Sunday, June 26, 2005

Tyndall Effect

The moon was a nice red color while it was rising last night. Coincidentally, this morning I was reading a book on the history of science and came across an explanation of this effect. It's called the 'Tyndall effect' and is named after a British physicist John Tyndall (1820 - 1893). He explained why the sky is blue during the day and why the sun appears red when it sets. The sky is blue because large molecules in the atmosphere scatter the blue light from the sun. When the sun is setting, the light passes through more of the earth's atmosphere before it reaches your eye, so the shorter wavelength colors are filtered out more than the long wavelength color of red - making the sun appear red. If you are interested, this NASA web site has a pretty good explanation of the colors and how they relate to wavelengths:

Tyndall is also famous for pointing out how variations in the amount of water vapor and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere can lead to climate changes - now known as the greenhouse effect.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

My Dojo

I'm been fighting a nasty cold and sore throat all week and decided to get some rest today. That idea lasted about an hour. While trying to rest, I thought it might be a good time to work some more on turning my living room into a dojo. I started moving a bunch of small stuff out of the room, but eventually found myself moving a large arcade cabinet and couch up some stairs into another room.

It took me a while, but I finally cleared out enough stuff so I now have a good amount of room to practice karate. No more worrying about accidentally hitting things while practicing shihonuke. There's even enough room for doing pinan nidan.

In the left edge of the picture you can see some chishi I made. They are basically circular pieces of concrete with a wooden handle. They are traditional Okinawan exercise tools - you use them to strengthen your wrists, arms, etc. This web site has some more pictures demonstrating the use of chishi:

Saturday, June 18, 2005


I came home today from karate class to find a bunch of jets flying overhead. It turns out there's an airshow in town this weekend and the airfield they use is just a few miles away. I got some good views of various jets flying close overhead. All of these pictures were taken out my condo window.

This picture below ended up looking a lot cooler than I expected. I don't think the sky was really this funky looking at the time, but I like it!

Flock of geese?

It almost looks like a flock of geese. But no, those are jets flying in tight formation.

More airshow

This was the closest picture I was able to get of one of the jets flying nearby. Still not that great for quality, but not too bad considering I just snapped it out my window.

Sunday, June 12, 2005

New life goal

For about the past 10 years or so, I haven't really had any long-term goals for my life. I've been pretty much just working day-to-day, enjoying life. Which got me to thinking...

This Wednesday I'll have been taking karate classes for exactly 5 months. Looking back on this short time, karate has had a much more positive influence on my life than anything else I've ever done. Much more so than any class I took in college or grad school. For many years I have been thinking of the idea of going back to college to get a PhD so I could become a professor, but now that idea doesn't have as much significance to me. Because of the important of karate in my life, I've decide my goal is to eventually be able to teach karate to others. Unlike a college degree which just takes a few years to achieve, karate is a lifetime challenge. I realize acheiving a skill level to be able to teach karate will be many many many years away, but it is now what I am working towards. Hopefully my life will be long enough to get there.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Lazy Saturday Afternoon

Ahhhhh..... after several hours of karate practice it's nice to just relax on a bright sunny afternoon. There's a strong breeze off the ocean - I wish I had time to go windsurfing. It's perfect weather.

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Giant Turtles

Ok, maybe the turtle doesn't look giant in this picture, but the shell was at least a foot long.

At the entrance to my condo there is a small canal, and this morning on the bank there were two quite large turtles. I've mostly seen a lot of small box turtles in this canal, but these two turtles were at least two or three times bigger than a normal box turtle. I initially thought they might be snapping turtles since they can get quite large, but the shell didn't look like one - the underside was orangish. Unfortunately, I again did not have my real camera with me and had to use my mobile phone camera. To make matters worse, I also accidently deleted a closer up picture that showed more detail of the turtle. Oh well.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Bug off!

Since I didn't have a karate class today, I decided to go for a bike ride after dinner. It was just getting dark, so I tried out a bike spotlight I bought last year but never got around to using. I ended up taking a short ride to a local ice cream shop about 2.5 miles away. The ride there was fine, but the ride back was nasty! I made the mistake of taking a route that went along a pond and swamp. We are currently experiencing unusually warm weather (85 degrees), so the place was blooming with bugs! I ended up having to hold my milkshake cup in front of my face to reduce the amount of bugs hitting me in the face. As it was, when I got home I looked in the mirror and found a few bugs stuck to my sweaty forehead. Ick! (So sorry. I don't have any pictures of that to share....)

What's wrong with this picture?

There was a very disturbing story in the news today. Apparantly someone tried to stow away in the wheel well of a jet in Africa that was destined for the US. The person ended up getting killed and body parts fell from the sky when the plane was landing in New York. Very sad. But the reason I'm writing about this is the disturbing reaction of people in my office. Several people thought it was funny and they were laughing about it.

Someone dies and people think it's funny. Something is definitely wrong here.

Monday, June 06, 2005

Arethusa Falls

Yesterday I went hiking in New Hampshire with a couple of friends. It was a great time with perfect weather! One of the places we went was Arethusa Falls. It's this 200 foot high waterfall pictured above. We also took a gondola to the top of Wildcat Mountain where there were still some patches of snow - just enough to go sledding on our butts! Sliding in the snow in 80 degree weather - what fun!