Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Geeking out midweek...

Just a few pieces of geekery; the last few days have been a coding ultramarathon, and as any strength athlete knows, marathons are bad for you.

The internet, good only for gossip and pornography... oh, wait

MIT professor Thomas Eagar has a number of fun stories about materials and material science, and also explains how shaped charges work. These stories are also illustrations of how engineering gets complicated once one goes beyond the block-diagram understanding that most people who "like science" get from popularizers and documentaries. (Don't get me started about documentaries.)

Here's the companion piece "Bringing new materials to market" that Eagar mentions in the video (PDF).

(That's pretty good teaching for MIT. No, I'm not being facetious; that's really much better than the average pedagogy at MIT. Don Sadoway and Walter Lewin are exceptions, not the rule.)

David Brin (one of the 3 Killer Bees of science fiction, with Greg Bear and Gregory Benford) tells XPRIZE what's wrong with most contemporary dystopian fiction:

Via Myles Power, we learn about Moms Across America and their revolutionary take on chemistry and the physiology and biochemistry of inflammation

"This hydrogen is the small particles, not the large particles," so not H-235, then? Whaa...?

Stuff I like, and might even want, but don't need, so won't buy

Hasselblad, the camera company that makes other camera companies look bad, has a new camera, mirrorless. As I said in my Less post, the limiting factor on my photography is my skill (comma lack of) so I don't need a new camera; but I can lust after it:

Penguin Prof made a video describing the equipment she uses for her MOOCs and online science videos. (I might get the Astropad software, since it appears to solve an important limitation in using the mac for highly interactive presentations.)

I used to have some educational videos in my channel, but for reasons that I won't discuss I have taken them private (or unlisted); if I was still in the mass education business, I'd probably be making some videos to support classroom activities and would invest in some better equipment. For the kind of videos I do (mostly for fun), it would be wasteful:

And a 17-inch tablet from Dell? Obviously I would like to consider it, but unless there's a touch-enabled version of Linux around for it, I'm going to pass. Need to save some money for that Apple-McLaren X1 self-driving supercar...

Some motivation from the great philosophers at T-Nation

And by far the most insightful:

This wisdom comes courtesy of Testosterone Nation online

A few powerlifter jokes:
  • What do you call the bodybuilder with half a brain? Gifted.
  • Why do bodybuilders congregate in groups of three? One that can read, one that can count, and one to keep an eye on the dangerous intellectuals.
  • Why is the Westside Barbell 5-by-5 program so popular with bodybuilding coaches? Because they can count sets on one hand, reps on the other. [It's an old program of five sets of five reps.]
  • What do you get a powerlifter who does Crossfit? An ambulance.
  • Why do gymbros use the squat rack for standing curls? Because they see real athletes use the squat rack (for squats) and think the secret of strength is the location. [Gymbros are annoying wannabe bodybuilders, the type that always skips leg day.]
  • If a vegan also does Crossfit, what does he harangue you with first? 
  • What are the three most important points of a gym for gymbros? (1) free wifi to post every single rep to Facebook without hitting the phone data cap; (2) mirrors everywhere to strike a pose after every set; (3) no powerlifters around so that they can believe they're real athletes.
  • Monolifts are very confusing to gymbros. They can't figure out how to do standing curls in them. [Monolifts are for heavy squats; gymbros use the squat rack, improperly, to do standing curls instead of squats. The "therapy" image above has a monolift in the foreground.]