Saturday, November 10, 2007

a cooking frame of mind

My chemistry teacher liked to cook, she compared it to her work as a chemist. I can compare cooking to my interest in microbiology. Processes like creating the right conditions of temperature, moisture, heat, and time; and more explicit connections to cooking like fermentation can make cooking a very interesting exercise.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

a nice view

Saturday, September 22, 2007

fluid movement

What is going on in these two pictures? Are the fish and birds following orders from someone else, or are they imitating one another? Actually, each fish and each bird is individually deciding what the most responsible action is and then does it's part. Each individual is not very smart and their decisions are quite simple ones, but when combined they are smarter than any single one among them. I think I can relate.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

trefoil art (example of chirality)

I was inspired and had a little fun with the Paint program on the computer tonight. (The ability to create neat stuff is very limited with Paint.) What inspired me to create this pattern? An elegant trefoil, illustrated in both enantiomorphs. If you had a string and made both of them, it is impossible to make one look like the other no matter how hard you try (without cutting the knot, of course).

Monday, September 17, 2007

Inaugural post

I have good days and bad days. On good days I don't complain. On bad days I try to find something good to think about. I think that's what makes me a little eccentric. Last night was kind of bad. I walk by my aquarium and look at the hundreds of pillbugs inside. Somehow they dragged a big potato peel from one spot to another. How do they do that? A single pillbug could not pull a heavy potato peel! so I thought about swarm intelligence. Swarm. That's a fun word to say. It brings to mind images of dark clouds of locusts that fill the sky, swarms of bees, ants... Humans also display this emergent characteristic. It is imperceptible on the human scale, but viewed globally we too must be dragging our own potato peels from one spot to another.

I woke up the next morning with a new sense of purpose! Doesn't it feel great to be a part of something much bigger than yourself?