Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Fragments (5/27/11)

Well it's that time of year...for graduations I mean.  I hope to have an interesting take on graduation ceremonies that I will post shortly (I want to get through my brother's high school graduation that is tonight for completeness).  But until then, here are a few links to keep you busy and get you thinking about....stuff!

-An Australian college student solved a astrophysics mystery as part of a summer internship.  I think that will look pretty good on her resume!  I also think it's crazy that scientists have been searching for this "missing matter" for two decades and it took this girl like 2 months to find it.

-Does God exist?  Well, I'm not here to tell you one way or the other but a scientist by the name of Kurt Godel seemed to give a mathematical proof of God (or more specifically the greatest being imaginable).  It's intriguing and a nice to ponder if you want a good deep thinking session.  Click here for a short summary and click here for the long, much more confusing version.

-Crazy fact of the takes 12.5 million Spam emails to sell $100 worth of viagra!  I just can't imagine how much spam there will be when Viagra goes off patent in 2012!

Hopefully this can be a little pick me up for any of you that are either bored or need some distraction this afternoon!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Same old, same old.

I finished my last final of the semester today.  I'm pretty relaxed about finals nowadays.  Or as relaxed as any sane person can be who has taken final exams for five years and counting. (I do not count high school final exams because they are in no way similar to finals in college.  It's like comparing summer recreational baseball to the MLB.  They are both baseball and that is as close as they get!  The closest a final in high school ever came to a college final was Ms. Hale's AP Chemistry final and even that final would rank in the bottom 2 of the easiest finals I've ever taken in college, but I digress.)

I walked out of my exam room and strolled over to my office in the pharmacy building on campus.  As I walked I felt relieved to be finish with another semester of classes.  Unfortunately it pales to compare to the feeling of last May when I finished my last final of my undergraduate career and felt such a huge sense of accomplishment and excitement.  I urge all of you graduating Seniors, even in high school (yes that means you Jacob) to live in the moment for the next few weeks.  Enjoy every ounce of satisfaction you can from finishing a large chapter in your life.  The next chapters are more exciting but equally more challenging.

As for me, I realized that I had a building safety seminar soon after my last exam.  Then my mind drifted toward getting groceries and cleaning my apartment.  You know, the same old, same old.  Part of me feels disappointed that I do not feel the overwhelming sense of accomplishment as usual.  Part of me knows that in the grand scheme of life, a final exam means about as much as one drop of rain does to the ocean.  I believe this is a good thing, the ability to focus so intensely on something both meaningful and trivial all at the same time can be very gratifying.  So my advice to all this week, enjoy the little things in life, such as finishing finals or enjoying a drink with friends (obviously no alcohol for you pesky high schoolers).

I leave you today with a few interesting tidbits I found this week while procrastinating to study.

First, 40 years of the computer mouse.  Just interesting and fun to see how we how changed technology over the years.

Second, bessel beams?  Yes and they could the tractor beams of the future! (I know completely nerdy, but totally awesome!)

Third, best super soaker ever!

Last, scientists at CERN trapped antimatter for over 17 minutes, which is much, much longer than ever before.  I'm most intrigued by the proposition that antimatter falls up (away from gravity).  Crazy huh?