Pan-American Maglev

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apr_bunlings1.jpg
Baby rabbits are oddly proportioned little things on their best days. Also, none too bright. This one required some coaxing to transport itself out of the busy bike lane. It takes a special kind of animal obliviousness to almost get flattened by a bicycle. 2006:04:17 20:00:11

What with Scavhunt, semester's end, and optics fabrication looming large, my inclination would be to take a cue from Connor and declare EGAD to be in Fluff Mode for the time being. But then I realized that EGAD pretty much is fluff anyway, even if it is interspersed with bouts of scientific or social analytic pseudo-rigour. All I can do is warn you to expect an even lower density of actual thoughtful posting for the next few weeks.

Today, for instance, is pretty much linkage and random thoughts. And baby bunnies, 'cause it's that time of year.

My house acquired a new roommate recently. Leo replaces Ian, the fresh-out-of-high-school slacker with an absentee band who proved unable to hold down a job long enough to pay his bills. And if you know how little it costs to live at my place, you'll realize just what a committed bit of slacking that had to have been. Leo is Argentinian and kind of hyperactive, but altogether employed, so that's cool. When he found out that I'm an astronomer he was extremely curious to know just why there aren't rocket trains yet that would let him visit home in an hour. We had a conversation about acceleration and energy efficiency, leaving aside for the time being why he would expect an astronomer to know anything about rocket trains. But now I've got the beginnings of a seemingly inevitable idea in my head: the Pan-American maglev.

Speaking of Scavhunt, and in keeping with the apparent trend of ex-UofC-ites wandering off to Minnesota, I ran into a certain notorious ex-Judge with Jedi tendencies the other day. Yes, Sebastian is now in law school just across the river, meaning that the two people who covered the most miles to attend last year's Hunt will be covering exactly the same number of miles this year.

Courtesy Lydia, there's a fellow attempting, with considerable success, to build a flippin' Difference Engine out of Legos. Which is just tremendously cool, and might just be what it takes to renew my desire to build the prototype Clock of the Long Now, preferably out of something awesome like Legos.

apr_bunlings2.jpg
So I'm biking home the other night and I notice that a clutch of rabbits has recently hatched, but that Mom, being a rabbit after all, has been scared by the passing traffic and retreated to a neighboring yard. So these little bits are crawling around generally munching grass and being obtrusively tiny, and at least one has fallen off the curb and into the street. That one gets a poke in the backside from my sandal to prod it out of the road. I assume they'll figure out the whole flighty nervous rabbit thing at some later date. 2006:04:17 20:01:12

3 Comments

I was more impressed with the Lego difference engine before I read that it is a replica of one of Babbage's work. Something like that only earns true nerd points in my book if the builder designed the engine. :)

The design still had to be adapted to work (and be buildable) when made from Legos, which took a non-trivial bit of experimentation from the sound of things. I'm inclined to at least give partial credit.

BUNNIEEEEES!

Can I have one?

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This page contains a single entry by Milligan published on April 21, 2006 7:17 PM.

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