April 17, 2005

Random Miscellanea 

Life as a research student can be interesting: in one single day, you can discover that the transient current spike at the closure of an electrical circuit is enough to blow the fuse of your process controller - the solution is to fit ferrite sleeves to the power wires, hopefully. (Update 18/04: No, that wasn't the problem. The problem is that the supplier sold me the wrong model, a 110 V one - a long and irritant story...)
You can lso discover that another instrument (a multi-channel temperature indicator) did not work because it was shipped with an internal component not plugged into its connector. It took just ten minutes to fix it, tho.

The most interesting discover, however, is that years ago someone spilled mercury in your lab, and a certain amount of it collected in a gutter, and while looking for a lost tiny nut you can come across this mercury and consequently think "Shit, I've been breathing mercury vapors for months!". I'm not panicky about chemicals generally, but mercury is a nasty one. So you can call the security officer, and she'll have the lab decontaminated. Not bad for a Friday afternoon, ain't it?

Through Amritas, just today I found this website: The Martialist, "The magazine for those who fight unfairly". I find the whole concept quite interesting - I'm practing karate so I'm somewhat into these things, but also at a deeper level.
Fighting unfairly is seen as something bad, generally. But let's see the problem from a Clausewitzian persperctive: what's your objective; why are you fighting?
If you are fighting for you safety or survival (self preservation), then you must win; defeat means catastrophe. And playing by the rules against a cheating opponent is a losing strategy. Tit-for-tat is the winning one. Thus, if I'll be attacked in the streets, I'll kick nuts and poke fingers into eyes - I want to win and preserve myself.

And now some fun: a blogger (Slublog) launched the idea of posting one's iPod playlist. I have got no iPod, and neither want one, but this playlist thing sounds cool. Mine will probably be titled "Moshing Dismemberment" and be as follows (Via Iowahawk):

Motorhead - Overkill (Live at Hammersmith)
Motorhead/Sepultura - Orgasmatron
Manowar - Kings Of Metal
Metallica - Creeping Death
Sodom - Agent Orange
Sepultura - Arise (Live)
Pantera - Fucking Hostile
The Haunted - Hate Song
At The Gates - Blinded By Fear
Brujeria - Pura De Venta
Slayer - Angel Of Death
Carcass - Heartwork
Malevolent Creation - Sacrifical Annihilation
Death - Leprosy
Obituary - Slowly We Rot

Ok, that's it... pretty heavy I'd say; not for soft-eared folks, eh.

And to top it all, if I have to curse someone, I'll tell him/her "May you get Acne Conglobata!" (Warning, links to pictures of unsightly skin lesions).

I think that's enough for a Sunday afternoon...


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