Archive for category Science

What the F is an F-stop?

When my mom asked why it took me so long to compose a shot, I told her because I had to take a lot of things into consideration like ISO speed, F-stop, and shutter speed.  She said “I don’t know from F-stops.”  Well, here it is.

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Head to head compare of Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II and Canon FDn 50mm f/1.4

Canon EOS Rebel T3, same settings on both, 50mm focal length.  EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II is listed first.

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Engineering Question

It’s been generally accepted that having a suction inlet at the lowest point of a swimming pool improves circulation.  Whether or not this is actually true is being debated but assuming it is, then it would make sense to have one.  But my question is what sense does it make to have a suction outlet at the midpoint of the pool depth?  Case in point: Read the rest of this entry »

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On the extraction of a bit of unwanted dentition

I wanted to blog about this when I was feeling better.  Then I forgot.  So I’m doing it now.

Human beings, for better or for worse (usually for worse), are born with 32 adult teeth waiting in the wings.  This seems to be a bit of a mistake as most adult jaws are sized for just 28 teeth.  In my case, the two upper wisdom teeth were perfectly straight and right where they belonged (more or less) and content to sit there and play dumb.  The two lower ones weren’t so cooperative.  One ended up sideways (like the right side of this picture) and the other ended up upside-down, which I can’t even find an X-ray of online.  Both needed to come out and the time for that was two weeks ago, on a Friday afternoon.

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Degrees of the York Rite of Freemasonry

York Rite of Freemasonry

The Bodies of the York Rite

Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons (Blue Lodge)

Blue Lodge Cigar Label 1

Blue Lodge Cigar Label 1

At the core of Freemasonry is the Blue Lodge.  All Freemasons belong to at least one.  Failure to maintain membership in a Blue Lodge will result in suspension or expulsion from all other Masonic bodies.

The first three degree in Masonry are conferred in the Blue Lodge.

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A flash of realization

It occurs to me that I, like other INTJs, tend to exhibit a specific brand of arrogance wherein I (in my mind, quite reasonably) expect other humans to consistently respond to stimuli in a rational, reasoned, predictable, deterministic manner. When this doesn’t happen, I’m (again, quite reasonably) flummoxed. This should come as no surprise to those who’ve studied Hackerdom: We tend to see humans as biological machines and consciousness as a program that’s running on those machines. When we see these kind of responses, our immediate inclination is to debug the obviously malfunctioning software. As people don’t tend to appreciate being thought of as “broken,” this is perceived as arrogance on our part (that of the Hackers) as we assume ourselves (quite naturally) to be representative of logical perfection (even when this isn’t the case, thus misleading us and blinding us to our own shortcomings in non-intellectual pursuits, paradoxically to the normally-perfect understanding of what we do and do not know).

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Happy π Day

Today is the day we celebrate the ratio of the circumference to the diameter of the unit circle.  Hooray!  I was going to post an algorithm to calculate π accurate to 2037 digits but I don’t have the patience, desire, or time before midnight tonight to apply the Fast Fourier Transform to this mess:

Srinivasa Ramanujan's formula for approximating π

Srinivasa Ramanujan's formula for approximating π

See you on τ day!

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Alcoholism FTL

So, I’m apparently an alcoholic.  At least according to an amalgam of sources including the Mayo Clinic.

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Body Mods I’d Gladly Sign Up For

The Anthro Package

Bionic Tail

Hopefully by now, everyone’s seen this pic of what humans would look like with honest-to-God tails: Read the rest of this entry »

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Dental Pain!

Genetically, my chompers are fucked. I can count on one hand the number of relatives of mine that have kept their real teeth after they hit 30. If that hand was missing 3 fingers and the thumb, it’d be even more accurate. So, in an effort to once again be the first at something, I’ve been going to the dentist more often; last time I was there was exactly a week ago, and I can proudly say that it was 1 of 3 times in my life that I’ve not needed fillings because of cavities. No, instead, one of my fillings kind of splintered so stuff can get stuck there and potentially cause a cavity, so that I’m getting that taken care of next week.

I also had a psuedo-argument with my hygienist over an abscess, because apparently if you taste/smell it, it has to be a periodontal abscess. As it turns out, I was right, she was wrong, and I was in there today getting yet another root canal. Though, this time, there were 2 roots involved because it was on my mandibular 2nd molar, and only one of the roots was dead. The guy did a nerve block, and opened my tooth up, then did pokey pokey and when he hit the good pulp it was pain. Then he injected some anesthetic right onto that one. Then it all went fine, excepting my roots not wanting to be very cooperative; he spent about 45 minutes cleaning them up.

The lidocaine wore off and pain started settling in, and let me tell you, for some reason, it’s REALLY fucking painful right now. Luckily, it’s like a pharmacy in here with all the analgesics at hand, so I should be able to kill it quite effectively.

On that note, my dental assistant is cute, though a bit slow.
“So, how’re you feeling?”
“That’s a bit of an oxymoron, isn’t it?”
“Huh?”
“You’re asking him how his gum is feeling after we numbed it.”

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