Thursday, February 16, 2012

Stationary Wave

From the Twisted Physics blog at Scientific American
Erwin Schroedinger (of the famous cat paradox) was the one who proved that electrons are really waves (although they show up as particles when you perform an experiment to determine its position), and those waves are stationary.
That is such a lovely brain stop for me. A stationary wave is an absurd illustration, a surreal possibility. Of course there is also the possibility that I am understanding the phrase incorrectly. But leave me with my vision of a frozen wave! Physics is weirdly lovely. When it's not outright creepy. The picture above is a hydrogen orbital pattern.

Math Tantrum
Last night an overtired Katy was getting ready for bed and burst into tears when I told her she couldn't do something. What was it that she had her fervent little heart set on? Studying math a year ahead of her grade level. Yes, my kid was pitching a fit because I wouldn't let her do more challenging math. I rolled my eyes and told her that we'd talk about it another time. I had our parent/teacher conference last night and had tackled her teacher about Katy being bored in math. He said that he thought he had a handle on the situation. He has been able to give her some material that she hasn't gotten right the very first time. And he has been making an effort to introduce more advanced concepts when he can. He also said that occasional moments of boredom never killed anyone.

I agreed at the time and was persuaded. But miss passionate-about-numbers wants more and I am persuaded by that too. So now I'm going to propose a compromise. I suggest we get a hold of a fifth grade math workbook (textbook?). And when Katy has finished her in-class work she be allowed to work through that on her own. The teacher won't be able to coach her through it, it'll have to be independent work. Maybe that'll provide a release valve so she doesn't feel stifled. I'm so proud of her and I want her to race through this stuff just as fast as she wants to. I have a feeling we'll be talking about this with next year's teacher as well. I assume that middle school will provide more opportunities for testing out and working at her own speed. I should probably start gathering actual info instead of vague impressions in order to prepare. Katy just has one more year of elementary school next year. Whahoomazooma.

Just Registered
Just heard this taunt yesterday, I'm probably the very last one, right? "I must be the bus driver... because I'm taking you to school!" I heard an interview with George Clinton (Grandaddy of Funk) on a Boston Public Radio show today. He was not sounding extremeley cogent at first but then he was making the point that hiphop is based on playing the dozens, stylized taunting. He talked about how as a young kid he couldn't play that game, his feelings always got hurt. But practicing it can show you that no one else can hurt you with words. And I found that very insightful. Yay funky George!


Anonymous said...

Hello, darling,
Don't particularly have anything to respond about, but wanted you to know I love reading about your life here.

On a completely unrelated note, do you ever watch Ted talks on If not, they are the most amazing videos of people talking about amazing, inspiring, cool, ideas from every field. You would love it.

There's an amazing one I just watched with Roger Ebert. I knew he'd had cancer, but didn't realize he'd had his whole lower jaw removed, and was now unable to speak. This video was about his not being able to speak, and the various technologies he uses to communicate. His wife, and 2 friends were there to read some of his talk, as he's not fond of the computer generated voice. It was SOOO moving. A little creepy to see someone with no jaw, but so moving how he is dealing with it, and his wife was amazing.

Another really cool one is this woman who is a double amputee, and has many different sets of legs that she puts on for different activities--running, high fashion, to be taller, to wear cool boots. She thinks she's like a superwoman because she gets to choose the best legs for any occasion. Totally amazing:

OK, love you. Did you get the card?
The Danish

Nimble said...

Hey, just got the card. (I'd let the mail langush in its pigeonhole for a week.) Thank you!! Lexi thinks it's funny too. Blowing a kiss.

I have seen references to TED talks over the past few years but haven't watched any. I love Ebert's blog. He still has a vibrant voice despite his physical challenges.