I also put up some pictures from our weekend in Connecticut. You can check ’em out here.
Sometimes, I love it when I’m really wrong:
My boss and his boss were recently having a science disagreement. My boss’s boss made the bold statement that the magnetic north pole of the earth is actually located at the geographic south pole. Now, everyone knows that magnetic north is near the geography north pole, right? Certainly both my boss and I thought so…
Well, if you do some Google searching you discover that some websites say one thing, some say the opposite, and some avoid the issue altogether.
Rather than be persuaded with websites, I decided we should do an experiment. So, here’s what we did:
We magnetized a small piece of a paper clip, and floated it on (a little scrap of business card folded into an ‘M’ profile in a glass of water. The paper clip aligns itself with the earth’s field – we called the end of the paper clip that pointed towards the geographic north pole end #1 (you could even make a mark on the business card scrap to help keep track of which end is which).
When you run a current through a wire, a magnetic field is created, according to the right-hand rule. If you grab the wire with your thumb pointing in the direction of current (from plus to minus), the magnetic field lines go in the direction of your fingers (field lines go from north to south).
Well, if you hook a wire up to a battery (don’t do it for too long or the battery will overhead) and hold it near the makeshift compass, you discover that end #1 actually points the same way as the field lines go around the wire.
So, if end #1 points along the field lines, and field lines go from north to south, it follows that the magnetic south pole of the earth is really at the geographic north pole!
It’s good to work for a science company that encourages doing this kind of thing during work hours!
In computer news, I recently switched from Internet Explorer to Firefox – a huge improvement!
Also, I was having trouble getting the “Internet” preference pane to show up in the list of System Preferences (this is where you can set your default browser, etc.). This page helped me sort it out.
I took my car in for its 20,000 mile service today. It seems to be holding up remarkably well – on the trip up to Montreal, there were four of us in the car with the AC going, and it still got 50 miles to the gallon! Not too shabby…
Matt and I are headed out to the Cape next weekend (by bike again), and this year we’ve scheduled an extra day in Eastham for some relaxin’. We’re also going on this canoe trip, which I’m looking forward to.
I added a search page to the site, where you can do a local- or web-wide search. Not super exciting, but easy enough to add that it was worth it…
Our weekend in Connecticut was really nice, in spite of some rainy weather on Friday. We swam in Mudge Pond, made it up to Lion’s Head for a nice view, and ate really well. I took a roll of film – my first try at taking slide film. I’ll post pictures at the end of the week…
I heard the song “The Madison Time” this morning in Krispy Kreme, and it made me both want to have that song on CD or MP3, and also to learn the dance that goes with it. Once again, the iTunes Music Store has let me down – they don’t have it available.
I put up some pictures from Montreal – check ’em out here.
Off to Connecticut tonight!
Lots of news to share:
We had a good time in Montreal this weekend playing at the Comedy of Errors tournament. As usual, the Canadian teams we played were friendly, spirited, and competitive. Though the tournament party wasn’t quite as wild as originally billed, the weekend was a success. Pictures coming soon…
I got the Rolleiflex pictures back today – check them out here. There’s a light leak somewhere in the camera (at least I think so – it could be that I exposed some of the film to light when I took it out of the camera), but otherwise they look good. A little light-leak-hunting and it’ll be a great camera.
I made it through Requiem for a Dream tonight. I say “made it through” because I actually had to stop the movie every ten or so minutes and remind myself that there were good things in the world. That’s not to say it wasn’t a stunningly good movie – Aronofsky made some truly powerful images – but I wouldn’t have wanted to see this in a theater, or even with other people around.
I’m really looking forward to our annual trek out to my grandparents’ place in Connecticut this coming weekend. Planned are a canoe trip and not much else besides relaxing, cooking and sleeping in.
I’m off to Montreal this weekend for a tournament, off to Connecticut next weekend for some quality time with friends, then off to the Cape the following weekend for some biking with my brother. Busy!
Pictures from the past weekend (taken with the old camera) should be back tomorrow or Monday. Camera’s Inc. said they have to send out the medium format film to another lab for processing and developing. I’m eager to see how the photos came out!
On Saturday afternooon, Caleb and I went to play pitch ‘n’ putt at the Stone Meadow golf course in Lexington. I’m not a big golf guy, but I had a really good time. Pitch ‘n’ putt is a little more satisfying to me than putt-putt, and it’s certainly more challenging.
Both Caleb and I thought we’d totally embarass ourselves on the course, but we managed not to hit any other golfers, and lost most of our strokes on the green, rather than the longer shots.
We also split a bucket of balls on the driving range. Talk about satisfying! About every fourth or fifth ball, I’d really connect and thwack one good. And, unlike the last time I went to the driving range, I stayed blissfully blister free.
I doubt I’ll play all that often, but I could see myself playing (pitch ‘n’ putt, not real golf) a couple times a summer, and I’d definitely go back to the driving range.
I put up two new project pages today.
First, I finally got around to putting together a page showing the wood shelves I made with a friend a few months ago. Check it out here.
Second, I took a few pictures as a made a shutter release cable for my Pentax camera. You can see ’em here.
You can check out MoveOn.org’s new ad for Kerry/Edwards here. I think it’s fine, but I’m having a hard time keeping this election in perspective. It’s such a foreign idea to me that someone could vote for Bush – I might know three or four people out of hundreds of friends and acquaintances who voted for him in 2000, and only one or two who’ll do it again this year – that I sometime find it hard to remember ads like this are even necessary. It just seems like common sense.
I took a roll’s worth of photos on the old Rolleiflex camera today. I should have them back by the end of the week!
Unlike the exposure calculator program I had to write myself, I figured someone must have reverse-engineered the Pentax Cable Switch F and posted the results online. I was right: check it out. Thanks Maciej! Thirty bucks is way too much for some wires and a switch or two, so I’ll be making one of these tonight…
In spite of the biting black flies (which I’d never had the pleasure of experiencing), the frisbee tournament in Maine yesterday was good fun. Caleb & Becky and I picked up with one half of the local team (aptly named “Black Fly”) – one heck of a nice group of people. Though it was much lower-key than (and not as competitive as) other tournaments in which we’d played recently, it was about the speed we wanted for a leisurely, Sunday, 4th of July tournament.
We spent Friday night and Saturday hanging out near Portland. Though the Portland Phoenix reviewer didn’t, we enjoyed Siam City, and the beach on Saturday was good, too.
The weather isn’t cooperating today (I’d planned a barbecue), but we’ll make the most of it and have a nice dinner inside instead.
Having leftovers from Johnny D’s last night and vegetables from the farm share, I made an awesome lunch today: a sauteed steak & beet-green sandwich with steamed, buttered beets. It was a very good, very red meal.
I’m off to Maine in an hour or so to play in this tournament. Back on Sunday in time for a barbecue on Monday.
For the second time this week, I got woken up around 7 AM by construction on a neighboring house. This morning, though, I was annoyed enough to call the police (non-emergency line, of course). However, it turns out the noise ordinances in Somerville permit construction to start at 7 AM! Whose bright idea was that?