We interrupt this program…

26 01 2010

To bring you a new edition of Learn Something New Every Day!

Apparently, Occam’s Razor is so named in reference of “the act of shaving away unnecessary assumptions to get to the simplest explanation.”

Meanwhile, back to studying.  The odds are good that there will be no signs of existence here until at least Friday.  Random Analysis (a.k.a. Probability) test tomorrow 😉

Hallo there!

3 09 2009

I’m still alive!  Really 🙂

Life has gotten quite busy.  Classes have started, and even though it looks on paper like I’ve nothing going on, the fact that I’ve done about 3 problems on the homework that’s due a week from now is a sign that I’m WAY behind.

I’ve just “baked” one of those 5 minute chocolate mug cakes and am waiting for it to cool so I can devour it.  Modified slightly–I used butter instead of oil, a little more vanilla, and only nuked it for 2 minutes, 30 seconds 3 minutes; I just went over and found that it was undercooked.  Hopefully, it will be more edible than the last try… the top was too dense to eat! 😦

(Just took a bite mmmm that is wonderful.  Tastes like REAL cake!)

So I said I’d post pictures of the spinning… I haven’t worked on it since my roommate moved in (aside from showing her that I have a spindle and yes, that is yarn on it, and here’s how it’s done…).

This is the best picture I’ve managed to get of it… the lighting’s not great in here, and my camera is not happy… That is to say, I need to get batteries.

Slightly random… I thought batteries used to be sort of / kind of  / almost cheap?  Because I think that $7 for 4 AA batteries is RIDICULOUS.  Gonna go to a real store and see if they’re any cheaper.

Meanwhile, I’m working on a red scarf (Ravelry|Pattern) for when it gets cold outside, a skirt of my own design (Ravelry), and I’ve recently finished a hat (Ravelry|Pattern) for my roommate.

Anywho, I’m swiftly running out of things to say and the time to go to lab approaches.  So here are some pictures:

On the left is the bottom of the skirt, i.e. the hem.  It’s about all I’ve done, but I think it’s lovely so far… But that opinion is a bit biased.  You know.  Toward myself.

And to your right is a hat.  This hat was made by me for my roommate, and turned out very different from the pattern.  I blame it on my inability to count.

And for your edumacation… Hmm…  As I need to hurry and finish eating so I can go to lab, I’ll leave you with a link to a book (that is partially online, courtesy of Google and the authors).  The thing that I need to read in this is about springs and dashpots (mainly the dashpots).  It was brought up in class as though the professor assumed all of us Electrical Engineering students knew what a dashpot is already… so I’m looking it up.  In short, a mechanical system can be modelled using electrical circuits… A dashpot is equated to a capacitor, and a spring is equated to an inductor.  (Wikipedia links)  At least, I think that’s how it works; now I can’t find anything on these pages to verify this 😦

Vocab of the day + SOCKS

25 08 2009

Dendrochronology: Tree ring dating.

I finished my socks!  I’m wearing my socks.  I’m annoying my roommate by reading everything I write out loud.  Loudly.


I was flipping through wikipedia.  Which is how I found this.  We started this with Shepitko and are now on that (dendrochronology).

Knitting group, school, and crazy parties.

21 08 2009

Today we’re going to start off with a very brief segment of our not-so-daily “Learn Something New Every Day!”

This however-long’s comes from the New York Times (and also my embedded systems class): DNA Evidence Can Be Fabricated.  While DNA analysis is pretty expensive and tedious (from what I’m told, no sources on this), it’s become the “indisputable” evidence in some cases.

Slightly off-topic, beware of yes/no answers in court.  A former teacher of mine was once asked, “Is there ANY possibility that two people can have the same fingerprints?”  Of course, as no one has taken the time to track down all 6.7 gigafolks in order to check and compare their fingerprints, it’s incredibly unlikely but technically possible.

Now for a quick update on projects… I’m still working on the second sock, and a hairband, and I’ve started on a skirt of my own design.  Whoo!  As I’m kind of busy (classes have resumed, and I already have a pile of homework), I’m not posting pictures here just now… but if you’re on Ravelry, you can check out my projects page for pictures.

Meanwhile, I’m organizing a knitting group in Clemson!  Our first “meeting” is going to be Saturday (tomorrow) around 6 at Spill the Beans (in Clemson).
That’s really all I’ve got for right now.. sorry for the lack of updates, but it’ll pick up again soon. 🙂

“I’d rather be knitting”

8 08 2009

Finished moving into the new place.  It’s smaller than the last place and I’ll have a roommate, but so far it’s pretty much bug free, and it was clean when I moved in.

This is much better than the last apartment already–there was a spaghetti noodle on the wall when I moved in there.
So now I’m working on a baby hat.

Yes, you heard me right.  No, I’m not expecting.

I’m making hats for premature babies.  The “I Wish I Could Knit!” group is doing this along with our regular KALs, and I decided that since I’m not much for dishcloths, I’d try out a circular item.  So far it’s fun, though my fingers are sore from the tiny dpns.

Here it is, being reluctantly modeled by Тигр… His head’s a little too big, so I had to take a few more pics.

So… This is going a little slowly (due to my inability to stay focused), but pretty well!  I think once I finish this, I’ll try again at making those “yoga socks,” then perhaps I’ll get into (gasp) socks.  Uh oh, I’m on the road to true addiction.  I even took a video of knitting some of this.

Anyway, I’m a little worried that I’m slowly turning into Dolores from Dead Like Me.  I’ve started giggling, and now I’m knitting things that I will never use.  Soon, I’ll be making someone a pencil sharpener cozy!

Meanwhile, I’m trying to decide what kind of yarn to get for that jacket I found in Interweave Knits…  (Quick recap–I found the pattern on Ravelry, then out of sheer luck managed to pick up the right one at a library book sale)  I’d like something washable, relatively cheap, but still durable and cozy.  I haven’t decided on color yet, though I’d like a “normal” solid rather than a tweed (disregard the name of the pattern: Backstage Tweed Jacket).

I went to WalMart on Thursday night to get yarn and double pointed needles to start on the baby hats… I got 3 skeins of Simply Soft Eco and one cone of Peaches&Creme.  So far, these have been my “favorite” yarns, and the ones I use most often.  Go figure.

Right now, that is my entire stash, and all the knitting supplies I have.  The rest is at Lee’s place, along with all of those magazines.  Fortunately for me (though perhaps not in terms of progress in unpacking), he’s bringing the giant box of yarn/supplies over, as well as the magazines.  Finally, I can weave in the ends on the wedding present!

Well, I need to get back to knitting if I ever want to finish this hat…

And yes, I just said that I NEED to knit.

And now for your not-so-daily segment, Learn Something New Every Day! (LSNED)

The topic I picked was migraines, because I’ve been having a lot of them lately, and have one right now.  (Yes, I’m still on the computer, no, I don’t have any sense.  It’s a very mild one, just over the eye and temple.  Just wish there were other light sources in here besides lamps.)  Some of this information is my observations, some is from Wikipedia.

Migraines are, basically, very bad headaches, so you can imagine how frustrating it is to miss a day of work/school because you couldn’t turn on the light… because of a headache.  Some have what is called an “aura” before the migraine hits–a sensation, whether visual, auditory, or tactile, sometimes even olfactory.  The migraine itself is the pain, often accompanied by nausea (and sometimes vomiting), altered vision (eg, tunnel vision), and sensitivity to light, sound, and/or strong odors.

I could go on for a good long time here, but I don’t want to do that–I just wanted to give the basics above to explain to those who don’t already know what migraines are.  What I want to point out is what my “a-hah!” moment was today, when skimming the page:

Migraine attacks may be triggered by:

MedlinePlus medical encyclopedia[42]

Now, I knew some of these.  My pediatrician, when I was about 7, told me not to drink red wine.  I think he was trying to be funny, but I took his words seriously and at face value.  I’ve found that certain food combinations make me sick, certain settings.  I don’t get an aura, but instead sort of a pre-headache, and that alone could tell me that I should avoid that potential trigger from then on, even if that feeling didn’t lead to a migraine.  I stopped eating pizza or anything with red dye for years.  It’s made me even more of a picky eater than I already was, which is pretty bad.

But what really got me, reading that, is that I have always hated bacon, and been iffy about most sausages–I generally dislike them.  The smell of bacon cooking can make me feel nauseous.  Home-cooked breakfast was torture.  This perhaps explains it.

That’s all I have to say, except that now that I’ve rambled about that tiny weird detail of my life, I’m going to go keep reading to see if they have any information on the link between migraines and epilepsy.  I’ve heard, but have never found written anywhere, that the two are linked.

Edit (from wikipedia, links preserved):

The incidence of migraine is related to the incidence of epilepsy in families, with migraine twice as prevalent in family members of epilepsy sufferers, and more common in epilepsy sufferers themselves.[88]

Happy Wikipedia~ing!

Eek, what happened?

26 07 2009

Tonight, once I finished weaving the ends in on a project, I calculated how long the starting chain should be and started on that afghan I was talking about in the previous post.

And when I finally got it to the right length (took a few tries; I can do differential equations with no problem, all four functions in my head, but I can’t count past about 5 without trouble), I turned to do the next row and… it didn’t work.  I couldn’t even do a single crochet.

I know I can still do it, because I had just finished a small bag while I was working on the swap project (left).

So let’s see, I can knit and I can crochet… but I can apparently only knit in rows and crochet and the round?  What a ripoff!  I’ve been wanting to make a zigzag afghan since I was 5.  And no matter how much I try, it seems like granny squares don’t work for me.  I make a circle and go around and… Suddenly I’ve got this tangled mess.

Well, I said I’d post pictures, so I’m posting some pictures.

First off, I finally finished this scarf.  I knit it, and it took me about a month.  I took it with me to the Knit @ Nite at Yes Yarn!, and was told that it’s probably more of a stole.  Why?  Well, I used a needle several sizes larger than called for… It seemed like the way to go to learn, since bigger needles are supposedly easier for beginners.  What I ended up with was something more “lacy” than expected.  It’s about twice as wide, though that’s mostly because somehow I added 30 stitches along the first couple of knit-only rows.  Also, I think on those I knit in the “back leg” of the stitches.  The end shown in the picture is the good end–the last rows I knitted.

The pattern, is available free on the Lion Brand Yarn website, here (requires login).  It’s also on Ravelry, though that will lead you back over to the LBY site.

And on a random note, Firefox seems to think that “didn’t” is misspelled.  Or rather, it’s saying that “didn” is not a word, and is ignoring the “‘t.”

I’m debating posting the afghan stitch potholder I made for a friend a few years ago… It’s almost the same as the “Simple Potholder” pattern that I’ve already posted, and works up in about the same amount of time.  It could be a good beginner project in the afghan stitch / using Tunisian crochet.

And now to go off on another tangent!  Why is it suddenly “Tunisian crochet”?  The first time I heard of a place called Tunisia, it was in an early episode of Jake 2.0.  I’d really like to know why all of a sudden everyone says Tunisian… admittedly, I learned to crochet from my father, who made a comment that eventually I could learn the afghan stitch so that I could make… (drumroll, please) afghans.  When I finally looked up the afghan stitch (about 10 years later), I discovered that there was no way I could ever make an afghan with the afghan stitch… at least as far as I could tell.  It was several more years before I found out about afghan hooks (in another aside from my father).  Now I have one with a flexible cord (14″), and have a very long square dowel for making one.

Why square?  Well, the end has to stop the stitches, right?  And I can sand it as round as I want.  So why not square?  It’s basswood, which is hard enough (I think), but also easy enough to work with.  For some reason, only Mechanical Engineering students are allowed in the shop.  We EE’s are just screwed, if we ever decide to make something.
And now, to protect you from my ranting, I’m going to end with a quick segment that I hope will become regular:

Learn Something New Every Day! (category: LSNED)

Okay, I actually learned this a few days ago, but I’ve been waiting for the right moment to post it.  I think now will do fine.

I was listening to Pandora radio when a song came on called “Snapdragon.”  It occurred to me that I had heard the word once or twice, but had no clue what it was.  So I searched.

The “snapdragon” is a kind of flower, in the genus Antirrhinium (Haha, firefox knows how to spell that!).  The name comes from the idea that this flower looks (apparently) like a dragon, and apparently it was all the rage to squish it so that the mouth “snapped.”

Now, I don’t know about you, but this does not look much like a dragon to me.

But then, as often happens on wikipedia, I found myself directed to more information… in this case, a disambiguation page was available.  Now, as an electical engineering student, I should have been intrigued by the processor sharing its name with this creepy little flower, but instead I noticed that there was a game by the name of “snap-dragon.”

This game is played by tossing raisins into some brandy, which is in a bowl on the table… Then setting the brandy on fire.  How is this a game, you ask?  Well, the goal here is to get the raisins out, and eat them.  While the brandy is still on fire.  On this page there is a picture of a dragon playing snapdragon, which is pretty hilarious.

The game snapdragon is also called flapdragon, perhaps because of all the flailing about caused by catching oneself on fire.

Sometimes, I really wonder where we come up with the things we do to amuse ourselves.