bp's science: computer science sort of (v.1)

What is in the air that is making computers go haywire? I mean, first my sister tells me that her computer crashed and her family has to get a new one, then my brother-in-law gets a virus and has to restore his, and the next thing you know, ours is on the fritz. (Can you believe I just used "haywire" and "on the fritz" in one paragraph?)

On the fritz got me to go buy an external hard drive. When I went to backup our hard drive, I got a "unmountable_boot_volume" error. After a little google computer science class, I am attempting to fix the problem. Jess taught me about the blessing of google computer science (i.e. search for problem and troubleshoot) and it has worked for us before, but we shall see. Right now I am at 61% completion of the "chkdsk /r" function. Let's hope this works.

Apologies, this post has nothing really to do with science, except for the fact that I feel like I'm completing a computer science final or something (I'm just guessing this is what it feels like).

So, cross your fingers my friends and backup the precious files on your computer today. You won't regret it.

p.s. to write this post I am using an old iMac my sister gave me a while back. Thanks iMac and thanks for the hand-me-down sister. We really do appreciate it around here.


Gene Kelly and George Gershwin

So, do you like Gene Kelly? What about George Gershwin?

My mother helped me become a fan of Gene. I remember watching That's Entertainment on PBS in the evening with her. We'd watch Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Judy Garland, Gene Kelly. Sometimes I wish I lived during that time. I am still a sucker for old musicals. My sister helped me become a fan of George. For a year she learned a very difficult Gershwin piece on the piano, Prelude No. 1, for a competition. I still think of her every time track 3 from my Gershwin CD plays. She did awesome. That song is awesome.

When I discovered that Gene Kelly and George Gershwin came together in one great movie, I knew it had to be good. Kelly danced to Gershwin's piece, An American in Paris in the movie with the same title. Now in this movie is a dance (it's called a ballet but it's not a stereotypical ballet), it's about 18 minutes long because that's how long the song is. And it is amazing. The first time I saw it I was in awe. The second time, the same. The third, pretty cool. I watched this ballet a lot. I had this period of time during high school where I'd come home, grab a snack, and then go downstairs to watch the dance. I remember my siblings saying, "Again? You are watching it again?" And I would, and I loved it.

A few weeks back, I played a dance game on the Wii with some friends. As I danced to Can't Touch This and Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, I felt the inner Gene or Cyd Charrisse come out. I was lovin' it! Now there's a video game I can beat Jess at (but barely)! All those afternoons downstairs watching An American in Paris with Gene and George must have paid off.


bp's science: happiness vs. pleasure (v.1)

I read an article today that caught my eye. It briefly discussed the difference between happiness and pleasure. It reads, "Happiness is a prolonged state of being that is influenced by a variety of factors, ranging from a person's relationships to her religion to her genetic predisposition. Pleasure on the other hand, is a purely instinctive reaction with a brief lifespan: 30 seconds to an hour, tops."

Based on that definition, which response do the follow activities produce: happiness, pleasure, both?

Reading a good book
Feeling fulfilled with your life
Enjoying a picnic with good friends
Buying a new car (pair of shoes, silly putty, anything)
Sharing memories with family
Eating your favorite dessert
Spending quality time with your spouse
Watching TV
Playing Second Life (living your life basically as an Avatar)
Feeling God's love
Riding a wave

This here would be a very interesting experiment on the brain. You could take individuals and measure their brain activity when they experience happiness and then when they experience pleasure. My hypothesis would be that the brain activity for either feeling happens in two different spots.


You know it's summer when...

...you head out to the beach. We went with some friends who made the trip happen (thanks guys). Our first day was a little chilly, but that didn't slow us down. Then the next day was nice and sunny. The boogie boarding was pretty adventurous (even on the froth) and we were able to enjoy some excellent barbeque and coconut chocolate chip icecream (delish).

We're all ready to go again soon.

Small town feels good

So you may have noticed, I've been gone. Gone for a bit. I've been visiting a sister who just had a little one. And may I say, a very cute little one. In order to let them do the announcing with the babe and such, I'll keep my mentioning of said little one to minimum, but I will say this: very darling baby, very sweet little fam.
Oliver and I enjoyed our visit to their small town. I was really digging it, beginning with the drive through the green pastures to the walks past the water tower. Every time I'd go out to the store for needed items, I'd come back exclaiming to my sister, "Man, I love this small town!"

I waved to the recycling man, the postman, the neighbors, the car driving by. Said hello to the fellow morning walker, the women on bikes, the guy remodeling a house, and the lady who lives downstairs (and her many visitors). I had friendly conversations with cashiers at the store. Did you hear that? Conversations. This is kind of unheard of in my neck of the woods. And it was so refreshingly friendly. And all of the shopping carts were put back in the store or in the collecting area.

I think my personality is made for small town friendliness. Heck, I want my doctor to be my best friend, the postman to know my name, and the grocer to share his knowledge of produce with me. And I like driving my car fast without lots of stops. Gee, now I'm sounding like my dad.


bp's science: beach camouflage (v.1)

Where's Waldo, the little sandcrab?
Experience science through camouflage.