. She brought a book to me this afternoon, and said "Daddy, read me Alphabet Rescue". I checked, and that was the name of the book. Celeste picked it up at the library. The thing is, we hadn't read her the book yet, and Celeste said she hadn't told her what it was called. So I asked Piper, how did you know it was called that? And she answered, "I read it, Daddy." Now, I assure you she can't read yet, not really. She just turned 4 on August 4th. But it seems possible that she managed to figure out those two words. And I say, wow.

Christian's header notwithstanding, it's been a good day.