Monday, September 28, 2009

Oh hai! I can has right answer?

Don't be worried by the title!! I am not under the influence of any substance, I promise. The spelling and syntax of the title can be attributed to the internet phenomenon "LOLcats." If you have never heard of them, go ahead and perform a Dogpile search on "LOLcats," and you will quickly learn what I am talking about.

Every Monday and Thursday, my friends and I have a "physics party" to celebrate the wonders of electricity and magnetism. (You know you go to a tech school when the only parties you attend involve physics.) Truthfully, we are not really celebrating, but actually working together to complete our online homework which is due twice a week. We always get good grades, and also manage to have a lot of fun along the way.

At tonight's physics party, we decided we would have a little fun with the online homework system itself... We would place a funny little phrase into the answer box along with the actual correct answer.

After working out the correct answer to one of the problems, I came up with the playful little phrase that comprises the title of this post. Unfortunately, the software that our school uses for physics homework does not accept long strings of letters like that as part of an answer. No problem; we know binary!!!

So I converted the phrase into binary and inserted it into the answer box along with the correct answer using this syntax:

(6C/11) * (01001111011010000010000001101000011000010110100100
100001001000000100100100100000011000110110000101101110001000000110100001100001 0111001100100000011100100110100101100111011010000111010000100000 01100001011011100111001101110111011001010111001000111111

I color-coded the binary so you can more easily read the answer. How can that possibly be accepted as the correct answer, you ask? Well, just in case you don't remember from high school algebra, anything to the power of 0 equals 1, and anything multiplied by 1 equals itself. So essentially the above expression simply equals


which is the correct answer. But there's just a little hidden answer embedded within it for anybody that cares enough to translate the binary back to English.

We are nerds.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

A New Perspective

So, how many people get to have this perspective of a swamp? More on that in a later post!

Well, it can probably go without saying that I am back at school, considering September's mostly past us by now. Wow, how time flies. For much of the last month of summer, I was really anxious to get back to school. Not because I got sick of home (that never happens!) but because I was ready to start learning again and definitely ready to see my school friends again.
What does this school year have in store?
  • Differential Equations - The next step for most scientists and engineers after Calculus 3. I have found that once you get to this level in mathematics, it doesn't get much harder, but you're just learning applications. As for me, differential equations are everywhere in meteorology, so this class will be very useful for me.
  • Writing about Literature - Probably one of the most hated classes at FIT. I love it, for the most part. It is definitely nice to have a break in all of my science and math courses to study literature...Especially considering we studied William Faulker and Flannery O'Connor, two of my newly favorite authors.
  • Probability and Statistics - Wow. There are people who succeeded in all levels of calculus that are having trouble with this supposedly simple course. All of the theory is nearly incomprehensible, but the applications can be fun sometimes.
  • Physics 2 - Electricity and magnetism! It's really fun and interesting, but my exam this Friday has 3 problems on it...Covering 3 chapters...and a study guide with 300 practice problems, on much more than 3 topics. God only knows what 3 problems he will pick.
  • Physics 2 Lab - I really hate general lab courses, but this one really isn't that bad. My partners are great and the GSA who oversees the lab is actually a friend of mine who plays the keyboard at church. Can't complain!
  • Meteorology Research - As of now, my work-study job under one of my professors has only involved updating forecasts and plotting tropical storms/hurricanes on the tracking map in our department's building. Soon, though, I will be cursing one of the computers in the lab trying to figure out the source of the error in some program that I wrote to make some calculation to describe some meteorological phenomenon. I love that job so much.
  • School Newspaper - I have been given the honor of being the "Weather Columnist" in this year's edition of the school newspaper, The Crimson. Though the newspaper goes largely overlooked on campus, it's still nice to be published on a regular basis. I will post my writings on here every other week with each edition.
  • Campus Ministry - I have also been given the honor of being employed by Catholic Campus Ministry as the Social Jusice Coordinator for this school year. This job involves organizing community service projects and events to help our community and raise awareness of social justice issues across the globe. Cool beans.
And all of that is just school-related stuff! I haven't even started talking about tree climbing yet!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Florida Folk Festival!

It's that time of year again! Uncle Stu and I will be set up under our oak tree at Steven Foster State Folk Culture Center in White Springs, demonstrating castnet knitting, telling stories, and playing music. We'll be there all of Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Hope to see you out there!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Miss Sarah N. Dipity

Okay, so I stole that title from Florida Cracker, but it's fitting because this post has a little something to do with him.

I arrived at the Florida Institute of Technology last summer ready to be on my own and ready to learn. My main goal was to go there, be there four years, and return home armed with a degree in meteorology. During this time, though, I hoped to meet others who shared my interests in science and, to an even greater extent, Florida. Though FIT is in the state of Florida, it is not really Florida in my mind, though there are still some hints of real Florida away from the coast.

I didn't realistically expect to meet any fellow Florida crackers at a school mostly populated by out-of-state, technologically-oriented city dwellers, but I still kept my hopes up.

After a whole semester of hard studying, I came home for Christmas Break with many great friends, but none who shared my interest in Florida's wildlife, culture or history. Hm.

Things rapidly turned around one night this past semester, though. [Patience, FC, I'm getting to you soon :-D]

One night, our school's chapter of the American Meteorological Society held a "movie night" on campus to watch weather-related movies and "geek out" about various meteorology stuff. I spoke with a fellow that night who found out about my interest in Florida through my Facebook page (if you don't have one, get one.) He's a fellow weather whiz and was in my Aviation Meteorology class this past semester. Through our conversation, I learned that he is from FC's part of the state.

A little background...
I have been following Pure Florida for over three years now after finding it through Google, and actually met Florida Cracker once at the Florida Folk Festival. At this meeting, I learned his REAL name *gasp* and deduced that we are actually kin to one another somewhere along the line. As a matter of fact, we have a series of interesting connections in our families.

So I asked my new friend if he happened to know anyone by FC's last name, and to my complete astonishment, he said yes. As it turns out he is friends with FC's son and his oldest daughter. Another thing to add to the list of interesting connections!

The last thing I expected to run into at FIT was a friend of a blogging pal.

Through this new friend, I met two girls who are also from Florida - both identifying themselves as "crackers." So in one night, I went from having no cracker friends at school to having three. As an added bonus, we are all meteorology majors who are very interested in our field of study.


Thanks, Sarah N. Dipity!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Hello Again

It's been a while hasn't it? Four months to be exact. Well here's a cursory summary of the past five months of my life, in outline form, some of which I might decide to write about in the future:

Christmas Break
- Family
- Woods
- Geocaching
- General Physics 1
- Physics Lab 1
- General Chemistry 2
- Calculus 3
- Aviation Meteorology
- Weather Briefing
- Class
- Studying
- Volunteer weather research
- Campus ministry, pizza, video games, grappling hooks, and llamas
- Pretty much nothing

More posts upcoming :-D