Patrick (mcpat) wrote,


Life has been interesting lately. I got Nicole a picnick basket full of snacks for her birthday and we walked around in the park. I used some white lithium grease on some machinery in my room and boy did does it still smell bad. I read a bunch in my awesome optics book about optical computers and now I must build one. I finally succeeded in making a laser interferometer on my optics table. And, I'm planning on going to a book talk by Neils Degrass Tyson when he comes up to Seattle. Good times.

My plan to unstink my room is to degrease the machinery tonight and use some synthetic red grease I got at a car store. It was expensive but I would rather save my lungs.

I will have to post some pictures of my interferometer, as far as I am concerned it is just about the coolest thing ever. basicly, it splits a laser beam and then recombines them so that they cancel or add depending on the spacing of the mirrors. What is so interesting to me is the fact that I can shine two beams at one place (a note card taped to my monitor) and they cancel! In our every day experience light only adds, you can't shine two flashlights together and get less light on something then either one alone. So far no one I have talked to has been the least bit interested, they just say "...and? ...ok. I'm going to walk over here now..." but it makes me exited about getting out of bed in the morning, so I will keep fiddling around with the fundamental laws of nature.

Oh also, I signed up for solar storm e-mail alerts. I want to be alerted so I can grab my binoculars and try and see some aurora. Up here in Seattle it takes a Kp-index of 7 or so to see them and a large storm is a +5 Kp so it could be a while. Today was around 0 to 1 Kp. Nicole and I might drive up to Banff in Canada at some point to get a better view... they also have Fossils and hiking just in case.

Anyway, I better get back to my work.
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Yeah we're just kinda coming out of solar minimum right now so it'll be a few years until that are strong solar storms on a regular basis.
Hopefully, there are some freak storms before then. I'd really like to see them.