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Monday, April 27, 2009


I recently read about a self-proclaimed "audiophile" whose audio equipment cost around $300,000.  I have no desire to spend thousands and thousands of dollars on speakers, cables, and turntables, but I am finding that the audiophile hobby sounds interesting and fun.  I also am interested in the purported superior sound of vinyl records.  I haven't listened to a record since I was around six years old, but I would like to hear a record played on a high-end turntable with better-than-average speakers.  I would especially like to listen to a recently released album on both a vinyl record and on a CD, and compare the sounds.  Cool stuff.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


I just came across, a website showing clock creations built by Roger Wood.  According to his website, "Wood thrives on working with an immeasurable array of findings from the tarnished and forgotten to the odd or intriquing. He is a devoted collector of usual and unusual objects with one thing in common, a history."  I like clocks in general, so Wood's creations appeal to me.  His clocks aren't my favorite -- at the moment, I am very partial to the Takumi wood LED clock -- but I love the mechanical look.

Festo Aqua Penguin

Some colleagues at the Exploratorium sent around the following YouTube video clip, showing the amazing Festo aqua penguin:

I love how its head and tail movements make each penguin look stunningly lifelike.  But, the air penguins amaze me more, and I'm not yet sure why.  I think the reason is that they seem to move exactly the same way that the aqua penguins move in water, so the viewer starts to make comparisons between water and air.   Something about the air penguins is eerie, and fascinating to me.  I can't stop watching them.  I would love to see a flock (?) of air penguins in a large enclosed space, like a large, empty warehouse.  

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Financial Literacy

I am finding more and more that I would like to increase my financial literacy.  I know a little about buying and selling stocks, how the stock market operates, and mutual funds, but I wouldn't mind knowing more.  

Science Writing

I have just finished my second writing assignment for the NASA Spitzer Space Telescope project.  I feel great that I am actually getting paid to explain complicated topics, eliminate jargon, and think about science!  Now, all I have to do is find a way to write for Philosophy Now magazine.  Hmmmm....

New Lamy Safari

Today, I bought a new Lamy Safari.  It is blue, and has a medium nib.  I am learning that I prefer medium and broad nibs to fine nibs: they glide more easily over paper, and, in general, make for a more pleasant writing experience.  Now, I want to replace the fine nib in my first Safari with a medium or broad.  That will be my next project.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Hooray for Susan Boyle!

That's all I have to say.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sailor Fountain Pens

I found a store in San Francisco that sells Sailor fountain pens.  I read on at least one blog that the write very smoothly, and that's a quality I like a lot.  So, now I want to go back, and ask the salespeople if I can try one.  Mmmmmm: fountain pens....

Thursday, April 2, 2009

On the Hunt!

I am now officially on the hunt for a one-volume astronomy dictionary!  I would like a handy reference book for my freelance work, and, well, I guess I prefer leafing through a physical book to researching topics on the internet.  (Also, I'll jump at any chance to buy a new book.)  I already have one recommendation, but if anyone else has any, please let me know.  

After Dark at the Exploratorium

I just got back from the Exploratorium's first After Dark event, which featured D.J. Scientific and avant-garde violinist DBR.  I really liked the mix of violin and house beats: it kind of reminded me of the pleasant sound of monks chanting over a background of techno music.  That combination seems to balance very well.  


I feel very tired today, and I'm not sure why. Maybe I should cheer myself up by getting a new fountain pen. I think I would like to try a Lamy Safari with a medium or broad nib. Well, maybe I'll just save up for one.