New Laptop

I got a new laptop today, courtesy of Lauren and Jeni, so that I can fit in with everybody else at the Enlight meetings! I may be considering an upgrade around Christmas time, but meanwhile, I am no longer the only geek without wifi.

Closed Powerbook
My new Powerbook, secured to my desk

Open Powerbook
Running IM and Firefox.
[Click to enlarge]

Colin hard at work composing this blog entry. [Click to enlarge]

Lesson of the day
Möbius Strips.

Think of a band of paper wrapped in a circle. But if you run your finger along one edge, it will go around twice, once on each “side” before coming back to the place you started from. It’s a 3-dimensional shape with only one side, and only one edge. Check out MathWorld’s 3d Möbius strip, or look at this graphic I ripped off from MathWorld:

If you carefully follow the path of the gears around the circle, you’ll see that all the gears, despite appearing to be in two interlocked circles, are actually connected together in a single line.

Make your own Möbius Strip! Take a strip of paper. (Like cut a half inch off the side of a piece of looseleaf.) Hold the ends close together as if you were going to make a bracelet. Now, before connecting them, twist one end 180 degrees. Now tape the two pieces together. Voila! Möbius strip! For something really amazing, take a scissors. Cut down the middle of the paper (don’t cut the ring open, that’s bad, just cut down the middle), all the way around the circle. See what happens when you’re done. Bet you didn’t see that coming!

Side note: anyone who has read The Wheel of Time by Robert Jordan (an excellent book series, might I interject) may be familiar with this shape as the shape of Egwene’s ter’angreal for entering Tel’aran’rhiod.

Well, another week has gone by, and now I am two weekends worth of blogging behind. Alas. I promise I will catch up. In a rapid recap: Two weekends ago I spent 4 hours in the fountain with Tim mapping out all the electrical systems of the north end (pictures to come… really.). Then Saturday was the Lauren and Jeni (though she denies any part in it) -sponsored secret contest among Enlight (is among the right word? I doubt it…). I tied for second place, netting me a prize which I thoroughly enjoyed for the lone day it survived on my desk. (Thanks!) Following said contest (pictures possibly to follow, if I ever get around to asking for them) I suffered through a wet, rainy loss to Iowa at Barry Alvarez’s last home football game. Sorry it couldn’t have turned out better Barry, but thanks for everything else! My Camp Randall record while in attendance is about 1-15 (definitely only 1 loss, approx 15 wins). Sunday = homework. Then this past weekend involved more time at the fountain vacuuming leaves and fiddling with lighting relays (which are working now, check out our newly-brightened fountain on the FountainCam!), some racquetball against Jared, and then a viewing of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire with Enlight (and somebody please remind me that I still owe Jeni money). Saturday I slept in and took some much-needed time off of all things academic, and then Sunday I wrote a 7-page essay for American Indian Studies 172 (which class you should not enroll in).

I think that’s about all I’ve got… I would give you a more detailed account of the past couple weekends, but unfortunately I still need to do an ECE 230 assignment tonight, and I’m leaving tomorrow for about 5 days in South Dakota with no internet access (::screams of terror::).

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!


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