March 23rd, 2009


(no subject)

Only 1.35 miles today. Slacked off last week, so gotta get back into it, and still feeling a little ill from this weekend (which was all stress-related, thanks SO MUCH overactive adrenaline glands).

Better than not doing it, I suppose.
Atomic Brain

Science is Badass

Fastest-ever flashgun captures image of light wave - The description of how it works and why is a hair technical, but still pretty interesting. For those not interested, the short version is that by firing short laser pulses into a cloud of neon gas, the laser gives a kick of energy to the neon atoms, which then release this energy in the form of brief pulses of extreme ultraviolet light. Those laser pulses are only 2.5 femtoseconds (that's billionths of a millionth of a second) long, and the light that flashes off of the neon was calculated at 80 attoseconds (that's billionths of a billionth of a second) long.

Really short version: day-um.

And what would you do with pulses of light that short? Jonathan Marangos at Imperial College London, UK, says the super-short flashes could let researchers image the movement of electrons around large atoms. Can you dig the kind of impact that could have, to better understand the basic building blocks of matter? They've already used it to take take a pic of a couple oscillations of the original laser pulse.

Right now, the "atomic unit of time" is 24 attoseconds, which is the time it takes an electron to travel from one side of a hydrogen atom to the other. Marangos thinks even shorter pulses are possible, saying zeptosecond pulses (trillionths of a billionth of a second!) might be possible. These would be capable of imaging the movement of nuclear particles like protons.

Science marches on.
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Worship Chaos

Roots and Rock

Spent a huge chunk of last week hanging out with daemonwise, and a large part of that ended up being spent playing Rock Band 2. I haven't had as much chance before to really check the song list. As we were rolling along Friday, Mike suggests we play "Green Grass and High Tides" by The Outlaws. it actually took me a few minutes for the song to dawned on me that I haven't heard the song in something like 15 years or more, since college.

We rocked it out, good times...but the track's been sticking with me ever since. I woke up this morning, the memory bright in my mind of being out in a field, bonfires burning, must have been 40 or 50 of us. Collapse )

Thanks for helping bring that memory back, Mike.
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    The Outlaws - Green Grass And High Tides
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