Saturday, 19 March 2011

Too many things

I don't really know what to say, other than I'm simply too busy. I drew up a timetable of my school/work/volunteer commitments so you guys kinda know what I'm up to.

"Want to have a team meeting on Friday at 12:00?" "Dear God no."

So, as you can see, I'm a busy man. A few notes on it though. The class and lecture slots are only for the three nursing subjects that I'm taking. The chemistry subject has an internet lecture and a couple of chapters each week, and the physics subject has two internet lectures and a chapter or so a week, plus a bunch of questions (questions which, for a student new to the subject, take a long time to answer). So you can see how all those free-looking slots start to fill up with crap. One other thing is that the work I do on Friday, Saturday and Sunday only happens once every two weeks, so I do have time to do school stuff on those weekends.

In other school-related news, I present to you this letter, which I received on Friday:

Yolanta is one of my favourite lecturers, we call her Yoyo.

It basically says that I had the highest grade in my year last year. I was quite elated to find that I had achieved it, and also very happy with the money they're giving me.

Oh! This week I had my first session in the in2science program. I visited the grade seven class I will be with for the rest of the semester and it was pretty interesting. First off, I don't think the chemistry teacher likes me. I hypothesize that it has something to do with him being a physical education teacher and not actually a science teacher. Nevertheless, I went around to all of their little tables and was helping them with their posters they were making on the properties of solids, liquids and gases. 

It was frustrating though, because 12 year old children really have no interest in doing school work. I would sit there and ask if anyone knows any properties of gases, and get responses of silence. I then basically forced them to know what some properties were by using really simply examples like saying "what does a small amount of gas do when you put it into a open area". So I basically ran through a few different things in that manner and went to another group. When I got back to the first group they hadn't put anything on their poster, so I made sure they all knew what the properties were and went away again. About ten minutes later I return; again, no work had been done. I naturally have a calm demeanor, so it was easy not to let my annoyance physically manifest, but on the inside I was like this:

No, I do not want to know why you two are the besterest friends in the world.
Even so, it was still a great experience. I go back every week on Tuesday for the rest of the semester and I'm looking forward to it immensely. Sorry again for not being more active everyone. Semester is only seven weeks long, and I'm just about to start week four, so even if I'm not that active for the next few weeks, I will be soon thereafter.

Thanks again everyone for taking interest.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

I have returned!

Okay, so I wasn't away for that long, but it felt like millennia. I haven't really been anywhere, it's just that I realized that I had about two weeks of physics and chemistry work that I haven't even started, so I got to it over the last few days. It wasn't really complicated stuff, as it was just an introduction to both the subjects which mainly meant mathematics, atomic theory and scientific method and measurements revision; easy stuff. On the subject of beginner physics, I bring you my newest comic.

Probability of someone making a portal-related cake joke; 95%.

For those of you who don't know the Σ symbol means sum of and the F means forces. When something is not moving, the sum of all forces acting upon it are not netting any movement in any direction, so ΣF=0. So the comic is saying that the sum of forces (choosing between the cake and the ice cream) acting of the little fatty is equaling zero. Funny, right?

That's enough of that, I now come to last posts' winner; Burger! Burger correctly stated the venturi effect in regards to my drawing in my last post. A quick explanation about the effect is this; when a substance is traveling at a faster speed, it is at a lower pressure and the venturi tube (as illustrated) demonstrates this. When a non-compressible fluid is traveling through a pipe of a particular size at a particular rate and then subjected to a narrowing of the pipe, the velocity of the liquid must increase to maintain the same rate of flow. As a result of this increase in speed, there is a notable decrease in pressure of the fluid, as is evident in the difference in levels of the fluid on the vertical pipes.

As promised, I drew a picture just for Burger. I apologize for not doing anything more intricate, I really could not think of what to do. Anyway, I hope you like it!

Never thought of practicing calligraphy on the computer. Oh wait, I was suppose to type something witty here... Mission accomplished.
I think it's time to get back into physics for a little while before I get some sleep. Thanks again for reading!

Thursday, 10 March 2011

New Books!

First, I want to apologize for not getting a post out yesterday, I worked until 10pm and just didn't feel like using the computer when I got home (although it's not that valid of an excuse because I worked just as late tonight). Anyway, I'm not going to do a huge post tonight as I have to be at the Wodonga Middle Years College in the morning to meet with the teacher that I'll be spending the semester with during the in2science program. Exciting, to say the least.

I also got my physics and chemistry books that I've been craving oh-so badly. The semester for both subjects technically started last week, but the book store is slow and I haven't had any books, so consequently couldn't do any reading. I was happy to sit down and read the first couple of chapters of the chemistry book, which made me think of tonight's comic. I really wanted to do something simple because, as I said, it's late and I need to be up in the morning, so I hope you guys enjoy it, or at least get it.

And before you know it, she'll want to have quarks!

I've also decided not to join the Golden Key Society, as I've heard far to many bad things about it to justify risking 90 of my dollars on it when I can barely afford food. Thanks to everyone that offered advice on the subject, I appreciate it.

So to finish off the post, another competition! It's simple enough, and I'm sure someone will get this very easily; just name the phenomenon that this picture is illustrating. I would also appreciate a short description on what's going on.

I'm all up in your planes, makin' dem fly, yo.
As always, a personalized picture for the winner! Have a lovely evening everyone.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

This is science

So after a painstaking three hours, I'm finally finished with the drawing that I promised Layman Researcher for winning my competition a couple of days ago. I'm pretty proud of it, I was thinking about what I wanted to do for it all day while I was at uni. A couple notes, I refer to the pseudoscientists and the mathematical fallacy, as Layman Research has posts about them on her blog. Be sure to check it out btw!

In other news, my birthday went pretty good. My wonderful fiance made me a great breakfast before I left in the morning, and made a fantastic steak dinner tonight. She's also making a delicious smelling cake as I'm writing this. It really made my day, as I'm not a huge fan of spending nine hours at university on Monday, but I got through it alright. 

On the subject of uni, I thought I would ask the advice of my fellow bloggers. I received a letter from the Golden Key International Honour Society on Friday congratulating me on my good grades last year and inviting me to join their little club. Great, I'll be in this cool club for smarties, one problem though; they want 90 of my dollars. I looked around on the net a bit and found that some people don't recommend going with them, as you never get anything in return. So I was wanting to hear from all you lovely people; has anyone joined the society? Why? Why not?

Some of my earlier followers may remember that I had signed up to participate in the in2science mentoring program. Basically, it involves going to a high-school and spending a few hours in a class once a week. My role there is to try and inspire young minds with the intrigues of the scientific world and encourage them to become future scientists. I brought this up because I'm meeting the teacher that I'm going to be with on Thursday to go around the school and get orientated. I'm really really excited about the whole thing and can't wait to inspire young minds.

As one last thought, and just in case I ever look back at this blog years from now, I finally cleaned out the bowl of potato salad that has been in the fridge since Christmas. Surprisingly, it didn't smell at all, but was unfortunately filled almost to the brim with bacteria spores. I wonder if my lawn is going to benefit from having so much bacteria spread all over it.

I'll be off now, thanks for all of the fantastic birthday wishes and interest. I really want to try and keep up with comics, but it does take time and I'm a busy person, so please stay tuned!

One last sentence so the text lines up with the bottom of the picture, because I'm crazy like that.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Happy birthday!

It's my birthday today! I'm now 23 years old and feel no different than yesterday. However, let me not get too hung up on minor details; I love a great birthday, and love celebrating it with people I care about.

Well, enough of that. In the meantime, I've been making up for lost progress after having lost a bunch of work on photoshop. I still haven't done a picture for Layman Researcher, but the one I did for Siphil is done and ready to go. Sorry for those of you who haven't seen the movie, but this is based on "2001 A Space Odyssey". Siphil's blog is called "2011 A Space Odyssey", so I thought I would tie that into a comic for him. I am surprisingly proud of myself for the center image.

When was the last time you battled evil computers and went through crazy colored tunnels of light? Hmm?

Some of you may notice that I have an awesome new site design, this is thanks to the lovely nerdspiffy that made it for me out of the kindness of her heart. Check out her blog if you haven't already; she's got a lot of great posts and is working on a graphic novel called "Vexing".

I think that's it for tonight, I won't have a competition for this post, as I'm still behind one drawing and I have nine hours of uni tomorrow, which will surely wear me out enough as it is. So I'll leave with an opening sentence of a book that I'm never going to write (it's kind of my hobby to think of great lines in books that will never be written or great scenes in movies that will never be filmed).

"The expression on his face reflected the degree of uncertainty in the approximation he had just given."

Saturday, 5 March 2011

Oh man, oh man

So, I was working on a way good comic for about two hours, and bam! Photoshop crashes and I haven't saved it once. I'm so unbelievably mad right now. There was no slowing down, or me clicking weird things, it was my in the middle of drawing a line and then "photoshop has stopped working, would you like to get mad or explode into oblivion?". So I guess I won't have a new comic for you tonight.

Regarding yesterday's winner, Siphil, I'll try and have a picture for you tomorrow, I apologize for the delay. On the topic of yesterdays competition, carbon, I just wanted to talk about it for a brief second. In atomic theory, electrons orbit the nucleus, however, they're not just orbiting all at the same level, there are shells. As you can see in my drawing of carbon, the smaller ring is the inner shell, and the bigger ring is the outer shell. Each of these shells can only hold a particular amount of electrons, for example, the first shell has a max of two, the second has a max of eight (the third gets more confusing, as it can hold 18, but not without first putting some into the fourth, but you get what I mean). 

Now, all atoms want to become stable; and if an atom has a full outer shell, it is considered to be stable. If it has only 1 electron in its second shell, it wants to lose that electron, and become stable. If it has six electrons in its outer shell, it wants to gain two and become stable. I hope this is making sense. To illustrate this principle better, I drew a picture. Here you see two atoms that have only one electron in their outer shell, therefore they're considered unstable. In between them, you see an atom with six electrons in its outer shell, again, therefore it is unstable. For all of these atoms to become happy and stable, they do what is called "covalent bonding", or electron sharing. By sharing in electrons, both of the smaller atoms (hydrogen) and the larger atom (oxygen) all have full outer electron shells. Most of you have picked up already that this is water!

Lemme at some 'dem 'lectrons.

Now, back to the reason why carbon is so special. Carbon has four of a possible eight electrons in its outer shell. This means for it to become stable, it either needs to lose four, or gain four electrons. This is exactly the reason it is so special, because it can bond so well with many different things, and is exactly why it's the basis of all life as we know it, and why we are called carbon based life forms.

I think that's enough of that for now. For our competition, I want to give science a break, and go with a movie. What movie is this screen shot from?

Probably the only movie I've seen where it looks actually like they had someone do it properly.

Enjoy your evening!

I'm up too late

No, I will not let you profit.
I really am up too late. I finished work at about 9:30 pm and it's about 1:30 am now. The silly thing is that I have to work in the morning at 8:00 am. Oh well, I really wanted to do this comic today, as this happened to me when I really needed my printer.

I found that for my physics subject, I had an assignment due at 4 pm. I only realized that I had the assignment at 1pm. So I proceeded to print out the assignment so I could do the work, scan it and send it in. However, my printer decided that I had gotten enough value out of it and wanted to reiterate the fact that while all other aspects of technology have improved in the last 30 years, printers are still archaic pieces of crap.

I made my way to the local office supply store to buy some toner. As I was walking the toner to the checkout, I spotted a pile of the exact same printer that I own for sale at $65. I found this interesting, as the toner I was holding, the very same toner inside that $65 printer, cost $129. That's not even including a replacement drum ($195) if that happened to break. So I made the easy choice and just grabbed the new printer.

As I put it down on the checkout counter, the lady went on and on about the three year warranty. "What if it breaks" she said, which I replied "my last one ran out of toner in six months, and here I am buying a new one, because it's cheaper than the toner". For whatever reason, she replied "well, do you print a lot? You never know when the it's going to break", I tried to show her the error of her ways by saying "it doesn't matter if it breaks; if it breaks in the next year, I'll be covered by the manufacturer's warranty, if it lasts that long, I'll surely have run out of toner by then, in which case, I'll simply buy a new printer". She still gave me that "whatever, you stupid idiot" look, the sale was then finished and I walked away feeling vastly superior.

It really gets to me how much people don't listen to the things that you're saying when you're talking to them. I suppose I can't blame her though, she probably deals with a lot of customers every day and the employees more than likely have a competition going for how many people they can screw over with their warranties. 

And to wrap things up for the night, we have our competition for the day. This one should be fairly easy to some of you, but you're going to answer a few questions about it.

1. What element is this?
2. There is a rare material made entirely of this element, what is it?
3. What about this element's chemical properties makes it so notable/significant to our everyday lives?

And just to mention it again, the winner of the daily comp will receive an image, drawn by me, to them, in recognition of their abilities. For examples of past winners, look at my last few posts.

Thanks for reading guys, I hope you're all enjoying this as much as I am.

Thursday, 3 March 2011

Winner from yesterday

Yesterday I had a competition for whomever could guess the physiological cycle the quickest. Broda correctly guessed the citric acid cycle.

The citric acid cycle, or more commonly known as the Krebs cycle (after Hans Krebs) is the process is which the cells' mitochondria make energy in the form of ATP (adenosine triphosphate). It is the most common cycle in which your body produces energy, as it is the most efficient. The process involves glucose that has been broken down into Acetyl-CoA going through a number of chemical reactions that finally net an end result of about 30 molecules of ATP per each molecule of glucose. Far more efficient than the two molecules of ATP per glucose molecule that anaerobic glycolysis produces. 

So why do we have different cycles for producing energy if one is far more efficient, you ask? Well let me tell you my little sasquatches; it's because the Krebs cycle must have oxygen to function. This makes it an aerobic energy production method. Anaerobic glycolysis is as it's name implies, it uses no oxygen. This is the cycle you use when you're exercising heavily and not enough oxygen is getting to your muscles. This process also produces lactic acid, which is why your muscles burn after such exercises.

Well, enough of that, we must get to the prize. As promised a personalized drawing by me, to you for your profound knowledge in the field of basic physiology.

What? The man's a programmer, I'm sure he'll like it. 

In other news, I had uni today, and we were in the nursing labs. I have no idea why (especially because this is the first time I've met this teacher), but we had to practice palpating (feeling) a patients chest, stomach et cetera, and she just looked at me and said "you're the patient". So I had to remove my shirt and lay on a bed while students poked and prodded my bare body. It was definitely an experience I won't forget, especially because I'm not what you'd call slender.

Anywho, just another experience under the belt.

Wednesday, 2 March 2011

Time for something different

Well, I didn't have uni today, so there's not much to say on that front. However I did work today. I awoke at 6am (after stupidly going to sleep at about 1am), got all ready to go to work and bam! I realized I didn't start until 1pm. The morning was then spent browsing the interwebs and reading about upcoming technology, which brings me to my next point.

 Also exciting; my new found ability to draw things with photoshop.

With the impending release of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim late this year (November) I've been thinking that I'm definitely going to need a new PC to play it. I was reading around on some tech sites and came across the AMD Fusion generation of chips. I've always thought that it would be a good idea to incorporate the GPU right onto the same piece of silicon as the CPU and just be gone with the south-bridge entirely, and that's what AMD have done. Firstly, this is a good idea because you remove the bottleneck that the south-bridge causes between the GPU and CPU. Secondly, you go from having to cool three chips to just having to cool one. Thirdly, you get a GPU specifically matched to the performance of your CPU (it was always funny to see my friends by a ridiculously fast GPU, only to have it bottlenecked by a crappy CPU). And finally, it drastically reduces the real-estate needed by the motherboard, something specifically useful in laptop applications.

AMD Fusion test rig. 
"Umm sir, we've been having some negative feedback 
about the appearance of the new system".

I'm not sure if I'll end up getting one though, as I'm after a desktop, and the Fusion processors aren't quite as fast as current CPU+Discreet GPU set ups (although significantly faster than comparable on-board GPU laptops). I wonder if any of my followers have been looking into them at all and if they think they'll become significantly competitive in the desktop market?

Let me guys know what you think. Also, feel free to use that comic I made anywhere you want, I would however, appreciate a mention as the author or even a link back to my blog if it all possible.

To finish up, we'll play another game! This time we'll be doing guess the physiological cycle!

Those of you that have studied physiology should get this pretty easily (I would hope). Others may have more trouble getting it. And remember, you're playing for your own personalized drawing by me!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

What to do, what to do

Got back from uni not that long ago. That bit of writing I posted earlier is going towards a short presentation that my group is doing next week, or should I say, I'm doing next week. Not to say that the group isn't doing any work, it's too early to determine that now, it's just that I was elected to actually get up and present the thing. This year seems like it's going to be better. A lot of students last year failed, so I suppose that weeded out some of the non-workers, and this year we have a bunch of grad entry students, and nurses that are converting to the more qualified nurse (enrolled nurse to registered nurse). They all seem to be pretty focused on doing the work and getting good grades, which is good for me, as it's nice to work with people that have similar outlooks on things.

On an unrelated note, I stumbled across a nice article that has a bunch of apps that could be useful to uni students. A few on there caught my eye; the timetable one, the dictionary and the assignment tracker. I don't really know why I'm interested in them anyway, as I don't even have a smartphone. Oh well, I can always dream that I'll happen across the money, can't I?

I've also felt that I want to make the blog slightly more interesting (only slightly, I don't want girls screaming at my door or anything), so I've decided to include a game that I'll do from time to time. This one is called spot the scientist. 

Considering that this is the first run of the game, I'll give you guys an easy one.

First post to get it right wins a picture, drawn by none other than myself using paint, that says that you got it right.

Well done to Astronomy Pirate who won the ridiculously easy competition. As promised, a picture made entirely by me (background and all) in paint photoshop. If you want your own, be sure to check back for my little competitions!

(Click to view full image)

I think I'm getting back into it

I thought it was a bit rough that I had to have something ready for uni by second day, but oh well. I have to be in class in about two hours, so I thought I should get to it. It's just a quick introduction to a short thing about diabetes. Let me know if you think that I've gotten back into the swing of writing yet. I felt it was pretty good for 10 minutes, which included time spent on finding articles.

Diabetes mellitus represents a group of diseases that share common characterizations, including chronic hyperglycemia and other metabolic abnormalities relating to the deficiency of insulin effect. Diabetes can be classified into four different types. 

Type one is characterized by destruction of pancreatic beta cells, which secrete insulin, by either an autoimmune response, or other unknown cause. Type two involves the decreased secretion of insulin by the pancreas and well as decreased sensitivity to insulin peripherally. Category three diabetes includes diabetes as related to a specific condition or disease, as is common is cystic fibrosis patients. Category four diabetes is characterised as diabetic symptoms relating to pregnancy (Kuzuya et al., 2002).

Diabetes is a serious condition that can have many adverse effects on health if not treated appropriately. In many cases, nutrition is the cornerstone of a diabetic patient’s treatment, which is why fasting is of particular concern in the preoperative care of a diabetic (Mc Hugh et al., 2009).

Kuzuya, T., Nakagawa, S., Satoh, J., Kanazawa, Y., Iwamoto, Y., Kobayashi, M., et al. (2002). Report of the Committee on the classification and diagnostic criteria of diabetes mellitus. Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice, 55, 65-85.
Mc Hugh, S., O’Keeffe, J., Fitzpatrick, A., de Siún, A., O’Mullane, M., Perry, I., et al. (2009). Diabetes care in Ireland: A survey of general practitioners. Primary Care Diabetes, 3, 225-231.

It's funny that everyone at uni seems to hate writing, but I really enjoy it. They all say "oh exams are better because you just go in and get it over and done with". I still prefer writing essays though. If you're like me, you'll go over it constantly, changing things, fixing things, and just making it as good as you can before you hand it in. It feels as though you're more in control of what you're doing. What do you guys think?

As long as we're on the topic of writing, I thought I'd share a site that I discovered recently; one word. I have it book-marked, but you just go on there and click go and it gives you a work that you have to write about for 60 seconds. It's amazing what some people put out in 60 seconds. Anyone that enjoys writing should give it a go.

Anyway, I better have a shower before I go to uni. Thanks for reading and let me know what you think!