Thoughts and Musings
In this section
I will place things that
strike my fancy. There will be sayings I have heard or
that sum up some key idea, short stories for the same purpose,
things I like and want to share and so forth. Most
of the sayings and stories are not my invention. If I remember the
source, I will give it, if...
A Few Sayings
powerful tool is like a sharp knife, make sure you know which end to
grab when you pick it up to use it.
- Hint - consider using the registry
editor to wander about on your windows system. Easy to make programs,
and the whole operating system unusable.
Better is the arch enemy of good enough.
- Hint - consider closure
on a project with an endless list of new good ideas, or with
The thought here is elegantly summed up in my favorite
science fiction short story, Arthur C. Clarke's "Superiority" . First
published in 1951 it is in several collections, including The Collected works of Arthur C. Clarke, 2000, and Expedition to Earth.
same satirical tone on a related subject - government bureaucracy - is
in another of my favorite stories, "ALLAMOGOOSA" by Eric C. Russell.
This won the first Hugo for a short story in 1955. It is collected in
The Hugo Winners, 1962, edited by Isaac Asimov. If you have
ever worked for the government or been in the military you will find it
hilarious and true to life. (Hint, its an acronym, but for what?)
Why does the simple harmonic oscillator
occur so frequently in physics and engineering? (A
pendulum, a mass on a spring, etc.)
- Consider that most of the world is
near an equilibrium. That means the forces are about balanced,
and the potential energy is near a minimum. So if you expand the
potential in a power series in position, the linear term is missing and
you have a quadratic - which leads to Simple Harmonic
Levels of Hardness - Why don't I fall through the floor to the center of the earth?
- Well the floor is a solid, but why is it
solid? Atoms don't want to occupy the same space at the same
time, or more specifically the electrons on the outside of atoms.
But we have electrons together inside atoms. Well consider
the Pauli Exclusion Principle, no two particles can be in the
same place in the same state. ... and deeper explanations of that
A Beautiful Equation:
We have e, the base of the natural logarithms, the only base
and hence used frequently in science to describe “exponential
And we have pi, , the
ratio of the circle circumference to the diameter,
The “unit” item in the complex number
The addition function,
The additive identity ( zero) , a + 0 = a,
The multiplicative identity ( one ), a*1 = a,
All tied together with the equivalence sign (=).
And to those familiar with complex variables, the standard polar
notation for a complex variable and much more.