January 26th, 2007

foxtrot: nerds make better lovers

I win. Oh yes, I win.

I'm in the observatory again working on my lab. Actually, I could be in my room doing it, but I get distracted way too easily, and I wouldn't get much done anyway there, so anyway. I'm up here, and I actually got work done, despite not meeting the rest of my group. (Was it at three or four?)

Anyway, we're calculating the rotation rate of the sun, its speed in arcsec/sec, and its speed in km/sec. We have to do this in two different locations. The people in my lab (there are only four of us) got really frustrated last time because we calculated the rotation rate at the equator, and our answer was a bit lower. I came up here and tried again with different data--and with sunspots not so close to the edge of the sun, which affected our answer. I win. As soon as I saw that 8.166666666 pi on Maple, I was rejoicing, for I knew that was really close to what I was looking for.

Now to repeat this for a place away from the equator.
not rhetorical?

This entry brought to you by the Intelligent Updates Department...or so they say.

So I noticed that I've been severely lacking in the Intelligent Updates Department lately. As some of you know, my update patterns change as my moods change. Or rather, since I usually update daily now, the general coherence of my entries change as my mood changes. And lately I've been feeling a bit blah. Not down or depressed, just blaaaah, as in the generic social blahs that come up every few months because I know everybody yet nobody and I never get invited out even though I do have groups of friends with whom I associate and... Yes. Those blahs. I feel weird inviting myself out, although if they did say no, I could at least ask for a reason and get some insight on why I'm rarely invited out in the first place. Of course, it could be because they assume that I'd rather stay in and do math on Friday nights. Hey, I love math, but I need other things to balance my life, too.

With that, some random general trends in my life I've noticed lately.

I've started eating salad. Yes, salad. To be fair, I started eating salad last summer after having refused to touch it my entire life, but only with honey mustard as dressing. This is still the only dressing I'll eat regularly, but the shocking part now is that I now eat salad regularly. I'm not complaining; I just think it's interesting. Hey, if it keeps up, maybe I'll actually get enough vegetables every day. Woo.

I've also had this weird desire to take pictures of everything. Considering I just got a new camera, this is understandable. The thing is that I usually don't have my camera when I want to take a picture, sort of how I rarely carry my cell phone with me and don't notice until I check it and it's dead, but that's besides the point. Anyway, I'll definitely be carrying that around more often. Who knows? You may actually get pictures from me in the near future. Give me ideas. I'm not that creative. I am going to photograph signs containing poor grammar, but that's the extent of my creativity. Any other ideas are welcome.
And now for today. I gave the math department all the REU information they needed to write my letters of recommendation. It feels really good to have that out of the way. Now, of course, I have to work on my applications, the first two of which are due 15 February. I have a number theory test out on Valoween, so I should get those two applications finished as soon as possible.

I have an astronomy lab problem to write, an astronomy class extra credit problem, and a probability problem set due Tuesday. I also have a number theory problem set due Friday. Guess who'll be working a good portion of the weekend? I'll need the time for number four (the first three are much easier) on probability: approximate the probability that, with a biased die (probabilities of each number 1-6 were given in class; I'm too lazy to look them up), it would take a prime number of rolls to roll a one. That's the weekend's challenge.