February 15th, 2006

krazy koati

My world's a selfish place

I'm afraid that I missed the deadline to enroll in the campus's blogging competition. Yes, you read that correctly. There'll be prizes for best university blog, for funniest blog, and for ``best blog design,'' with prizes including MP3 players and cash. I appreciate that I'm living in a place with so many people eager to get the whole community involved and interested in different things, although there are times I think the booster committee could have maybe switched to decaf. Come to think of it, I never did learn who won the inter-varsity manga arts competition last year.

Channel 5 is showing Teen Wolf Too on Thursday, showing that they're not going to let themselves go overboard with this pesky Winter Olympics trend.

There's a report in Physical Review Letters that that research team at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has managed cold fusion. Well, of course they have. They could hardly do otherwise. A February in Troy is counted as warm if the atmosphere fails to liquefy. The device uses pyroelectric crystals to create a strong electric field and a chamber of deuterium gas, indicating that the time spent in rec.arts.startrek.tech is not wasted. A similar device was used by Dr Seth Putterman's group at UCLA last year, but the RPI device has some changes. In the words of grad student Jeffrey Geuther, ``Our device uses two crystals instead of one, which doubles the acceleration potential,'' the sort of sentence you rarely see in peer-reviewed papers because it's not intimidating enough. Right now they project it'll be more useful as a neutron generator than as a power source.

Trivia: A 1758 parliamentary committee under Lord Carysfort determined the capacity of the Winchester bushel was defined as four distinctly different values by a single act. Other units were even more confused. Source: Measuring America, Andro Linklater.

Currently Reading: Gotham: A History of New York City to 1898, by Edwin G Burrows, Mike Wallace.