February 23, 2012 - It is a disappointing day for the physics community - the faster-than-light neutrinos
that everyone was talking about in September seem to have been an experimental error. Apparently there is growing evidence now that a cable that connected the GPS to the computers was defective or not connected properly, which resulted in inaccurate recording of the time of flight for these particles. They didn't actually travel faster than light after all, and Einstein remains undefeated.
February 21, 2012 - There was an interesting new release from the TRIUMF laboratory - one of the nuclear physics teams there has been able to produce radioactive isotopes for medical imaging applications without using an expensive and potentially dangerous nuclear reactor. They instead used a cyclotron (which many large hospitals and universities already own) to generate a high energy electron beam that only generates the isotopes of interest. Ever since the Chalk River reactor shut down, there has been a global shortage of medical isotopes and this new method may just resolve that problem. Unfortunately the government needs to do a few years of studies before it gets approved, but it is a positive first step.
February 2, 2012 - I just got word that the Loquino project
is completed now and was mentioned on the Make blog
and the Arduino Forum
. For those who aren't aware, this was a project that Mark Wilson developed combining my Grandiloquent Dictionary
project with an arduino sketch to make an interesting little program. Check it out, and if you have an Arduino board test it out.
January 25, 2012 - Happy Robbie Burns Day to all my Scottish friends and family, and to those who wish they were. I am off to the Burns dinner now, so I will see some of you there.
January 20, 2012 - Some of you have been asking about the progress of my interactive IFS fractal generator software. I have put that project on hold temporarily (maybe permanently) after finding the Apophysis project
, which is very similar and already in distribution. I may or may not release my own at a later date depending on the demand for it and my own schedule, but for now it is in limbo.
January 18, 2012 - As part of the global protest against internet censorship, I am taking down my websites for the remainder of the day. They will come back tomorrow morning.
January 11, 2012 - I have just learned that employee records at the University of Victoria have been compromised. Although it doesn't affect me personally, I know some other alumni follow these updates and so I would recommend that they check if their own information is affected. (UPDATE: According to the news tonight, an employee did have the bank account robbed by identity thieves)
December 31, 2011 - HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
December 30, 2011 - I just finished writing a review of the year that was on my blog
. Feel free to head over there and read it.
December 25, 2011 - MERRY CHRISTMAS!!
December 14, 2011 - Interesting article in the local newspaper today on the search for the Higgs boson at the LHC, and on the University of Victoria's part in the experiment. (Unfortunately the paper then wrote an editorial on it that was not exactly accurate. I have written about the Higgs before
, but I will try to write something in my blog
later today to better explain the Higgs)
December 9, 2011 - In response to several requests, I have now written a PHP script to allow online searching of the Grandiloquent Dictionary
both by word or by keywords in the definition. It is still very experimental and buggy, but the public is welcome to test it out in the interim. It can be viewed here
December 5, 2011 - Interesting announcement
from the Kepler team at NASA today. They have discovered a planet, now named Kepler-22b, which is about 600 lightyears away and which seems to be the most Earth-like planet yet found. It is about twice the radius of Earth, and orbits in the habitable zone of the star where temperatures should be similar to those on Earth. Does it support life? It could, but that discovery is a many years away.
December 4, 2011 - I have finally confirmed my schedule for the next few weeks, and I do have a few spaces available for final exam tutoring
. They will probably get filled quickly, so if you need assistance with mathematics, computer science or physics courses, contact me as soon as possible.
December 1, 2011 - I just read the announcement that Microsoft is going to set up a new studio in my hometown of Victoria,BC. It is great to see the town doing well and to see its tech sector get such a boost today.