Archive for February, 2008

Happy Leap Year Day!!!

^ ^

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Similes to Make You Smile : )

1. Her face was a perfect oval, like a circle that had its two sides gently compressed by a Thigh Master.

2. His thoughts tumbled in his head, making and breaking alliances like underpants in a dryer without Cling Free.

3. He spoke with the wisdom that can only come from experience, like a guy who went blind because he looked at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it and now goes around the country speaking at high schools about the dangers of looking at a solar eclipse without one of those boxes with a pinhole in it.

4. She grew on him like she was a colony of E. Coli, and he was room-temperature Canadian beef.

5. She had a deep, throaty, genuine laugh, like that sound a dog makes just before it throws up.

6. Her vocabulary was as bad as, like, whatever.

7. He was as tall as a six-foot, three-inch tree.

8. The revelation that his marriage of 30 years had disintegrated because of his wife’s infidelity came as a rude shock, like a surcharge at a formerly surcharge-free ATM machine.

9. The little boat gently drifted across the pond exactly the way a bowling ball wouldn’t.

10. McBride fell 12 stories, hitting the pavement like a Hefty bag filled with vegetable soup.

11. From the attic came an unearthly howl. The whole scene had an eerie, surreal quality, like when you’re on vacation in another city and Jeopardy comes on at 7:00p.m. instead of 7:30.

12. Her hair glistened in the rain like a nose hair after a sneeze.

13. The hailstones leaped from the pavement, just like maggots when you fry them in hot grease.

14. Long separated by cruel fate, the star-crossed lovers raced across the grassy field toward each other like two freight trains, one having left Cleveland at 6:36p.m. traveling at 55 mph, the other from Topeka at 4:19 p.m. at a speed of 35 mph.

15. They lived in a typical suburban neighborhood with picket fences that resembled Nancy Kerrigan’s teeth.

16. John and Mary had never met. They were like two hummingbirds who had also never met.

17. He fell for her like his heart was a mob informant, and she was the East River.

18. Even in his last years, Granddad had a mind like a steel trap, only one that had been left out so long, it had rusted shut.

19. Shots rang out, as shots are wont to do.

20. The plan was simple, like my brother-in-law Phil. But unlike Phil, this plan just might work.

21. The young fighter had a hungry look, the kind you get from not eating for a while.

22. He was as lame as a duck. Not the metaphorical lame duck, either, but a real duck that was actually lame, maybe from stepping on a landmine or something.

23. The ballerina rose gracefully en Pointe and extended one slender leg behind her, like a dog at a fire hydrant.

24. It was an American tradition, like fathers chasing kids around with power tools.

25. He was deeply in love. When she spoke, he thought he heard bells, as if she were a garbage truck backing up.

26. “Oh, Jason, take me!” she panted, her breasts heaving like a college freshman on $1-a-beer night.

27. She was as easy as the TV Guide crossword.

28. Her eyes were like limpid pools, only they had forgotten to put in any pH cleanser.

29. She walked into my office like a centipede with 98 missing legs.

30. It hurt the way your tongue hurts after you accidentally staple it to the wall.

Want more fun?  Here’s a guide to marketing!

1. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to
her and
say: “I am very rich. Marry me!” – That’s Direct

2. You’re at a party with a bunch of friends and see a
gorgeous girl.
One of your friends goes up to h er and pointing at
you says:
“He’s very rich. Marry him.” – That’s Advertising

3. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to
her and
get her telephone number. The next day, you call and
say: “Hi, I’m
very rich. Marry me.” – That’s Telemarketing

4. You’re at a party and see gorgeous girl. You get up
straighten your tie, you walk up to her and pour her a
drink, you open
the door (of the car)for her, pick up her bag after
she drops it, offer
her ride and then say:”By the way, I’m rich. Will you
marry me?” – That’s
Public Relations

5. You’re at a party and see gorgeous girl. She walks
up to you and
says: “You are very rich! Can you marry ! me?” –
That’s Brand Recognition

6. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to
her and say: “I
am very rich. Marry me!” She gives you a nice hard
slap on your face. –
That’s Customer Feedback

7. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to
her and say: “I
am very rich. Marry me!” And she introduces you to
her husband. – That’s
demand and supply gap

8. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to
her and before
you say anything, another person come and tell
her: “I’m rich. Will you
marry me?” and she goes with him – That’s
competition eating into your
market share

9. You see a gorgeous girl at a party. You go up to
her and before
you say: “I’m rich, Marry me!” your wife
arrives. – That’s restriction for
entering new markets

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Basically, all of the electrical power in your home is first passed through a series of transformers. So how exactly do they work?

Transformers reduce current before transmitting electrical energy over very, very long distances through wires. By reducing current, the voltage is increased, making for a very economical transmission of power. An alternating current in the primary coil changes the magnetic field strength which induces a voltage in the secondary coil.


City power lines usually operate at 15,000 V. But before the electricity enters a house, the potential difference is reduced to 120 V. The change in the potential differences depends on the turns ratio. If the number of loops on the secondary coil is decreased, the potential difference on that side decreases (this would be a step-down transformer.) With Faraday’s law, we can derive the equation for the turn ratio.

ΔV1/ΔV2 = N1/N2

Energy is, of course, sadly dissipated in a transformer but it is one of the most efficient of electrical machines! In fact, large transformers can perform at efficiencies that are around 95%.  Wow!

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Read some vignettes?  ^ ^  Amusement guaranteed.

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Spidery Silks

Listening to Professor Cheryl Hayashi’s speech was definitely an enjoyable experience.  Whoever knew that a single spider could produce so many kinds of silks including types used for egg sacks, safety lines, and prey catching?  And some spiders being able to produce silk from not only their spinnerets but their legs too?  Definitely something I hadn’t known before.  It’s also fascinating to know that scientists like Hayashi have come up with a way to mass-produce silk in tomato plants.  What types of amazing uses will they find for spider silk?

It was remarkable that Professor Hayashi hadn’t known that she would become an evolutionary biologist working with spiders when she had first graduated from Iolani.  It was incredibly lucky that she discovered her interest in working with spiders at a part-time job.  She found something she could be passionate about unlike others who complain daily about their jobs.  I’m hoping that this sort of “meandering path” will work for me because I currently have no idea about what to do with my future.  Maybe there’s a career out there that will combine economics, biological sciences, and writing?  It’s all a matter of finding and fulfilling a want of society.


It was also interesting that Hayashi talked about living in small towns with much less diverse populations.  I can’t really imagine actually living as a ‘minority’ after growing up in Oahu but it’s something I’ll probably have to get used to if I do go to college on the mainland.

Overall, the presentation was fresh and entertaining.  It was great to see an example of someone who made a difference and found her special niche in society.  Hayashi’s last remarks about being motivated to prove the capabilities of science and evolution were especially awe-inspiring.

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Happy Chinese New Year!!


It’s the Year of the Rat!!




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Well, hopefully everyone had a nice SuperBowl Sunday!  At first, I was going to write about football but then I decided that a) too many others would write about it and b) I’d probably sound foolish trying to explain something I’ve always been indifferent to.

So instead I’d like to talk about the physics of a creature I’m very passionate about, tigers.  More specifically a leaping tiger named Tatiana.  Some of you might have heard about how on December 25, 2007, Tatiana somehow got out of her enclosure and attacked three drunken idiots who were taunting the tiger by standing on a railing and yelling.  One of those ‘victims’ died and Tatiana was shot to death.  Whatever happened to justice?


Since then, some have tried to show how it was possible for Tatiana to jump over the 12 1/2 ft fence from a distance of 33 ft.  Here you can find detailed calculations based on physics (kinematic equations!) determing that such a stunt is possible and that Tatiana had probably been traveling at a velocity of 26.7 mph at an angle of 55.4° above the horizontal.  Quite amazing, isn’t it?

Tatiana & Tony

As for another physics-related interesting fact, tigers can paralyze other animals with their roar, possibly becaue of the low frequency (as low as 18 Hz) and loudness of the sound.

Now let’s all have a moment of silence for Tatiana. : )

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