Weekend update

I’ve been pestered to update the site more, so here is an update.

It doesn’t seem like the gaps between posts are that long to me because I write so many that never make the cut.

I’ve started my summer physics class. So far, so good. It seems pretty easy and I’m not too worried about it. I purchased a graphing calculator, my first one ever. There are a ton of functions on it and its going to take me a while to learn it properly. I really like how you can write out an equation before you have it crunch the numbers. A big improvement over my previous calculator (which is like 17 years old). I’ve solidified my opinions more on the subject of using a calculator in school. I never really used one, beyond simple arithmetic up till now. The only reason why I’m using one now is because plugging in numbers into the quadradic equation all the time to get a solution is a pain in the ass. Also, I have enough of a conceptual understanding of the math behind the physics, that it really does become just a time saver. ALL of the Apple Valley kids have graphing calculators and in fact, their textbooks seem structured around it. That’s sad. Everyone should be able to visualize certain fuctions in their head: sine, cosine, ex, 1/x, tan, the unit circle.

I have a biology class that starts in 2 weeks, and I’m not too worried about that class either. I’m still debating if I should take the differential equations class. I took it at Macalester, but it was a while ago and I could use the refresher. If I do, I think I’ll take it pass/fail.

CFL in Boston was last week. The team overall did well, with Jeff Long making it to semifinals
and Tim “you mean nothing to me now that your extemp career is over” Hogan dropped for the third year in a row in Quarterfinals. Apple Valley placed in the top 5 in speech sweepstakes and over all team sweepstakes.

I’ve been reading a lot lately on the subject of astrobiology. Its a fancy sounding word and a pretty new discipline, and its very inter-disciplinary. Its where astrophysics/paelobiology/geophyiscs/biochemestery all meet up. Physicists have a good idea of how the universe was created up to the first 10-23 seconds after the big bang. Paleontologists have a pretty good grasp of evolution going back a few billion years. However, there is the period shortly after the formation of the Earth where, somehow, life sprang up out of nothing. The billion dollar question is how exactly did it happen and how easily can it be replicated outside of the Earth.

Anyways, its fun stuff.

By Gary

3 dimples. 7 continents. 130 countries.