Catharsis of the Bogue

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Category: Tech Stuff (page 1 of 2)

Relativistic Physics for 7 year olds

This morning was interesting.  I poured my 7 1/2 year old son a bowl of cereal for breakfast while I was finishing making lunches.  He sat and ate for a few minutes and then he asked, “Dad, if someone from the future takes someone from the past on a time machine to the future, are they the same age or is one really old?”  Yea, ponder that for a minute.

English: Relativistic formula

English: Relativistic formula (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I sat there for a minute or two and finally said “Yes, to both questions.”  Needless to say he was confused.  So here I am trying to figure out how to explain relativity and time travel to a 7 year old so he can understand it.  Yea, his brain is unique.

I started with a bit of relativity, glossing over the theoretical science and math and got to “If you are on an airplane you don’t notice you are moving unless to look out at the ground, but if you are standing on the corner watching the plane it is going fast.  It is all how you are looking at the same thing.”  Confused look for a minute and then, “Oh, so it is like watching a car go by on the road.”  Bah, bested by a 7 year old.

“Yes,” I said, “it is like that.”  And then we get into what happens with time travel and people.  I hold 2 fingers up, one on each hand.  “OK, these are people and they are both 10 years old and they were born 100 years apart.  In normal time they would move at the same rate.”  As i move my fingers at the same time, “each gets older the same but they will never meet.  When the guy in the future goes to the past, he is getting older to himself, but hasn’t even been born yet to the past guy!”  Eyes began to glaze a bit but he stuck with it.

“Ok, if they both jump back to the future, the future guy is still 10 to himself and 10 in his world.  the past guy is 10 in his body, but 110 by his birthday?  Make sense?”  He looked for a minute and said, “So if they guy from the past goes to the future he is still 10.  Got it.”

Yea sure Tristan, you got it.  I am still waiting for a call from the school, either from his teacher, “What are you teaching this kid?”  or from the principal, “Your son got in a fight about time travel and how old he will be in 103 years.”  We will see what happens.


Videotape and Memories, Some Things Best Left to Still Pictures

I was watching a video with my 3 year old yesterday. It was the raw footage of our vacation to Disneyland last fall. I realized a few things while watching this. First I really need to edit the thing, I seem to have a lens cap problem and recording the inside of said lens cap. Second, although these are “precious memories”, are they really necessary? The video that is not the memories. Those are what is important.

I have always liked the idea of video cameras and the wonders of home movies. But many times I watch them and wonder if a slide show of still pics would be better. There is something that I like about looking at the split second captured in a picture. I like to remember what it felt like and what I was thinking when it was taken.

I know that you can still get all of that with video, but video is laced with noise and stupid comments that take some of the “remembering” out of the equation. It is kind of like reading the book vs. watching the movie, not as much imagination needed. Maybe they had it right before with 8mm movies. Sure they were people waving like mad at the camera but there was no sound and much more “remembering”.

Video isn’t bad. The kids especially love to see themselves having fun and sometimes it is great to sit back and be shown your memories. I just happen to like my still pictures. I like to be able to take some pictures with me and show them off. I can’t do that with video and don’t start emailing me with how ipods and iphones can have video on them as well as pictures, I don’t care about that. I don’t have the right setup to get the video off of my camera to the computer. Sometimes paper pictures are the best thing to have with you.

Not that digital photos are not the best thing that has happened since kodachrome film, I love digital pics.  I don’t want to get along without them.  I just get prints made at Costco.

Plan a weekend to go capture some memories, on video or in still pictures.


A new Pastime: Geocaching!

Geocache Pfalz Werla in Deutschland.

Image via Wikipedia

Hello folks.  So it is tax time again and many of you will be cursing the IRS very soon, if you have not done so already.  For myself, we did fairly well with a decent sized refund.  A good chunk of that we spent redoing our kitchen, but some we spent on one of those fancy GPS units.  I wanted one that would be good for hunting and the outdoors, and then we got into a new hobby.  Geocaching.  It is a kick in the pants frankly.  You use your fancy GPS and the website to go and find small plastic things to write your name on.

It is a great treasure hunt and sometimes there are prizes to trade for in the cache.  It is a great family friendly way for us to get out into the outdoors and running around.  My kids love it and so do I.
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I did the Twitter thing 20 years ago!

I was on Twitter the other day and was having some great conversations with a few people.  It struck me how this type of communication has actually been around for 20+ years.  This will date me and label me a huge geek, but who remembers a time before the internet?

A time when monitors were 1 color (amber or green).  A time when learning BASIC in school was the gifted and talented program.  On Atari 2600’s with the membrane keyboard.   A time with 5 1/4″ floppy disks.  How cool it was when a 3.5″ disk could hold 1.44 MB of info on it.  A time when “online” meant “modeming”.  Calling into some local guys server and chatting with 20 or so people until you got bumped off by a timeout at 1 hour.

This was the BBS system.  A BBS was a bulletin board system.  It was a place to upload and download stuff, leave messages, and chat with people.  And it was DOS based!  Gold star if you can remember the command to move up and down in the directory.  I loved DOS mainly because it bugged my dad that I knew how to mess with his computer.

I am specifically focusing on the chat rooms in this discussion.  The chat rooms were set up so I could type something, hit enter and it would go out to anyone who was looking in that same forum.  Then I could read their stuff and go back and forth all night.  Now we have Twitter.  The only real difference despite the worldwide internet, cable modems, windows upgrades (Remember win 3.1 that you had to start every time???) is the 140 character limit.  Most of the time when we were chatting, responses were not that long.

I was really drawn back to those fun old days when I was tweeting the other night.  Sad though the demise of the humble BBS, it was a great way to interact with people.  Hell, I met my wife in one of those chat rooms.  We started going out and didn’t modem much after that.  That was 17 years ago.  Bah!

They were also good to piss off my dad because he was convinced I was going to download a virus.  I never did get one, but one leveled his system just 2 weeks ago…Norton be damned.

Does anyone else remember the BBS glory days?  Leave a comment and lets chat about it!

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Thanks again for reading!  Fiction ebook coming the end of this week!


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