Friday, June 12, 2009

Misc. Goodies

Apollo 11 Owners’ Workshop Manual coverFirst up, a must-have for any technogeek's home library: Apollo 11 Owners' Workshop Manual from Haynes Press. Now I can finally figure out why the engines on the dusty old LEM in my garage won't fire up on cold mornings. (Of course, here in central Texas, we only get cold mornings a few days out of each year. This time of year, I really start to miss those days.)

Next up, an example of what happens when technogeeks have too much time on their hands: "A Unified Quantum Theory of the Sexual Interaction." This is a truly hysterical read, at least for anyone who has ever studied quantum mechanics. The author fails, however, to cover scenarios where couplings between the |M> and |F> states potentially lead to the emission of child particles, with a probability P(t) which varies sinusoidally over a period of 28 days. Of course, this would necessitate the inclusion of creation and annihilation operators, which means that the model would have to be re-formulated as a Quantum Field Theory. The author also fails to model the field emitted by some |M> states which repulses |F> states with a strength proportional to the |M> state's comprehension of this admittedly arcane type of humor.

On a more serious note, SpringerLink has a paper by T. Ryan Gregory of the University of Guelph in Ontario entitled "Understanding Natural Selection: Essential Concepts and Common Misconceptions." This paper should be required reading for anyone engaging in the YEC/ID vs. TOE debate, especially since the vast majority of arguments put forth by YEC/ID proponents tend to be predicated upon rather outlandish misconceptions about how evolution and natural selection actually work. As someone who hasn't actually taken a biology class since high school (it wasn't required in my undergraduate physics curriculum), I found it to be an illuminating read.

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