When I fall in love again, I want it to be like this essay
smartstuff has written 21 entries about this goal
I was trying to find out if it was realistic for a character to be messing with a fallen apple in an orchard in mid-June, so I started researching apple trees (quick answer is “maybe, but it would be a bit incongruous, so changing that detail in my story was the easier answer”).
The new discovery of the day is that all modern apple trees sold are grafts—the “fruit branches” aren’t from the same tree as the “trunk and roots”!!
I was always fascinated by the cactus grafts in the floral shop… the idea that you could conjoin two previously unrelated plants was just totally mesmerizing in a very “frankenstein’s creation” sort of way. That every time I’d gone to my aunt’s orchard I had been climbing around in the midst of the very same thing is just astounding to me.
Listening to last week’s Naked Scientist during dinner I learned about what makes a good customized shoe for sprinters (really hard soles) and about what happens when one drops a basketball with a tennis ball resting on top of it.
This morning I saw a something at work that said “Real Property”. It occurred to me, for the first time of over a year’s employment, to ask my boss what “unreal property” was called, and what it entailed.
Turns out that it’s personal property (which is so less satisfying a phrase than “unreal property”) and it’s “everything else” that isn’t land or structure or fixture. So that’s my new fact of the day.
Then he lent me his copy of Brown’s Law of Personal Property, which I started skimming at work, and will probably be attempting to digest pieces from here and there over the next couple of weeks.
It’s not exactly exciting new information, but there’s certainly a lot to learn.
Sat down to watch this video on th XO laptop. I had been following the social implications of the machine since it was reported on NPR in early 2006. But this was the first time I was introduced to the specifics of the product itself. I was decidedly impressed with the features they included to make it child-friendly… the different color X&Os so that kids would know which belongs to whom, the texture features that look so lovely.
Tobago’s Coral Reefs (from Triniprincess20’s news article for AdmiralJack)
The island’s coral reefs are not just beautiful natural wonders but they are a vital part of the ecological fabric… They produce the sand on the beaches and, in fact, the whole of South-west Tobago rests on ancient coral limestone deposited over hundreds of thousands of years by the tiny coral polyps that make up coral reefs.
Color me fascinated.
Further study provided the above picture, of a USGS SHARQ. What’s a USGS SHARQ? Well, this article does a good job to explain it, sharing how it traps and then tracks water composition so as to research the effect the evironment has on the reef (such as interesting discoveries being made about “whitings” on reefs in the bahamas being related to sinking CO2).
This article taught me a lot, and refreshed my memory a lot on some of the legal ideas behind the “flesh and blood defense”.
Growing up in rural michigan, I remember these ideas being bantered about when I was a child. It was interesting and informative to see them fleshed out in greater context in this article. It was also fascinating just to follow the story of the current court case against Willie Mitchell et al. Makes me wish I had more time/interst in following federal courtcases. My interest tends to reside largely in international relations, but every so often a national/local case catches your eye that you wish you had more time to be informed and following as it develops.
But I guess that’s a problem with law overall, as Dickens would say. It takes an awful lot of time to follow a matter of chancery.
I was also introduced to the works of Nicholas Roerich for the first time. In addition to my new exposure to some stunning artwork, I also discovered a Nicholas Roerich Museum in the city, which I will definitely have to check out some weekend. There is certainly a lot to explore in his works, both artistically and about the thoughts and beliefs behind them, however as of yet the big new piece of knowledge is just awareness of the oppertunity to discover more.
Sometimes you learn things you have absolutely no use for. July 20th’s knowledge acquistion included more than I have any use for on the subject of inethical ways to pass a drug test. Given that I have no personal need of this info, nor any desire to pass it on, I’m a little disgruntled to have it cluttering up my brain.
I’m sure everyone has at one point or another learned something new of similar no-interest-no-use… did you find it easy to replace it with something more fufilling, or is it still there, cluttering up neurotic space?
I learned about the Long Island City Community Boathouse which is not just something new learned about the city and community events close to me, but will also give me the oppertunity to learn many more things in the future as I go down there and start taking kayak tours. I’ve had a bit of canoe experience, and a year of rowing crew, but I’ve never really done any kayak rowing. So there’s lot to learn there.
I also learned a bit about Vienna. Nothing in depth, but a bit of geography, and a bit more of the history of the city. Makes me want to travel there even more, and experience it firsthand
Read this interesting review of Beijing Coma. Both the article was interesting and informative to me, as I am unfamiliar with Ma Jian’s work, and the book in question sounds fascinating.
Also learned a bit about graphine from this article fascinating stuff, and while I don’t really have enough of a conception of microprocessors to really understand the ramifications of it, the ideas it brings up are still fascinating.