More Ramblings from a Los Angeles Programmer

January 30, 2008

Amazing

Filed under: delirium, mathematics, technology, uk life — Tags: , , , , , — Josh DeWald @ 11:13 pm

Lately I have been more and more amazed by two things:

  1. Gravity
  2. Magnetism

Sure, we have a bunch of equations for their effects (i.e. the force they impart), but do we really truly understand how they could actually come about?

Think about it, our Earth is completely locked into orbit around an object 93 million miles away. 93 million. Heck, Pluto is 3.6 billion (3.6 thousand million for the Brits out there) miles away and it ain’t even going to break away. That is pretty damn amazing and we totally take it for granted.

One of the more entertaining things to do for us simple-minded folks is to take two magnets and try to push their like-poles together. Those puppies will really fight you! You can use the effect and move another magnet around a table. Japan uses this for friction-less high speed trains. Kids play with magnets from the youngest age, and it’s always fascinating, but it is completely taken in stride.

It is very interesting that another instance of moving things without touching them, telekinesis, is complete hogwash (presumably…) despite there being electric currents running all through us.

Maybe this is why every guy has, at some point in his life, been convinced the he could use the Force.

Don’t even get me started with quantum entanglement (aka “spooky action at a distance”). The world around us is truly stunning, even when we can “explain” it.

Update:Had 36 thousand million instead of 3.6

April 13, 2007

numbers.gif (GIF Image, 420×420 pixels)

Filed under: mathematics — Josh DeWald @ 8:01 pm

Get real

Even my wife laughed.

April 5, 2007

That’s a toughie

Filed under: mathematics — Josh DeWald @ 7:13 pm

This site has some good stuff, thought this one was particularly clever.

The Chalkboard Manifesto

March 21, 2007

But why do I care?

Filed under: mathematics — Josh DeWald @ 2:11 pm

The theory of everything in 248 easy steps

I’ve been seeing this a lot in the news now. I’ve diligently read 3 or 4 of the stories, all of which mention how this is super major news. It could mean we’ll finally be able to solve Grand Unfified Theory and full understanding of algebra and geometry. What I don’t get is how? I’m fairly certain that the article authors are barely grasping (based on the huge number of quotes) and sense that this is big news… though it could have something to do with the coolness factor of the fact that if they printed out the result it’s like the size of Manhattan or something.

Can somebody please explain to me what this really means? I even tried Wikipedia, normally a bastion of understandability, to no avail. Maybe I’m just dense and it’s blatantly obvious.

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