More Boring

Wow, it’s like someone got all the boring in the Universe and crammed it into three hundred pages. You could catapult it into New Orleans during the Mardi Gras and everyone would just go home and do their taxes before an early night.

— Me, on the manual for the Business Policy Game

That Look

Last week, I bought a magazine from a homeless vendor...

Vendor: Cheers, mate. How’re you today?
Me: Yeah, not bad...
Vendor: Yeah, you’ve got that look — “not great, but I’m not gonna complain to the homeless guy…”

Intelligent Deformation

On 15/03/2006 at 3:13 PM, Nettie wrote:

How can students do a lab on determining the Young’s modulus of a piece of wire and then not calculate the Young's modulus! There is a step which says “From the gradient of your ‘increasing’ graph, determine the value of ε in the units N/m2

…And one of the students who completely neglected to calculate the Young’s modulus had a 6 word aim: “To find Young’s modulus of wire”

On 15/03/2006, at 3:31 PM, I wrote:

Perhaps they are protesting the attribution of the stretching of the wire to some simplistic physical principle. There are many details of wire-stretching that cannot be explained by current materials science, which indicates that the stretching is guided in some way — past and even present — by a more complex intelligence.

Maybe they feel that the idea of “Intelligent Deformation” should be given equal shrift in science education, rather than simply being dismissed as religiously motivated propaganda for another theory that, really, can’t explain the universe completely either.


My God, this lecturer is boring. Undoubtedly the boringest bore who ever wasted the myriad subatomic particles required for existence. He’s like a trip down Boring Street on International Day of the Boring while the Boring Military Marching Band play the Boring National Anthem in the key of boring.

— Me, SMS to Laurie

The Duck

Written during a physics honours project about magnetism.

I have invented a new unit for the discipline of electromagnetism. It measures magnetic field flux intensity density strength, and its symbol is ‘R’ (halfway between a ‘B’ and an ‘H’ at the suggestion of Jane). Units of ‘R’ (at Annette’s suggestion) is the Duck (or anything that, when mumbled, can be mistaken for ‘Duck’).

Conversion is done by taking the value of ‘R’ and multiplying by 4π; unless the geometry of the system is a circle, in which case divide by 4π and take the cosine of the angle your coil makes with the moment of any magnetic material present. Add to this quantity the area-turn product over the space-time curvature, except where the Poynting vector is non-zero but perpendicular to the plane of the coil.

What this converts to I'm not entirely sure yet. Probably Φ.