February 26th, 2006


I bought a shiny new iPod approximately a year ago, and it served me faithfully until last Thursday.

I am now the proud owner of a small, sleek, elegantly designed, and very expensive white brick.
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    aggravated aggravated
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Voyage. Depth. Water.

That's the analysis of my LJ according to LJArchive's "Regressive Imagery Analysis".

Top 3 Categories
Regressive Imagery Analysis for asher63's journal
Compared to: Everyone
What does this mean?

Gender-specific, it looks like this:
Top 3 Categories
Regressive Imagery Analysis for asher63's journal
Compared to: Same Gender
What does this mean?

No idea what it means, but it's mighty interesting.

Root Categories
Regressive Imagery Analysis for asher63's journal
Compared to: Everyone
What does this mean?

According to this http://www.kovcomp.co.uk/wordstat/RID.html I'm scoring high in the "primordial" categories, which apparently means my LJ reflects thinking that is "associative, concrete, and takes little account of reality. It is the type of thinking found in fantasy, reverie, and dreams."


Physics Porn

This is basically a "yay, me!" post to give myself the incentive to keep working on my physics problems.

I'm working my way through Marc L. Kutner's "Astronomy: A Physical Perspective". Chapter 2 deals mostly with nuts-and-bolts stuff like the EM spectrum, stellar magnitudes, and the relationship between AU's and parsecs. The fun starts in chapter 3 where we learn about spectral classes and emission/absorption lines.

Just for giggles (and to help myself get some facility with the software) I tried setting up Planck's blackbody formula on Maple and Mathematica. Here's what it looks like in Maple:

Woo hoo.

Octavia Butler

Octavia Butler has died, reports fellow SF novelist Steven Barnes. (Hat tip: heyiya.)

This is an awful tragedy. Octavia Butler's passing is a great loss to the world. I enjoyed her ingenious and often chilling stories in "Bloodchild", as well as "Mind of my Mind" and "Parable of the Sower". I really don't know what else to say now; I'm just stunned.

Octavia Butler info page.

Cross-posted to Dreams Into Lightning.

"The Beginning of the Universe"

Michael's latest post is about Lalish, northern Iraq (Kurdistan). It's the home of the Yezidi Kurds and, according to their religion, the birthplace of the universe.
LALISH, IRAQ – In Northern Iraq there is a place called Lalish where the Yezidis say the universe was born. I drove south from Dohok on snowy roads through an empty land, seemingly to the ends of the earth, and found it nestled among cold hills.

I went there because the President of Dohok University told me to go. “I am a Muslim,” he said. “But I love the Yezidis. Theirs is the original religion of the Kurds. Only through the Yezidis can I speak to God in my own language.”

Yezidis are ancient fire-worshippers. They heavily influenced Zoroastrianism, and in turn have been heavily influenced by Sufi Islam. The temple at Lalish is their “Mecca.” Hundreds of thousands of remaining Yezidis – those Kurds who refused to submit to Islam – make pilgrimages there at least once in their lifetimes from all over the Middle East and Europe.

“They worship Satan,” my Kurdish-speaking driver said to me through my translator Birzo before we got out of the car. It sounded like ignorant bullshit to me, and not only because Saddam Hussein also said so. I would have to ask the Yezidis about that. ...

Go to the link for the rest of the story, and for some amazing pictures.