Monday, November 1, 2010

What is the Theme of Your Life?

Recently I read a fabulous article:

The Disadvantage of an Ivy League Education.  It was fascinating.  Written by Professor By William Deresiewicz, an Ivy League professor, who should know.  Read it first, it is self explanatory.   Here's a short quote:

In short, the way students are treated in college trains them for the social position they will occupy once they get out. At schools like Cleveland State, they’re being trained for positions somewhere in the middle of the class system, in the depths of one bureaucracy or another. They’re being conditioned for lives with few second chances, no extensions, little support, narrow opportunity—lives of subordination, supervision, and control, lives of deadlines, not guidelines. At places like Yale, of course, it’s the reverse.

I wondered if the ideas put forth.  Has my career been determined by the universities that I went to?  Had I gone to an elite university, would my career have been different?  Or not?

I then suddenly had the thought.  If your life were a movie, what would the theme be?  What simple theme would explain your life the best?  Think of documentaries, biographies, books, stories, movies that you have seen.   It's a fascinating question. 

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Healing Infection, Inflammation, and Swelling with Magnets

Here is something that others have encouraged me to post online.

I went walking in the ocean one Sunday, and got stung by a stingray on the top of my right foot.  Ow!  I started limping immediately.

The lifeguards put my foot in hot water, checked the wound for the barb (none), and let me go. It bled enough.  It was tough to walk on it. I limped back to the car.

Unlike when I sprained my ankle at different times, this time the foot stayed swollen. I noticed that what seemed to be a liquid inside the foot moved to each side of the foot when I sat on my heels.  That is, when I eventually could sit on my heels, after a number of days.

I could only wear my really old loose sneakers.  If I tried to put on my regular shoe, or new sneakers, my foot was too big, and it hurt to get it in.  When I put my flip flops on, the straps  pushed the liquid away from the straps.

I tried some home treatments:  Topical anti biotic. Epsom salts and hot water. Topical colloidal silver.

On the Friday, the swelling still had not gone down.  I couldn't put my foot into my shoes.

That weekend, I decided to see if my violet ray machine would make a difference.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

More Experiments With Magnets And Plants - 2010

In 2010, I wanted to plant some flowers again.  I wasn’t thinking of doing an experiment when I started; I just wanted to plant some flowers.  So I planted some Brown Eyed Susans in recycled containers that plants are sold in.

Immediately after the fact, I thought I should use some magnets.  Since magnets help plants grow, I came up with a hypothesis and experiment.

Davis and Rawls state that the south pole of a magnet will help plants grow.  And the north side will impede the growth.  The pole that faced the plants was the south pole.  I put the magnets close to the tray.  If the magnets did help the plants, then the plants closest to the magnets should grow fastest.

Again, everything here was the same.  All the seeds came from the same package.  All the soil came from the same package also.  The magnet used was a type N42, 1 inch square, by 3/8 inch thick.  Magnetized axially.  If you lay it down, the top is south pole, and the bottom is north pole, or vice versa.

You can see the results here.  The magnet is in the white 35mm film container.   

As you can see, the plants closer to the south pole of the magnet, grew faster, than the ones further away.  As I expected.  Proving the thesis. 

Experiments with Morning Glories, Magnets, and Magnetized Water, 2009

I've shown pictures of these experiments to a number of people recently, and many have asked me to put it up on the web.

I like blue, and blue flowers are relatively rare.  In 2009, I saw some packages of seeds for blue morning glories, and bought them immediately.

The same year, I'd bought some magnets.  I suddenly wondered, do magnets affect the growth of plants,  and was inspired to do an experiment.  Using the morning glory seeds from the same package, I tested for four different scenarios.

1 - Seeds, with powerful magnets inside the pot, and regular water.
2 - Seeds with regular water
3 - Seeds with magnetized water
4 - Seeds with regular water, with a purple plate under the pot

What is magnetized water?  It was water had been subjected to a magnetic stirrer.  I'd pour water into the container, and stir the water with a magnetic stirrer for about 15 minutes.  What is a purple plate?  I'd been told it was supposed to do all kinds of wonderful things, so I decided to include it in the tests.

The magnets I used were from KJ Magnetics, and are in this picture.

The sizes of the magnets are:  

Monday, August 16, 2010

Summer For Bureaucrats

While still in university, in 1989, I visited Japan for three months on an AIESEC traineeship. I was very impressed with Japan!

While I was there, I heard a number of different Japanese people spontaneously tell me, “Japan has no resources excepts its people”. Japanese companies put a lot of effort into developing their human resources and capital. And, they were beating the Americans in so many industries: steel, electronics, television, cars.

When I returned to university, I noted how Western companies essentially did no investment in their people. They wanted fully educated workers. And fully trained. But at the expense of another company. So they could just hire them away. Quite the contrast in HR policy.

This summer, I started watching a TV series on Japan’s NHK network, called “Summer For Bureaucrats”. It’s a docudrama about the history of the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry – MITI.

It starts about 1955, ten years after WWII. Each episode is a different drama, not only about MITI, but about Japan also.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Cool stuff at the 1989 World Design Expo, Nagoya, Japan

In 1989, while in univeristy, I went to Japan on an AIESEC traineeship. It was an awesome experience!

While I was there, I attended the World Design Expo in Nagoya.

The theme of the conference was Fire. Anything goes. So there was lots of different aspects featured.

There was a whole section of graphic arts, with many posters on fire safefy.

Another section had fire safety products. One product in particular that I thought was rather smart was a fire safety device for buildings. It looked like the long tape you would use to measure distances in track and field. If there was a fire in a building, and the fire escape was blocked, you would anchor one end around something fixed in the office. The other end would go under your armpits. Jump through the window. It would slowly lower you to the ground at a constant speed. On September 11th I remembered it. Perhaps it wouldn't be long enough for so many stories. But it was long enough to go to a floor below the fire.

The second grand prize went to this solar energy cooker.

The idea behind the cooker was that in developing countries, green trees were being cut down for firewood, because all the dead wood had already been burned up. Fewer green trees meant more carbon dioxide, and less oxygen being produced. This is causing an ecological imbalance. The idea was to eliminate burning altogether.