22 Degrees Solar Halo

I took a spin outside for a brief reading session on my lunch break yesterday. I’m glad I did, as I was treated to a little optical phenominon action…in the form of a 22 Degree Solar Halo. FTW.

I’m posting some pics I snapped…I’ll toss in the full write-up soon.



number 1


I inverted the colors of that last pic, quite obviously. That will be my template, so to speak, on which to wax nerdy in a Physics-y kind of way. Stay tuned.

High 5: Top Online Degrees

You know what? I’m pretty pumped I graduated when I did. Compared to my little sister, who is currently in the university system in Idaho, I paid practically nothing for my undergraduate degree. My mathematical science degree, for the win. Five grand does not go very far these days…and I’m fairly certain that five grand a year was enough to secure my degree. Beer and Doritos pushed that cost well over ten thousand a year, but I digress.

Well, fear not. Technology to the rescue!


Online courses were just coming to prevalence when I was wrapping up at Montana State. Granted, the foothold that was in place was primarily for continuing education, and for remote learning for secondary school teachers. Go figure. But, times change, and now there are crazy options in the field of online, higher education. Remember the University of Phoenix? Now they are simply one of many “Online Universities”, along with a grip of “Traditional Universities” offering online degrees.

Per the title of this post, I found it interesting that the popularity contest in this field ranks as follows:

1) Business Degrees
2) Criminal Justice Degrees
3) Art & Design Degrees
4) Computer Science Degrees
and letter number
5) Engineering Degrees

Invert the list (5 –> 1, for those unfamiliar with the term) to see the degrees I would pursue, in perfect order. Stick a “Chemical” in between the “5)” and “Engineering” to be completely specific.

Anyhow, with the spread of online degrees and acceptance, per se, comes other benefits that were once enjoyed only by students of traditional schools. Like financial aid. This is the perfect opportunity to boost the resume, in a time of economic (and job) uncertainty such as this. Take a look…it is pretty slick.

Van Diagram

I don’t like vans, because they look like toasters.
I don’t like toasters, because they make bread sharp and stale.
I don’t like Nissan Elements, because they look like toasters.
I don’t like Venn diagrams, just because.

rofl waffl

I like that shirt, though.


Not sure how many physicists troll around craigslist, but if they do…


Hands down, the best description on a craigslist item EVER

FWIW, An oscilloscope measures two things: voltage and time. A charged beam of electrons “sweeps” the screen in a given time in the x-axis, and is deflected by a signal in the y-axis. The deflection from the standard signal in the trace can gauge the input signal’s voltage and duration/frequency.

And yes, the poster was correct. O-scopes are great.

Movies: an Analysis

not pictured, movie titles beginning with P.S.


The probability of me enjoying any given movie is inversely proportional to the existance of “P.S.” in said movie’s title.

The Pizza Proof

i <3 za! nom nom nom The problem at hand is essentially this: "Suppose the harried waiter cuts the pizza off-centre, but with all the edge-to-edge cuts crossing at a single point, and with the same angle between adjacent cuts. The off-centre cuts mean the slices will not all be the same size, so if two people take turns to take neighbouring slices, will they get equal shares by the time they have gone right round the pizza - and if not, who will get more?" The visual break down of the proof is this, in a nutshell: pizza_proof

Pretty slick stuff…NewScientist reports the details in a lengthy feature..

“He [Rick Mabry] suspected that someone, somewhere must already have worked out the simple-looking sums at the heart of the new expression, so he trawled the online world for theorems in the vast field of combinatorics – an area of pure mathematics concerned with listing, counting and rearranging – that might provide the key result he was looking for.

Eventually he found what he was after: a 1999 paper that referenced a mathematical statement from 1979. There, Mabry found the tools he and Deiermann needed to show whether the complex algebra of the rectangular strips came out positive or negative. The rest of the proof then fell into place (American Mathematical Monthly, vol 116, p 423).”

Awesome. I need to tear into the guts of this guy…pretty sweet (and asinine) math.

For the non-math inclined, here is a sweet picture of Freemo, the Talking Pizza. He is funny.