December 7th, 2009

Ann Vole

Killer kold

The temperature lately is extremely cold with high humidity and wind to make sure the windchill makes it feel like it is in the -40s (note that -40 is the same temperature in both scales). Keeping my house above freezing without my gas furnace (using portable electric heaters) is proving to be tricky. Good windows and doors may be a signoficant improvement as well as eliminating or making air-tight all plugs and switchs on the outside walls. I can likely make such improvements temporarily for little or no cost. People of the old "wild west" really had to be tough as nails to survive this kind of cold. There is some evidence that native people of the prairies in my area actually made permanent underground structures to be used for the wnter months but they were abandoned due to civil wars caused by the migrations of tribes when the Europeans showed up. I am always amazed at the jackrabbits though... they never hibernate and are most active at the coldest times. Still, the jackrabbits of the prairies have rather short ears... likely to reduce heat loss in that nasty wind.
Ann Vole

Use it or lose it, the logical conclusion

Last night I was trying to figure out a simple bit of logic and was surprised at how much I doubted my conclusions. For the last few years, I have been doing almost nothing with logic because I am just working as a clerk and not fixing or inventing things. Even much of my alternate energy designs had the logic inspiration years ago and all I am doing since is just refining details. Complex animation, computer programming (when doing multi-thread and object orientated design and simulating intelligence), inventing physical contraptions, repairing robotics, making fun structures for smal animals to enjoy, the Rubik's Cube... these are some of the things I used to do with my logic parts of my brain. Now all I do is second-guess shoplifters to catch them red-handed. Logic thinking is no longer needed so my brain is getting rusty in that part. I dabbled with this new software I bought last year but found it frusteratingly illogical how they made the programs... either they abandoned logic or my brain has lost much of it's logic abilities. I suspect it is me that lacks logic so I just have to change my activities to bring logic thinking back into the forefront of "what I do".
Ann Vole

Octopus and aliens in my epic webcomic

The planet my alien is from is a liquid planet so minerals, including calcium, will be more rare. Because of this and a few story reasons and a few biological considerations, I want my alien to have no skeleton or at least have a minimal one made of a cartilage-like material. It just occurred to me right now that octopus design needs to be studied... specifically how their muscles work without a compressive strength structure like a skeleton does for vertibrates.