Wednesday, February 27, 2013

busting myths

before we begin, some poker talk!
other people play poker. they then talk to me. i am quite uninterested since they still talk about bad beats etc. i try to direct them to talking about strategy but then they ask simple questions, like i was short stacked with AK, was i right to push after a raise? (erm yes).

i think i might try to start playing again. i know the main reason i failed was my temperament and it's something i've been working on in general (road rage!). but then i've been saying this for a year and haven't played. i just need to think of the extra money i could make.

so, on to busting myths.
the internet is amazing. you can write *anything* on it, and more often than not, people do. then other people believe it!

there are some amazing falses people believe and i hope that you will become enlightened by reading this here post.

1) glass flows.
No. no it doesn't. it's a solid. solids don't flow.
people have thought it flows because upside down glasses 'stick' to the wooden shelves (the wood has dried). or because old windows are thicker at the bottom than at the top (that's just poor technique because the middle ages people weren't as advanced and making huge glass windows isn't easy).
like almost every solid, you can make glass flow by heating it up - ie melting it. that's when it will flow.

2) this one i read recently and was incredulous about it. i couldn't believe it was true. much of the internet thinks it's true. i don't.
springs weigh more when compressed.
only slightly more, but slightly more. the argument is that the extra stored energy is equivalent to some extra mass via e=mc^2.
sadly, as nice as this sounds, i don't think it's true. having a greater potential energy doesn't 'give' the object more mass. the only reason mass changes is because in special relativity going faster causes you to appear heavier. it's slightly more technical because it depends what frame of reference you're in (in your own frame you are always at the centre and not moving so stay at the same mass! unless you eat something.)
you can turn energy in to mas, and this will occur in proportion to the equation above, however, you aren't turning this energy in to mass. it's remaining as an energy.

there is still the matter of the potential energy it does have that an uncompressed spring doesn't. where does this extra energy go? well, if for example, you destroyed both springs by turning all the mass to energy, i think the one which is compressed would have a higher energy density. that would be the case if something had a higher potential energy and you destroyed it so i've assumed something similar for elastic potential.

i could be wrong and would be eager to hear any thoughts on the matter.

Monday, February 18, 2013

the rules of the underground

i broke a rule by smiling at a girl. clearly Russian or Ukrainian, she was Hot (capital H). She had great dress sense and wore black headphones with an iPhone. i like that. sadly, i'm now so old I think she was too young for me.

another rule, which i almost broke was that of helping tourists. i once helped a girl with a suitcase down the travelator and she started talking to me. attempting a proper conversation! once we had gone down the many (many) flights of stairs i was ecstatic to find we were going in opposite directions. today, i almost helped a man who was looking at a map with a face of complete and utter confusion. had i asked him where he was going, he would have said "SAME AS YOU" and we may have had to talk for my entire journey home. bullet dodged. and the moral of the story is be a hot woman but not too young for me.

good night.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

i don't mean to get all political but...

in applying for jobs i'm looking at some renewable energy/climate change jobs.

what i've noticed it that it is mostly filled with left leaning people, to the point where they're almost falling over. being surrounded by them would be painful. i don't like the line drawn in the sand to separate party politics. it's such nonsense. it epitomises all the bullshit prevalent already in politics and neatly shows that all politicians are self serving power hungry wankers. how can you pick a side and then accept almost *all* their policies is beyond me.

enough politics for one lifetime. i believe douglas adams was right, and the person who should be in charge is someone who "does not want to rule the universe and tries not to whenever possible, and therefore is by far the ideal candidate for the job."

'universe' is replaceable by any political position.

Friday, February 15, 2013

moar science

this is a tiny bit more advanced than previous posts. but only slightly. and it's something that someone pointed out to me today so i'll just do an overview of the idea. an idea rooted in special relativity. it's quite a good name for the type of relativity, as it's general relativity's special brother. (more basic and often wrong).

the idea of relativity is that time is also relative. so you're familiar with the concept that different people are in different locations, and no one location is more correct than another. thus you can choose any location to be the origin (to borrow the maths term). relativity says that time is also relative. this goes against our everyday understanding that time is the same for everyone. so a simultaneous event, in relativity, is no longer the same as our common experience of it. different things can happen at different times for different people. a feature that does get retained is cause and effect, where the effect is always seen after the cause.

that's off to a slight tangent. i want to write about the effect that time is in some ways like another dimension of space. so if you got rid of one space dimension and replaced it with a time dimension you could then picture a 3 dimensional image where one dimension is time.

this analogy is even simpler where you think of a 2 dimensional space. like a square. if you travel across a 1 mile square at 1 mile an hour along the line from the bottom left corner to the bottom right corner it will take one hour. if you went spent an hour travelling aiming along the diagonal you wouldn't reach it because you have further to travel in the same amount of time.
now, imagine that the bottom line represents time and the vertical represents space. so in the first example you travel no distance in space and one hour in time. in the second you travel some amount in time, and less amount in space. ie you have a set amount of travel and it's shared between space and time.

so then, you take it to the extreme so you travel the full distance in space and not at all in time. but is this possible? the answer is yes, if you have no mass and travel at the speed of light. not possible for humans, but something which particles of light (photons) do. these travel at the speed of light and so do not travel in time. they literally never age. when a photon is created in a light bulb, as far as it is concerned, when it reaches your eye and is absorbed, no time occurred between those two events. crazy.

there are many many weird things about this i do not understand or comprehend, yet there's only one more thing i want to share which amazed me.

almost all particles have a 'half life'. This is just like radioactive particles which decay over time. some particles have very short lifetimes and decay in fractions of a second.
it is conceivable that the photon also has a minuscule half life but will not have had a chance to decay since it doesn't travel through time. what would happen if there was a glitch in the matrix so that photons experienced a brief moment of time, long enough to decay? all the photons would be gone and you'd have to wait for new ones to be created. in the mean time, they stars would be invisible. the sun would be gone for 8 minutes. and loads of other weird things i haven't yet contemplated.

ps weight up to 79kg. 1kg from target! still thin though. may have to target 82kg instead.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


Remembering that I'll be dead soon is the most important tool I've ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything — all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure — these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important. Remembering that you are going to die is the best way I know to avoid the trap of thinking you have something to lose. You are already naked. There is no reason not to follow your heart.

- Steve Jobs

Every day when i wake up i try to think two things.
1) Thanks for waking up.
2) This day could be my last. What I do today is what matters most.

It was with all that in mind that I was able to email the first girl I ever loved to tell her what a profound effect she had had on me. not that she cared!

Monday, February 11, 2013

and they say movies are unrealistic

i saw this and thought of you

in other news, i forgot my weekly round up of weight. i was 78kg when last i checked on a thursday morning. 2 kg from target. that is going well. i feel like i've missed the boat on taking a picture every day. i will instead try to take a picture every day of my bonsai tree and then make a film in 6 months time. likelihood of lasting one week? 10/1

i wrote another post too but fear it would detract from the magnificent story above so will save it for tomorrow. also, it's unfinished.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

flag girl vs canteen girl

so i've narrowed down the choices.

there were two canteen girls, but one is not for me. flag girl is awesome. looks english. canteen girl is also awesome. and likely eastern european. there is a third lady, who i think i described as the crazy blonde killer lady from die hard 3. which is the perfect description. she is incredibly hot, and a little bit scary. definitely russian. i feel like i should only choose one. i don't want to settle for second best.

it's been so long since i had to introduce myself to another human i have forgotten how to do so. i also have the etiquette issue of this occurring in a work place.

the only plan i can come up with in my head is to ask them directly about the etiquette. of course, the conversation in my head always goes very well. but then i'm not great at predicting what other people would say. if only there were only three actions (eg bet/raise/fold) that other humans could do.

anyway, as steve jobs said, we're all gonna die soon. and that is hopefully motivation enough for me to get it out my system.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

slow reading

i usually read pretty quickly. yesterday i finished a 200 page book. i started it the day before yesterday. i think there should be a single word for 'the day before yesterday' like there is in other languages.
it was a book about public speaking. i didn't read through it all very thoroughly. lots was repetitive. the stories then repeated what it had just said in a narrative form. and some paragraphs were redundant. like the news you can often get a sense of whole pages just from the title.
last week i finished a confederacy of dunces for the second time. it's an even better book the second time around and definitely one of my all time favourites. a yak tip (Thanks). I read it much slower this time around. i made sure i took my time to enjoy the conversations, the situations, the magnificent metaphors and everything else about it. i really tried to imagine every step of the way. it's a book that deserves the attention. it also has an amazing foreword.

and so it has come to pass that the modern day hero has returned to grace us with completing his story. i, of course, am referring to the man child, quincy capers. and i will be reading this slowly, such that i am forced to enjoy it immeasurably, every single step of the way.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013


working for other people is a scam.
it seems that i had to set myself up with an umbrella company as i am a contractor. the umbrella company issues an invoice to the client, for my pay. by the time the money actually gets to me, i receive half of what was on the invoice. HALF!? how the fresh hell is this possible?
taxes, taxes, admin, more taxes and then i'm left with a wee amount.

Monday, February 04, 2013

what makes an expert?

in science, you spend years studying something, reading papers on a subject, perhaps devising and running experiments, interpreting results, leaving your methods, results and interpretation open to others to critique. After years of this, you find that you have learned a rather large amount of information and by virtue of not many other people having spent time in this area, you are an expert. quite possibly only because you now know more than most (which probably defines expert?).

however, having read 'bad science' it seems that anyone can call themselves an expert. with the advancement of anonymity on the internet and the lack of honesty in the media, it seems that people can call themselves experts (or get called experts) when they lack any sort of knowledge, let alone more than most. yet they get listened to. listening to a rock star's opinion on politics is a subset of this effect. famous for one thing so you listen to their opinion on another?! equally wrong would be as would be listening to a doctor's opinion on football tactics because they are doctor. yet people happily listen to actors opinion on medical issues. and then newspapers print it because they need to sell, and what better than to write about calabrities opinions on things that might affect you!?

so i wonder how do you know when you become an expert? especially in fields where there are no qualifications/regulations or ratings systems. let alone fields where luck plays a large factor (e.g. poker).

Sunday, February 03, 2013

re peat

i have lots of drafts saved. i should probably get around to posting them. except, when i read through them i think i have posted the content in some of them before. yet they still appear as drafts...

i hate repeating myself. if i tell a story to one person, i will try to avoid ever telling it again, in case the same person hears it again. i don't like when people repeat their stories to me.
maybe i should change how i think there. a wise man recently told me, don't treat others how you want to be treated, treat them how they want to be treated.

also, i had for you to miss out on perhaps one useful nugget located in the deep recesses within some of these drafts even if they are repeats so perhaps i'll post them and hope for the best. i only wish that someone would type in the comments: "REPEAT!" if they see some repetition. not that i'm testing you. (i am)

Friday, February 01, 2013


i've studied a bit of physics. i wasn't great at it, some of it was very difficult, some of it was boring and some of it was interesting. One of my favourite bits were the explanations to the crazy quantum world and this is where some philosophy would come into it.

i also like that many of the best discoveries throughout history is one person doing an experiment, real or of thought.

yesterday, i met one of the greatest wallies of my generation. when he found out i knew a bit of maths (or so he thought, i know very little maths) he cornered me and threatened me with his world view. this included:

- reworking the colour diagram into a round ball (had he not heard of photoshop?) so that two circles of colour can come together on opposite sides.
- red + green + blue = black
- together, this makes the yin yang logo
- Einstein's time is over. all future thought will be collaborative.
- dismissing existing physics (eg Heisenberg's uncertainty principle which is fundamental to many things!). This is because he was "thinking outside the box". as far as i could tell, the box consists of sanity
- the world should now be built solely for extroverts (no quiet time)
- and so on.

while he was talking i imagined what would happen if i just stopped him by covering his mouth with my hand and saying "no. you're talking shit"

that led me to dream of bullshit man flying in through the window to save him.

Add to Technorati Favorites