Archive for the 'science' Category

on the Conservation of Desk Space

While trying to find a place on my new, large desk to work on my tax forms, I had a flash of insight which led me to the formulation of what I shall call Glick’s Law (a.k.a. the Law of Conservation of Desk Space). Namely:

The percentage of free space on a desk remains constant as the area of the desk surface increases without bound.

Glick’s Law can no doubt be attributed to the fact that paperwork exhibits the behavior — much like compounds in the gaseous state — of expanding to fill its container.

Glick???s Law ??? Conservation of Desk Space

Figure 1. Notice the graph’s distinct lack of slope as the size of the desk increases.

on Unconventional Units of Measurement

Did you know that the sandwich is a unit of time? I have just defined it to be the amount of time it takes for a normal human (e.g. me) to consume a sandwich on hefty European-style bread.

The sandwich-walk is then a unit of distance. (The walk is a unit of speed; that is, distance over time. Multiply that times a unit of time, such as the sandwich, and you are left with just distance.)

Example: The distance between the Red Post world headquarters and the Goshen Public Library is exactly one sandwich-walk.

For more fun with units, see Wikipedia’s list of humorous units of measurement.

on Recent Accomplishments

Good heavens, how can an entire month have gone by with only a measly 2-line post? And now I am taking off for Europe (as in half an hour from now) for a May term Anabaptist History class, so there won’t be much more for a little while yet.

Lest you think that I am frittering away my days in idleness, I offer two products of the final weeks of schoolwork.

First: My physics of music project, investigating ways of tuning oxygen canister bells.

Second: My paper for senior seminar, on the mind-body problem as it relates to consciousness. [MS Word document — sorry, I’ll get it up in HTML once I have more time.] My conclusion is essentially that if one claims to be both a scientist and a Christian, the most fitting philosophy of mind is one that sees the world as fundamentally of one nature yet not understandable solely in terms of low-level physical phenomena. That’s nonreductive physicalism, if you’re up on the lingo.

One of you has requested frequent blogging regarding my class. I’ll see what I can do, but no promises as finding Internet access will be a low priority. (This is the first time I’ve not been on call for work in *ages.*) When I return, look for musings about:
– Thoughts on graduating and where I want to be in 8 years
– Why being a Mennonite makes the world seem small even (especially?) when moving across the country