Thursday, December 02, 2004


Fluorescence, walking and speeding

So I didn't mention what the instrument I was "trained" on Tues. does. It measures fluorescence. Fluorescence is the light that comes out of a sample after it is hit with light. Think of an atom of your sample like the solar system, the sun is the nucleus and the electrons are the planets orbiting the sun (nucleus). The electrons absorb the light and are excited because of all the excess energy they just took in. So they jump up to a higher orbital (like a planet's orbit). So the electrons then relax, give off some heat, and then shoot that energy (light) back out and that light is measured, and that measured light is your sample's fluorescence. I'm gonna have to do a little more research to figure out what the fluorescence is used for, so good thing I'm in grad school.

Joan's "speeding" ticket was a complete sham. He did not have a radar gun. He paced her to get her speed. Now this is not uncommon but in this case, it is absolutely ludicrous. So he was pulling out of a driveway and she goes by and he says "Huh, she's going fast. I'll catch her." Now this driveway is no more than 300 ft. from where we turn to go into our house. When I do the calculations later, I'm going to do them with Joan going the claimed 60 and what she was actually doing, about 40. So Cop speeds up to catch her, matches her speed of 60, then pulls her over, all in 300 ft. Very impressive for an unmarked Caprice Classic. And in this same 300 ft. Joan maintains her speed of 40 and then, say, 50 ft. before her turn, she begins to decelerate, so Cop really only had 250 ft. to catch up with her, so he had to get up to about 70 or 80, then slow down, then match her speed, and decelerate? in 250 ft.? Sure, but it's over now. She paid the $76 fine and got her 2 pts. And if she gets another one in under 8 months, I'm putting a speed governor on her car. I'll be back with those calculations when I get a chance.

Walking. The new director of Fike, the campus recreation center, has started a 10,000 steps program. Basically he gives you a pedometer and you keep track of your daily step totals and if you average higher than the president of Clemson, you get an award and plenty of exercise. So Butch, Fike director, gave a presentation in the Graduate Senate meeting last month and the dean of grad students was there and asked if we could start a program like that for grad students. Sounds great. So yesterday I picked up my pedometer and am now obsessed with my step total. I sucked yesterday, only 6300, but I was short-changed half a day, picked up the pedometer at 1 pm. So today I walked to school. 5000 steps later, I'm well on my way to reaching today's goal and making up for my lazy ass yesterday. Plus this is a great kick in the pants that I needed to be more active. I've been slacking alot recently, blaming it on work, Joan, monkeys, whatever pops into my head. But the reality is I'm lazy, and have a family history of heart disease, diabetes, and I'm overweight. So I need all the kicks in the ass I can get. I think I'll post my step totals on here too, just as a way to keep track, and so you can help keep me honest and walking.


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