books/noise/weather machine

This weekend was apparently a book buying weekend. These kinds of
splurges arent exactly helping me save money, but alas.

Picked up a book
by Tom Friedman. Very cool. I
kept seeing stuff he did in various contexts and thinking “remember that name and look it
up” but I kept forgetting. His style kind of reminds me of what Andy Goldsworthy would
do if he grew up in a American suburb instead of rural Scotland.

Also picked up the new Henry Petroski book Small Things Considered. It’s an overview of various
informal design processes, with common everyday examples. It’s similar to The
Evolution of Useful Things
, but driven by discusion of the design process
with common everyday examples used as examples, instead of vice versa. Pretty
interesting read so far.

Another used purchase was a book called “Weather Modification”. That is in
fact, about modifiying the weather. Lots of discussion around the office
a few weeks ago about potential ways to stop or modifiy hurricanes and
other storms (impending hurricanes tend to do that…). And if nothing
else, it’s add a bit of credibility to my stock answer for whenever someone
asks about something work related I can’t talk about, aka “were building
a weather machine…”.

Headed over to badger‘s place sunday to play for a while. Much
noise was made in an attempt to scare away the crowd that had decided to
picnic in badger’s backyard (no kidding). Of course, it wasn’t till we started
the soft pretty ambient stuff till they left.

I usually dont like junk mail. But I occasionally make an exception. Like,
say, for a really cool catalog.

One I got in the mail recently was a catalog for
. It’s geared towards model builders, particular model railroaders.
I havent built a model in ages, but it’s still cool. Especially the minatutre
milling machine
and lathe

And as per a conversation with badger earlier today, looks like
it has already appeared in a Recomendo post.

hmm, Protean Spook
sounds interesting, and is playing Nightlight tonight. There playing with Cold Sides
though, who didnt impress me that much when I saw them a few weeks ago.

But maybe I should just go to a movie or something. It’s been a long

In this house, we obey the laws of thermodynamics!

For some reason, discussion of the laws of thermodynamics seems to be
following me around recently. And of course, my concept of the
“conservation of misery” follows.

So I googled for good defs of the laws of thermodynamics. And
aside from decided that what was once refered to as “the
0th law of thermodynamics” (since a, it was the last one
put into words, but the other two depend on it, and b, cause
it define absolute zero), is now called the 3rd law. “0th law”
was a much cooler name.

But I found an somewhat depressing quote in the process, if
for no other reason, the cold (pun intended) tone it is stated.


    The Universe will attain absolute zero when all energy and matter is randomly distributed across space. The current temperature of empty space in the Universe is about 2.7 Kelvins.