Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
The Remnant so far is pretty blasé but hopefully it will be fine tuned in the coming weeks.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Meditations is only the first part of a two part work. The second part is the Objections and Replies to his original manuscript of Meditations that he sent out to a few colleagues. Now Descartes recommends reading both before making any assumptions about the work. I personally only wanted to read Meditations, so I opted to read a condensed versions of the Objections and Replies. So instead of the full 300 pages I only read about 35. Anyway my feeling on the work of Meditations did not change. In general, the work is written in a very abstract way of writing, where one has to reread the sentence several times just to understand what Descartes is trying to say. When I can understand his point it actually makes a lot of sense. He postulates that if he can make it seem as if nothing existed then he could prove that everything exists, based mostly on the fact that he is a thinking thing. Most of this I could follow and I would agree with, although his proof on the existence of God seemed rather circular, as several of the objections also said, and I never saw anything in his writing that proved otherwise. In general a pretty interesting work but I would not be likely to recommend it to anyone. As for the Objections and Replies, I couldn't find anything in there worth reading that would expand on the original work. The objections were interesting but Descartes replies seemed almost nonsensical to me.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 07, 2009
Next up in the Geology Through Literature section is Our Town by Thorton Wilder. You can check out a downloadable packet at the site with directions, answers, and lessons learned. See just the directions and questions below.
Using Our Town by Thorton Wilder
Geology is not only useful for a scientific purpose but it can also be used as a scene setter. That is how it is used in Our Town. To give the audience a sense of time and place the narrator of the story describes the history and location of the town including the geology and anthropology. The purpose of this project is to take his description and determine whether it is valid or not. Or could this just be a case of the author taking geological and anthropological words and imputing them into a story, whether they make sense or not?
1. Read Our Town by Thorton Wilder.
2. Write down all of the important sentences and phrases that describe both the geology of the town and it’s location on a map. You will use this information along with some references from the internet to determine what is correct and what is made up.
3. Use that information to answer the following questions:
1. What is the name of the town and the state that the story takes place in?
3. What town is closest to the coordinates given in the text? Is it the town named? Note: The coordinates are given in NAD27 which is an old system but the difference to the more recent NAD83 is only about 10 meters so it should not matter.
Use the coordinates from the text on the website:
8. Using the above geology map what is the oldest age the granite could actually be. Hint: You should probably look up what rocks make up the Massabesic Gneiss Complex and the Rye Complex.
9. Assuming the town is southwest of Manchester, is it possible that one of these rock units could be what was actually described?
10. Which one would be most likely?
11. Rearrange the rock units with the corrected age of the granite below. Assume the rock unit without an age is now the youngest.
12. Is the basalt mentioned logical? You might want to check out http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/LivingWith/VolcanicPast/. Why or why not?
I recommend using this site: http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/geo/resourceinx.htm to find where they dig for the marble.
And this site: http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/geo/centmap.htm to find the name of the formations.
Any comments or suggestions (or corrections) please let me know.
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
1. Finish the first draft of my fiction novel.
Start of 2009 - I have the first 1/3rd of the book written
February 1st - Nothing more written
March 1st - Nothing more written
April 1st - Nothing more written
2. Drop my weight to 167lbs.
Start of 2009 - I started the year at ~185
February 1st - ~180
March 1st - 175.2
April 1st - 172.2
And I have a new goal here. I challenged my wife that I can get a 6 pack (abs not beer) before she looses 20lbs. We'll see.
3. Pay off all my credit cards.
Start of 2009 - I started the year with 5 credit cards with balances and one relative we owed money to.
February 1st - Payed back the relative. Still 5 cards with balances.
March 1st - Payed off 1 card. 4 cards with balances.
April 1st - Payed off another card. Currently 3 cards with balances.
Other achievements of note.
Well when I started staining the bar I used the wrong color stain. So I had to strip the entire bar down and restain it. Currently I have about 2/3rds of the bar stripped and restained and should start on putting on polyurethane soon. I also finished reading Dune: House Harkonnen which is the second book in the first prequel trilogy of Dune (If you followed that then you are at least as big a geek as I am). And I achieved one of my unmentioned goals of getting into the PhD program at the University of Utah.