Sunday, March 28, 2010

Radio: A Newfangled Technology

When we hear the word radio, we think immediately of the entertainment systems in our cars and in our homes. But radio waves, a type of electromagnetic radiation, in reality have much broader applications than this.
Radio waves have a very broad range of frequencies and wavelengths, which contributes to their broad range of applications. Their frequencies range from 3 kHz to 300,000 MHz, and their wavelengths range from .3 m to 90 m.
Artificial sources produce many of the radio waves that serve beneficial purposes in our everyday lives. The two types of these waves are digital and analogue. Both see use in different areas of our lives; analogue waves are more frequently used in radio, whereas digital waves are used television programming. However, radio waves can also originate from astronomical objects such as Jupiter, our sun, and the center of the milky way galaxy.
Beyond entertainment, there are several useful applications of radio waves. Radio waves, when concentrated in a specific area, can greatly heat that area. This can be used for minimally invasive surgeries, such as a cardiac surgery where a diseased area of the heart is destroyed through concentrated application of radio waves. Refraction of radio waves can also be used to image objects through walls by analyzing the varying speeds at which they travel through different mediums. This would allow law enforcement to see what was inside a building in, for example, a hostage situation.
There are no safety precautions necessary when dealing with radio waves, as it is nearly impossible to accidentally injure oneself with them.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Political Sociology



Political sociology is the study of power dynamics in various relationships, primarily between government and governed. Political sociologists form hypotheses about these interactions, and use the scientific method to learn about them.

This diagram shows that information gleaned from political soiciology
is a key component in any government.

This field of research appeals to me because I have always been interested in philosophy and politics, and becoming a political sociologist would give me a chance to examine these areas in a scientific manner. I have always been interested in thought and debate about the best form of government, and scientific analysis such as this might provide key insight in determining this.

Plato had similar interests in philosophy and government
and was in some ways an early political sociologist


In my opinion, research in this field is of the utmost importance, because of the positive change that it could lead to. Only through examining political trends and analysis of the relationship between government and governed can we improve our political system. I typically think in a very analytical manner, and this coupled with my penchant for philosophical thought means that I would likely be well suited for this field.

Political sociology has the potential to unlock great secrets, and provide a government that is fair and just for future generations. Or perhaps we will realize that the very notion of government is corrupt, and establish global anarchy; only time and delving into this field of research will tell.


Images:
http://www.asa3.org/aSA/PSCF/1966/JASA6-66CameronFig.jpg
http://people.bu.edu/wwildman/WeirdWildWeb/media/galleries/philosophy/ancient/Plato4.gif

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Draining and the Coriolis Effect


Draining and the Coriolis Effect

It has been frequently reported that a toilet drains clockwise in the northern hemisphere and counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere. This has been perpetuated by its frequent appearance in news such as PBS and NPr as well as in classrooms around the country. It has become so prominent because of its resonance with the everyday; it is very pleasing to think that great cosmic forces control every aspect of one’s life.
This myth is based on the Coriolis effect, a phenomena that is caused by the rotation of the Earth. “Imagine a child on one side of a merry-go-round throwing a ball to a child on the other. Because of the carousel's rotation, the ball appears to be deflected away from the straight-line path in which it was thrown” (Esser ¶ 2). This metaphorically represents the Coriolis effect; the merry-go-round represents the earth, and the ball represents an object affected by the Earth’s rotation. this is a case of relative motion; the object is moving in a straight line but the earth is not, thus the object moves relative to the surface of the earth. The direction of this rotation depends on the position of the object relative to the earth; an object will be deflected clockwise in the northern hemisphere and counterclockwise in the southern hemisphere.
Mathematics tells us that Coriolis forces will have an insignificant effect on the direction of drainage. This is supported by many credible scientific sources, such as http://www.ems.psu.edu/~fraser/Bad/BadCoriolis.html, which dispels many existing myths and cites specific example of inaccuracies, and http://curious.astro.cornell.edu/question.php?number=516, which presents the viewpoint of those familiar with such cosmic forces. Despite the inaccuracy of this myth, it continues to perpetuate itself through inaccurate information, and thus will not likely be dispelled in the foreseeable future.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

"A Forest" by The Cure
video

The H.P. Lovecraft Archive

HP Lovecraft, author of "The Call of Cthulhu" and "Pickman's Model".

Almost all of his short stories can be found here:

"There's a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious—makes you so sick at heart—that you can't take part. You can't even passively take part.

"And you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop.

"And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it that unless you're free, the machine will be prevented from working at all." – Mario Savio, Sproul Hall Steps, December 2, 1964