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How the World's Agricultural Boom Has Changed CO2 Cycles

Quantum Jim Re: Problem? (186 comments)

More volatile climate in the short term as Artic Ice recedes faster. In the longer run, warmer winters than by Global Warming alone due.

about 2 months ago

Sierra Nevada Corp. Files Legal Challenge Against NASA Commercial Contracts

Quantum Jim Re:Boeing bought more politicians. (127 comments)

Leaving out Boeing would be budget suicide for NASA.

No one should be left out because there should be no contract. Instead, NASA should be fostering a spot market for launches. They should have a separate bid for each launch: "We want X satellite in Y orbit, and insured for Z dollars." Then give the launch to the lowest bidder. That way each company can work continuously to cut costs and improve services, knowing that if they leapfrog the competition, they can win the next launch, instead of being locked out for years.

That is not feesable. It take years to be trained to fly in a spaceship - whether the lifting body like the Shuttle or Dream Chaser, or a capsule such as Soyuz, CST-100, or Dragon V2. You have to build not only the rocket, but a tower to carry the crew to the top of the rocket along with an arm to get the astronauts into the vehicle (which is not compatible/spacecraft). Escape systems need to be installed. It's very expensive, and it would never be built without assurance that the demand is there. At this time, there is no market for launches except from NASA or ESA. Cosmonauts would ride Russian spacecraft, Indians and Chinese are developing their own systems, etc. The public demand is too little at this time. Without a long-term contract, NASA is not enough for your proposal.

about 4 months ago

Snowden Queries Putin On Live TV Regarding Russian Internet Surveillance

Quantum Jim Re:Putin actually speaks the truth (396 comments)

Indeed! Russia also requires all telcoms and ISPs, at their expense, to install monitoring equipment of the internet and telephones, This project is called SORM (wikipedia entry for SORM). The system was put into place around 1996-2000, but it has been used as recently as the Winter Olympics (source). It is explicitly a mass-surveillance system, so either Putin is lying or he is bending the truth: Russia doesn't pay for it... but by law the telcoms have to pay it. They don't do illegal wiretapping because it is explicitly legal. And you're right, they might not have the ability to store all that data for long periods of time, but you can be sure they are targeting people. And you can be sure they are targeting foreign governments too (of course). Heck, there were several diplomatic leaks at the beginning of the Crimean crises in order to strain US-EU ties. You can be sure that's due to Russia's intelligence services.

about 9 months ago

McDonald's Denies Prof's Claim Staff Attacked Him For Wearing Digital Glasses

Quantum Jim Read the statement (627 comments)

Am I the only one that read the statement? It seems to me that they are collecting information. In fact McDonald's doesn't deny they attacked him, they only state that their employees denied it. It's an important distinction. Their employees are quite naturally saying, "We're innocent!" while Mann's saying "They're guilty." Mann provided proof that one of their statements - namely that they didn't damage any of his property - is incorrect. But it doesn't seem McDonalds, as a whole, is calling Mann a liar. Here's the statement:

We share the concern regarding Dr. Mann’s account of his July 1 visit to a McDonald’s in Paris. McDonald’s France was made aware of Dr. Mann’s complaints on July 16, and immediately launched a thorough investigation. The McDonald’s France team has contacted Dr. Mann and is awaiting further information from him.

In addition, several staff members involved have been interviewed individually, and all independently and consistently expressed that their interaction with Dr. Mann was polite and did not involve a physical altercation. Our crew members and restaurant security staff have informed us that they did not damage any of Mr. Mann’s personal possessions.

While we continue to learn more about the situation, we are hearing from customers who have questions about what happened. We urge everyone not to speculate or jump to conclusions before all the facts are known. Our goal is to provide a welcoming environment and stellar service to McDonald’s customers around the world.

more than 2 years ago

Chatbot Eugene Wins Biggest Turing Test Ever

Quantum Jim Re:Captain Oveur talks to a 13-year-old chatbot (235 comments)

Q: Do you like movies with gladiators? A: My favorite type is comedy. I like the "Naked Gun" series best. Heck, any movie with Leslie Nielsen it is tops in my book!

Interesting that your quotes comes from "Airplane!", a movie starring Leslie Nielsen.

more than 2 years ago

Precise W Boson Mass Measurement Helps Lead the Way To the Higgs Boson

Quantum Jim Re:Where does the Higgs mass come from? (82 comments)

Sorry for all the responses. I asked Professor Strassler on his website. He replied that it's actually a mystery where the Higgs gets it's mass! It's a very good question. All the other standard model particles, except the neutrino, get their masses via interacting with the Higgs field. We don't really understand neutrinos very well, though.

more than 2 years ago

Precise W Boson Mass Measurement Helps Lead the Way To the Higgs Boson

Quantum Jim Re:Where does the Higgs mass come from? (82 comments)

Whoops. Allow me to correct my own post. Not all of the Higgs particle's mass is from the Higgs Field:

In particular, as you can see in Figs. 3 and 7, the Higgs particle itself does not get all of its mass from the non-zero Higgs field — and the strength of its interaction with itself is not directly related to its mass. [There is a correlation, but not proportionality.] This is not unusual.

I wonder how it gets the rest of its mass? That's a good question.

more than 2 years ago

Precise W Boson Mass Measurement Helps Lead the Way To the Higgs Boson

Quantum Jim Re:Where does the Higgs mass come from? (82 comments)

They get their masses from the Higgs Field. The W Boson is like a ripple in the W-Field. An electron is like a ripple in the electron-field (not the electrical field). Et cetera. So a Higgs Boson is like a ripple in the Higgs Field. But it still gets is mass by interacting with that field, like most other elementary particles with mass. Here's a good article that explains that: If the Higgs field were zero.

more than 2 years ago

Are Google Music and Amazon Cloud Player Legal?

Quantum Jim Re:Yay America! (226 comments)

The RIAA and Co. have never sued anyone for using their own music digitally. They have sued when a third party is involved. The issue isn't that you are able to stream your music to you from your own system, or even from a web server somewhere else that you operate. The problem is that you are uploading your songs to Google or Amazon, which may very well be copyright infringement.

The DVD-CCA (an organization run by the motion picture studios) sued Kaleidescape for making a personal server where you could upload your DVDs and then play them anywhere in your house. Kaleidescape won their suit, fortunately. Of course the DVD-CCA isn't the RIAA; however, I feel they are cut from the same cloth.

more than 3 years ago

Google Releases Software To Iran

Quantum Jim Re:so naive (286 comments)

I concur. The export restrictions are frankly ridiculous in this case. If they wanted to, the Iranian government could just send someone to US to download Google's software for free. If Iran can import centrifuges to purify Uranium, they can surely use proxies to download the software directly too (spoofing their country of origin). It's probably a face-saving gesture for he more "senile" members of congress.

Indeed, Google says they worked with US government officials before releasing the software with these restrictions according to TFA. They believe that releasing the software to Iranians will help promote the flow of information and help them exercise more freedom of speech and assembly, as shown in during protests of the 2009 election in Iran. Someone in the US government probably thinks so too.

about 4 years ago

The Android Invasion Cometh; Is Resistance Futile?

Quantum Jim Re:IN B4... (410 comments)

IN B4 "Android Fragmentation"

Wasn't that part of the plot to one of the Star Trek movies?

more than 4 years ago

After DNA Misuse, Researchers Banished From Havasupai Reservation

Quantum Jim Re:Told but didn't understand..... (332 comments)

So, were they mislead, or is this more of a type of "buyers remorse"? There are plenty of places where the local population is uneducated and unlikely to fully understand genetic testing, should we stop studying them, and in the process deny them the good (potential treatments for disease that they suffer from) to protect them from "the bad" (the possibility that their world-view will be challenged, or that the data will be applied to larger studies)?

Also, one of the big issues here seems to be that the findings contradict their folklore: Another article, suggesting that the tribe’s ancestors had crossed the frozen Bering Sea to arrive in North America, flew in the face of the tribe’s traditional stories that it had originated in the canyon and was assigned to be its guardian. Listening to the investigators, Ms. Tilousi felt a surge of anger, she recalled. But in Supai, the initial reaction was more of hurt. Though some Havasupai knew already that their ancestors most likely came from Asia, “when people tell us, ‘No, this is not where you are from,’ and your own blood says so — it is confusing to us,” Rex Tilousi said. “It hurts the elders who have been telling these stories to our grandchildren.” So science showed that their fable about springing from the ground in this canyon was, at best, unlikely. So what. We don't accept that the Earth is the center of the universe, that sex with virgins cures disease, that human sacrifice improves crop yield, or that it's turtles all the way down, why should we care about this story either. I'm not inclined to "turn off" science just because results show that a stone-age story is just a story.

I agree with your second part. Challenging anyone's worldview is always a good thing. Whether they are Christians, Havasupai, or even athiests, challenging people with evidence contradicting their ignorance is a good thing! It keeps society from stagnating by encouraging free thinking!

more than 4 years ago

I know X people with diagnosed H1N1 flu, where X is:

Quantum Jim Re:I assume you mean MD-diagnosed (423 comments)

Yes, it was a nasal mucous swab. It tickled... haha. I was diagnosed after I was on the way to recovery. The meds they gave me helped a ton. I think it took only a few days (it was over a weekend iirc). I seriously thought I had a concussion earlier that week because of the headache. I live in Pittsburgh, and we have a CDC location here IIRC. Maybe that sped up the process.

more than 5 years ago

I know X people with diagnosed H1N1 flu, where X is:

Quantum Jim Re:I assume you mean MD-diagnosed (423 comments)

I'm a little confused. I am pretty sure I had H1N1 flu in late October for about a week. I had a 102 degree F temperature, clogged sinuses, really bad headache, fatigue, and lost about 5 pounds of weight. The doctor prescribed Tamiflu and Mucinex, and he told me to take 48 hrs off after my fever broke to reduce the risk of contamination. I tested positive for H1N1. It didn't take weeks to be notified. Actually it took 4 days (and a few were over a weekend). Are things worse now?

more than 5 years ago

Initial Tests Fail To Find Gravitational Waves

Quantum Jim Re:Linearization (553 comments)

Here's the part that I find interesting. The whole gravity/space-time curvature is merely an abstraction of gravity into a new dimension.

Ancient people's idea of gravity was simple. Stuff goes down.

Then people figured out that the earth's surface is curved, and "down" didn't work anymore. The new theory of gravity said that stuff moves toward other stuff, and the earth is a big blob of stuff that all our little stuff moves toward. Kinda simple, but you don't have the nice, straight, linear sort of system. You've got a radial one, and other planets and stars have their own gravity fields that pull stuff toward them, and it's a bit more complex.

So, with this notion of mass curving the surface of space/time in some higher dimension, we envision space/time as a sort of elastic surface. Mass sinks into the surface, and smaller mass will "roll" into the depression caused by the larger mass. Why does the "mass" roll downhill? Well, there's the kicker: this higher dimension apparently has its own sort of gravity, and, like the ancients' theory, it's nice and straight: it always goes down!

That's not actually true. Take a square apiece of paper. Draw a straight line parallel with one side in the middle. Then tear the paper perpendicular to the line from one side to the line. Now pull one side of the tear over the other. See how the paper bends into a cone? That's what gravity does. It causes "space" to not be flat just like that. However, look what happened to your line. Now it curves around toward the direction of your tear. So it is the geometry of the paper that causes the gravity. It isn't about anything rolling downhill, or about there being another type of gravity pulling everything down a rubber sheet. Instead, the shape of surface causes anything going in a straight line to be deflected towards that tear. And why does your object tend to go in a straight line? Because of Newton's first law, of course!

more than 5 years ago

Thai Gov't Sets Up Site For Snitching On Royals' Critics

Quantum Jim Re:Not as barbaric as a country that kills kids? (329 comments)

Read my post in context with the parent to which I was responding. Original poster used the term "fucking barbaric" to describe a country that executed drug users and I was suggesting they thought a little more about their posting.

Agreed my language should have been more carefully chosen. I completely agree the issue is more nuanced than a short response can provide however felt it would be mostly lost on the original poster, hence decided to give them a blunt response to get them thinking about what they'd written. Perhaps I shouldn't have jumped back at a troll...

Clearly you are more capable of a more rational debate and it would be more pleasant to have a decent conversation and discuss the issues with you rather than User Jaysyn.The issues are indeed complex.

I'd note though that the State of Texas- a part of the USA - apparently still reserves the right to execute under 18 year olds and President Obama has promised to review the failure to ratify the Convention (Ref.)


I think that it is very strange to defend a blunt response if it can easily be shown to be incorrect. For example, I could call you "fucking barbaric" for murdering children too, but that would be incorrect and certainly unjustified. At very least, your outburst makes you look very silly to me. The context doesn't compare the US to anyone, and the post doesn't imply the author is from the US at all. So your remark about the US is certainly off-topic and not supported by the context.

Your reference from wikipedia is probably incorrect. The citation in wikipedia for the remark, that Texas reserves the right to execute 17 year olds (Texas's previous limit), does not mention Texas at all! I did a search for texas in that article and got nothing, so (unless my browser is malfunctioning) that wikipedia statement seems baseless to me. So I will edit out that reference from the article.

Furthermore, Texas cannot overrule the US constitution, and the supreme court has already ruled on the matter. There was a case mentioned in the wikipedia article where they tried to overturn the ruling in Alabama, but that went nowhere (and rightfully so). So that reference that you cited can not support your argument in any case whether true or not.

Finally, Obama is a politician. He cares a lot about symbols, as shown by his public reasons for "firing" a CEO. I repeat that: he forced a person to retire from his job because Obama wanted to emphasize a point. Doesn't matter if it was justified for other reasons or not - that was the reason suggested by the man himself. Obama also recently suggested a world without nuclear weapons, though there are many reasons that is currently unrealistic. Obama declared it probably won't happen in his lifetime, in fact! So the point of mentioning that goal was also symbolic. The UN Convention is also a symbol. So Obama's support of ratifying the convention is not surprising, but also not a sign that he thinks it is realistic or even possible in the near future. Of course I could be wrong, but I think this is the likely conclusion.

more than 5 years ago

Thai Gov't Sets Up Site For Snitching On Royals' Critics

Quantum Jim Re:Not as barbaric as a country that kills kids? (329 comments)

Only two countries in the World refuse to sign up to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, and declare their right to execute children as part of their legal processes:

1. Somalia
2. United States of America

Careful who you are calling barbaric, some people might also call executing kids a pretty primitive practice.

If you are going to call the US barbaric, please use a correct reason. Just because we did not "sign up" (we did sign it in fact, just not ratify it) doesn't mean we don't support most of its ideals. The US Supreme Court ruled that it is unconstitutional to execute children as part of our legal processes. So the US is not executing kids, unlike what you are claiming.

Now there are many reasons why we should ratify it. There are also reasons why we might not be able to ratify it. For example, it could be unconstitutional. So it is not a clear issue and should be debated and considered with much thought. However, using loaded words like "barbaric" and "refuse" is unfair when the issue needs more discussion. So you please refrain from such derogatory and untrue characterizations.

more than 5 years ago

Anti-Matter Created By Laser At Livermore

Quantum Jim Re:Holy Mackerel! (465 comments)

I don't think this compares with Fermilab. The fine article is talking about creating positrons, not anti-protons. This isn't the first time I've heard about creating positrons from a laser shown upon a gold foil target. Here are two (from 2004 and 2001 respectively) that I just found on Google Scholar describing a result and a theory behind the positron production:


It also isn't very efficient. They make 10^11 positrons per 400 J of energy input. If those positrons react with 10^11 electrons, they produce gamma rays with the energy 2 * (electron mass * (10^11)) * (c^2) = 0.0163742083 joules. Maybe it is more efficient than Fermilab, but that's still not very much. Since these are light positrons - not heavy anti-protons - I don't think these results would be very useful for fusion. Maybe as a source of gamma rays or as a research tool.

more than 6 years ago


Quantum Jim hasn't submitted any stories.



Trolls on /. get moderated 5, Insightful, Rant

Quantum Jim Quantum Jim writes  |  more than 7 years ago

I'm a Christian. I respect the opinions of rational non-Christians and am open to the fact that not every intelligent person will agree with me. I don't try to force my religion on people who don't want to hear about it. But I don't like it when people bash Christianity without cause on slashdot. Everyone (rightly) derides politicians for the "Muslims are terrorists" slur but it seems like open season on Christianity sometimes around here. This post is titled "When Wealthy Christians and Crackpots Attack!" but he doesn't talk about Christians in his post at all! There's nothing really substantive or particularly insightful - just one statement as a few instances to support it. He talks about Scientology and Uri Gellar. The Church of Scientology are not Christians (they believe Christ is a delusion IIRC from reading about them). Uri Gellar is Jewish according to wikipedia. Stuart Privar seems to be a creationist, but there is nothing about Christianity in either article that I read. Furthermore, not all Christians are creationists either except in the broadest sense - not the common use of the term. Using such broad, imprecise language in his little post just seems like a potshot or trolling.


Question: Soap After Sports - Antibacterial or Regular?

Quantum Jim Quantum Jim writes  |  more than 7 years ago

Got a little rant and a question for anyone reading. Again, a popular science article exaggerates the conclusions. A recent /. story mentioned Anti-Bacterial Soap No Better Than Plain Soap. Now most of the comments seem to sermonize against all antibacterial products. I don't completely disagree, but the article doesn't support extreme opinions. Of course, the story in question only concerned itself with one type of antibacterial soap and with one use of that soap: namely washing hands before eating food. Allison Aiello sums it up:

The soaps containing triclosan used in the community setting are no more effective than plain soap at preventing infectious illness symptoms, as well as reducing bacteria on the hands.

Now for my question. I practice Judo and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu a lot. I used to use a regular soap in the shower, but I caught some severe conjunctivitis three times in the same eye in the past six months despite trying to be clean. The pink eye was very bad, my eyelids swelled up, and the doctor needed a broad-based antibiotic to take care of them. That indicates to me that the infections were caused by bacteria - probably staph.

I am scared to death of MRSA. Now I use antibacterial Dial bar soap as well as some anti-dandruff shampoo to discourage colonies of fungi - with the intention of preventing ringworm (and dandruff I suppose). That seems to have been working better, but this article concerns me. The article didn't research body washes for athletes, but it does raise the question whether or not antibacterial soap is useful for cleaning up after practices. Which type of soap would be best for cleaning up after athletic activities and why - regular or antibacterial soap?


My /. fortune is mistaken

Quantum Jim Quantum Jim writes  |  more than 7 years ago

My /. fortune was:

(1) X=Y ; Given
(2) X^2=XY ; Multiply both sides by X
(3) X^2-Y^2=XY-Y^2 ; Subtract Y^2 from both sides
(4) (X+Y)(X-Y)=Y(X-Y) ; Factor
(5) X+Y=Y ; Cancel out (X-Y) term
(6) 2Y=Y ; Substitute X for Y, by equation 1
(7) 2=1 ; Divide both sides by Y
-- "Omni", proof that 2 equals 1

However, you can only cancel out the (X-Y) if X != Y because if they are equal then the expression is zero! Indeed, the rest of the steps can be left, so you end up with:

2(x-y) = (x-y)
0 = 0

Friends don't let friends divide by zero!


Got silver in my first judo shiai

Quantum Jim Quantum Jim writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I competed in the Pennsylvania Open Judo Championships yesterday. It was a double elimination shiai (tournament) hosted at Master Eugene's school in Cranberry. This was the first time I participated in - and even witnessed - a judo competition.

I won a silver medal, and my record was 3-1. I entered the 175-151 senior men intermediate division. Here are videos of my matches:

  1. I submitted J.R. DeFilippo (Kim) with okuri eri jime (sliding collar choke).
  2. I pinned Rob Lynn (Joseki) with tate shiho gatame (high mount).
  3. Mark deRouville (Brick) threw me with drop seoinage for gold.
  4. I submitted Matt Fisher (Penn State) with koshi jime (clock choke) for silver.

Even though I ate a big pasta dinner last night and didn't even try to make weight for the tournament, I still weighed in at 152 pounds and weighed 151 after going to the bathroom before my matches. Therefore the guy who won (152 pounds) and I were the lighest judoka in the bracket.

Everyone had to wear a white or a blue belt - or a white or blue gi - during our matches. Even the black belts generally conformed to this rule; although, a lot of people just ignored it too. The competition ran late by over an hour, and I didn't feel like I had much energy while waiting. Somehow I had more than enough cardio, since I didn't really break much of a sweat or work that hard even during the one match I lost. Everyone else seemed exausted, so I guess I didn't work hard enough. I hope the reason is that I was just very efficient and/or had good cardio. Mentally I was drained by the end of the day, though.

I had fun during the judo shiai. JR trains at Kim's in Brendwood too. Rob Lynn invited me to train with him in Altoona, but that's a long drive unless I can get someone else to come with me. Matt Fisher trains at the Penn State Judo Team. I'm not too concerned about my loss to Mark deRouville, since he is the NJ State Champion and also placed in every skill division in his weight class. But I will learn from my mistakes and beat him next time. Good guys; it was an honor to meet them. I hope next time during the shiai I can relax more, and maybe win by ippon with a throw at least once. :)


My First Firefox Extension: "Personal Toolbar Button"

Quantum Jim Quantum Jim writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I wrote my first Firefox 1.5 extension called "Personal Toolbar Button." Of course, it simply adds a toolbar button that toggles on/off the "Personal Toolbar" toolbar. This is where I keep all my bookmarks, but too many toolbars wastes useful screen real estate. Install it at extension's web site. (Thanks Mozilla.org!)

I was inspired by the web developer extension which uses the same trick to toggle its toolbar. I created a new GUID for the extension using an online UUID generator. This tutorial at Mozillazine provided the template for the extension. Roachfiend's tutorial filled in the gaps on how to package it as an installable XPI. Oh, and I used the DOM Inspector to figure out which CSS declarations/IDs to use.

The entire project took me about two hours because I kept making stupid mistakes. I originally wanted to write an extension for a programmable set of buttons for Firefox's toolbar, but I quickly realized that was too ambitious. Programming the extension was fun and a very practical use of my time - at least for me. All in all, I'm very pleased with the result. I hope someone else finds this project useful as well...


My ear is dog food (cauli surgery)

Quantum Jim Quantum Jim writes  |  more than 8 years ago

Had surgery on my ear today. I first injured my ear hurt my ear back in March. I was rolling with a judo shodan (black belt) and tapped him with a choke. Then during standing randori, he schooled me with a billion uchi mata throws. The result was a broken toe and cauliflower ear. Pictures provided upon request. :x

This was my first surgical procedure. It was weird. I felt naked under my gown. My weight was 154 lbs, heart rate 55 bpm, and blood pressure 125/65. The nurse inserted the most painless needle ever into a vein my hand. Then she retracted the needle and replaced it with a plastic catheter. That was actually more annoying than the needle.

I recieved a general anesthetic. It was strange... I don't remember being giving the anesthetic nor falling asleep, but I work up in a different room. The doctor removed the fluid and blood clots, then sewed it back up. He stitched it back up along with a tube to hold the skin and cartilage so they heal together. As the anesthetic wears off it gets more and more painful, but I have a prescription for the good stuff. :p

The doctor said he saw a lot of crushed and fractured cartilage in there. He doesn't want me doing any more BJJ or judo for about 2 weeks after I see him on Friday. However, I hope to do some non-contact drilling and rolling as soon as I can.


2 is the loneliest number

Quantum Jim Quantum Jim writes  |  more than 8 years ago

I competed in the Kumite Classic this past Saturday (May 27, 2006). It is a no-gi submission wrestling and a gi-required Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament. (A gi is the typicially white uniform some martial artists wear.) My record was:

  • Men's Gi White-Belt 145 lbs: 1-1 (Second Place)
  • Men's No-Gi Intermediate 145 lbs: 1-1 (Second Place)

My record is now 7-6. I had a lot of fun at the tournament, but I am not satisfied. Man, I'm a little pissed for not getting first place. I have a lot to work on.

Gi Division

In my first gi match, I defeated Matt Jubara by scoring 16 points. He was very strong and very tough. You can watch a video of Jubara vs me.

My second gi match was against Mat "Rosco" Rosborough for the championship. He was very tough too. We went into overtime, and I eventually ran out of gas in the tank. It was very long: the match lasted over 8 minutes... I have to work on my cardio so I can roll for 10 minutes or more at a high intensity. Watching it, I don't think my technique was as smooth as I would like. You can view a video of Rosco defeating me.

No-Gi Division

In my first no-gi match, I faced a karate guy (I could tell because he wore black karate gi pants and no shirt); although, he said he did study grappling. Donnie took care of him a few years ago in the advanced division. Now he was back, but in my intermediate bracket. Oh well. I owned him and finished the dude with a RNC. Watch a video of my easy no-gi match.

In my second no-gi match I faced Rosco again. This time I scored a super sweet judo throw. I was actually trying for Harai Goshi, but Randy told me the throw was really Harai Makikomi (on further reflection, it probably was harai goshi). It was mostly instinct: I was setting up a throw and just saw the opening. In judo, that would have been ippon. However, this is grappling so no soup for me! Rosco rolled when we landed and I felt off balance in side control. Somehow I ended up with reverse guard and tried for a toe hold, but I screwed it up. Still, with 45 second to go the score was tied and I was winning with an advantage. However, I was still tired and lost when he passed my guard as I opened it to attack. Randy uploaded a partial clip of Rosco vs Me in no-gi. (I wish he got the whole thing so I could go over my many mistakes.)


Ironically if I just stalled from guard a little bit then I would have won. However, that is stupid and not honorable. No excuses: I lost twice to the same guy in both championship matches. I have to work on my control, my cardio, and my leg locks. I have to be able to finish long matches grapple at 110% throughout the fight. This month I shall try to improve these aspects of my game.

There is more about the tournament at the CMU Grappling Club's tournament page or my training log.


Q: Caffeine and Athletic Performance?

Quantum Jim Quantum Jim writes  |  more than 8 years ago

"One of the main reasons for caffeine giving you a wake-up call is that it forces the liver to hydrolise glycogen into glucose." (src) Glycogen "is the main form of carbohydrate storage in animals and occurs primarily in the liver and muscle tissue." (src) Granted those two sources are not good references. I need to do additional research. However, if true, would diet caffeinated beverages not work for diabetics (since the caffeine increases their sugar level)? Also, would caffeinated beverages degrade athletic performance by depleting your muscle glycogen supplies? More investigation is called for. Any insight anyone?


CMU Grappling Video

Quantum Jim Quantum Jim writes  |  more than 8 years ago

CMU Grappling kicking ass, taking names - Highlights from our tournament in December via Google Video. I'm Jimmy. :-) There is another tournament in March, but I haven't decided whether I will compete in it. Many of my friends are going to enter, but I am burnt out from tournaments. I'd really like to skip one - just for once - and catch my breath. Oh, and I've been diverting my whining to a different journal to spare you, my /. friends and other readers. :-)


Better But Still Stressed Out

Quantum Jim Quantum Jim writes  |  more than 9 years ago

On Exams. I feel better though still stressed out. In the real world, I refer to documentation all the time even for basic stuff just to confirm things. Why do profs expect you to know everything from memory?

On Championships. Wow. I was afraid this might happen. Many of the people that I roll with during practice really want to prove themselves.

The first person I fought beat himself up for a few days afterward. I tried comforting him and instructing where he went wrong. Now he really wants a rematch even though I just want to have fun!!!

The guy who took third wanted to spar very hard Wednesday, because we didn't get to fight at the tournament. I think he wanted to know whether he could have beat me if he won his match. Instead I gather it clouded his judgement. During randori I tapped him twice. However, I was really sad and just played around for the rest of the session.

I grapple just to have fun and lose weight. That's it. I'm very worried that now I'm expected to do well at every future lesson and tourney, and everyone will be gunning for me! That is very stressful and not fun at all. :-/

On the other hand it was actually a relief yesterday when I went to the advanced BJJ practice, since I got decidedly crushed when rolling with the blue belts. I usually go on beginner BJJ day with most of the other white belts, and I was beginning to get nervous when my luck would run out!

Unexpected Consequences Odd that is felt better losing than winning. On the bright side, a clothing manufacturer wanted to sponsor me.... Methinks the advertiser is a tad too enthusiastic, or that he couldn't get Fedor to do endorce his product, or that he tipped the bottle too much. Still gave me a chuckle! :-D

Ya Drew! Thanks to a buddy of mine who also fought, you can download a quicktime highlight clip set to some funny music. Feel free to download more videos from our club if you wish.

I promise more Geeky stuff later...


First place yet still depressed (more non-nerd stuff)

Quantum Jim Quantum Jim writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I won first place in both the gi and no-gi lightweight novice divisions in the Ultimate Force 2005 grappling tournament. I fought twice with my kimono on and twice without. Therefore, I went 4-0 today. Pictures and video forthcomming.

I should feel great; however, I don't. I spent all week stressing over my weight (I was 160, now I'm 152) and having nightmares about losing in the first ten seconds. It is a relief that I don't have to worry any more!!! However, I am still a little nervous since now I must to well for now on. I will have to fight in more experienced weight divisions like intermediate or beginner in the future... I feel like everyone expects me to do good, and I keep thinking I will choke.

I even found myself rationalizing my wins. With my kimono on, the first person I defeated was a lot lighter than me and actually wanted me to go up a weight class. He is my friend and I look up him; I still feel he has better technique than me. In the championship gi match, my opponent was also a friend. I actually think fighing people I know is more fun, but he had trouble getting intense for the match. I ended up winning by scoring 12 points more than him (a technical submission).

Without the kimono I almost lost both matches; however, I won at the end partly because my opponents were wrestlers not grapplers. Their technique was very bad, and I just held out until they made a mistake. I tapped both of them; however, they were in much much better shape than me. I was very intimidated and expected to lose.

Does this take away from my victories? This is the first time I ever won first place at any sport. I want to be proud, and I bragged a little. But too much pride is often a sin (and not solely for religious reasons). I feel humbled by my opponents, yet nervous about the future. I'm even sad a little for hurting them enough to submit during the matches! (Not enough to quit, but still is worries me.)

I began studying Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu only to lose weight. Now I have, but I still feel fat. My self image is shot even though I won first place twice. Does anyone else feel not as good as they thought they would after winning?


Second Place at Grappling Tournament

Quantum Jim Quantum Jim writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Today, I got second place in the novice lightweight weight class at Mark Shrader's Third Annual Grappling Tournament. First, congratulations to the first place winner: Jay Morris. He is an awesome wrestler and grappler, and I wish him luck with his MMA career (no, we weren't fighting MMA).

Despite losing I shouldn't feel bad. In nearly six months of training I worked hard enough to lose 45 pounds (I'm 154 now); clothes that were too small for years are now too big. That was why I started grappling, after all. I only entered the tournament for the experience and not to place. I fought a tough opponent and still came out with a medal.

However, those are rationalizations. The only reason I got a metal is that there were only two people in my weight class: the champion and me. In other words, I lost and still received a metal. I was beaten in skill and strength. Even worse, during an exhibition later on, I tapped out to exactly the same submission from the same opponent. They weren't short matches, but they weren't especially long either. I'm angry at myself for losing in that way.

Every fight is won before anyone steps on the mat through how they prepare. Instead of dwelling on the past, I should direct my energies on the future.

  • Deluding myself, I though I was improving against the people I usually train against. I guess my pride was hurt a little. I need to train against different people so I don't get used to anyone.
  • The submission that got me was a guillotine. I need to learn to master, avoid, and counter them.
  • I also have to work on initiating things from the guard. My confidence with guard work was virtually nill even before the tournament.
  • I was out wrestled, so improving my stand-up is also a priority.
  • I did not feel winded or tired at all during the match, instead I was simply overpowered. I need a better lifting routine to get stronger. However, I should maintain this weight at least (154). Therefore, I still need to do more jogging and cardio as well to lose the dead weight.

I was debating throwing the silver metal away (which says made in China on the back). However, I'll keep it to motivate me to work on these goals.


BBC Color Presents...

Quantum Jim Quantum Jim writes  |  more than 9 years ago

We interrupt this program to annoy you and make things generally irritating.


Secrets of the Universe (Or Why E = mc^2)

Quantum Jim Quantum Jim writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Every wonder why E = mc^2? It has always bugged me why it was so . Hardly any college introductory physics courses go into why. In fact, hardly any college courses derive the formula and just assume it is correct. I hardly ever accept anything on face value: I like running experiments, confirming observations, compiling source code, and deriving formulas. By doing so, I get a better understanding of the stuff I use. That is a worthwhile endeavor.

Now I finally figured out why E = mc^2, all by hand. It doesn't take much more than what you learn after a single year of a single college physics courses (Physics I + II) and a year and a half of calculus (Calc I + II + III). I highly encourage anyone who has taken those classes to try it out. It is very enlightening!

The Speed of Light Is a Constant

To start, you have to accept the following axiom.

The laws of the universe are valid in all inertial reference frames.

That seems super obvious, but there are interesting concequences. You see, one law of the universe is that the strength of electric fields is a certain constant in space. This is represented by the variable e - AKA the "Permittivity of free space" - and the higher e is the weaker the electric field.

Another property of the universe is the strength of magnetic fields. This term was mostly subsumed into the permittivity constant since magnetic fields are created by electric fields, so you don't really need to consider it. This magnetic constant was should be a geometric factor (4*pi) but is usually multiplied by 10^-7 for practical reasons.

The reason this is important is that light is a wave. If you solve Maxwell's equations for an electromagnetic field (in space), you find that the speed of light only depends on the permittivity of space, e, and the strength of magnetic fields in space. In fact, the final result describing the speed of light is simple:

c^2 = 1/(e*u)

Speed of light
Strength of Electric fields (Permittivity)
Strength of Magnetic fields (Permeability)

Such a simple result is rarely a fluke. It also makes little sense. For many years, scientists tried to disprove this result with many experiments. Their skepticism was based on the prevailing theory of the day: that light is not only a wave but a particle too. It is like Jello: while hot it looks like a liquid and waves can be seen. While cold, Jello looks like a solid and can hold its shape. Light is similar - in certain circumstances is acts like a wave and others it acts a particle. This violates the principle of relativity.

The Principle of Relativity

Relativity is a basic observation. Say you are in a bus, and you walk from one end to the other. You don't feel like you are traveling very fast... only a few miles per hour. And to the rest of the people in the bus, you are moving that slowly. However, to people on the street, you are moving very fast. Your speed, to them, is your velocity (relative to the people on the bus) plus the velocity of the bus (relative to the people on the street). Take this example:

Look at this picture (from this page).

Represents the "stationary" reference frame with respect to us (you and me).
Represents the "moving" reference frame wrt O (and us).
Velocity of O' relative to O.
x, y, z
Coordinates according to O.
x', y', z'
Coordinates according to O'.
Time in O (not shown in diagram) since some start event.
Time in O' (same as O).

We are only going to consider one dimention, so y, z, y', z' can be ignored for now. Time (t) and accelerations are the same in each frame (O and O') if V is a constant - i.e. O' doesn't accelerate and moves with a constant speed in a constant direction (wrt O.) Say we have a point called P with coordinate x' in O' and is not moving. Relative to O it is moving with speed v (i.e. the same as O'). To figure out what point P has in O - called x - you use:

x = x' + v*t'

y = y'

z = z'

t = t'

Velocity times time is the distance O' moved, and x' is the distance P is in O', so added together you get the distance P is from O.

From the vantage point of O', things are just the opposite. You come up with the following equations, which can be derived from the equations above:

x' = x - v*t

y' = y

z' = z

t' = t

Just use algebra to figure out those. That second set (and the following set) seems almost trivial, but there are important effects later. There is one more set of equations to note:

ux = ux' + v

uy = uy'

uz = uz'

These are the velocities of a particle at the point if it was moving instead of stationary wrt O'. We used u to differentiate it from the speed of the reference frame, v.

Those are the Galilean Transoformation Equations and are the main result of the Principle of Relativity. See if you can understand that before going on. It is pretty standard and makes sense if you think about it.

How the Speed of Light Mucks Everything Up

The speed of light depends on the strength of electric fields in space, as shown above. But in two reference frames, the speeds observed have to be different according to relativity. If c is the speed of light, and it travels only in the x-direction:

c = c' + v (Not true as explained below!)

Thus, each frame must see a different speed of a light beam. But Maxwell says the speed is a property of the universe (as I said before), so c = c'. One of them is wrong. After lots of experiments, it seems Galileo's Relativity is WRONG! The speed of light, no matter how it was measured, was the same for all frames of reference. So we have the following axiom:

The speed of light is 186,282.397 miles/second for ALL reference frames.

So how do we fix Relativity, since it seems to work in most cases? There must be a correction factor that has to be added in. Let's call that factor, gamma or g. That means the transformation equations will look something like:

x = g*(x' + v*t')

x' = g*(x - v*t)

Those are the same equations as above, just with the correction factor added. But what is the correction factor? Let's perform an experiment to find out!

Now, even though O' is moving, lets start it at the same place as O. So this start occurs where t = t' = 0. At this time, a light pulse is emitted from the origin of the frames (remember, they are at the same place right now) and moves in the x-axis direction. According to O it moves a distance of:

x = c*t

But according to O' it moves a distance of (note c'=c):

x' = c*t'

Plugging these into the equations above:

c*t = g*(c*t' + v*t')

c*t' = g*(c*t - v*t)


c*t = g*(c + v)*t'

c*t' = g*(c - v)*t

This is a system of two equations. Solving one for t' (say the second one) and substituting into the first one can help you solve for g:

t' = g*(c - v)*t/c


c*t = g*(c + v)*t'

c*t = g*(c + v)*g*(c - v)*t/c

c = g^2*(c + v)*(c - v)/c

c^2 = g^2*(c^2 - v^2)

1 = g^2*(1 - v^2/c^2)

g^2 = 1 / (1 - v^2/c^2)

g = 1 / (1 - v^2/c^2)^.5

That is what g actually is. For small values of v, it is about zero. But if you travel facter than light, it grows to infinity! That was an early indication you couldn't travel faster than light.

Another result is that, since the space direction (x) changes, the time direction must also change. This makes sense, since speed is distance over time. If the speed is constant, but the space dimention changes, then time should do. You can solve this by using the two equations above again:

x = g*(x' + v*t')

x' = g*(x - v*t)

But because we know what g is, we can solve for t now:

x = g*(x' + v*t')


x' = g*(x - v*t)

x' = g*(g*(x' + v*t') - v*t)

x'/g = g*(x' + v*t') - v*t

v*t = g*(x' + v*t') - x'/g

t = g*(x'/v + t') - x'/(v*g)

t = g*(x'/v + t') - g*x'/(v*g^2)

t = g*(x'/v + t' - x'/(v*g^2)

t = g*(t' + x'/v*(1 - (1 - v^2/c^2)))

t = g*(t' + x'/v*v^2/c^2)

t = g*(t' + v*x'/c^2)

Together with the distance-equation, these form the new relativity equations, called the Lorentz Transformations:

x = g*(x' + v*t')

y = y'

z = z'

t = g*(t' + v*x'/c^2)

g = 1 / (1 - v^2/c^2)^.5

And from the other point-of-view:

x' = g*(x - v*t)

y' = y

z' = z

t' = g*(t - v*x/c^2)

g = 1 / (1 - v^2/c^2)^.5

Lorentz Velocity Transformations

But wait: there's more! Velocity is the derivative of distance with respect to time. Time and distance are distorted between the two reference frames, so velocities measured between the two should also be distorted. Say a particle moves with a velocity u (components ux uy uz) in O, and say that it moves with a velocity u' (components ux' uy' uz') in O'. It is the same particle looked at from two vantage points O and O'. How is the velocity in O' related to the velocity in O? First note the definitions:

ux = dx/dt

uy = dy/dt

uz = dz/dt


ux' = dx'/dt'

uy' = dy'/dt'

uz' = dz'/dt'

Let's begin by looking at the x-direction velocities. Note the following identity from the chain rule:

dx/dt' = dx/dt * dt/dt'


dx/dt = dx/dt' / dt/dt'

ux = dx/dt' / dt/dt'

We want the derivatives of the varibles in O wrt variables in O', since that's how the Lorentz transforms are defined. The velocity ux is dx/dt of course. Now taking the derivatives of the transforms and plugging them into the equation yeilds:

dx/dt' = d/dt' (g*(x' + v*t'))

dx/dt' = g * d/dt' (x' + v*t')

dx/dt' = g * (dx'/dt' + v*dt'/dt')

dx/dt' = g * (ux' + v)


dt/dt' = d/dt' (g*(t' + v*x'/c^2))

dt/dt' = g * d/dt' (t' + v*x'/c^2)

dt/dt' = g * (dt'/dt' + v*dx'/dt'/c^2)

dt/dt' = g * (1 + v*ux'/c^2)


ux = dx/dt' / dt/dt'

ux = (ux' + v) / (1 + v*ux'/c^2)

Compare with the Galilean result, ux = (ux' + v). There is a correction term, and it is caused by the time distortion of Relativity. What about y-direction and z-direction velocities? Well, the two will have the same form, since anything in one direction perpendicular to the direction of motion - x-direction - isn't special in any other direction perpendicular to the direction of motion. (Can you see why?) So let's solve for the y-direction, and the z-direction follows the same logic:

dy/dt' = dy/dt * dt/dt'


dy/dt = dy/dt' / dt/dt'

uy = dy/dt' / dt/dt'


dy/dt' = d/dt' (y')

dy/dt' = dy'/dt'

dy/dt' = uy'

and remember

dt/dt' = g * (1 + v*ux'/c^2)


uy = uy' / g / (1 + v*ux'/c^2)

And in the z-direction

uz = uz' / g / (1 + v*ux'/c^2)

It is interesting that the changes to the Galilean result in the y/z-directions depend on the distortion from the x-direction (and the ux' velocity). This is complete counter-intuitive at first glance, but makes sense after thinking about it. The distortion is from movement in the x-direction of the O' frame, so that is what the change depends on. In summary (from both points of view):

ux = (ux' + v) / (1 + v*ux'/c^2)

uy = uy' / g / (1 + v*ux'/c^2)

uz = uz' / g / (1 + v*ux'/c^2)


ux' = (ux - v) / (1 - v*ux/c^2)

uy' = uy / g / (1 - v*ux/c^2)

uz' = uz / g / (1 - v*ux/c^2)

Momentum changes

Momentum is highly depended on velocity. So does it change too? Let's perform an experiment and find out! :-) Here's the skinny:

Look at this picture in the O frame and this picture in the O' frame from this page.

Ball thrown by O
x-velocity of "ball a" wrt O before the collision
y-velocity of "ball a" wrt O before the collision
x-velocity of "ball a" wrt O' before the collision
y-velocity of "ball a" wrt O' before the collision
x-velocity of "ball a" wrt O after the collision
y-velocity of "ball a" wrt O after the collision
x-velocity of "ball a" wrt O' after the collision
y-velocity of "ball a" wrt O' after the collision


Ball' thrown by O'
x-velocity of "ball b" wrt O before the collision
y-velocity of "ball b" wrt O before the collision
x-velocity of "ball b" wrt O' before the collision
y-velocity of "ball b" wrt O' before the collision
x-velocity of "ball b" wrt O after the collision
y-velocity of "ball b" wrt O after the collision
x-velocity of "ball b" wrt O' after the collision
y-velocity of "ball b" wrt O' after the collision


Velocity each person measures throwing their ball in their reference frame (x-componet=0)

My notation is slightly different from the picture. Note the differences!

Here is what the situation is. Say the person at O throws a baseball straight out (y direction) relative to her. Say the person' at O' also throws a baseball' straight out (-y' direction) relative to her'. Each ball has constant velocity (no gravity), and each person throws the ball with the same velocity as measured in their reference frame. Well, relative to the person at O, the baseball' moves in a diagonal line.

(Think of it this way. If you throw a ball up in a car, it seems to go straight. To a person on the sidewalk, it is moving in a diagonal. You just don't notice any horizonal direction because you are moving at the same speed in that direction.)

Well, the velocity of the "ball a" thrown by O is:

before the collision

uax = 0

uay = uy

and after the collision

wax = 0

way = -uy

Using the classical definition of momentum p = m * u then the change of momentum observed by O is:

before the collision

pax = 0

pay = m * uy

and after the collision

qax = 0

qay = m * (-uy)

So the net momentum change

Pax = qax - pax = 0 - 0 = 0

Pay = qay - pay

Pay = m * (-uy) - m * uy

Pay = -2 * m * uy

Likewise for "ball b" thrown by O':

before the collision (using the velocity transforms)

ubx = v

uby = -uy / g

and after the collision

wbx = v

wby = uy / g

and the momentums:

before the collision

pbx = m * v

pby = - m * uy / g

and after the collision

qbx = m * v

qby = m * uy / g

So the net momentum change

Pbx = qbx - pbx = m * v - m * v = 0

Pby = qby - pby

Pby = m * uy / g + m * uy / g

Pby = 2 * m * uy / g

This makes no sense! The momentum from one side of the collision is not balanced by momentum on the other side:

Should be zero, but isn't:

Pynet = Pay + Pby

Pynet = -2 * m * uy + 2 * m * uy / g

Pynet = 2 * m * uy * ( 1 / g - 1)

Pynet != 0

Since the net is not zero, momentum was NOT conserved using Lorentz Transforms! To preserve the law of conservation of momentum the definition of momentum must be changed. How should it be adjusted? Well the problems occured when we calculated the momentum of the particle in the O' frame:

Remember this?

Pby = 2 * m * uy / g

The 1/g factor came from the Lorentz velocity transformations. To fix it, we adjust the definition of momentum from:

p = m * u


p = m * u * g

This doesn't affect the "ball a" result since for the O frame, relative to itself, g is zero. Plugging it into the above result allows momentum to be conserved. Cool!

Proving E = m * c ^ 2

In summary so far... The effects of relativity means measurements between O and O' are different. The changes include the Lorentz Transforms of position and velocity. The law of momentum was adjusted:

p = m * u * g

Also note the original definitions of velocity, force and energy (work):

v = dx/dt

F = dp/dt

E = integral of F dx

The first step is to get a more specific equation for Force. Momentum changed, so the force is not just F=ma. Let's put a particle right at the origin of O' and see what happens. This is a modification of Young's derivation of Kinetic Energy. By evaluating the derivate you find:

Note: u=v

F = dp/dt

F = d/dt (m * v / (1 - v^2 / c^2)^.5

F = m * v * d/dt((1 - v^2 / c^2)^-.5) + m / (1 - v^2 / c^2)^.5 * dv/dt

F = m * v * d/dt((1 - v^2 / c^2)^-.5) + m * a / (1 - v^2 / c^2)^.5

F = m * v * (1 - v^2 / c^2)^-3/2 * d/dt(1 - v^2 / c^2) + m * a / (1 - v^2 / c^2)^.5

F = m * v * g^3 * (-1/2) * (-2 * v / c^2) * dv/dt + m * a * g

F = m * a * g * (1 + g^2 * v^2 / c^2)

F = m * a * g * (1 + v^2 / c^2 / (1 - v^2 / c^2))

F = m * a * g * (1 - v^2 / c^2 + v^2 / c^2) / (1 - v^2 / c^2)

F = m * a * g^3 * (1 - v^2 / c^2 + v^2 / c^2)

F = m * a * g^3

Now going back to the definition of energy:

E = integral of F dx

F = m * a * g^3

E = integral of m * a * g^3 dx

E = integral of m * g^3 * dv/dt dx

E = integral of m * g^3 * dx/dt dv

E = integral of m * g^3 * v dv

E = integral of m * v / (1 - v^2 / c^2)^3/2 dv

Note (from integral table):

integal du / (a^2 - u^2)^3/2 = u / a^2 / (a^2 - u^2)^1/2 + C

Using the product rule:

J = m * v

dJ = m dv

dK = dv / (1 - v^2 / c^2)^3/2

K = v / (1 - v^2 / c^2)^1/2

E = J * K - integral of K dJ

E = m * v^2 * g - integral of m * v / (1 - v^2 / c^2)^1/2 dv

Note (from integral table):

integal du / (a^2 - u^2)^1/2 = arcsin(u / a) + C

Using the product rule:

J = m * v

dJ = m dv

dK = dv / (1 - v^2 / c^2)^1/2

K = c * arcsin(v / c)

E = m * v^2 * g - J * K + integral of K dJ

E = m * v^2 * g - m * v * c * arcsin(v / c) + integral of m * c * arcsin(v / c) dv

E = m * v^2 * g - m * v * c * arcsin(v / c) + m * c^2 * integral of arcsin(v / c) dv / c

Note (from integral table):

integal of arcsin(u) du = arcsin(u) + (1 - u^2)^.5 + C

E = m * v^2 * g - m * v * c * arcsin(v / c) + m * c^2 * (v / c) * arcsin(v / c) + m * c^2 * (1 - v^2 / c^2)^1/2

E = m * v^2 * g - m * v * c * arcsin(v / c) + m * v * c * arcsin(v / c) + m * c^2 * (1 - v^2 / c^2) * g

E = m * v^2 * g + m * c^2 * g - m * v^2 * g

E = m * c^2 * g

Almost there! When the velocity is zero, g = 1. Therefore, when the object is at rest, it still has some energy. This is called rest energy. So what is the equation for rest enegy?

E = m * c^2


Juvenile cerebellar astrocytoma (repost for posterity)

Quantum Jim Quantum Jim writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I am not a doctor. Cerebellar astrocytoma is a form of intracranial cancer which involves brain cells call astrocytes. It is the third most common type of cancer in juveniles. There are four grades of increasing severity defined by the World Health Organization. Juvenile cerebellar astrocytoma rarely leave the cerebellum. It is a section of the brain located near the brainstem and below the occipital lobe. The cerebellum helps direct balance, attention, and complex motor control (particularly involving vision-related feedback). It also helps a person judge the passage of time and is involved in language processing too.

Astrocytes are not neurons. They are star-shaped glial cells that commonly help form the structure of the brain and provide nutrition from blood vessels. Astrocytes are the largest cells in the brain and outnumber neurons by an order of magnitude. Astrocytes help limit the spread cerain toxic neurotransmitters. Through haemodynamic regulation they can also increase blood flow to areas of intense neural activity in the brain. Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) of those areas helps biologists understand which areas of the brain corrolate with certain thought patterns.

Astrocytes may also play a role in certain types of neuron-to-neuronsignal transmission by isolating or withdrawing from synapses. They can also form a second communication network within the brain by releasing neurotransmitters in response to certain stimulations. However, it is at least several orders of magnitude slower than the neuronal network.

I love google, wikipedia, and especially the library, where I first learned about these things before the world wide web even existed! :-)



Quantum Jim Quantum Jim writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Well, I'm back from the second grappling tournament entered so far. Last time I lost my only match, but this time I won once!

I fought in two divisions. In the beginner division (1 year experience), I beat my opponent by points and it really wasn't close. :-) Unfortunately in the next fight I got caught in an armbar and lost even though I was ahead by points again. In the novice division (6 months experience) my opponent submitted me from a guillotine. I hate those. :-(

So my record at NAGA is 1 win 2 losses. Another grappler told me that is good since 50% lose their first match but I'm still unsatisfied. Next year I'll improve my record. Good news is that I didn't lose due to conditioning (I never got really tired), so I just have to learn the counters to those submissions... :-)

The tourney was also a very humbling experience. There was another fighter the also in the Beginner division with the same experience as me who got third place out of 20 people! There was also the college wrestler who, which almost no grappling experience, placed third in the Intermediate division. Props to both fighters, of course. I got a long and interesting road ahead to compete with them. Here's to the journey!


Juvenile fun

Quantum Jim Quantum Jim writes  |  more than 9 years ago

I don't like memes and chain letters, but this sounds cool in a juvenile way. I'm feeling juvenile and silly tonight, so reply and... I'll respond with something random about you. (source)

  1. I'll tell you what song/movie reminds me of you.
  2. I'll pick a flavor of jello to wrestle with you in. (I perfer girls. ;-)
  3. I'll say something that only makes sense to you and me.
  4. I'll tell you my first memory of you.
  5. I'll tell you what animal you remind me of.
  6. I'll ask you something that I've always wondered about you.

I don't like chain letters, so you may or may not post this on your journal. Your choice. It is written somewhere, probably here. ;-)


This Person Does Not Know What He Is Talking About

Quantum Jim Quantum Jim writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Check out this comment in a story about Design Patterns. That person makes no sense whatsoever! I have moderator points, but I won't waste them on his post. Instead I'll respond here. However if he gets modded up I will be very upset!

The quite possibly most useless book in the history of computer science gets an award. Somehow I am not that surprised, considering that everybody hails it as the end all of object oriented design and everything.

Nobody seriously thinks Design Patterns is "end all" of OOD. Design patterns are an active research topic and much new material is published about them both in academic journals and your local bookstore every year.

To be honest, modern computer science curriculum seems to be wasting a lot of bright young potential on buzzwords. Patterns, paradigms, bleh. People somehow manage to get masters degrees in CS from Berkeley without even knowing what "turing complete", "Karnaugh map", "Rice's theorem", "Goedel's completeness theorem", "planar graph", "functional language", "church-turing thesis" are. But you ask them about a singleton, model-view controller or Java's security model in reflection and they're the fucking expert.

This is not true. I know what every one of those terms are except of "Rice's theorem," and I'm not even a computer science major! At my school they are covered in much detail. I know from taking the Digital Logic, Intro to Programming, and other courses offered there. Our computer science curriculum really does iterate though those topics, as does our computer engineering school.

Well that's barely computer science, that's just OO banging. Just because it uses paradigms and object oriented terms doesn't make it anything other than advanced code banging.

That is nonsence. He keeps using that word - paradigm - but I don't think he knows what it means. Then there is "code banging." Computer science is not just advanced mathematics even though the two fields are related. I guess actually writing programs is beyond him.

Really... I pity him for taking the time to write up such nonsense. I - on the other hand - wrote this reply to prevent misinformation and to vet some frustrations. Edit: A good reply was posted by an anonymous contributor. That's what should be modded up. Why do people intentionally try to sabotage communities like /.?


DOCTYPE declarations for versioning information

Quantum Jim Quantum Jim writes  |  more than 9 years ago

Over at Anne's journal there is a debate about using DOCTYPE declarations as versioning information. For example, the external subset for HTML 3.2 is different from the external subset for the HTML 4.01 family. There are also different external subsets for each "subversion" in the HTML 4.01 family. i.e. Transitional, Strict, and Frameset versions. Some people think this doesn't work. My opinion is that DOCTYPE declarations can be used to specify version information for the following reason:

  1. Say you have two documents with identical DOCTYPE decarations. Both the internal, external, and root element declarations are the same. Then you can say their syntactic doctypes are identical. The structure of each document must conform to the same SGML rules.

  2. The two documents could have different semantic doctypes though. That is, the meaning content in one document could mean something totally different in the other one even though they both conform to the same syntax rules in the DTD. For example, say the "rel" attribute is defined with character data content in the DTD. One document may specify that the rel attribute specifies a relationship and should be a character string; the other could specify that those attributes specify links and should be URI references.

  3. There could also be syntatic differences not captured by the syntatic doctypes. For example one spec may indicate that "name" and "id" attributes MUST have identical content if both are present; however, this is impossible to specify in a DTD.

  4. Therefore, the content of the external and internal subsets can not be used to differentiate between languages or versions of a single lanugage like HTML. There could be different syntatic or semantic meaning not captured by the doctype.

  5. External subsets are specified with either a Formal Public Identifier (FPI) or a URI reference to a DTD. However in practical applications a FPI uniquely identifies a resource just like a URI, so I'm going to assume both are the same for this line of reasoning, and I'll call both DTD names. DTD names have the following property: the owner of the name gets to determine what it means. For HTML's DTD names specified by the W3C, only the W3C gets to say what they mean, for example.

  6. Therefore, it is legal for a DTD names to indicate the doctype for a single language including semantic and syntatic requirements not captured in the content of the DTD. The meaning of the HTML 4.01 Strict doctype string is unambiguous even though the DTD's content may not specify all of the semantic or syntatic requirements of HTML 4.01 Strict.

  7. If you change the external subset's DTD name, it may or may not refer to the same language. Even if the external subset contains the same content, other requirements not encoded by the DTD could be different. Therefore, you can ONLY use the cannonical DTD names for unambiguously identifing the resource with third parties.

  8. Even when using cannonical DTD names, if you change the root element then you might no longer conform with the specification. For example, changing the root element while using HTML 4.01 strict's DTD name violates the global structure semantics of HTML 4.01 strict. Therefore, the document is not valid HTML even though it is syntatically valid SGML. Note that the DTD name still specifies the particular language you are using even though the content of resolving the DTD name is not enough to validate the document as HTML.

  9. If you add an internal subset, then the meaning of those changes is undefined even though the syntax of those changes specified as well as can be by the content of the subset. The content of the internal subset simply cannot capture the semantic or all the possible syntatic requirments you specify. Therefore if anything in the internal subset conflicts with the HTML 4.01 strict's external subset, or additional elements or attributes or attribute lists are defined, then the resulting lanugae is not HTML even though it is valid SGML for example.

  10. There is an exception to the above point. If the internal subset contains entity declarations with valid HTML content as its content (even though the entity by itself may not be valid HTML content), and those entity declarations don't interfere with the HTML DTD, then the meaning of those entities is clear (it is defined by SGML) and the specified syntax of the external subset is unchanged. Therefore, it is still HTML of the specified version for example.

Thus if you use the same internal subset content (with an exception), the same external subset declaration, and same root element declaration as the HTML language version you are declaring, then your document is HTML. If you change anything (with an exception), then it can never be unambiguously determined to be HTML by a computer.

If you can specify different languages using the above rules, then you can specify different versions of a language family using the above rules. Every version of a language family is a different language. They may share certain semantics, but they are not compatible except as explicitly defined by the language family's specification.

Therefore, you can use DOCTYPE declarations to specify version information. Q.E.D.

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