Thursday, September 12, 2002

Time for Some Country Music

Oh, whatever, I just needed a good title.

So, I get this spam email today asking if I'm "Tired of looking for love in all the wrong places?",

and I thought -- what if I wrote back and said "no"?

I'm not tired of looking for love in all the wrong places. For all I know, love really is wedged in between the sofa cushions, along with a beer bottle cap, 67 cents, a packet of hot sauce, and a sock. So, hell, yeah, I'll take a chance and look. And who is to say what the wrong places are, anyway?

Being as it's my blog, I guess I am.

Some Wrong Places To Look For Love:

  • Low Earth Orbit.
  • 20,000 Leagues Under The Sea.
  • A POW camp, during any war or "police action".
  • In the middle of a neutrino detector.
  • In an Active Volcano.
  • In the utility closet at the Rose Bowl.
  • Dangling from a bunjee cord off the Empire State Building, about 7 floors down. On the right.
  • In the general vicinity of Hastings, 1066 A.D.
  • In the southeast corner of the dumpster at 5th and Main. Under the rotten coleslaw.
  • In the air conditioning ducts at your building.
  • Underneath the last roll of toilet paper.
  • Tucked in the freezer, wrapped in butcher's paper, labelled "Moose - 1998".
  • At the top of the CN Tower in the middle of the night.
  • At the bottom of a 50-gallon drum of toxic waste.

Of course, having not looked in all these places myself, I could be wrong.

Wednesday, September 11, 2002

Turbulence Ho!

From the American Institute of Physics News No. 603.

HOW JUPITER GOT ITS STRIPES. A new study of turbulence in the atmosphere around a rotating sphere is helping to explain the dramatic stripes on Jupiter, Saturn, and the other giant planets. On Earth, turbulence caused by solar heating and friction with the ground disrupts atmospheric flows and dissipates the energy provided by the sun that might otherwise lead to the formation of circulating, global cloud bands. In the thin atmospheres of gas giants, however, energy dissipation is small, and some of the sun's energy is gradually collected in stable, global jets that trap clouds and form planetary stripes.

Researchers at the University of South Florida and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (Israel) have now developed a model that shows how planetary rotation and nearly two-dimensional atmospheric turbulence may combine to create large scale structures. Scientists have long suspected that the interaction between planetary rotation and large-scale turbulence governs the banded circulations on giant planets. The new research has quantified the phenomenon, leading to an equation that characterizes the distribution of energy among different scales of motion, and to simple formulae that describe basic energetic features of giant planets' circulations. The model helps explain the paradoxical observation that the outer planets have stronger atmospheric flows, even though the energy provided by the sun to maintain such flows decreases with increasing distance from the sun. The researchers (B. Galperin) have found that the atmospheres of distant planets dissipate even less energy than their warmer sisters. Although the outer planets receive less energy from the sun, they keep more of the energy they receive. As a result, the model shows why Neptune has the strongest atmospheric circulation of all the gas giants even though it is the farthest of the bunch from the sun. (S. Sukoriansky, B. Galperin, N. Dikovskaya, Physical Review Letters, 16 September 2002)

Monday, September 09, 2002

Lathe of Heaven

Watched the new A&E production of "Lathe of Heaven", with Lukas Haas, James Caan, Lisa Bonet, and Sheila McCarthy last night. It was good. There were decisions made to cut some material out [and try to compress one role into another] that I understand, if not completely agree with.

On the one hand, it was a good movie. On the other, it was not the most faithful adaptation it could have been. I'm not even sure a really faithful adaptation could even be made. But, hey, Peter Jackson's use of flashbacks made FOTR a hell of a lot better than a more rigid adaptation might have.

I wouldn't mind trying, though. "Lathe" is an amazing idea and an amazing book and I'm thrilled to see another film version. I think if I hadn' t read the book REALLY RECENTLY I would have had my mind blown clear off its pilings.

By all means, see this one -- especially if you've never read the book. Then, go read the book.