Thursday, April 03, 2008

Odds and ends I've been meaning to blog about but have not had the chance, still really don't have time, but did anyway in slapdash fashion

Here is a collection of brief notes, of which I have been wanting to post but I have not had the chance to do so. Until now, that is.

Directions onto the MIT Campus:
Here are my directions from the hotel I stayed in to the offices of the professor I was meeting with at MIT.

Leave your hotel, cross the street and go past the T and cut through the lobby of the first building. Go straight through the courtyard until you get to the building that looks like a 30-60-90 triangle. Enter through the 30° angle, walk through and exit through a corridor at the 90° angle. Follow this hallway as it takes you through several connected buildings. Turn right at the Infinite Corridor, go to the end, up a flight and to your left at the top of the stairs.
Only MIT has 30-60-90 triangle buildings and Infinite Corridors.
MIT directions

If I wanted to hear heavy panting, I'd solicit for crank callers:
Is it just me, or is there a profusion of music out (in many genres) in which the artist feels their music so profound that they simply must exhaust a lung-full of air to sing three or four words? The result of this emoting artistry is a breathless singer who must gulp enough air to spew out the next phrase, ad nauseam. Imagine if people, wrote this way - in every; single thing they put down, as I'm sure many, teachers - have seen, before and expect, to see again? To the gasping artist I say this: it is proven that you can add emotion to your music and take deep breaths without a gasp showing up in the recording. And if I wanted an over-acted musical interpretation, then I would buy
Capt. Kirk's album. Lecture over.

My son is, in actuality, a goat:
Let me say that this has absolutely nothing to do with an
Edward Albee play. I know he looks like a normal little boy; but, in reality, Lil'er E is a goat in disguise. I have come to this conclusion after watching him gleefully grab at a magazine, coupons, or any other paper product and promptly attempt to eat it whole. He does this, as well, with anything he gets his hands on - from toy balls to human flesh. One of his favorite delicacies is toes, with him sneaking up on the bare foot with the stealth of a lion and pouncing with the voracity of a piranha. Truly a frighting thing to behold; but his penchant for omnivorous behavior, including all things inedible, has lead to the label of "goat".

This makes me a little uneasy:
My work just put these in some of our bathrooms, replacing the paper towels. Besides the fact that it looks a bit odd, and you actually have to put your hands inside of it to dry them off, I have one more problem. I feel somewhat uncomfortable putting any part of my body into something called and "airblade". But maybe that's just me . . .

Good tips for penny pinching at the pump:
I think this has been making the e-mail rounds. If you have seen it and question the validity of the tips, I can vouch for them. If you've not seen it, read and it will give you a few ideas for possibly saving some money when buying gas.
  1. Only buy or fill up your car or truck in the early morning when the ground temperature is still cold. (The pumps are not adjusted for temperature, so filling up later in the day - when the gasoline has thermally expanded - you will get less mass for the volume you pump. And you pay by volume.)
  2. When you're filling up do not squeeze the trigger of the nozzle to a fast mode. (Pumping faster results in the volatile gasoline vaporizing more readily. This vapor is either recovered by systems on the pump or escapes to the atmosphere. Either way, you pay for volume that does not end up in you tank.)
  3. If there is a gasoline truck pumping into the storage tanks when you stop to buy gas, do not fill up. (The truck pumping gas into the tanks is stirring up sediment in the storage tanks. If you fill up your car, you will suck some up this dirt/etc. into your tank and that can impact engine performance.)
  4. Do not wait to fill up your car until the tank is nearly empty. Fill it when it is around half-full. (Again, this is because of how easily gasoline vaporizes. By filling when half-full, you lower the losses to vaporization.)
Well, that's it for now. If you've managed to read down this far I congratulate you for your perseverance. Have a nice day!

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Douglas said...

I've heard about the airblade, but haven't used it yet. Is it as fast and sanitary as they make it out to be? The way I see it, unless the door is automated or opens outward and thus can be kicked open, one still needs a paper towell to get out of the bathroom without touching a handle that has been handled by 10 dozen guys who took a leak and didn't wash their hands afterwards.


NatCh said...

First sighting of an Airblade "in the wild" for me too. Now I want to visit your office! :)

Seth Ward said...

That gas info is the coolest info I've heard in years! Too bad I don't drive now.. but man when I do again, I'm a' takin' my sweet time.

Three cheers for the Scientists!

Also, airblade is a lame-brained name for anything that isn't a toilet air-freshener.

Chaotic Hammer said...

Wow, sorry to hear about your son. We'll certainly be praying that he be changed back into a Real Boy, assuming that's what you want.

I'm wondering about the hand dryer thing -- it's hard to tell by the picture how big the space there is. Is it pretty easy to stick your hands in there and not touch anything? Otherwise, any perceived sanitary benefits are lost.

And yeah, I work for a software company that provides (among other things) tank-level monitoring for gas stations and wholesalers, so I was aware of what a volatile and changing commodity gasoline really is.

euphrony said...

As to the Airblade, here are my thoughts.

1) You feel like you are putting your hands into a giant fingernail clipper.
2) There is no way to avoid an accidental bump of the sides.
3) As with any other air dryer, you just don't quite get your hands dry. Pants legs are a must to finish the process.

Chaotic Hammer said...

Yep. Your #3 is really the bottom line. No discussion of an alleged hand-drying device would be complete without that.

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