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Cognitive Reverie
 
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    Friday, July 3rd, 2009
    1:37 pm
    Same Bat Time, NEW Bat Channel
    For the 7.6666666666 of you who read this livejournal, I feel compelled obligated honored, some feeling to let you know that I am now posting on Word Press.  The new site is sleuthmilanowski.wordpress.com.  Now you have even more letters to type when trying to read my drivel.  You do not need to thank me now for that.  

    I would have kept docmilanowski, but the name is supposedly already claimed.  Additionally, I will be editing the Word Press page for some days weeks period of time.  That is all, end transmission!

    Thursday, June 25th, 2009
    10:26 pm
    Never date another robot's transister
    Freshman year of college my room mate, dorm neighbors, and I watched nothing but peculiar things on television.  Jerry Springer was one such show.  I suspect we just wanted to feel better about our own lives.  "I may have failed the engineering 106 exam, but at least I am not dating my transvestite cousin."  We also watched Sesame Street.  This was either because of our need to learn about shapes and numbers or because of the eclectic cameos on the show e.g Natalie Portman.  Through some random web surfing I stumbled upon this Sesame Street cameo and I was mildly amused.  In other news, shiny objects entertain me as well. 




    Wednesday, May 27th, 2009
    6:58 pm
    On Top of Mt. Baldy

    There are many measures of manliness: how much weight you can lift, how many digits of π you can recall, or how many grapes you can cram in your mouth. But one longstanding, time tested, and true method is the ability to grow facial hair.

    Last February I participated in Facial Hair February. Here are my results in pictographic form.
    Before:

    After

    And if I would have continued into Mustache March

    I look like I should be offering some shameless coeds pizza with extra meaty sausage.


     

    Clearly my results are lackluster. My manliness based on facial hair rates me at about a mushroom. Sure, I'm a fungi, but I'm hardly a man.  Rather than sulk because I cannot grow hair from the waist up (from the waist down I look like Chewbacca), I decided to be a cut above the rest. I shaved my head. I joined the ranks of dozen of men who choose to be successful and bald.  I suspect the secret to their successes is not a relentless pursuit of amelioration but rather alopecia.  For example, Bryan Cranston won an Emmy for being a bald-due-to-chemotherapy chemistry teacher who makes meth because he has lung cancer on the AMC hit, Breaking Bad.

    Hair is not a requirement for an Emmy.

    Dave Zabriskie, the world's fastest time trialist and an amazing rider for the cycling team Garmin Slipstream, currently lacks hair.  I could not find a decent photo of him with a shaved head, so here is a photo of him sporting an astonishing stache. Not only has he bested me in the world of cycling, but he can also rock a wicked mustache.



     

    Before

    Before with a glamour shot

    After

    Alopecia has no affect on my daringly provocative pose

    I wish I could say I shaved my head for some notable cause, but I did not. Nor did I fall asleep at a slumber party and wake up this way. I shaved it for fun and I will let it grow back as the season progresses. Also, I may study the effect of drafting off other bald men.



     

    Sunday, May 24th, 2009
    8:51 pm
    Non Sibi, Sed Patriae
    As you look at your calendar and plan your long weekend, please remember you can plan your tomorrow because soldiers gave up theirs.  Have a happy, safe Memorial Day and please take a moment to consider the fallen.
    Wednesday, May 20th, 2009
    6:22 pm
    Cryptography 453
    On 25 April 2009, Corrie and I traveled to Bloomington, In.  Our main purpose was to come in peace and watch the Little 500 Bicycle Race.  Along the way, we wandered into a cryptography class, mainly because we followed Corrie's brother who was actually enrolled in the course.  Being the attentive student I took notes and being a mathematical imbecile I am posting the notes and homework for others with mathematical abilities and cryptographic knowledge to interpret and perform. 

    The black ink indicates course notes.  The green ink indicates clarifying remarks from the professor or students' questions.  The red ink indicates my own ignorant annotations. 

    Courses I audited in the 2008 - 2009 school year: Currently taking recommendations for Fall 2009.







    My apologies about the image quality.  The scanner we have is only so good and I am only so very lazy.

    Monday, April 27th, 2009
    6:22 pm
    Notorious P.I.G.

    Four legs good, two legs bad” seems to be further from the truth as a result of the most recent iteration of swine flu (H1N1). Obviously, you cannot believe everything you read, although screaming, “Do it to Julia” still holds true.

     

    Pigs, like birds and other mammals, can catch the flu. Typically the swine pass their flu amongst each other as a result of sneezing and coughing on each other and being in close contact, much like humans. Occasionally, the swine flu gets transferred to a human because the human comes in close contact e.g. through the course of raising the livestock – a necessary risk for delectable bacon. While still not kosher, bacon and other pork products cannot transmit swine flu. Feel free to eat bacon at your Rabbi's discretion.

     

    Such pig-to-human disease transfer has occurred before in history and it most recently happened in the past two months in Mexico, the U.S., Canada and several other countries. Mexico has received the most grievous bouts of swine flu in the number of cases, severity, and fatality. The U.S. has only 20 cases of swine flu with no fatalities and only one hospitalization.

     

    What can be done to prevent and treat swine flu? In 1976, Gerald Ford was urged by public health officials to recommend vaccination against swine flu. Due to delays in making and distributing the vaccine, in addition to patients developing Guillain-Barre Syndrome from the vaccine, it was considered a failure. So, should you get vaccinated? Well, that is a decision you won't have to make. There currently is no vaccine for the most recent iteration of swine flu. If you received your seasonal flu vaccine it may offer some protection from the swine flu, but it is kind of like using a chain-link fence to stop an arrow rather than chainmail.

     

    The best preventative measures are probably the same ones used in avoiding seasonal influenza. Wash your hands with soap and water or an alcohol based sanitizer, and cover your mouth when sneezing and coughing and wash afterward. If you work with pigs you should wash your hands and equipment after working with them. If you are concerned about the health of your livestock, consult your veterinarian.

     

    What if you catch swine flu? Previous versions of swine flu were readily treated by antivirals like amantadine, rimantadine, oseltamivir, and zanamivir. At this time oseltamivir or zanamivir are recommended for treatment as the other two seem to be resisted by the remix of H1N1.

     

    How will you know if you caught H1N1? Swine flu presents just like any other flu: headache, fever, lethargy, coughing, and lack of appetite. The only way to know if you have swine flu versus other forms is by going to your physician who will collect a specimen and mail it to some lovely medical technologists at the CDC.

     

    Hopefully, this flu will be quickly contained, controlled, and cured. Moreover, it will hopefully not prove to be a possible vector for the zombpocalypse.

     

     

     

    Sunday, March 15th, 2009
    8:13 pm
    Cold Cuts
    A skill I have long admired, but despised by its frequent unethical use, is cold reading.  Cold reading is the skill which allows a magician/mentalist or a psychic to apparently talk to the dead or perform other mental miracles.  Essentially, the magician casts a wide net with a general statement and reels the volunteer in by becoming more and more specific.  Due to subtle psychology (people remember correct statements but forget the wrong ones) and the magician's charisma, the audience witnesses a stunning display of mentalism.

    Want to learn more?  Derren Brown, a British performer, discusses the skillset with Richard Dawkins, scientist extraordinaire.









    Friday, February 13th, 2009
    6:01 am
    Getting Some Cautionary Tale
    Never hook up with someone on February 13th.  There is no punch line here, it is just practical advice. 
    Wednesday, February 4th, 2009
    4:37 pm
    Flight of the Conchords
    A friend from college recommended I watch Flight of the Conchords.  Nine months later I finely watched half of the first season (I had a lot of other movies in my Netflix queue).  The show is absurd, it makes me laugh, but when I walk away I feel confused.  I'm not sure if a comedy is supposed to make me feel this way.  By comparison, I love Steve Martin and his absurd, surreal humor and it makes me laugh, but I've never felt conflicted.  The show is essentially a musical sitcom on HBO.  I recommend seeing at least a few episodes.  Whether you'll find it good, bad, poisoned, or delicious I cannot say.




    A song I enjoy, I believe for the line "I don't know if Stu's keento, but if you want we could double team you"


    A song my wife enjoys.  We first heard the song at Flugtag.

    Monday, January 26th, 2009
    4:59 pm
    Ship of Fools at the Towle Theater Jan 30th and 31st at 8pm
    Have you ever wanted to see the Ship Of Fools, but were unable to make it to Purdue University?  Or Miami, Ohio?  Or Santa Claus, Indiana?  Or Hammond, Indiana - thrice?  Here is your chance to see the SoF perform for their fourth consecutive year at the Towle Theater in Hammond, Indiana.  They will be performing two nights, Friday, January 30th, and Saturday, January 31st at 8 pm (CST).  Tickets are fiver dollars and more information can be found at the Towle Theater website.  Here are alluring clips from previous years.





    Sunday, January 25th, 2009
    10:00 am
    The Hushed Real World
    Ever wonder what SoF members do when they reitre in the Real World?  Some, like Paul Kuliniewicz, make programs to play video games and bridge


    Some, like my early improv hero/tutor Jon Heffley, try their hand at stand up comedy. 
     

    Some, like new author Jeff Spanke, make their own musical. 


    And some, like the founder of the Purdue Improv Club, Sean Crimmins, show up to a meeting years later to delight us.  There's currently no video available of the said delight so instead here's Flydini.

    Saturday, January 17th, 2009
    9:22 am
    Always the et al, never the PI
    I received this in my inbox; it regards a game played at Purdue Improv Club meetings called Continous Story.  My favorite part of the article is when it states, "subjects were led to believe they were attending a meeting of an organization called the "Purdue Improv Club", but were not made aware of the deception and the true nature of the experiment afterwards".  That was a pretty elaborate ruse just to provide anecdotal evidence that collabrotive stories do not work.  Some links have been added.

    Prof. Richard Wiseman of the University of Hertfordshire conducted an
    experiment on his blog wherein commenters contributed to a story, one
    sentence at a time.  The catch was that men and women contributed to
    separate stories, although both stories began with the same opening
    line.

    The results:
    Men: http://richardwiseman.wordpress.com/2009/01/15/the-mens-story/
    Women: http://richardwiseman.wordpress.com/2009/01/15/the-womens-story/

    Prof. Wiseman's commentary on the results is at
    http://richardwiseman.wordpress.com/2009/01/15/clowns-talking-cats-and-the-mysterious-dolores/

    The men's story quickly veers into borderline incoherence as
    contributors keep throwing stuff in with little regard to the narrative
    thus far.  The women's story stays cohesive longer before losing control
    and resorting to the despicable all-just-a-dream-or-is-it ending.
    (Whereas the men introduced all-just-a-dream in the middle and kept
    going anyway, ultimate ending in a self-referential charlie foxtrot.)

    Prof. Wiseman's findings are independent replication of earlier
    experiments by Kuliniewicz et al, Purdue University, where repeated
    attempts at forming such collaborative narratives were made weekly.  In
    those experiments, the results almost invariably fell within the
    "borderline incoherence" category, and the experimental population was
    overwhelming (90%+) male.

    [Alas, the findings of Kuliniewicz et al remained unpublished, due to
    failure to follow proper experimental protocol with human subjects:
    subjects were led to believe they were attending a meeting of an
    organization called the "Purdue Improv Club", but were not made aware of
    the deception and the true nature of the experiment afterwards.  Also,
    there was a failure to establish a proper control group.]

    Clearly, this is Prof. Wiseman's most significant work in psychology
    since his infamous color-changing card trick:


    Sunday, January 11th, 2009
    9:36 am
    Recess Rumors: Lead Poisoning
    I've always found the manipulation of objects fascinating: cards, juggling, etc.  One of my more recent dexterous interests came from watching bored students in college calculus spin their pens with easy agility.  Have you ever wondered why they spin pens though rather than pencils?  Fear of lead poisoning of course.

    Lead poisoning from pencil lead is nearly impossible, making my previous pen-spinning comment ludicrous.  Nearly impossible?  Not totally?  Ancient Egyptians used chunks of lead (Pb) to write with (wonder what they used for scratch 'n' sniff stickers).  So, if you are writing with a pencil the ancient Egyptians used then it is plausible.  If you use what modern Egyptians, and most of the world, uses then I am sure you will not get lead poisoning as modern pencils use graphite, a form of carbon.

    While lil' Johnny from second grade was right to tell you not to puncture yourself with a pencil, he was right for the wrong reason.  If you sustain a shallow puncture you may have introduced germs under your skin - which skin tries to prevent.  You may also require some hydrogen peroxide, an adhesive bandage, and bacitracin.  If you give yourself a deeper puncture (remember do not run with sharp objects) then you probably introduced germs deep under your skin.  You may also require some hydrogen peroxide, an adhesive bandage, and bacitracin or stitches, antibiotics, and a tetanus booster.  If you run the pencil all the way through your hand you probably introduced bacteria, injured muscles, nerves, and tendons, a tetanus booster, require stitches, maybe surgery, and possibly hand rehabilitation.  In any case, none of these situations are good because an infection may develop as some bacteria thrive on being under the skin where there is less oxygen (anaerobic environment) such as C. tetani.  While you may require first aid for the puncture wound, you will not require chelation therapy for lead poisoning.  So why spin pens instead of pencils?  Because pens are number 1, and pencils are number 2. 

    Saturday, January 3rd, 2009
    8:19 pm
    Wool over my eyes? No, a truck hood
    There was some trepidation when I was a Boy Scout displaying my knowledge of knots to earn a merit badge.  I tied a slew of knots, bends, hitches, bights, and shanks and to this day I have used a handful of them; a bowline here, a slip knot there.  On 22 Dec 2008, I used a taut line hitch to hold the hood of my truck, onto, well, my truck. 

    An earlier accident caused damage to the bumper, grill, and hood latch to my truck.  thus when I slammed my hood down after jump starting my dad's vehicle and heard the click of the hood latch I should not have assumed everything was alright.  Instead I should have assumed my hood was going to fly up, shear the hinge it moves upon, bend severely all while obscuring my view while driving 45 mph (72 kmh) on a busy bypass.  Yes, it was like the scene from Tommy Boy and much like the scene from Tommy Boy my initial reaction was to laugh and ask if this was really happening.  Unlike Tommy Boy, I quickly pulled over and threw on my hazard lights.  Apparently, the previous accident not only damaged the hood latch, but it also secured the hood by wedging it between the bumper and frame of the truck.

    At this current juncture I'm contemplating repairs to the truck and other possibilities (e.g. removing the hood and driving it sans hood).  I would say I have the worst luck with vehicles (considering my other car's state of perpetual repair), but this hardly compares to my friend SOG's car which had a Viking pyre send off because it was parked next to a vehicle which became a conflagrated mess.  My vehicle has yet to meet Odin in Valhalla. 



    Reverse angle

    This sucks but at least I gave the people driving next to me a funny story to tell.
    Thursday, December 11th, 2008
    5:11 pm
    The tree they call Jayne
    WALL*E has quickly become one of my favorite movies.  It's one of the finest movies in its genre: a computer-animated-science-fiction-romance film.  The movie has repeatedly made me laugh and thus I purchased a DVD copy of it.  As a promotion for the movie, I received a tree sapling via mail.  After transplanting the tree I came to the conclusion it needed a name.  I named the plant Jayne, as in the hero of Canton.
    Monday, November 24th, 2008
    7:55 pm
    Everybody Lies . . . and has blogs

    I, like millions of others, love the show House, M.D. in spite of its unrealistic medicine and prosaic formula (wait, 20 minutes in and we have a plausible but incorrect diagnosis?). The show has loads of wit, sarcasm, and Hugh Laurie's piercing blue eyes. This redeems the poor medicine, but just how poor is the medicine? Thankfully there is a physician who reviews the shows and posts critiques on his blog, Polite Dissent. He is also into comic books, so he's got that going too.

     

    If you haven't had enough of Hugh Laurie's eyes; eyes which you could swim in all day then you should check out Keep Your Receipt. Interspersed between other humorous posts, an interesting hybrid exists: House screen shots with LOLCATZ captions. My personal favorite is from season 5, episode 3.

     

    WE'Z IN UR HALLWAYS. BOTCHIN UR INITIAL DIAGNOSIS

    Tuesday, November 11th, 2008
    6:06 pm
    Thank you, Veterans

    In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the dead. Short days ago
    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
    Loved, and were loved, and now we lie
    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

    Lt.-Col. John McCrae
    Tuesday, November 4th, 2008
    6:52 pm
    Like ancient Sparta
    With few caveats, any free citizen over the age of 18 in the US is allowed to and encouraged to vote.  Some nations; however, require individuals to earn the vote by conscription or civil service.  Should everyone be allowed to vote or should you have to earn the vote (e.g. military or civil service)?

    Additionally, some countries make voting compulsory (e.g. Brazil).  Should voting be required or should you be allowed to choose whether you will vote?
    Tuesday, October 21st, 2008
    8:44 pm
    Halloween Mind Mapping

    I was going to be a slutty nurse for Halloween but Halloween is about being someone different. Of course, picking out the costume to make you different can be a difficult decision. The general process I follow is to consider the items I have available and work from there. Do I have cardboard boxes, cardboard, or balloons? Markers, tape, rope, and a pocket knife? Are there historical figures or characters which I like? The flowchart illustrates the process. It is not all inclusive, but it does illustrate the process to forming a costume.

    Flow Chart

    For things like Facebook, Wiki, or Youtube, you may want to carry markers with you so people can write on your wall, edit your page, or rank your video. If you're a ninja, you may want to assassinate various party guests; especially if they are samurai.

    Sunday, October 5th, 2008
    12:08 am
    33+ Years of Labor

    When a person queries about my occupation, stating I am a nurse cues my new examiner to reference an acquaintance who is also a nurse. When my dad is questioned about his occupation it oft brings about questions filled with intrigue and fascination. My dad is a blackjack (and other games) dealer on a river boat casino. Before being a blackjack dealer my dad's occupation was in the not-so-question-inducing grocery business. At the end of this September, my dad retired.

    In order to celebrate my dad's retirement, I surreptitiously placed a four foot inflatable Halloween decoration in his garage with his 9x12 inch employee photo from the start of his grocery days tied around it and a sign that said, “Retire In Peace”. The sign seemed fitting given the inflatable was a ghost popping out of a tombstone with the RIP acronym already stitched on it. I think my dad will enjoy seeing this. Especially since this is the first thing he will see at home after a 14 hour drive from Alabama. Happy retirement, Dad.

     

     

     

    *Pictures may follow if I locate a camera and my dad does not remove the inflatable from its present resting spot.


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