Xah Lee's Blog Archive 2006-11

Drawing and Comics (essay and books)

Creating Next/Previous Navigation Bars with Emacs (computing tutorial)

• Cleaned up and review: [http://xahlee.org/PageTwo_dir/Vocabulary_dir/200405_words.html A Word A Day, 2004-05]

• Added navigation buttons to: Flatland (A Romance of Many Dimensions) (novel)

• Added find-dired to Emacs with Unix tips (computing tutorial)

• Added a classic tentacle sex artwork to Porn Artwork.

Kung Fu and Martial Arts Video Game.

For some reason, i'm fascinated by lighting technologies. Check wikip: compact fluorescent lamp (CFL), light-emitting diode.

Some notes and commentaries:

CFLs are typically guaranteed for 8,000 hours. (Incandescent bulbs typically last 500 to 2000 hours, depending on exposure to voltage spikes and mechanical shock.)

CFLs use about a quarter of the power of incandescent bulbs. For example, a 15-watt CFL produces the same amount of light as a 60-watt incandescent bulb (approximately 900 lumens or 60 lumens per watt).

My GOD, at the bottom of wikip's lamp articles there's a box presenting a prominent and organized collection of Lighting And Lamp related articles. I ♥ Wikipedia one hundred thousand times!

An electrical ballast (sometimes called control gear) is a device intended to control the amount of current flowing in an electric circuit. —Ballast (electrical)

Ballasts are most commonly needed when an electrical circuit or device presents a negative resistance to the supply. If such a device were connected to a constant-voltage power supply, it would draw an ever-increasing amount of current until it was destroyed or caused the power supply to fail.

ZIP, Open Source, Mother-Son Relationship.

Weapons Of Mass Destruction (essay)

I ♥ Thomas Sowell. Here's some of his quotes:

One of the most fashionable notions of our times is that social problems like poverty and oppression breed wars. Most wars, however, are started by well-fed people with time on their hands to dream up half-baked ideologies or grandiose ambitions, and to nurse real or imagined grievances.

It takes considerable knowledge just to realize the extent of your own ignorance.

The march of science and technology does not imply growing intellectual complexity in the lives of most people. It often means the opposite.

See also: Comments on Thomas Sowell's Basic Economics, at Xah's Top Ten Book Recommendations and Reading Notes on “Basic Economics”

Godly 2 hours are spent to do harmonic points in projective geometry. And tomorrow i have to do its dual: Harmonic Lines. And, have to do it in such a way that the dual comes out dual word-for-word.

Google Earth Geography 101

Wikipedia readings. Warships, et al.

Added a “Q and A” section to Java's abstract class. (computing tutorial)

I was playing the arcade video game 1943: The Battle of Midway, which lead me to read about the twin boom fighter plane P-38 Lightning and Death of Isoroku Yamamoto

Some other readings of modern jet fighters:

Redone: Desargues Theorem and Quadrangle and Quadrilateral (these pages still need a lot work)

Took me goddamn more than 2 hours to review a proof of a theorem about quadrilateral i did in ≈1993, and my review of the proof is still not complete. (will have to revisit tomorrow)

I must be getting old, or, the work i did before about projective geometry is not trivial.

I'm certain it is the latter, even though in early 1990s i thought i was a know-nothing. (which i was) This actually just goes to show that, mathematics, or any academic subject, takes considerable time to master, even the basics.

For example, a student upon finishing taking calculus (or basics of physics or chemistry) might feel he knows almost nothing about the field, which is true since it is introductory material, afterall. But still, it is not a trivial undertaking. And, for most adults who had a college degree, chances are, most totally forgot the subject matters they had a degree for. And, it is actually not trivial, to re-aquaint the forgotten college knowledge. (of course, this does not mean that picking it up again is not much easier as those who never studied it. Nor does it mean that unemployed academic learnings were a waste of time. Because, knowledge, regardless what kind, influences our thinking, and the sum of thoughts compose our decisions and choices that we make in life, from drunken debates in bars to conscious career choices.

It is a common fallacy that academic subjects studied in college almost seemingly always never got used in real life, and that these are basically time wasted.

This common fallacy is due to unthinking, and the fact that the situations it came up, fulfils the psychological need of muttering discontentment.

Wikipedia readings:

Added thumbnails to the home page of: Visual Art Appreciation

Juggling On A Conical Surface (essay)

Wikipedia readings:

leda swan Paul Matthias Padua 2

Added a new image to the Art: Leda and the Swan visual art page.

Spice . I hardly eat any spices in my science & health nerdy diet. Because, spice is:

A spice is a dried seed, fruit, root, bark or vegetative substance used in nutritionally insignificant quantities as a food additive for the purpose of flavoring.

In short: the fluff of human animal's food, or, icing on the cake. In general of my life and philosophy, i ignore such. (e.g. useless decorations in web design) However, i don't object spices per se. When i eat out, i do enjoy, say, curry chicken or otherwise smelly fancy dishes. My diet is almost exclusively science and nutrition and efficiency based…, and with little concern about flavor or taste. (this is part of my ascetic life-style aspect) (will have to write a essay about my diet someday)

It is rather surprising to learn how spices are important in human history, as exhibited in Spice trade. I can understand that spices adds flavor to food, and food is the prime need and enjoyment of human animals. (in fact, perhaps all living organisms) But spice trade more important than say, silk trade or gold trade or slave trade?

The actual reason for the huge demand for spices in Europe during the High Middle Ages remains a point of debate. —Wikipedia

As of the early 2000s, saffron is the world's most expensive spice (and in fact, the most expensive food by weight). Spain, India, and Iran are producers of saffron. A pound (1/2 kg) of saffron requires about 35,000–100,000 flowers. —Wikipedia

Ah, wait for Nanotechnology. We will fabricate all these powders like magic. Also, now i have a appreciation, how the Dune (novel) novel is based on spices.

Went to see a doc today: Xah Health: Heartache

Saddam Hussein got a death sentence. However, according it wikipedia:

According to the New York Times, Saddam Hussein's verdict and sentence would “come under review by the nine-judge appellate chamber of the trial court. There is no time limit for the appeal court's review, but Iraqi and American officials who work with the court said that the earliest realistic date for Saddam Hussein's execution, assuming it stood up to review, would be next spring.” Iraqi law requires executions to take place within 30 days of the end of the appeal process; however it also forbids the executions of people aged over 70 years old, a status Saddam Hussein acquires on 28 April 2007.

In the history of war, is there a case where the loser came out of a trial in their favor?

A Court Trial on the loser after war, seems to me largely as a matter of process and show. Did not, when Nazi conquered Europe, or when Japan taken parts of China or other Asian countries, also gave trials?

Nightmares: Total Failure and Insanity

my health: more Chest pains.

More wikipedia readings:

Dragonfly, Damselfly, Insect Flight

cat showing its fangs

Cats: physiology, sociology, communication et al.

Massive update: Alice In Wonderland Art.

More on sleep:

Sleep

http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1009765,00.html , «Why We Sleep», by Christine Gorman, Time Mag, . Some gist: REM sleep is necessary for _procedural learning_, e.g. juggling. Non-REM Sleep has 4 stages. Slow wave are deep sleep, and decrease with age. • Sleep improve problem solving abilities. • Sleep is NECESSARY, even though its exact purpose is unclear.

have not perused yet: «Good sleep, good learning, good life» by Piotr Wozniak, ≈2000. http://www.supermemo.com/articles/sleep.htm

Wikipedia readings et al.:

Added 4 photos to Starry Patriotic Neighborhood and Toons USA.

Lyrics Appreciation time!: Like It Or Not (Madonna)

Reno Trip (travelog)

In the past year, i've been using “et al.” to mean “and others (things)”, as opposed to “and others (persons)”. Today, it came upon me whether my usage is proper.

The common usage “et al.” is for other _persons_, mostly in the context of book authors. This i know. But, what i wanted to know is that, whether it is defendable, to use “et al.” for “and other Things”.

After looking up several dictionaries and wikipedia, the answer seems to be yes. From several sources, “et al.” can stand for “et alii”, “et aliae”, “et alia”, and “et alibi”. The “alii” is masculine, and “et alii” is indicated to mean “and others (male) persons”. The “aliae” is feminine. So, “et aliae” means “and other (female) persons”. The “alia” is neutral, so “et alia” just means other things, while “et alibi” means “and other places”.

On the other hand, i could use “etc.” for “and other things”. As a side effect of this research, i came to know more about the word “etc.”. It is commonly used to mean “and other things (of the same type or class)”. However, technically, it needs not to be “of the same type or class”. The word “et cetera” simply means “and other things”.

See: List of Latin phrases (A–E)#E, Et cetera

Updated the Wonder Woman page:

At the age of 41, in 1982, Wonder Woman started to wear a double W on her chest, instead of the bird. Here's a excerpt from wikipedia:

In the preview in DC Comics Presents #41 (January 1982), writer Roy Thomas and penciller Gene Colan provided Wonder Woman with a stylized “W,” on her bodice, to replace the eagle. The new emblem, unlike the old, was copyrightable and so had greater merchandising potential.

Wikipedia readings:

Corrected and updated: Do It To It (lyrics appreciation)

Monterey Bay Aquarium, Ocean Biology et al.

• Cleaned up and review: [http://xahlee.org/PageTwo_dir/Vocabulary_dir/200404_words.html A Word A Day, 2004-04]

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