Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Got Science?

` Ah, the power of DADD - that is, Dad-Induced Attention Defecit Disorder.
For awhile - until a few days ago - I was learning that it is very aggrivating when your computer is in the living room and there are people doing other things and making lots of noise right next to you.
` You see, I had been very upset because the only thing I was capable of writing in my blog was rants rather than observations: I was just too distracted by all the other things going on in the living room to be able to even do anything on my computer, and I totally flipped out!
` For a little while, I tried to settle for not being able to do any more science posts, novel writing, video editing, piano playing, etc and I was pretty angry about it.
` I was suffering about as bad as I had in my cubicle at elementary school while I tried to write in my blog, so this was the result:

` ...let's try this - I write something sciencey while I'm distracted!

` And.... go!

` Wow... female ants that clone themselves and male ants that also clone themselves? How the hell do they do that?
` I don't know. I can't pay attention.

` Instead I shall write this:

` When I lived in the Dawn Court Apartments in Medina, Ohio c. 1992, I ran into a woman who was playing with her 2 year old boy on a front step near the back of the complex. She seemed kind of normal until she told me that she was married to Billy Rae Sirus!
` I looked into her house and it had Billy Rae paraphanelia all over and she was playing his awful Achy Breaky Heart song. She showed me a photo of him and her and her kid and she told me that the reason why Billy wasn't home was because he was doing something important in California.
` I wonder if her kid grew up believing that, hating his millionaire father for never being there for him? Poor thing!

` OH NO!!! Phil's biggest antique Pyrex bowl somehow fell and broke when nobody was touching it!

` Oh well. Onto scientific stuff. There are birds called manakins that can move the fastest of any vertebrate animal! Here are several videos of the male performing its strange dances and wing-snaps, which I found randomly.
` The female birds aren't the only ones it impresses - I think it's neat, too.

` What else? Well, there was an article on how amnesiacs can learn through 'force of habit' - apparently something about how we can learn using our automatic responses rather than explicitly thinking about something.
` As fascinating as that is, I'm afraid it's no longer available to me unless I pay money. Same with;

Chromosome-wide and promoter-specific analyses identify sites of differential DNA methylation in normal and transformed human cells

` Oh well. But I do have this one:

` Honeybees can be trained to locate landmines with an accuracy of better than 97.5%. Tracking them with laser-based radar could provide a fast and effective means of clearing the world's minefields.
` They seek out a given chemical by adding it to their syrup feed. This encourages the bees to form an association between the scent of the chemical and a source of food, which in turn causes them to fly towards and around any source of that chemical that they find in their natural foraging behaviour.

` Then you track them on lidar, and - voila! See if any bees are attracted to a certain spot in the ground.

` Well, that's all I can do... compare this with some of my earlier stuff (like this), and you'll see a huge difference! Why?
` If it's not people playing Magic cards two feet away from me at the kitchen table while I get more and more frustrated, it's sea lions, dogs, squawking birds, semi trucks, people being stupid and who knows what else that literally puts a
mental wall between my consciousness and what I want/need to concentrate on.
` It feels like it just breaks the connection and I have
no choice but to give up and go somewhere else where it's impossible to get anything done on my computer because it isn't there.

` Thankfully, now my computer is back in the office where distractions are minimal, and though I don't have a desk anymore, at least I can type on my computer while sitting up this time around.
` I'm going off to volunteer at the Co-op, now. We can really use the 15% discount once I get my 10 hours in.
` Also, my mom is flying in from Ohio tonight. Hmm... maybe I should just stay home and help get the apartment cleaned up?
` I don't know what to do!!!!

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