April 16th, 2010


From curled leaf to coral reef

Interest: history of science of boats. Humanity has had boats of various kinds for thousands of years, but I imagine understanding the basic science behind them came considerably after their initial construction; a curved leaf with a pebble on it in the river hints at a rather different kind of system than a twig floating in the river and we can't expect insight into the latter (relative density) to have helped make boats until long after the "dent the surface, brinksmanship style" boats had been around. This might be an example of a kind of engineering preceding foundational science, as early medicine presumably was.

Thought was inspired by my attempt to visit Carnival - apparently not enough goats have been sacrificed to Zeus, yielding gobs of rain that has visibly damaged some booths and closed the carnival area. I was there for a bit yesterday - the booths seem to be bigger this year. I almost forgot to go at all - it seems I'm no longer on the announcement lists for things happening around campus (missed SCS day because of that). Every year I've gone I've felt even more disconnected - hopefully I won't still be around for another one. I guess going to events and feeling enough that nobody wants me around that I should sit alone doesn't fulfill my continuing socialisation credit need.. Meh.

Iran has effectively banned former president Khatami from international travel, presumably for his role supporting the reformist parties in last year's election. As you may recall, his vice-president Mohammad Ali Abtahi was sentenced to prison for six years for treason, probably mostly for this post on his blog where he called the election a big swindle.

On two topics relating (however tangentally in one case) to Atheist movements, Collapse )

Hooray for long-winded blathering. If you can't get enough (ha ha), I sometimes babble on Politico too (although their comment system leaves something to be desired - you know your comment system is awful if Youtube's is better).

Maybe I'll try to go to carnival again tomorrow - might make the weekend slightly less lonely.