Friday, December 23, 2005

Off to Ontario again

My flight to Windsor is leaving in 6hrs5mins. I am pretty much packed, I just have a few more things to put in my suitcase. I can't wait to get home. Hopefully I sleep on the plane. See you all when I get back.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

School is Done!!!

My exams are finally over:) It's such a relief. I'm sitting here and I'm wasting time, but that's okay because I am not procrastinating over anything (ok, ok aside from having to pack to go home, Christmas present shopping and I'm sure there's lots of other stuff). I'm not sure really how my exams went, but at this moment I don't care because they are over and I can't do anything to change them now. Oh the bliss.

I went to Red Deer yesterday right after my last exam to hook up with Janet, Jill and Alyshia to watch Serenity because it came out on DVD yesterday so we felt the need to get the original Geek Fest Serenity ed crew back together to watch it. It's always fun getting together with those girls.

I borrowed the first season of Lost from Janet. I don't know if that was a good idea, since apparently it can be fairly addicting. That's means I have Lost and Buffy season 4 to watch over Christmas. Aw, lots of time spent in my family's basement, spread out on the couch, watching t.v. Sounds like an excellent holiday to me.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Only one more left!

Only have one exam left!!!! It is my Relativity exam. I have a lot of studying left to do. It is on Tuesday. Exam time is just crazy. I wrote 3 exams in 26 hours. That was just painful. My brain was tired on Friday after my differential equations exam. But 3 of them are done. I'll be at home in 6 days!!! Which, for those of you who are keeping tract, that is also CHRISTmas Eve (I had to stress the Christ part what with all the stuff going on with Christmas being an offensive word). I can't wait until I'm back in Essex with my family. My Mom called me on Thursday, which happened to be shortly after I wrote my statistical physics exam and was all upset because I did not think it went well at all. I love it how my Mom always knows the right time to call. I wonder how she does it. It's definitly a Mom thing.

Saturday was an amazing day because it was Jason and Karlene's wedding. I love weddings! This was the first time that I was a member of the wedding party. It was quite the wonderful experiance being Karlene's maid of honor. It's always amazing to see that God can bring two people together who love each other that much. I can't wait until it's my turn:)

I've been filling out my Mission Mexico 2007 application form. I really hope that I get to go. It will be an amazing experiance to go and I know that I have so much to learn from the people there.

The above photos are from the same series as from the previous post. There are lots of pictures on that cd, so there could be pictures for a while. My cousin took this picture because the plant was cute.

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The title bar (copying Brett's uncreativity)

I know I said I wouldn't post for a while, but since I am taking a break from studying to watch t.v and eat dinner, I may as well be posting something too. I spent from 9:15am to 3:00pm at school studying complex variables. Not the best way to spend a day, but I figured out a lot of things that I had been utterly confuzzled about. One thing that really bothers me about this course though is that we have learned that you can solve a real integral by using singluar points and residues and I understand that this method works. But we have never been shown why it works. The text book doesn't even have a proof for it. I guess the proof is probably "beyond the scope of the course". That means that I'll have to look up the proof sometime during the holidays because I am such a geek that it will bother me. Unless someone can show me a proof:) The Simpsons was an episode that I hadn't seen before. That's always fun when that happens. But it's over now so I should get back to studying. I think I'll go back to school because I know that I will not be very productive at home. I think CAB is open until like 11pm during exam time.

If you're wondering, yes the picture is of my eye. It was taken by my cousin Andrew years ago when my family took a trip to Ottawa. This was when I was in OAC. That was almost 4 years ago. How the time passes. I just recently found the cd that has all the pictures from that trip on it.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

4 exams and 16 days to go

It was the last day of school yesturday. I always find that the last day of school is rather bitter sweet because there are no classes left, but there are exams to write. It is kind of scary to think that I have to digest and spit out 3 and a half months of knowledge that I have been exposed to over the next week and a half. And then in 16 days I get to go home. There is so much to do before then. So I expect that with studying and all the other stuff that is happening in the next little while that this will be my last post for some time. I'm sure you are all increadibly disapointed to think that you wont be able to read my incoherant ramblings about school and other such stuff. Aw exam time, when eating and sleeping are mostly random, classmates that were once friends become competition and the only thing that matters is that you know just a little bit more than the person sitting next to you. Gotta love the curve.

The above picture is a rather neat one. It is of the galaxy cluster Abell 2218. But along with the galaxies, you will also notice some long, faint arcs. These aren't just strange looking galaxies, they are actually light from galaxies that are much farther away from us then Abell 2218 is, but because of the massive size and density of Abell 2218, the light from these distant galaxies is being gravitationally lensed. Because mass warps spacetime, the gravity from the cluster bends and focuses the light from galaxies behind it. It allows astronomers to detect galaxies with very high redshifts (that are very far away) that they would normally not be able to detect because the light would be too faint.

Some sappy stuff

Warning- there is some sappy stuff ahead folks, so if you are not into that kind of stuff I suggest skipping this post. But some times these things just need to be said.

Lately, I have been reminded time and again that I am surrounded by people who love me. And I have been realizing how increadibly fortunate I really am. There are a lot of people who don't have the wonderful family and friends that I have. I'm so thankful that God has placed such fantastic people in my life. So, I just want to say thank you to all of my family and friends (you know who you are) for always being there for me and reminding me that I am loved. I love you all very much.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

For My Twin Brother

Today is my twin brother, Daniel's birthday. So I would just like to wish him a Happy Birthday:

I hope you have a wonderful day and I will see you in 19 days!

Love your twin sister: Stephanie

Monday, December 05, 2005

An amussing quote I just came across

"No amount of Jack Chick tracts can convince someone gaming is evil after they see first hand how fundamentaly lame it is"

-from D&D 3rd Ed. The Slayer's Guide to Female Gamers

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Christmas Time and Winter Time

I'm so excited that it is Christmas and Winter time. Yesturday, I was over at Jason and Karlene's for a get together and got to help decorate their Christmas tree. It looks beautiful! It was very exciting for me as it is the first Christmas tree I have gotten to decorate since I started university. The one at my family's house has traditionally always been decorated the weekend after me and Daniel's birthday so I have always been in Edmonton for it. So it was lots of fun. I also played my second ever game of Settlers of Catan and lost very badly. Although, not as badly as the first time I played and Keith was my teammate. That's because I didn't start on the desert (or dessert? I don't remember which one is which, I could look it up, but this is more amussing). And Mom, I finally saw the show Numbers for the first time. I liked it. A math geek who helps his FBI agent brother solve crimes. They don't at all shy away from the math/physics lingo either. What could be better? Plus there is actually some snow on the ground! I hope more comes:)

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Some more physics stuff

Today in Relativity we were shown the transformation properties of an Antisymmetric 2nd Rank tensor for the purposes of doing transformations of the Electric and Magnetic fields from one frame to another. This was my first real exposure to tensors. It is slightly confuzzling and you have to pay lots of attention to all the subscripts and superscripts when doing the transformations or you can get really lost. Don't ask me what a tensor is because I really don't know. It's kind of along the lines of vectors and matrices but on a higher level. All I know is that they are really important in more advanced Relativity. At the end of class my professor was like, and I quote "so next semester in your E&M class when your professor tells you that the EM fields are vectors, I expect that some of you will put up your hands and make the smart-ass comment, they are not vectors but components of an antisymmetric 2nd rank tensor!" It was funny, that was the most laughs he's gotten all year.

On my mind

I have posted it before, but I will post it again. My favorite Bible verse is the first part of
1 Corinthians 15:10 which says "But by the grace of God, I am what I am."

In this verse, Paul is writing to the Corinthians and telling them that despite the fact that he was not a good person earlier in his life, God still loves him because it is God who created him. God sees his flaws but still loves him.

All through elementary school and high school I struggled a lot with being willing to show who I really was. I was really shy and didn't talk at all. By grade 2 my parents decided that Daniel and I shouldn't be in the same class because he would do all the talking for me and that wasn't a good thing. I was just so afraid that if people got to know me that they would see my flaws and not want to be friends with me anymore. I struggled with this for so long.

But I am no longer afraid to show people who I am because I know I have flaws and if people can't deal with them, then that is their problem. God made me the way I am and he loves me no matter what. He sees all of the flaws that I have and still chooses to love me for who I am.

So to the boy who sees my "flaws" and says I could never love you, I say it doesn't matter because God does love me and that life is eternal.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005


Today my sister, Katrina, called to tell me that my degu, Dusty, has died. I'm sad. But
he has been sick for a over a week now so it is probably best that he died. Dusty was 6 six years old. Degus typically live for 6-8 years in captivity. I got him for my birthday in gr. 11. He was so cute. Degus are very social animals and love attention from their people. Dusty loved to be held and used to just sit on my shoulder. He would also give kisses. He loved to get let out of his cage for hours of running around the family room. Although, his all time favorite activity was spinning on his spinning wheel. He would spin for hours and hours. He was quite the fit degu. His favorite treat was, of couse, sunflower seeds. He was a great pet and I will miss him very much.

Friday, November 25, 2005

Did you know...

that if you wanted to freeze someone, it would be faster to put them in a cozy room with freezing cold walls painted black then to put them outside in the cold (they would probably be more willing to go into the cozy room in the first place as well). This is because of the Stefan Radiation Law which says that energy is radiated away proportional to the difference in temperature to the fourth power. The cold, black walls would act like a blackbody and never give the heat back. This is what I learned today at school.

Thursday, November 24, 2005

And one last thing

On Tuesday, I helped my sister, Katrina, apply at UofA! I'm very much looking forward to when she is living in Edmonton. It will be nice to have one of my sisters here. Okay, now I'm really going to bed.

Because posting is fun

In one month and one day it is Christmas!
In exactly one month I will be at home with my family in Essex!
In 26 days I'll be writting my last final exam of the fall semester!
In 23 days it is Jason and Karlene's wedding!
In 16 days it is the last Fuel of the year and I get to see Chronicals of Narnia!
In 13 days it is the last day of school for the fall semester!
In 12 days (what, it's not really that close) my twin brother will be 22 years old!
Tomorrow (hmm, aparently there is nothing happening between tomorrow and my twin brother's birthday)... sshh it's a secret!!
Today, Ben and Brett were my guests at the Observatory (aka the Astro Lab)!
Yesterday was Fuel practice and once again fun times at Jason and Karlene's house
12 days ago... oh forget it, I can't remember that far back
But I can remember even further...
12 years ago I was 10, in grade 5, had a crush on a boy named Ryan and lived in Vancouver
13 years ago I was 9, my family took Daniel and I too Chuckie Cheeses for our birthday party, that was our first year in Vancouver.
16 years ago I was 6 and lived in Prince George, my best friend was Rebecca and she lived next door
23 years ago... I wasn't born.

Well that was fun. CSI is over so I'm going to bed. It was kind of a gross episode.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Wow, this is my 50th post! This is the song that I woke up to this morning. It's called Alive and it's by Melissa O'Neil.

Stuck in a world No longer turning Always the girl waiting for something Too many days Walking around sleepin Open my eyes, I'm tired of dreamin I wanna run with the reckless in motion Find out if love is the size of an ocean Even if I crash down and burn out At least I'm gonna know what it's like
to feel alive (hey yeah hey yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah) Sun on my face Lights of the city Maybe in love or just learning to be On at my two feet I can only imagine I'll say the words and believe it'll happen I wanna run with the reckless in motion Find out if love is the size of an ocean Even if I crash down or burn out At least I'm gonna know what it's like to feel alive They think they know me
but how can they know me I'm getting to know myself I'm finally ready to be somebody With the history to tell I wanna run with the reckless in motion Find out if love is the size of an ocean Even if I crash down or burn out At least I'm gonna know what it's like I wanna feel til' my heart breaks wide open I wanna blaze like a fire that's growing Even if I crash down or burn out At least I'm gonna know what it's like to feel alive Ohh I feel alive...

I know it's typical cheesy corn for a Canadian Idol winner to put out, or rather for the producers of Canadian Idol to put out, but there is lots of truth in it for me. I guess I am just a big cheesy corn ball.

Since this is my big 5-0 (hey, it's gonna be my Mom's big 5-0 in May!!), I shouldn't just post lyrics to a song I woke up to.

Here is one of my favorite pictures in astronomy. This is the Hubble Ultra Deep Field

Every single little speck that you can see is a galaxy. This photo is a million second long exposure. It was taken in a patch of the sky that is only the size of a tenth the diameter of a full moon and is located in the constillation Fornax. I love it because the light from these galaxies has been travelling for an unimaginable amount of time and because if you look at this patch of the sky from any ground based telescopes, you don't see any of this. But the longer exposure you get, the more you see cause the universe is unending. It's awesome.'Neil/Alive

Thursday, November 17, 2005

World Year of Physics talk

This evening, I had the privledge of volunteering at a public lecture entitled "Was Einstein Right?" It was a part of a series of lectures that are being given for the World Year of Physics (100 years after Einstein published Special Relativity, Brownian Motion and the Photoelectric Effect. Oddly enough though the talk was on General Relativity which wasn't published until 1915). It was a really good talk. The speaker was Dr. Clifford Will, a physics professor at the Washington University. Before the talk started, there was a performance by the Borealis String Quartet. They were performing a piece called From Water to Ice. It was actually composed by a physics grad student at the UofA, Aaron Hryciw. That was really cool. As part of my volunteering, I was one of the stage hands, so when the quartet was finished, I had to go on stage and grab a chair and a stand and bring them back stage. I can happily say that I did not even come close to tripping on anything, which I can assure you was something that I was rather worried might happen. I also had to run the coat check for a bit during the reception, which had rather good food.
But back to the good stuff. The talk was really good. It was a public lecture, so there wasn't anything I hadn't heard before. But it was fun, Dr. Will told all sorts of fun jokes where you could tell the ones that were ment for the public in general and the ones ment for the physicists. He went over the experimental evidence that provides validation of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity and the brilliance and elegance of it. He also pointed out that even after Einstein had his "miracle year" in 1905, that he still wasn't known outside of the world of European physicists. This thought amazed me because now Einstein is so engraned in our culture, it is almost impossible to find someone who hasn't heard of the equation E=mc^2. There are two things that I find truely amazing about General Relativity. The first is how completely accurate the theory predicts the experimental results. And second the fact that this wasn't a theory that Einstein was coming up with to try and make sense experimental data that had been collected over years worth of experimenting, but rather Einstein came up with the theory first and since then physicists have been doing experiments that help prove that the theory is right. The man was brilliant and the intuitive leaps that he made were simply amazing and 100 years later his theory is still standing up to every single test that it's put through.
But, I am sure that is probably more ranting about Einstein then any of you really want to read, so I'll stop now, but I could go on for a lot longer.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Not So Innocent

Apparently I am not so innocent. Today in statistical physics we were learning about the Bose-Einstien and Fermi-Dirac Distribution Functions. My professor wrote the equations on the board and stated to the class "Surely you have seen this. You can not possibly be that innocent". This is the first time that we have encountered these equations in a class. I had seen them because during the summer I had a brief moment of panic in which I realized I knew nothing of the subject of statistical physics and so decided to read the chapter in my Modern Physics text book. I don't know about the rest of my class, but I can proudly say that I am not so innocent.

Here are the equations:
This is the Bose-Einstein distribution

This is the Fermi-Dirac distribution

Now you can all be not so innocent, just like me.

Last Day at Work

I am now, once again, offically unemployed. Today was my last day working for the Inn on 7th! From the ! at the end of that sentince I'm sure you can all tell that this is a good thing. It is quite the relief to be done and to not have to worry about working when it is almost time to be studying for exams. So no more getting home at 11:36pm on Mondays and no more waking up at 5:30am on Saturdays!!

To which race of Middle Earth do you belong?
brought to you by Quizilla

Sunday, November 13, 2005

What are those Earth creatures called? Feathers, long bill, webbed feet, go quack? Cats!

Here are some lyrics from ZOEgirl's Scream:
Do I have to scream for you to hear me? Do I have to bleed for you to see me? 'Cause I grieve, you're not listening to me Do I need to scream? I've been marked, set apart But I'm cut so deep and afraid of the dark One drop of blood from the hole in Your hand Is enough to heal me and make me stand 'Cause I'm clean, He is listening to me I don't have to scream for Him to hear me Don't have to bleed for Him to see me 'Cause I'm clean, He is listening to me I don't have to scream I don't have to bleed 'Cause I'm clean, He is listening And I don't have to scream

Isn't it cool how that's true? It sometimes takes so much for someone to see you and understand. But God always gets it.

Hmm, Tesseract apparently likes Graham Crakers.

If anyone can tell me where the quote in the title for this post comes from then you will earn my deep respect for being as big a geek as I am!!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

A Long Weekend Ahead!

This is a picture of a solar prominence. The image was taken by SOHO (the SOlar and Heliospheric Observatory). A solar prominence sometimes erupts into a coronal mass ejection. This type of thing is what causes all of the really pretty auroras.

So this week, being Rememberance Day week, is a short week at school. I have Thursday and Friday off! I'm very much looking forward to 2 whole days off. Tomorrow I have to spend the whole day doing assignments though. But I do not intend on setting my alarm. My long weekend started out well this evening. Cooked some dinner, walked a bit in the river valley. You know, typical good evening stuff.

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

To: Danielle


My bestest friend in the whole world, Danielle, turns 22 today. She has been my best friend since the Trinity Cross Country meet in gr.9. I apparently didn't really talk that much before that day, but after that the two of us yacked for hours on end. We don't get to talk that often anymore, but when we do we always pick right back up from where we started. Danielle has always been there for me whenever I needed someone the most. And Danielle, as is tradition for me since the year my family moved from Trenton, your birthday card will be very late as it is sitting on my desk right now instead of being in the mail or preferably, on your desk.

Monday, November 07, 2005

A Random Assortment

Here is a lovely picture of the Northern Lights from space. Pretty cool.

And some lyrics from God of Wonders, the song that I used as an example of worship in small groups this Sunday because it was cloudy outside.

Early in the morning I will celebrate the light And as I stumble through the darkness
I will call Your name by night God of wonders, beyond our galaxy You are holy, holy
The universe declares Your majesty You are holy, holy

For my family members who haven't ventured over to Jason's blog, you should and you will see quite the display of my musical talents!

When I got home on Sunday night there was a phone message from my sister Kim. She was very excited because she had just applied to her first post secondary insitution. She applied to Algonquin Collage. My little sisters are growing up!

For those who questioned previous content as being questionable, here is some more questionable content for you to question- As Michael would have said, I grew a spine today!

The ceiling is still leaking a horrible amount. The repair guy was supposedly supposed to come over today. But seeing as it is still leaking I'm assuming he didn't. But at least it seems that someone upstairs had the sense to come down and empty the ginormous bucket that I have catching the water because it wasn't spilt over when I got home from work. It is kind of annoying hearing the dripping all the time.

I am very glad that I have a 4 day weekend coming up. Living in Alberta is excellent. They seem to believe in holidays more then some other provinces.

The snow has arrived! I am very excited!!

Friday, November 04, 2005

I lack skills in algebra

My statistical physics professor is a big meany! This is what he wrote on one of my questions on my midterm:

You could simplify this
You lack skills in algebra
You should practice with more simple calculations

As if I didn't already feel bad enough about the bad mark that I got, he had to go and insult me and my apparent lack of skills in algebra. And if I go on anymore I might start insulting him, so I will stop.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Saying Things

It's been 5 days since I last posted so I thought I would amuse you all with some stuff. In statistical physics we have been learning about the probabilities of macrostates and the multiplicities of microstates occuring in certain systems in nature. So I know all about how the macrostate with the highest multiplicity has the highest probability of occuring. If this is true and I have actually learned something, then why is saying something where the answer being yes is equivalent to the macrostate with the highest multiplicity so hard to say? Probably because I know that all microstates that exist have an equal chance of occuring. See all you skeptics out there, I can apply what I'm learning to real life situations in which I am faced. I don't know why I am even posting this for the world to see, I guess it is just frustrating sometimes.
And here is a picture of the Large Magellanic Cloud- a companion galaxy to out own Milky Way.

Also some lyrics from the song What Are You Waiting For? Which is apparently by Lindsay Lohan, but we can ignore that fact and focus on what the song is saying.

Sometimes, I feel a little helpless, Seems like (well) I can't do a thing,
But anything is possible, Just you wait and see, Good things happen, If you Just believe,
So you wanna change the world, What are you waiting for, Say your gunna start right now,
What are you waiting for, It only takes one voice, So come on now and shout it out,
Give a little more, What are you waiting for?

Friday, October 28, 2005

And They're Done

I finished my last midterm today! The stress has almost dissipated. It feels so freeing. Now life can return to the normal levels of insanity. They all went fairly well, except for todays in statistical physics (just had to go out on a bad note). This was actually the first class that I've been in where no one had finished before the prof said to stop. No one even came close to finishing. It was crazy. My professor is generally considered to be insane though, so I guess this was expected. But the rest of them went well.

Tonight the Astronomy Club is going to Devon to use the 0.5m telescope that the university has. I'm massively excited! This trip has been in the works for over a year now. It's amazing how difficult it is to coordinate a trip that involves going out of the city, clear skies and hunting down a retired professor. Hopefully all the clouds go away before it gets dark.

I intend on doing no homework this weekend!!! ...ok, maybe just a little... I do have a lot of assignments due next week... I'll try really hard to take a break though.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

My Relativity Midterm

Today I wrote my midterm for my Special Relativity class. This was the scenario given for the first question:

On their 21st birthday, one twin gets on a moving sidewalk, which carries her out to star X at speed 4/5c; her twin brother stays at home. When the travelling twin gets to star X, she immediately jumps onto the returning sidewalk and comes back to Earth, again at speed 4/5c. She arrives on her 39th birthday (as determined by her watch).
a) How old is her twin brother?
b) How far away is star X?
c) Call the outbound sidewalk coordinate system S' and the inbound one S'' (the Earth system is S). All three systems set their master clocks and choose their origins so that x=x'=x''=0 and t=t'=t''=0 at the moment of their departure. What are the coordinates (x,t), (x',t') and (x'',t'') of the jump?

Now, being the female half of a set of 21 year old boy/girl twins, this made me chuckle.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Because I haven't posted in 5 days

I was working on my statistical physics assignment today and at one point it referenced my astrophysics text book from last year. I ended up getting distracted by it (oh so easily distracted to learn things that I don't need to know at the moment) and found myself reading the section on inflation during the early universe. During my reading, I came across this sentence.

The universe persisted in its false vacuum state of unbroken symmetry with a high energy density, even though a spontaneous symmetry breaking to a true vacuum with zero energy density was energetically favorible.

It hit me then that probably the thing that makes physics language scary to most people (aside from all the equations and such) is probably not its use of ridiculously huge words that very few people understand the meaning of. But rather its ability to take words used in everyday language and mash them together in a sentence that is completely mind boggling.

In the event that anyone actually is interested to know what a false vacuum is, it is a vacuum that has a negative pressure. If you were to have a container of the stuff with a piston for the lid of the container, if you moved to piston to increase the volume, the pressure would also increase. Counterintuitive to the "normal" way things work.
And we'll finish with a pretty picture of a supernova reminent found in the Large Magellanic Cloud (a satillite galaxy to our own Milky Way).

Thursday, October 20, 2005

I need...

I stole this from Brett, who stole it from Ian. I thought mine were rather funny. Google your first name needs and post the first ten results.

  • Stephanie needs to buy up all of their company’s stock
  • Stephanie needs cash–fast–but times are tough
  • Stephanie needs to get some pies to Brooklyn
  • Stephanie needs to get the women together in an alliance because the men are strong
  • Stephanie needs some help Look at those pants!
  • Stephanie needs a strong manly shoulder to lean on
  • Stephanie needs to post some of the "Excel Sonnets"
  • Stephanie needs to find a missing mother and child
  • Stephanie needs a committed family
  • Stephanie needs to make sure she has an accurate plan of the whole site
I especially agree with the sixth one:)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Saber and some other stuff

Today at fencing lessions, we got to learn a little Saber (as opposed to the foil that we have been learning). It was neat. In Saber you are allowed to slash people instead of just poking them. The Saber coach is this rather eccentric Russian guy. I thought the elbow positions seemed a little awkward, but the way the sword is gripped felt a lot better to me. And I quite enjoyed the slashing motions. Plus you get to wack people on the head instead of just poking them. I figure if we have to wear those big, heavy masks, we may as well get to wack people in the head. Carol and I both secretly agreed that we may like saber better then foil. Of course we did only have one lession in it. The movements in foil seem a lot more graceful, I am not a graceful person. It was fun. Fencing is a good sport, I like it.

And here is a very pretty picture of the three stars of Orion's Belt. They are three blue supergiants, stars that are much bigger and way hotter then our Sun. Their names are Alnitak, Alnilam and Mintaka. This also happens to be the location of such well known nebulas as the Horsehead and the Flame. Below the region that this picture was taken in is where the Orion Nebula is. The Orion Nebula can be seen through the telescope at the observatory. I've even hit it once. You wouldn't be able to see it if you came anytime soon though, you have to wait until the winter months for Orion to be high enough in the sky at a decent hour. The view is worth the numbing cold.

Here are some lyrics from Chris Tomlin's The Way I Was Made

Made in Your likeness, made with Your hands. Made to discover who You are and who I am And All I’ve forgotten help me to find. All that You’ve promised let it be in my life. I want to live like there’s no tomorrow. I want to dance like no one’s around. I want to sing like nobody’s listening. Before I lay my body down. I want to give like I have plenty. I want to love like I’m not afraid. I want to be the woman I was meant to be. I want to be the way I was made.

I'm pretty sure that I know exactly what direction I want my life to go in, but I must admit that I have been questioning that lately. Growing up really is confusing.

pitcure from:
lyrics from:

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Clear Skies At Last

This past Thursday night was the first night of the semester that hasn't been a total bust at the observatory. It was a great night of observing, with several firsts for me. So I will regale you with a list of the objects that we hit that night.
  • the Moon
  • Ring Nebula- a planetary nebula which only looks like a fuzzy grey ring through the telescope but it is really far away and so very neat to see. A planetary nebula is what is formed when a star like the Sun gets to the later stages of it's life and slowly starts to puff away it's mass.
  • Lacrosse 5- a military satellite
  • Iridium flare- these come from a certain type of satellites that are essentially big hexigontal cylinders. When they are lined up just perfectly in their rotation to have light bouncing off of them and being directed at the Earth, you see a flare. The one we saw was about magnitude -2 (about the same magnitude as Venus).
  • Hercules Globular Cluster- this was a first for me. I have never seen a globular cluster through a telescope with my very own eyes before, so it was quite exciting. A globular cluster is a cluster of stars that is found in the halo of the Milky Way. The stars in it are very old. The only Main Sequence Stars (hydrogen burning stars, you know like the Sun) left are of types K and M, the smallest and therefore longest living of the stars. A number of the stars in a globular cluster are the degenerate reminants of stars, ie white dwarfs and neutron stars. All of the higher mass stars have since become these objects. Globular clusters are extremely dense and I thought that the one I saw looked like a swarm of angry insects. It was pretty cool looking.
  • Mars- Shockingly enough, this was the first time that I had ever seen Mars through a telescope as well. It was rather low on the horizon so there was a fair amount of atmospheric aberration (wobbliness) going on, but it still looked cool. At one point, there was also a rather neat effect going on. Mars was coming up just above the roof of the observatory right where there happens to be a mesh satellite dish. So we were seeing the light from Mars coming through the mesh. The neat part was that the mesh was fine enough that it was not only making it look like Mars was in a bizzillion pieces, but it was also acting as a diffraction grating! The light coming from Mars was being diffracted and so the white light was separated into all of the colours of the spectrum. It was so cool. Score one for quantum mechanics and the wave nature of light!! I absolutely love things like that. When you can actually make fluke observations in nature that gives evidence to all this stuff that I have been learning in class. It brings all of the theories and equations into the real world and it is just amazing to see.
I recommend that everyone come a visit me at the observatory on Thursday night from 8-9:30ish. You'll get to see all kinds of neat stuff and hear me yack on and on about some of the stuff that I think are the neatest things in the universe. If Thursday nights don't work, we could discuss a private viewing as I have access anytime I want. It's lots of fun.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Blood Type

So I finally received my Blood Donor card in the mail. It turns out that my blood type is A- . It seems so strange to me that I went almost 22 years without knowing what my blood type is. It seems like such an important thing to know about yourself. But I guess since I have never had to have any blood tests or the like, there was no chance for me to find out. My Mom's blood type is AB+ and my Dad's is O-. So it appears that I once again got the recessive gene, with getting the negative RH factor. So that means that I know my full genotype (is that the right term?). It is AO -/-. I apparently share my blood type with only 6% of Canadians. Hmm, I better keep giving blood them, what if I need some someday? The next time I can give blood is on Nov.11, but I believe there are plans to go on Nov. 18. Anyone else want to come? You get free cookies!

And on a completely unrelated topic. Yesterday I had the most delicious Thanksgiving Dinner. Thanks Glenda and Ian.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Recent Random Thoughts

So I realized that I haven't made a post since Tuesday. It just seems wrong somehow to go that long without posting something that really only truly interests me and is only read by a miniscule percent of the population. So I figured that I would post some random thoughts that I have recently had/random things about me (?). Plus, it wouldn't be a night audit shift without a night audit blog post!
  • Stabbing people with swords is fun. I can't believe I went this long in my life before I took up fencing.
  • Michael "It was so cold out today that the leaves were falling off the tree without any wind". Me "That's what looked so strange about that this morning. I just couldn't put my finger on it."
  • I still can't believe he killed Wash.
  • I never thought I would come to appreitiate Wednesday evening rides home as much as I do now.
  • Ick, it's cloudy again!
  • I think I need some new running shoes, or more duct tape. I have rubbed a hole through the backs of 2 pairs and they have chewed up my ankles in a number of places.
  • I still can't decide if I should follow my head or my heart in some of life's big decisions.
  • My differential equations prof gives the most useless definitions on the planet. ie. the definition of a non linear difference equation is a difference equation which is not linear. I'm serious, I can't make something like that up.
  • This is BORING!
  • Hmm, well that's interesting.
  • Yes, this is my last night audit ever!
  • What??? This isn't my last night audit ever because the G.M is silly and stole someone from the desk to work upstairs when we already do not have enough people working at the desk.
  • I really should go skiing sometime this year since I didn't go last year.
  • I had an incredibly huge brain block on Wednesday and could not figure out how to manipulate some simple factorials.
  • I was smart again on Thursday and could figure out the '2 minute question' in S.R. right away and managed to convince not 1 but 3 people that I was right on an assignment question and they were wrong. The contracted length at one speed is not equal to the contracted length at another speed.
  • Every day I am amazed at the people whom God has placed around me.
Wow, and look at that, it is 3:30 already. I really should start entering those Front Desk revenue numbers.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Twin Paradox

Today in Special Relativity, we briefly discussed the Twin Paradox. Being a twin and being the younger of the pair, this has always been my favorite paradox. I will illustrate it using Daniel and I.

Imagine for a moment that Daniel and I managed to build a ship that can travel at speeds close to the speed of light (I can smell a Nobel Prize coming on). Daniel volunteers to take a trip to Alpha Centuri and back while I stay on Earth. Alpha Centuri is about 4.3 light years from Earth. If Daniel is traveling at 75% the speed of light, then a return trip (according to me) will take him approximately 10.3 years. But since Daniel is traveling so fast, he will experience the relativistic effect of time dilation (dun dun dun). So according to Daniel, his trip takes only 6.8 years. When Daniel comes back, he is younger then I am! Where the paradox comes in is that Daniel could argue that according to his reference frame, he stayed still and the Earth moved away from him and came back and therefore he is still older. The paradox is resolved when I tell Daniel that he can not possibly look at it from that way because he had to accelerate to get to his speed and then twice more when he reached Alpha Centuri and turned around to come back. Acceleration is not invariant between reference frames and so his argument is invalid. I am right and I am now older!

Aw Relativity, definitely my favorite class this semester.

Browncoats Forever- Love: Mom and Dad

Today, I recieved a package in the mail. I was like "what could this possibly be?". It turned out to be a t-shirt from my Mom and Dad. The t-shirt has a drawing of Serenity on it and says "We've done the impossible and that makes us mighty". It's sweet!! The gift message said "Browncoats Forever- Love Mom and Dad".

Thanks Mom and Dad, you always know how to put a smile on my face!

The above picture is my Mom and Dad at a Hallowe'en party from when they worked at the Eventide Home in Niagara Falls.


And some of the lyrics from Switchfoot's song Stars:

Stars looking at our planet, Watching entropy and pain And maybe startin' to wonder How the chaos in our lives could pass as sane I've been thinkin' 'bout the meaning of resistance Of a world beyond our own And suddenly the infinite and penitent Began to look like home I've been thinkin' 'bout everyone, everyone you look so empty But when I look at the stars, When I look at the stars, When I look at the stars I see someone else When I look at the stars, the stars I feel like myself

Here is my response to the talk with Michael and Glenna (see Michael's Blog). If all of this is just a figment of my brain's imagination, then I have quite the imaginiation. But, I KNOW that this is not all a figment of my brain's imagination or a projection of it's will or whatever. I don't care if that's not at all scientific. I know that my beautiful universe was created by God and not my brain. And maybe if people stopped being concerned that their imaginary universe will implode in on itself because their brains can't imagine anymore, then they would be able to look up and see what I see. I'm not naive, I know that the world is not perfect. But I know that the world exists. I will also direct you to one of my favorite Bible verses which is from 1 Corinthians 15:10 which says "but by the grace of God I am what I am..." I am not me because "some incredibly powerful demon is deluding me" (from Michael's blog). As I said on Friday, I think that most philosophies were invented because someone wanted to say something shocking and the more shocking it seemed, the more it stuck. The universe is complicated, but it is not that complicated.

Lyrics from
Picture from

Saturday, October 01, 2005


WARNING!!!!!! Do not read if you do not want the movie to be spoiled because this is a huge rant about the movie and spoils absolutely every part of the movie.

Geek-Fest 2005 Serenity ed took place today. Jill, Janet, Alisha and I went to see the movie made from the best sci-fi series ever made. I don't even know what to say about it. It was fantastic, it was sad, it was tense and exciting. It was shocking.

Joss Whedon has and always will be able to completely break your heart. You know, when he kills Book, it was like okay I can deal with this. It's upsetting, we don't get to find out about his past. But killing Wash??? At the time you are upset about Serenity getting ripped apart, but Wash still manages to land the ship and it has stopped and everything is all good and then a big, huge pole comes streaming through the window and he is dead. After that point, I was certain he was going to be killing the entire crew. How can you kill Wash? He's Zoe's husband. I cried, all four of us did. It was upsetting.

River was some crazy fighting machine. She tore apart those Reavers pretty good. And Kaylee and Simon. They don't just kiss! Um, I'm sure there are many more things for me to say on the movie, but putting thoughts together on it is just to hard right now. So that is all the spoiling that I will do.

Night Audit Again

Welcome, boys and girls, to my blog. It's time once again for one of those night audit postings where I ramble on and on, not really making much sense that I am sure you all (or ya'll in honor of the fact that it is Geek-Fest 2005 Serenity Edition) love... Thinking for a few moments, I actually don't think I have anything to ramble about. There doesn't seem to be a very large supply of eccentric people staying at the hotel right now. So instead of rambling, I have decided I will post the words to my favorite Gordon Lightfoot song. I suppose I was first formally introduced to Gordon Lightfoot on the 2004 post exam camping trip to Drumhellar and Dinorsaur P.P. My first impression was, why was Michael the only one to bring music? But this last year on the trip to Northern Saskatchewan we were once again listening to the musical stylings of Gordon Lightfoot and I found myself appreciating his music a great deal. I certainly have not come close to hearing all of his creations, but my favorite from those that I have heard is Approaching Lavender. I'm sure there is some big philosophical reason for that based on my personality, but I will just leave it at the fact that it is my favorite.

If youÂ’d like to spend the afternoon approaching lavender
YouÂ’ll feel just fine but one thingÂ’s sure
YouÂ’ll never be the same
If youÂ’d like to try your hand at understanding lavender
Then you must be very sure
That life is not a game
You might even learn a thing or two approaching lavender
YouÂ’ll soon be on a one night tour
Forgetting your own name
You wonÂ’t need a reason just to be alone with lavender
For the light so warm and pure
Will draw you like a flame

The colors that surround you there will be the shade of lavender
Shadows dancing everywhere
Like flowers in the rain
You will find your tongueÂ’s on fire while lying next to lavender
With words you never spoke before
And will not speak again

Oh sweet lavender I understand you perfectly
There is no way that I can see
You living by yourself
Oh sweet lavendar I must be with you constantly
Your presence means so much to me
Much more that life itself

Oh sweet lavender as fragrant as the name you bear
Please cast away the clothes you wear
And give your love to me
Oh sweet lavender your smile is like the golden sun
IÂ’d love to see you laugh and run
As naked as the sea

If youÂ’d like to spend the afternoon approaching lavender
DonÂ’t try and get the best of her
She will not share the blame
If youÂ’d like to try your hand at understanding lavender
Then you must be very sure
That life is not a game
There is no shame

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Bunny Ears

I love this set of pictures. They make me laugh so hard every time I see them. This is my cousin Rachael and my brother Jeremy at our cousin's wedding. Rachael had been trying to throw the bunny ears on someone in every picture that she was in, but most of the time there was someone there to stop her. In the first picture she is sneaking up on Jeremy, you can see her fingures start the form the bunny ears and she has that look on her face. Then in the next one, she has done it but instead of having a triumphant look on her face, they both kind of have the deer caught in head lights look. Fantastic.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Me and My Twin

Here is me and my twin brother Daniel at our cousin's wedding. This is possibly the worst picture ever taken of the two of us. Daniel looks possessed and I don't even know what I look like. I tried all night to get a picture of the two of us but he doesn't like pictures. When I went over to sit beside Daniel to talk to him, Jeremy was playing with my camera and took this one. It is a very silly picture and therefore belongs on my blog.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Some pics from my cousins wedding finally being posted

Here is my family. We have Daniel, Kim, Kim (Jeremy's girlfriend), Katrina, Jeremy, my Mom, my Dad and me.
I think we all look pretty good.

Here is both sides of my cousin Murry's wedding. Proud to say that the Hardcastle side includes most of the people in this picture.

This post is not agreeing very well with lots of pictures so the spacing is all messed up so I explain them from here. The one with the 4 guys are the guy cousins, minus 3 of them. I know none of them are looking at the camera, but this is the only one where they are all smiling. The one with all the girls are, you guessed it, the girl cousins. We all look fabuluos. The adorible picture is of my cousin Rachael, she was one of the flower girls.

The one below is one of my favorites. This is my Mom, Aunt Bev and Aunt Barb. They were dancing as they were waiting in the dessert line. It was rather funny and this is one of those pictures that will come up over and over again.

The one above is a really good one of Murray and Renee. Seeing as these are pictures from a wedding I should have a picture of the bride and groom. I can't take credit for this picture, Jeremy took it.

In attempting to edit this post, the spacing is still not working. I don't think any of the captions actually go with the pictures, so it is a game of match the caption to the picture. Perhaps I will no longer make posts with losts of pictures because my blog really doesn't seem to like them.

Friday, September 23, 2005

My Professor is a Geek

Here is a quite hilarious question that has been assigned on my recent Relativity assignment (hmm, apparently I must really like this class seeing as I keep mentioning it in posts).

A man passes a women in the street at a relative speed of about 8km/h. The woman is walking directly away from the Andromeda Galaxy and the man is walking directly towards it. As they pass, the woman says "At this point a battle fleet is setting out from Andromeda to destroy our galaxy." How long ago did the battle fleet leave according to the man's reckoning?

I haven't done this assignment yet, it's not due until next Thursday, so I don't have an answer. I have thought about it a bit though and as far as I can tell, there are many different answers. I assume that the fleet left 2,200,000 years ago since Andromeda is 2,200,000 light years away from us and so the women received the information just now. Since the speed limit on info transport is the speed of light. But Glenna (not in physics) assumes that the fleet just left and that the women somehow transported herself to our galaxy, or that she has been traveling for a very long time to get to us and before she left they told her when the fleet was going to be launched. In any case, I laughed for quite a while after I read that question. It's ridiculous on many fronts. I love it.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Blessed Be Your Name

Here are the lyrics to one of my favorite songs that we sing at FUEL.

Blessed be your name
In the land that is plentiful
Where the streams of abundance flow
Blessed be your name

Blessed be your name
When I'm found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed be your name

Every blessing you pour out,
I turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say...
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your glorious name

Blessed be your name
When the sun's shining down on me
When the world's all as it should be
Blessed be your name

Blessed be your name
On the road marked with suffering
Oh, There's pain in the offering
Blessed be your name

Every blessing you pour out,
I turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say...
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to stay
Well Blessed be your name

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Relativity of Simultaneity

Here is something neat that we have been doing in my Special Relativity class. This is looking at the occurrence of two events and the order in which observers in two different frames conclude the events happen in. In the diagram (reproduced by me using that oh so advanced drawing program called MS Paint) there is an event happening at A and one at B. You are also shown the world lines of two observers, O and O'. Events A and B happen at the same time. As you can see from the diagram, observer O does indeed conclude that these events are simultaneous. However, if you look at the world line for observer O', you can see that the light from event A reaches O' world line much later then the light from event B. So O' concludes that the events are not simultaneous and that B occurs before A. In everyday events you do not observe this because the scales that we live on are far too small and moving way to slowly. But if you were observing an event that occurred at Alpha Centauri and one that occurred at some star in the Andromeda galaxy, if they happened at the same time, you would conclude that the one at Alpha Centauri happened well before the one in Andromeda. It is very neat stuff. There are of course lots of equations that goes with all of this, but I wont bother putting them up, a diagram is enough.

1st Fencing Lession

Yesterday, Carol and I had our first fencing lesson. It was exciting. We didn't actually get to touch the swords, but our instructor guaranteed that we will next week. We learned some of the positions and the way to stand and what not. We learned (Danielle please forgive my spelling) engaurd, parrie, lunge and advance. There is apparently a lot of French involved. Maybe I'll actually pick up more of the language then I did in gr. 9 French class. Probably not though. As far as I could see, I was the only lefty there. Those righties wont know what hit them when we actually get to scrimmage. Hmm, I highly doubt they call it scrimmage in fencing, it's probably something much classier then that.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Bye Joey

Tomorrow my very good friend, Joey, is leaving for med school in England. Joey, you're the coolest science geek I've ever met. You need to get a blog so that we can all keep up with you. Thank you so much for your friendship over the last few years. I know you'll do awsome and I'm so excited for you. Remember that there are tonns of us back here in Edmonton who will always be there for you if you need us.

Love you muchly, see you later buddy

Musings from the Night Audit

I think that I can reasonilby equate people's habits of randomly entering and leaving a hotel at very early hours of the morning with lower amounts of common sence. If only because I need something to amuse me while working other then my differential equations assignment that I have finished. So during the night audit, being a young female who works at a hotel downtown, I lock the door. Thus I control who comes in and out of the the hotel. Whenever a guest comes to the door I flick the little switch that turns the automatic door back on. Sometimes, since people tend to stand with their noises pressed against the door, the sensor does not pick them up and the door does not open. Now this is solved very easily not by knocking on the door, nor by trying to force it open, but simply by backing up a little bit and then walking forward again. People do not realize this. Most of the time I have to resort to hand signals to get the people to understand this. Once in a while I consider giving them the hand signals, but keeping the door locked, but I'm just not that mean. A lot of the times, people are very concerned about the fact that the door hasn't opened. They start frantically checking their watches (I'm I too late to enter the hotel again?) and searching everywhere for their keys (maybe my key unlocks this door to), not noticing that I am standing at the desk. This morning, these two people kept coming in and out and every time they couldn't manage the door. You would think that after the 3rd time of me telling them that they had to back away from the door that they would be able to figure it out. But instead it became a challenge- would I be able to make it to the switch in time to unlock the door before they got confuzzeled once again?? Nope! Then during yesterdays audit there was another couple who were also in and out a number of times and every time she walked by the desk she insisted on asking if I was photocopying my butt and wouldn't believe me when I told her I was doing a physics assignment. I wasn't sitting anywhere near the photocopier. It wasn't very funny the first time she said it. The other 7 times was just ridiculous, but she seemed to get a kick out of it every time. And good for her. After all, who am I to judge what other people should find amusing? If anything else, the brief moments of panic displayed by people are rather amusing. Only 52min left until I get to go home.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

What We Are Missing

The sun has been particularly active the last week and so the Northern Lights have apparently been rather spectacular. Too bad it has been cloudy and rainy and miserable here in Edmonton. The first week back at the observatory has certainly been a bust. We even had some big shot industry leaders, who we hope will give us money for the building of the new observatory, up on Tuesday, but we couldn't even take the roof off the shed because it was raining. This is me being a whinny astronomer who complains about clouds and light pollution and all the woes of being an astronomer living in a big city. But the picture is really pretty. It was apparently taken from somewhere in Quebec a few days ago. It, once again, comes from the Astronomy Picture of the Day website. Really it is a very cool website.

Friday, September 16, 2005

1st Time Donor

Today for F.A.A Glenna, Michael and I donated blood. It was the first time that Michael and I had done so. Glenna called herself a seasoned veteran (or something to that effect). I thought it was fine. Not nearly as traumatic as I expected it to be. In fact, it wasn't traumatic at all. The worst part is when they prick your finger to test the iron content of your blood. Mine was 14.5. This is apparently good. And I'm a quick donor. I filled my bag up like it was nobodies business. And this was without exploding all over the nurse like Michael did. The best part of it, you know aside from the saving a life thing, was the mandatory cookie eating afterwards. They were yummy cookies!
This week was filled with all kinds of adventures. Helping tear apart Karlene and Jason's kitchen, signing up for fencing lessons, wedding dress shopping with Karlene (you know, fulfilling my maid of honor duties and all!) and deciding to be the drama coordinator for FUEL. Craziness! It's all very exciting though.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

"I miss chalk"

Today in my Optics and Lasers class my professor was lecturing on reflection and refraction of light and was having a horrendous time trying to draw a wavefront diagram because his dry erase board pens kept dying on him. After throwing the third pen on the desk in frustration, he looked at the class and said very sadly "you know, I miss chalk". I found it amazing that someone who spends his life working in a lab that uses femtosecond laser methods to enhance microscopy and does work in millikelvin temperature research misses something so simple as chalk. I suppose it is always the simple things that we miss the most.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

2 Silly Pictures of Jeremy

Here are two very silly pictures of my younger brother Jeremy. Because I felt like posting something but really don't have very much time. In the picutre on the left he is wearing the tuxido shirt that he picked up at the Essex Thrift Store. Notice it's a women's tuxido shirt. In the picture on the right, I have no idea what he has on his head. I didn't take this picture. People say that we look alike. I don't see it.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

20 More Days!!!!!

Serenity is coming out in 20 more days!!!! I can't wait. Firefly is the best show ever, therefore Serenity is going to be awesome. The trailer that I saw for it before Brother's Grim was excellent. Apparently River has turned into this fighting machine. There were so many different directions that this movie could have gone on and I'll be happy if they're focusing on Simon and River because I think that was one of the more interesting story lines that never got the chance to really develop during Firefly (like all storylines from Firefly... Fox stinks!). So come one come all, the more the merrier. If anyone hasn't seen Firefly, I can loan it out. There are only 14 episodes so 20 days is plenty of time to watch them. Hahaha, I'm working a night audit and I should be doing homework, but I'm not... Darn blogs are way more fun then doing an optics or a complex variables assignment when I have only been to 2 classes of each and haven't learned anything of value that I can apply to the answering of the questions on the assignments. Boy, I sure do like to make ridiculous run on sentences this early in the morning, well probably all the time, but I'll blame the time this time. So yes... Serenity... September 30... Brown coats required... It's sure to be the Geek-Fest of the month.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Royal Twinkle Goose

Here you go Glenna, here is the picture that was being referred to during F.A.A.
Photo courtesy Michael Q. T. Pedruski.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

A Dumb Moment

I had such a dumb moment today while I was sitting in my Special Relativity class. My professor was talking about Newton's Laws in relativity and somewhere along the way said that it was obvious that mass was invariant. I was sitting in my desk thinking; what are you talking about? Are you mad? Mass isn't invariant, everyone knows that. What about E=mc^2? There is no way. I was quite concerned for a couple of minutes until I finally remembered that we were talking about Galilean Relativity and at that time mass was thought to be invariant. I obviously wasn't paying enough attention and it wasn't until something ridiculous was said that my brain starting consciously registering what was being said. I'll have to pay more attention for the rest of the classes. I should avoid these brief moments of great concern, they can’t possibly be very healthy for my young self.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

I Heart Space

Aw, isn't this nebula nice? It's shaped exactly like a heart when taken from this angle and taken with these particular photographic plates. If anyone is actually interested in an explination of this photo here is the link:
It comes courtesy of the Astronomy Picture of the Day website. A very neat website.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Renaissance Festival

While I was in Ontario, my parents, sisters and I went to the Renaissance Festival in Hamilton. It was lots of fun, there were all kinds of things to see and do.

There was dancing

There was jousting. That was the coolest because they were actually doing real jousting.

There were knights in shinning armour.

And plays featuring King Henry VIII's Royal Court.

There was a live chess game were the pieces had to fight each other. So there was cool sword fighting.

And of course there were beautiful ladies of the court.

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

My Sister the Hurricane

So as I am sure everyone knows, hurricane Katrina has wrecked havoc on the Southern US. Also as many of you know, that is those of you who pay attention to me when I talk, one of my younger sisters is also named Katrina.
Today Katrina mentioned that while she was at work, (she works at the fine establishment of Tim Horton's) several customers decided that they would make hurricane jokes about her. Here are some of the comments that she received.

Your too small to be a hurricane

I've been reading about the destruction you've been doing down in the states

How does it feel to be named after a hurricane

So you're that hurricane that's been destroying the states

Katrina, huh, that's like the hurricane

Now these are made especially amusing by the fact that, as reading these comments, you should be picturing a male, southern Ontario soy bean farmer, with a quasi Americanized accent and adding a deep booming chuckled at the end of each statement.

Aww, people are silly...

Friday, August 26, 2005

You Don't Fix Faith

This is one of my favorite scenes from the T.V. series Firefly, aka the best sci-fi western that only lasted 14 episodes ever, aka one of the biggest cancellation mistakes ever made by Fox. This scene is from the episode Jaynestown. It is between Book, the preacher on board Serenity and River, the brilliant teenage girl whose brain was mucked with by the government.

River sits at the dining table. Book's Bible is open in front of her, and she scribbles furiously into it, crossing out words, writing in the margins. Book walks in, speaks from across the room.

BOOK: What are we up to, sweetheart?

RIVER: Fixing your Bible.

BOOK: I--uh-- What?

RIVER: Bible's broken. Contradictions, faulty logistics--it doesn't make sense...

BOOK: No, no, you can't...

RIVER: So we'll integrate non-progressional evolution theory with God's creation of Eden -- eleven inherent metaphoric parallels already there... eleven, important number, prime number, one goes into the house of eleven eleven times but always comes out one--

BOOK: River, just take it easy. You shouldn't--

RIVER: Noah's Ark is a problem--

BOOK: Really.

RIVER: We'll have to call it early quantum state phenomenon-- Only way to fit five-thousand species of mammal on the same boat-

BOOK: Gimme that! River! You don't fix the Bible!

RIVER: It's broken. It doesn't make sense.

BOOK: It's not about making sense. It's about believing in something, and letting that belief be real enough to change your life. It's about 'faith'. You don't fix faith, River. It fixes you.

(taken from

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Mazy and Tesseract

Well, anyone who knows me, knew it had to be coming sometime- a post about my cats, Mazy and Tesseract. For those of you who don't know, Mazy is the tortoiseshell and Tesseract is the grey fluff ball. They are the best cats ever and I can't imagine my house without them. The top picture is them about to get high on some catnip. It was impossible to get both of them to look up at the same time.

Here is Tesseract playing with one of her toys after eating some of the catnip. Yes, Tesseract was named after the hypergeometrical equivalent of a cube. No she was not named from the book A Wrinkle in Time. I read that book after I named her because people kept asking. Tesseract was given to me by her old owners who could no longer take care of her. She is very cuddly, but only when there is no one else around. She likes to talk a lot.

Here is Mazy hanging out at the cat spa, also having eaten some catnip. I adopted Mazy from the SPCA. Her owners gave her up when she had a kitten. She is so sweet and I cannot believe anyone would be able to give her up, but I'm glad they did. She does the most adorable leap onto her hind legs when you reach down to pet her.

Sylvan Lake

On Aug. 11-12, my friend Lindsay and I took a trip to Sylvan Lake. The plan was to sit all day on the beach, relaxing under the sun and then watch the Perseid meteor shower. Unfortunately it was massively windy and cloudy and cold. I was at a dark site for the first time in months on the night the Perseids were peaking, but there was no sky to be seen only clouds. But we still had fun and had smores. Here are some pictures.

Here is Lindsay and I relaxing at our camp site.

Here is a very precarious situation that involved me in flip-flops nearly plunging down a cliff into the lake. But I managed to get myself out of it. Lindsay asked "why didn't you wait to get running shoes before climbing down?" I responded "because I live for the moment and sometimes the moment doesn't think." But I didn't get hurt and it was a thrill.

Here is just a really neat looking picture. I love pictures with cool looking clouds in them. Plus I really enjoy setting up my camera in crazy places with the timer going and having to make a mad dash across all sorts of landscape to get myself into the picture.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Off to Ontario

Well, tomorrow I am off home to Ontario to visit my Mommy and Daddy and brothers and sisters! I'll be back on September 6th, just in time for school to start again. But I'm sure I will make some fun and exciting posts about fun and exciting things that I am doing while in Essex, so have no fear for those 2 whole people who have taken the time to visit my blog.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


I declare that everyone who likes reading sci-fi, or just likes reading in general should read the Ender series by Orson Scott Card. Why? you ask. Because they are brilliant books. It starts with Ender's Game, which follows the life of a boy named Ender while he is in Battle School. It shows how humans deal with discovering an alien race bent on our destruction and the consequences of the its us or them idea. The next books are Speaker for the Dead, Xenocide and Children of the Mind. Right now I am almost finished Xenocide. Ender's Game is a very brash and intense book and has a completely different feel from the books that follow. Technically you could just start with Speaker for the Dead as it is a fairly stand alone book. But if you want to really understand who the Speaker for the Dead and Demosthenes are then you need to read their histories. There are a lot of religious overtones and some very neat ideas presented in these books. They are fantastic. I thank Jill for always being like "you know what book I really like?...", which inspired me to pick Ender's Game up off the table at the Edmonton Public Library book sale and purchase it for a whole 25 cents!

Monday, August 08, 2005

First Post Ever

Well here is my first post ever. You know, the one where everyone is like "I don't know what this blog is going to turn into..." Which is true most people probably don't have a plan going into the blogging world. I imagine most people are just cruising their friend's blogs and decide that it would be neat to have one of their own. So here is the result of the above two statements... I now have a blog!! So I hope you enjoy whatever madness comes out of this...