5:57 PM — Value All Americans
"Today millions of Americans are saddened by the death of Terri Schiavo. ... I urge all those who honor Terri Schiavo to continue to work to build a culture of life where all Americans are welcomed and valued and protected." --G.W. Bush, 3/31/05
4:53 PM — Brain damaged woman requests final hour entertainment
David Gibbs, an attorney for Bob and Mary Schindler, had asked the state court Friday to authorize Schiavo to receive a radio this Easter weekend.
The motion by Schiavo's parents contended that in the presence of Schiavo's sister, Suzanne Vitadamo, and others, Schiavo attempted to verbalize the name of her preferred brand.
"She managed to articulate the first two vowel sounds, first articulating 'ahhhhhhh' and then virtually screaming 'waaaaaaaaa,'" the motion says. She did not say anything further.
"We are not sure whether she would be satisfied with a Sony or JVC," says Gibbs, "but as this may be her last request, we would rather play it safe and give her the Aiwa."
George Felos, the attorney for Michael Schiavo, Terri's husband and guardian, had called the parents' motion "outrageous" and "an abuse of the legal system."
The years-long fight has pitted Terri Schiavo's husband against her parents. Michael Schiavo has argued that his wife had said, before her illness, that she would rather watch TV than listen to the radio if she were in such a condition.
The Schindlers argue that their daughter never made such an entertainment declaration and that she would not want to be, in their words, "a couch potato."
12:13 AM — Those wacky MIT scientists are at it again!
The latest ingenious device invented at MIT is code-named "Clocky
." Check out this fascinating machine!
8:35 AM — Terri Schiavo
Enough with the right to die. Too much of the right to life. And don't even try talking about the Constitutionality of the Congressional vote. What I want to know is the cold, hard cash.
In most similar cases, the issue is the family vs. the hospital (or state), when the hospital refuses to keep the patient alive any more. In some states, the law is that when it appears that a patient is not going to recover, the hospital has the right to pull the plug unless someone else can take care of the patient--another hospital paid for by insurance, a nursing home paid out of pocket, or the family themselves paid in sweat and tears. For the amount of money I'm sure the Schindler family has spent on lawyers, they could have saved the lives of four other vegetative patients who didn't
have husbands debating the patient's will.
And just in case, I wrote a rough-draft living will that's on my laptop. Yeah, seems silly to me, but there it is. Being an agnostic atheist, in sum, I don't care. :)
9:11 PM — Student Quotes (Continually Updated!)
Now continually updated!
New at the top.
The Spring '05 installment of quotes from student HW and labs. I wonder what the students would think if they knew their most ... memorable ... work was making it to the web. I think I'm getting stupider.
- "Conclusion: I think that this lab was pretty easy to understand." Hm, then explain to me why you got such a shitty grade.
- More kernels of wisdom--describing what happens inside a popcorn kernel as it pops. "Popcorn pops because for one the bag is closed so all the heat is bottled up inside. The pressure of the kernels is what makes them pop, like molecules bancing off walls. The volume of the bag is like the wieght there is only enough room inside for just the right amount of popcorn. The heat makes the temperatre inside the bag expand. So one was these hard small kernels is now light wieghted popcorn. The Ideal Gas Law Proves Popcorn." Whew, it's a good thing someone proved popcorn exists!
- "In this situation the volume in the bag stays the same because there is no water to measure it." So without water, there's no such thing as volume. Wow, I'm glad someone cleared up that misconception for me, I thought water was just a convenient tool to measure something that's always there!
- "Temperature is a measurement and can be a measurement of cold. Heat is not cold and has to do with heat fusion and other things, when temperature is just a measurement."
- "(Heat and temperature) are not the same thing because when we talk about heat it is the warmth of something or an area, and when we talk about temperature it is the warmth or coldness of something or an area."
- I gave the same question twice for homework in one class (define temperature vs. heat). The second time was AFTER I had already given correct answers for the first time. One student still wrote the following. "Temperatures and heat differ because temperature is something that is risen or fallen. The hottness of something makes the temperature go up and the colder something gets makes the temperature go down. Heat is something that is hot and could be humid. It can only rise unlike temperature that can flucktuate."
- "Convention means one molecule moves around, taking its energy with it." So convection is when a bunch of 30-year-old smelly hairy men get together and pretend to be elves?
- "We filled the cylinder with alcohol and dryed the outside the outside." Is the outside of the outside the inside?
- "The water and the alchole all look the same." Spellchecker apparently doesn't fix students' spelling errors, but it does make them more obvious to me.
- "How can a hydrometer be used to test the density to prove a liquid impure?" "First of you would need to know what the measurement of the desired element is. Next you would dunk the hydrometer into the eleged liquid..."
- "The probable sources are not really perfect when you put the table to zero." WTF?
- "In what units, if any, should specific gravity be expressed?" "Yes."
- "Describe a field that some consider a pseudo-science. What makes it scientific or unscientific?" "A field I can say that is pseudo science is estrology. To me it would be scientific because this field was tested by scientist and known to be true." TacoTortoise suggests estrology's the science of going into heat, while I say it's the study of the artist formerly known as Madonna.
- "Density is the amount or weight of something that is usually used to measure length, area, and volume. The units that are used for this may be grams." (emphasis added) "These are all different, and none of them are density."
4:30 PM — Learn Math with an AMAZING New Pill!!!!
I just got several hundered emails from this Environmental Education group I'm a member of. To every single member, they just sent the username and password of every single member, in separate emails. Since it was done automatically, they all were dumped into my inbox simultaneously.
Let's see, if there were 200 emails, at roughly 3k each, that makes 600kB of email at once. For a typical account size of 1M, typically already half full on average, that makes more than 100 email accounts crashed simultaneously.
Additionally, according to the CAN-SPAM act of 2003 mass emailers have to include opt-out information in their emails or suffer up to $250 per offense. So 200 emails sent to 200 people is 40,000 emails at $250 each, makes (4e4*25e1=100e5=1e7) $10,000,000 in fines. Thankfully for MEES it caps at $2 million, and most of their mailing list are teachers who wouldn't know about spam legislation, and I'm irritated but not enough to call them on it.
I like math! :)
However, the emails continue to stream in...
11:12 PM — Grading
As usual I was bitching to my awesomest friend Jeth about the pain-in-the-ass that is grading, and more so when labs. (In case you're unaware, communitiy colleges don't have grad students to do it for us. In fact, they don't even have juniors or seniors--they're TWO YEAR schools.)
Jeth: How's it going? I took my usual 3 hour Wed. nap earlier but then I at least did 3 hours of reading at Starbucks.
Me: not bad. I"m getting behidn on grading again.
Jeth: give more multople choice
Me: on labs? ok!
Jeth: ex. Fully describe the procedure used to determine the constant g. a.) yes b.) don't know c.) all of the above d.) just a and c e.) g isn't constant f.) g, what's that? g.) g h.) b and maybe f if it is a full moon in the middle 3 days of March i.) who cares
I laughed for two minutes straight.